How to Set Up a Gouache Palette

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Learn how to set up a gouache palette to make painting with gouache even faster. Get tips on which gouache to avoid and how to rewet the gouache when once it’s dry.

You might like these other gouache tutorials.

close up of palette with gouache

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Did you know that you can set up a gouache palette?

Gouache reactivates with water, so this is a great way to make gouache more convenient since you don’t have to reach for tubes every time you need a new color.

Ready-made gouache palettes are created with student-grade paint, so this allows you to create a palette with artist-quality paint instead.

It also allows you to create custom palettes for your personal painting needs.

How to Set up a Gouache Palette

Supplies needed:

Notes about Supplies:

art supplies


For this tutorial, I’m using Holbein Artist’s gouache and Winsor and Newton Designer Gouache.

I’m using a mixture of a set and gouache that I’ve bought open stock.

Make sure that you are not using Acrylic gouache. Acrylic gouache dries permanently and cannot be reactivated.

You might be interested in learning what I thought about Arteza gouache.


I’m using a palette with a lid and mixing area. This keeps dust and dog hair out of the paint when it’s not being used.

This particular palette holds 18 colors and has slanted wells.

You can also use a studio palette, but it will get dusty in between use.

Paper for the paint swatches

I used watercolor paper, but you can also use mixed media paper or bristol board if you want. (Read more about paper for gouache here.)


  1. Choose your colors. I usually swatch the colors on scrap paper to see which colors I like. tubes of gouache
  2. Cut a piece of paper to the size of the palette.
  3. Draw out the wells.paint swatch card for palette
  4. Use a waterproof pen to add the paint names to each spot.
  5. Lay out the paint in your preferred order. Typically, whites and yellows are at the beginning and the colors move to the darker hues.
  6. You might want to add a white at each end since you use so much white when painting with gouache.
  7. Squeeze out a small amount of the first color into the first well. hand squeezing paint into palette
  8. Use a toothpick to spread the paint into the corners of the wells. hand spreading white paint with toothpick
  9. Paint a swatch of the color onto the swatch card.paintbrush and swatch card
  10. Continue filling the palette with gouache and adding the swatches to the swatch card.
  11. When you’re finished, you can paint if you want or you can let it dry for a few days.gouache palette and tubes of gouache
  12. To reconstitute the paint, add water to each color before you start painting. You can use a spray bottle or you can use an eye dropper for individual colors.
  13. When you run out of a color, just add more paint.
palette swatch card and tubes of gouache

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paint palette with gouache in rainbow colors

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