• Alicia Kidd

Custom Watercolor Palette

Updated: Sep 8, 2019



Here is how I make my own watercolor palette. I am using Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolor tubes. The pigment in these tubes are just amazing.


In my palette, I’m using:

Cadmium Yellow Pale, Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Red, Cobalt Turquoise, French Ultramarine Blue, Prussian Blue, Permanent Magenta, Potter’s Rose, and my all-time favorite, Burnt Sienna.


You don’t have to buy tubes if you want to make your own palette. You can also purchase half pans, full pans or whole pans of the same color.


Another great option, if tubes and half pans are out of your budget, are Cotman Color half pans. They are student grade, which means they are composed of more bonding agents than actual pigment, but the quality of the colors are excellent. I still use them for studies and quick sketches. The Cotman colors are not lightfast, but that is not a problem for me because I scan my drawings and keep them inside sketchbooks.


If you notice, I have fewer colors in my new custom palette. I have three cool colors that are hard to get by mixing, and the rest are great pigments that I can use to mix any color I need out on location.



So, how do you make your own?

• Recycle empty tin box or buy empty watercolor palette on Amazon

• Buy empty pans (half pans and full pans)

• Buy watercolor tubes in whichever colors, size and whatever brand you can afford

• Squeeze the tube into the pan until full

• Let it sit in room temperature and in a dark place for at least 24 hours or until dry and hardened

• Once dry, place pans in the palette. You can use double sided tape to keep them in place, a glue gun or adhesive dots.

• Go out and sketch!

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