How to Prep Your Own Watercolor Palette


This weekend, July 28-30th, I am hosting my first giveaway!! Woohoo! I made a special palette for this giveaway and I thought it would be a great opportunity to show how I create watercolor palettes. Creating a palette like this is perfect because you can include all of the different watercolors tube colors that your heart desires in one place. Added bonus, since the paint dries in the palette, you can easily transport it!

Also, just as a disclaimer, the clickable links in this blog post are affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase through these links I earn a few cents, which helps support creating future resources like this blog post.


First, we start out with an empty palette, just like this one. You can find these on Amazon or at your local arts/crafts store. Try to think about how many wells you would like and if you may want to expand and include more colors later.


Next, you will pick out your colors. I like to line them up along the palette just like this. You want to make sure that you have them in some coordinating pattern. Some artists like to arrange by the color of the rainbow, here I decided to go with grays, browns, yellows, reds, greens, blues, violets. It's whatever your heart desires! Just be sure to take a picture of your tubes in their particular arrangement, because we will need to know the coordinating colors for later! Some of my favorite watercolors are Winsor & Newton, Daniel Smith, Sennelier, and Holbein


Once you have a good game plan for the organization of your colors, you will want to squeeze out your colors into each little well. I like to leave a little bit of room to allow for extra water and space to create more transparent colors. Feel free to fill it all up if you prefer!


You will want to wait for an hour or so for your paint to dry a bit. Once it seems like it is setting, try to gently push your finger into the paint to make a little indentation. If your finger gets paint on it, wait a little longer. This little indentation will be good for adding water later to the top of the paint for rehydrating it. Once you've done this, you should set the palette aside for 24-48 hours to fully dry.


One crazy important (and often forgotten step) is to record which paint is which. This is good info if you want to suggest a particular paint to someone else or if you want to refill a certain well with more paint in the future. I suggest creating a grid much like the palette that holds your watercolors. I typically like to use a ruler for this, just so I'm certain about spacing. If you use a pen, make sure it has waterproof ink! Like this Micron pen. Be sure to write down the brand and the color name next to your swatches!


The second best part comes next! (Best part is obviously squeezing out the paint tubes.) Fill in your swatch card with your coordinating colors! Whenever I paint, I have this swatch card close by. Watercolor paints can look very different once you add water and put brush to paper, so to have this reference can be really helpful!


Hope you enjoyed this little tutorial! If you have any suggestions or comments, please comment below!

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