View Full Version : Watercolour palettes

11-05-2004, 01:13 PM
Hi all. I've been out of the Wetcanvas loop for so long, that everything looks different!
Lots of changes in my life...including my location,which brings me to the subject.
I've been an oil and acrylic painter for quite awhile, big canvases, big brushes, which needs lots of room, which until these past few months, I've had in spades.
No longer, I'm now in a condo, and there's no studio, and while I love living on the coast where there is no winter, it still gets way too clammy and cold on the balcony to paint outside right now.
I used to do watercolours, but limited myself to the basic palette that the teacher at my classes a few years ago gave me, you know, ultramarine blue,alizarin crimson, lemon yellow, or the cadmiums, and cerulean. Sometimes I played with a bit of burnt sienna, or the earth tones. To be frank, I was bored, and quit watercolour, the colours in oil seemed so much richer.
I need to paint, but there's no room now for big canvases and layers and layers of oils. I 've seen some watercolours lately that has piqued my interest, some stuff in those "Best of Watermedia" books that certainly didn't use MY palette!
I'd like some input from more experienced watercolour painters on what are their favorite palettes, for different things. Any ideas? What is there out there, anyway?
Thanks all

11-05-2004, 06:40 PM
There's lots of advice on here about sugested pallettes, I suggest you do a search.

I warn you though, there are nearly as many suggested pallettes as painters ;)

I look forward to seeing you posting here.


11-05-2004, 07:01 PM
Palettes (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=78751)

Transparent Palette (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=217435&highlight=palette)

Watercolour Handbook.. (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=191782)

11-06-2004, 03:33 AM
Oh Good! "Find the links Judy" is back again! :D :clap: :clap: :clap:

You must have a well organised Favourites list, Judy.


Arnold Lowrey
11-06-2004, 04:32 AM
I designed a palettes with a flat mixing area to control water. It is also designed to keep tube paints moist

11-06-2004, 01:51 PM
agree....search the old threads Judy listed

You will find TONS of information on likes and dislikes from ALL of us

11-07-2004, 12:03 PM
And (surprised no one's mentioned this yet!) there's a fabulous site that can help you make precisely this decision: http://handprint.com

Click on the color wheel... The author is (joke!) an obsessive-compulsive pigment rater and tester; among other things you can look over his new suggested palette(s) for 6 or 12 colors. If you have a few days to devote to the subject, you could also browse his pigments sections.

It's true, you can get just about any kind of look these days in watercolor! Biggest change is that we now know there are fugitive colors (most of the traditional ones, unfortunately -- particularly alizarin crimson, aureolin, and rose madder). But cobalt blue & viridian (of the traditional non-staining transparent colors) are still great (if expensive).

But if you preferred oils, are you sure you won't be happier with acrylics?
Not to discourage you from watercolor, but I would think you'd experience less "negative transfer of training" (to use the proper psych term) going from oils to acrylics, than oils to watercolor. And as far as I know, acrylics also don't take lots of space, aren't too messy or smelly, and only require a bit more clean-up time than watercolor. Either way, welcome!

Edit: reread your post and see that you were using acrylics earlier, but working (apparently) with larger formats. One can use acrylics (diluted) as if they were watercolors, or even with them (some tint paper or other support with acrylic, let it dry, then use watercolor). If you still have acrylic paints, maybe you could ease back into watercolors that way?

11-16-2004, 02:26 AM
Thank you all for your input, I'll have some fun looking up those links.
To be honest, I've been intrigued by the cool stuff that only watercolour seems to be able to do...like those colour merges with wet-in-wet that acrylic on canvas just can't do.
I still do acrylic, you're right it's tidy. I have to work smaller now, though, and I thought a new path would be exciting.

11-16-2004, 03:34 AM
You will ove watercolours.

Enjoy your journey, ad don't forget to show us your workk.. :)

Doug..:D Yep, pretty organised, unlike my pictures.. :D

11-16-2004, 04:07 AM
You've got the palette from your art teacher. Now go out and make up another palette completely different, put the two together and start painting. You'll find what you love in there somewhere.

Just an idea.
Welcome back to watercolurs by the way. :wave:

11-18-2004, 12:09 AM
Use the colors that appeal to you and your paintings will show it.