Yes, you can combine different colors of paint to turn out the exact shade you’re looking for, but doing that usually involves plenty of trial and error. If you’re an artist looking to get that very specific hue for a piece you’re working on, that usually translates to a lot of wasted paint, unless you’re willing to buy the exact shade from the art supply store. Picolor is a desktop tool that can help with that.
A paint-mixing gadget, the device lets you choose any color from an app, then gives you a small vial of paint or ink in that exact color. No, not something that’s close enough to the color you chose, but the exact specific shade you wanted. That’s right, you can now have any color of paint you desire without having to drive up to the art supply store and compare multiple bottles of color.
Picolor holds five cartridges in its internal chamber, each of which holds one color of pigment, namely black, white, cyan, magenta, and yellow. Choose a color from the companion app and it goes to work, mixing those pigments in different quantities in order to reproduce the exact shade of paint you wanted. From there, you just take the paint and use it for whatever you’re working on, whether you’re painting a wooden toy, jazzing up your Xbox controller, or finishing a watercolor art. According to the outfit, it can produce over one million different types of colors, which should save you a lot of hassle if you like playing with plenty of shades in your work.
How fast does the mixing go? According to the outfit, mixing and dispensing the paint takes just a few seconds (you can see just how fast on the video below), so you don’t have wait long to get your color ready. Do note, it’s fast because it only produces small amounts of paint at a time (3 ml), which, we guess, is the perfect portion for artistic-type work, so you don’t end up wasting a lot of pigments unnecessarily.
As of now, Picolor can produce watercolor paint, pen ink, and marker ink, although they plan to expand the types of paints it can produce going forward. According to the outfit, they’re hoping to equip it with the ability to produce paint for homes and cars (so you can make your own paint for patching scratches), acrylic paint, nail polish, oil paint, and various types of cosmetics, although those are just plans at the moment and will require plenty of testing on their end before being implemented (there’s, of course, a chance they won’t be implemented, if they prove incompatible with the machine).
An onboard battery allows you to use it untethered, so you can bring it outside if you enjoy working in nature, all while being compact enough to keep in your desk permanently, making it easy to reach for any time you need a small amount of paint in one very specific shade. It comes in two colors: black and white.
A Kickstarter campaign is currently running for Picolor. You can reserve a unit for pledges starting at $129.