My new watercolor palette and layout

I got this beautiful, new Schminke watercolor palette! It folds up nice and small, and is pretty easy to travel with. I decided that I wanted a setup with more colors that was still easy to cart around. It's a little larger than the palette I was using before, and I had to make a new sketchboard to accommodate the extra width. It came as a three row palette, but my husband trimmed a bit off the metal plate base so I could slide it up and squeeze in an additional row of half pans.

I also changed my color layout. It looks a little haphazard, but there is a method to my madness! In the top two rows, I put the opaque colors on the left, the transparents in the middle, and the earth colors over to the right. It's really helped to avoid mistakes between colors that look similar in the pans, but have completely different properties. The bottom row contains seasonal colors that will rotate, or exotic hues that I only use occasionally, colors I'm test driving, or colors that are easily mistaken for something else. (Quinacridone Gold is in that row because when it was in the yellow row, it looked so similar to Winsor Newton Raw Umber in the pans that I kept diving into it at the worst possible moments!)

The painted color chart was done so that I'd be able to remember what was in the set in terms of both color and brand. Some colors are completely different in different brands. That seems to be especially true with Raw Sienna and Raw Umber! I realized that if I wanted my mixes to be consistent, I'd have to be consistent in brands too, or at least test drive mixes in advance when trying new brands, so I can avoid some surprises when out painting on location.


  1. This box of paints looks like fun, even, I think, I am equipped for life with watercolor paints, I am tempted to get it too. Where did you get it? Was it a good price? I usually place it the way my first teacher taught me: white, yellows, reds, blues, greens, browns, black.

  2. Nik, the palette is from . They have a lot of great stuff there! Now that I've had some time to use it, I'd have to say that I might prefer the slightly smaller three row metal palette I was using previously. Although I really do like this one, it's a lot heavier, and I'm not sure I really need all those colors when I'm hiking or out walking around and sketching.