Friday, July 8, 2011

How to Set-Up a Watercolor Palette


A helpful bit of information worth sharing again...
 I recently purchased a new watercolor palette. Now, it’s not like I don’t already have enough palettes. I just wanted a lighter palette for travel. It's hard to find information on how to set up a palette... so I figured I'd share my technique.(1) The palette I purchased is the Heritage Folding Palette with 18 wells. It is one of the nicest travel palettes I have seen in a while and a great price. The lid has a soft plastic seal, which keeps the palette from leaking and keeps your colors from drying out quickly. It comes with a removable clear plastic tray. I don't use the tray since the palette has an ample mixing area. Before I use a palette I give it a light scrubbing with a mild abrasive such as soft scrub. This takes the slick surface off the mixing area and removes any residues from the manufacturing. Be sure to thoroughly rinse off the palette…you don’t want this in your paint.(2) I fill the 18 wells with my favorite selection of paint. Don’t put tiny dabs of paint in the 
wells…fill the wells! Tiny dabs of paint will eventually just fall out. Hold the tube over the deep end of the well then come back towards the shallow end while squeezing the tube.

(3) Let the palette sit open for a day or two. When the paint had set up and is no longer sticky I wet my thumb and push down in the center of each well. What this does is create an indentation for the water. When I get ready to paint I lightly mist the paint wells and I am ready to go.



My selection of paint colors by Daniel Smith Fine Watercolors



Happy Painting!

Brenda

17 comments:

  1. Ah... I recognize that palette. I have a couple and I love them too! But... it is fun to see how you have laid out your colors in it. Happy painting!

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  2. Wow, Brenda! That is some good basic advice, and some things I've never heard before, like the abrasive and the thumb. I'm going to look for one of those palettes. Thanks!

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  3. jeanette, mistress of longearsJuly 9, 2011 at 12:45 AM

    I have bumbled my paint into pans (in this very palette!) for years now, making a mess with various miserable implements, trying to get the paint to fill the pan AND have an indentation! Who knew the answer was right "under my nose" at the "tip of my fingers"? My palette thanks you!

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  4. Thanks for the wonderful feed back! It is fun to share the helpful tips I've learned along the way.

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  5. I have this palette too and love it for the same reasons you do. Thank you for the tips for prepping a palette for the first time. Your pigments look similar to mine. What colors do you use?

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  6. Krista, Thanks for asking a good question! I have edited the post to include my colors.

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  7. Brenda,
    Thank you for sharing this information about prepping and loading the palette. I had never heard about the thumb indentation before. What a great idea. Love all the colors you use and appreciate all that you share with us.

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  8. I have this palette also and LOVE it! I have been planning to order a second one and try out a different combination of colors in the new palette. THANKS so much for listing the colors you used! I was actually thinking about emailing you to ask if you had a list of colors that you used on a regular basis as I am attracted to the lovely colors in your paintings and sketches. One day I hope to take a workshop with you at Cheap Joe's...or perhaps in Europe! (Joe Miller highly recommended that I take a journaling class from you when I met him in March.)

    Thanks again for the great information you include on your blog...while I rarely comment...I do enjoy and appreciate each of your posts!

    Debo Boddiford
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/44599703@N06/

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  9. Debo, Thanks for the wonderful comments.

    It was fun to read about Joe. He is so much fun, full of creative energy, kindness...and mischief. I will be at Cheap Joe's this October...any chance you will be there?

    Thanks for the link...it was wonderful to view your lovely work.

    Happy Sketching!

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  10. Brenda, I had one of these lying around and just finished cleaning and reorganizing, using most of your colors. Going to Ojai for a paint out next week .... perfect timing!!
    Thank you!!

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  11. JoHanna Haines HergenriderJuly 22, 2011 at 7:38 AM

    Thank you for this wonderful post. I have this particular palette and haven't set it up yet. You just gave me inspiration to get my arse in gear.
    P.S. This is a wonderful blog. Thank you!

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  12. I am delighted to hear from so many people! It does my heart good to know my posts are helpful and a helpful teaching tool.

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  13. Great suggestion on palette preparation - thanks!

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  14. Just purchased this palette a couple of days ago...so very happy to find your posting before I filled it up. Thank you for your excellent guidance.

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  15. Thanks, Brenda, it was gorgeous for me to read this article. I'm gonna try.

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  16. Thank you for sharing this palette. I think I will add a few of your colours to my own.

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