The back of the drawer

I thought it might be a good idea to clean out the drawer that holds all my tubes of paint. I know there are lots of colours in there that I never use — that are either leftovers from years ago or colours I have purchased recently but never tried. You know how that is. You see another painter’s palette, you take note of the colours they use so successfully and then you go out and buy them. But you never use them.  I was about to make a colour chart of all those unused colours but I decided to sketch the contents of the drawer first… And then I did the swatch chart.


You can see the colours I found in the back of the drawer. Lots of reds and a bunch of blues and greens. The one I will most definitely try to use is the Perylene maroon, a beautiful dark red. The Holbein Mars Violet will go in the garbage (too dry, too brown and probably old) and the others will probably continue to reside in the back of the drawer. If you want to see a beautifully organized paint tube wall unit, have a look at what my Australian friend Liz Steel uses. I covet that setup but it seems it’s not available for purchase (it was lovingly constructed by Liz’s father!).


12 Comments on “The back of the drawer”

  1. yousra ahmed nagaty says:

    liked very much….it is definitely unique and wasn’t drawn before 😉 !!!

  2. Alison says:

    I love it. Thank you or sharing your drawer in such a beautiful way. That maroon really s something! The paint tube thing woud be easy to make, I’m sure. A weekend project we can tackle while waiting for the snow to melt.

  3. Linda Daily says:

    I love the jumble of tubes,something we can all relate to. I solved this problem recently by following a friend’s example. I purchased plastic snap lid boxes,about 5″W X 8″L X 2″D.
    I filled each box by color families and labeled them. It is so easy to find a color now without
    sifting through the big box I had. They stack neatly and take up little space. Just an idea!

  4. borrominibear says:

    I am glad I am not the only one that collects paint tubes. My paint storage unit is just SO amazing. I love looking at my paints and it is making me use some of those random colours and use freshly squeeze paint more when working at home

    • Hah, that’s funny Liz. Half the colours I have in my drawer are ones that I have read about from you. Still haven’t invested in Moonglow or Potter’s Pink though…
      There’s nothing more beautiful than all that freshly squeezed paint in the palette, is there? Just before it gets all mucked up…

  5. Ross says:

    Love the repetition… almost any subject becomes more interesting when you create a composition with a group like that.
    Liz paint storage system looks so “perfect”. I know someone with OCD who would really like it… although, personally, I prefer the random in-drawer storage system… so much easier to take on location.

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