Color Palette and tips

 Here are some useful tips to keep your watercolors fresh and vibrant. I use Windsor Newton watercolors and place them on my palette in the following groupings.

Cadmium Yellow light
New Gamboge

Cadmium Red Medium 
Alizarin Crimson
Perm Magenta

Ultra marine Blue
Colbalt Blue
Cerulean  blue 
Prussian Blue

Cascade Green
Veridian ( Daniel Smith brand )

Naples Yellow
Yellow Ochre
Burnt Sienna
Burnt Umber

I use a covered palette so that paints can stay damp. When paint becomes dry and
"crumbly" it will loose  its luster.

Final tip...mix the color you want don't use water to "get there"
That will only produce wimpy washed out looking paintings. Be brave, load the brush and have fun.

Watercolor artist Brienne Brown has a great description of paint consistency on her site. It is titled are you painting with Tea or butter?
She has a chart that shows five squares . The first is a light wash of blue "tea", the next is a darker patch of the same blue but painted with more pigment it is titled "coffee", The next is even more saturated in color and is titled "milk", the second to last is darker and thicker and is called "cream" and the final almost dry brushed patch  is called "butter". I can not make a link to her posting that here but you may find is on her website at


  1. Love your color palette tips Jo, what a clever idea for watercolorists.

  2. It helps so much if someone explains how to arrange a palette. I could not figure it out from books. I learn by "doing" or imitation. Then I can make something my own.

  3. No cobalt violet? I'm amazed--you always mix such gorgeous red-violet-blue colors!