Watercolor Palettes

There are many watercolor palettes available in a variety of sizes and shapes. If you are using tube paints, you will need one of these to put your watercolors on. Be sure to look for one that has room to mix your colors.

I’ve purchased the small plastic ones for my students for about $1.00 each, but I wouldn’t recommend them – there is very little room for mixing, and the slick surface of the palette causes the mixed colors to “disappear”. As an economical alternative, I give them dinner plates to use, which work great. Just be sure the ones you use are white, so you will be able to see the true colors of your paints on the palette. An even cheaper and disposable alternative are white Styrofoam plates, which I also use when I'm traveling or in a classroom.

At home, I have a butcher tray palette, which is made of porcelain enamel over metal. It has a convex center which causes water to run to the edge. A cover for your palette will help the watercolors stay moist while not in use, although even when they do dry out, you can simply add water and use them again.


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