Setting up a watercolor palette LittlCrow

This is how I set up a new watercolor palette

I’m trying to work out what would be a good watercolour palette to take with me on outings. It would be great if I could buy all the paints I think I need ( I have my eye on at least four more colours) . But, I’ve decided to challenge myself and use the paints I already have and limit the number of pigments I use when painting. 

I recently bought a Derivan Folding 18 well watercolour palette and this is what I’ll be using. 

Choosing my watercolor pigments on my palette LittlCrow

As you can see in the pic above the watercolour palette has good areas for mixing paint, as well as  an air tight seal which is handy when out and about. 

When you first get a palette the open areas where one mixes paint often causes beading of your paints as the area is too slippery/glossy. To stop this from happening sanded the open areas with fine sandpaper. Then wiped it clean. Using Toothpaste and/ or baking soda also prevent beading from happening.

Cleaning up a watercolor palette LittlCrow

Once the palette was ready I lined my pigments with the wells. 

It’s a really good practice to start with a minimal palette, 8-13 pigments. Because you  want to get to know and experiment with the colours you’ve picked. It’s important to know it they are warm or cool colours. When you mix your colours what range of colours can you make? Are they staining or not staining? what’s the transparency like? Understanding all this takes time and with a smaller palette you’ll be able to learn about the properties and qualities of each pigment.

My watercolor pigments on my palette LittlCrow

I wanted a cool and warm colour for each of my primaries as well as a neutral colour. Amongst the reds I’ve added opera pink because I just love the colour and I’ve also included four greens that I would like to experiment with. There are three earthy tones (from 16-18)…Oops! number 18 is Burnt umber .

Below you’ll see a short video on how I go about pouring paints into the wells. Two important things here.

  1. Pour as much paint as you can on each well. Fill it up that is.   
  2. Once finished make sure you leave the palette open so that the pigments have time to dry and settle into the wells. I left mine for about 4 days before I took it out on a test run.

Have fun painting with your watercolour pigments and taking your new watercolor palette out on artist dates. 

Let me know how it all goes.