The best watercolor palette depends on personal preference. Today, I'm sharing a few of my favorites and the reasons why I like them.
Watercolor palettes are mostly used for mixing colors, but they can also be used for storing watercolors.
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The Best Watercolor Palette
Most Portable Palette
Each side has plenty of space for mixing colors and it's easy to divide the space into color palettes (ie: all the yellows in this section, all the greens in this section.)
- Inexpensive. Art supplies start to add up, so I love finding inexpensive supplies.
- Great travel palette. The lid shuts and protects your paint.
- Stains easily. Plastic palettes stain a lot easier.
- Not air tight. If you have a pet, you may notice stray hairs get in.
- Since the plastic isn't rigid, dry paint peels off easily. It's nice when you're cleaning it, but this isn't something I like when I open it...
Most Budget Friendly Palette
- Cost. These palettes are so inexpensive that if you ruin them, it's not a huge deal to buy a new one. I've started buying them in 12 packs because I use them so much.
- Easy to find. Even the worst art supply shop carries these palettes.
- Comes in different sizes. I have a smaller 6 well palette too.
- Plenty of space for color mixing.
- Stain easily. Especially with liquid watercolor paint.
- Not as pretty as some of the other options.
Best Looking Palette
They're gorgeous and remind me of the vintage enamelware that I love to collect.
- Beautiful to look at. Perfect for photos and definitely Instagrammable.
- Plenty of space. There is so much space to mix on this tray. Perfect for large amounts of paint! Or just tons of color.
- Easy to clean. Paint wipes right off.
- More expensive. This is the most expensive palette I own so far.
- Harder to find. I found mine at my grocery store, but I've never seen them in normal art stores. However, online shops carry larger versions.
- Possibly too big for small work areas. This tray takes up so much space.
- Only use with watercolor. I haven't tested it, but I don't think I would want to use gouache or acrylics with this palette. It's too pretty to ruin.
Least Likely to Stain Palette
- Gorgeous to look at. It looks like a flower and feels so substantial.
- Harder to stain. If the ceramic stains, I haven't seen it happen so far.
- Easy to clean. Paint washes right off.
- Size. The one I bought is much smaller than I thought it would be, but there are larger versions.
- Breakable. If it falls, it's going to shatter.
- Not travel friendly. There's no way you want to pack this for travel. It's far too delicate and heavy.
- Disposable. So no mess to clean up.
- Works with the Sta-wet palette (see details below).
- Keeps paint wet longer.
- Wasteful. Besides the paper you're wasting, you're also wasting paint.
Best Palette for Keeping Paint Wet
- Keeps paint wet. Like I said, great for paints that easily dry out or hot days.
- Seals tight. Which sound really nice for keeping stray dog hairs out of my palettes.
- Cost. This is the most expensive palette on the list.
- Size. This thing is as big as a pad of paper, so if your desk area is small, this palette is probably not going to work well.
What's your favorite paint palette?
You might also like:
- The Best Watercolor Paint for Beginners
- The Best Watercolor Brushes
- The Best Watercolor Paper for Beginners
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