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Taking Time to Relax With Tinted Charcoal Paint Pan Set by Bee Morrison

  • Dec 3, 2021
  • Written by: Bee Morrison

What you will need:

There is nothing better for the soul than “messing about with paint”. Just listen to some soothing music and relax, no rush…no pressure. Not that easy sometimes with family needing something or other or just feeding. But there is a way of getting there and finding your own time. Most of us have a guilt complex about giving ourselves some time to ponder. So, the answer is to target an hour just for you, when everyone else is out doing their own thing or when everyone else has gone to bed. Plan it like a military operation and get all your materials ready. 


Here I am using the Tinted Charcoal Paint Pan Set from Derwent, their Inktense Paper, the mini waterbrush from the paint set and a couple of extra things, like a mini water pot (a recycled jam pot), a few larger  brushes and some kitchen paper. My aim is to test all the colours in the set and to make a small painted colour chart that will fit into the box. 



This is a very old tip but nevertheless equally useful. As you are ready to start or maybe some minutes beforehand take the trouble to spray the paint with water. This helps to soften the colours making them a bit easier to use and it’s OK to keep doing this.  

Using the free plastic colour chart, included in the paint set, gave me the right size that would fit in the box and it was easy to draw around and then mark twelve spaces directly on the watercolour paper. But before you complete the watercolour chart…have some fun, mess around with the paint, doodle, try different brushes and have ‘fun’. Remember that this is your therapy.


One of the many things I love about this box is the colour names. So, I painted a rock with ‘dark moss’, some treetops with ‘forest pine’, a mountain range with ‘mountain blue’ and a close view of a thistle using the ‘thistle’ colour and ‘forest pine’.

Painting the colour chart is useful in getting to know the colours and names and has been designed to stay in the box, as a reminder of the colour names. I repeated the colour chart on one large piece of paper. One half was covered with white gesso and the other was left as the original surface. I love trying watercolour paper from different manufacturers and creating different surface textures by either painting or palette knifing with gesso. If you don’t fancy destroying the pure watercolour paper surface use any leftover piece of cardboard and lay the gesso on very thick. You may also have some black card which is also suitable for applying gesso to. Leave it to fully dry before painting on it. On my experimental paper, you can immediately see the texture on the left hand ‘gesso’ side. I like this random approach…it just happens, and it does make the colours slightly brighter. 


The doodle page became more important than even I had imagined. It helped me to decide what to paint next. Now at this point you might have used up your hour. So, the next two pictures could be helping you with your next ‘me-time’ session.

The first painting is a group of thistles using just two colours. Each flower was painted directly on the white paper. Adding some ‘mountain blue’ at the end just added a hint of shadow. The second painting a single colour painting which really shows the value of the colour and was layered leaving most of the water as virgin paper. 


Now more than ever before as we emerge from the strangest event in our lifetime we need to look after ourselves and give the soul time it’s ‘painting time’


Thank you to Bee Morrison for providing us with this blog. Discover more of Helen’s work on her websiteTwitter and Facebook.