My Watercolor Blog

August 28, 2007

Watercolor Palette

Filed under: Getting Started, Media, Uncategorized — Elizabeth @ 7:03 pm

Jeanne Dobie’s Papillion Winterwatercolor by Jeanne Dobie, author of the most excellent watercolor instruction book “Making Color Sing”


White porcelain or white metal are my favorite surfaces to mix on because they don’t stain and the whiteness helps you see what color is there. Plastic watercolor palettes will stain with certain pigments.

Size and Shape

How big is your working space?
How big are your paintings?
How many colors do you work with?
How much do you mix them?

For me my workspace is not large and neither are my paintings (9 x 11 and smaller). I like to have about 10-20 colors handy on the same palette.

Recently I have enjoyed using half pans in a metal white enameled paint box. It is very portable and takes up little space.

Also a huge favorite when I am working at a desk is a large porcelain palette that can slide under an easel partly. It is hard to find a nice wooden watercolor easel that has a lift (2″-4″) just enough that you can work like that. That is surprising since no matter what your media it seems obvious you would frequently like some room to move stuff under the easel and out of the way for a moment.

Third I have had lots of fun working with individual flat bottomed square dishes found at Crate and Barrel Square Dish. 2.5 oz.; 3″ sq.
SKU 174998. The author of Handprint likes to store his paints in them. They are stackable.

Paint Choice

What colors do you want there? That question can get pretty interesting and you can spend lots of time making that decision, exploring color and pigment capabilities. Time for color studies pays off later. The more I wanted some answers the more complexity I discovered and thanks to I got answers and have been very pleased with my resulting decisions of using any of the quinacridone Daniel Smith colors and any of their paints by the way are most of all the best quality for long lasting and brilliant pigments and combinations. M.Graham also has among the best quality and is significantly cheaper and that is what I primarily use.

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