How to Set Up a Custom Watercolor Palette

Denise Soden, Watercolor Artist & Content Creator

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12 Lessons (60m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:33
    • 2. Class Materials

      1:11
    • 3. Watercolor Palette Types

      7:03
    • 4. Watercolor Brands

      6:30
    • 5. Pigment Property Considerations

      5:56
    • 6. Cataloging Your Watercolor Collection

      3:59
    • 7. Basic Palette "Recipe"

      4:50
    • 8. Selecting Color Based on Subject

      1:50
    • 9. Work Flow & How to Fill Wells

      3:30
    • 10. Class Project: Custom Palette

      9:36
    • 11. BONUS PROJECT: Color Mixing Chart

      12:57
    • 12. Final Thoughts

      0:43
60 students are watching this class

Project Description

Materials (Video #2): Use what you have on hand, but if you need any recommendations, check out my "Skillshare: Customizing Palettes" list over on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/shop/inliquidcolor 

  • Watercolor Paints
  • Watercolor Palette
  • Watercolor Paper
  • Watercolor Brush
  • Ruler, pencil, eraser, etc.

Mini Class Project: Cataloging Your Watercolor Collection (Video #6)

Physically being able to see all the colors that are available to you can help tremendously in creating your own custom palette. After watching Video #6, break out whatever supplies you have at home, pick a swatching style be it simple or more complex, and get to it! I’d love to see you implement your own style into your swatch cards, so be sure to take a picture and upload them to the class project area of this class when you’re done.

Class Project: Custom Palette & ID Chart (Video #10)

The main project for this class is to create your own completely customized palette based on your own needs. For most of us, that will mean constructing a palette with 8-18 colors depending on your palette’s size. Before you embark, really take the time to look at your swatches, take the time to think about your choices, arrange and rearrange them based on what makes sense for your work flow, and then finally add your colors to the palette. Once your colors are in, I highly recommend making a color chart for your palette so that you have it for reference not only when you paint but also for when you need to refill and want to remember what color you used.

BONUS Class Project: Custom Mixing Chart (Video #11)

Once you have put together your palette, you have the option of also creating a mixing chart to go with it. This is not required, but can help you see what possibilities your palette holds. Form a grid with as many boxes across and down and you have colors, leaving room for the names of paints in both directions as well. You'll be mixing every color with every other color, which can take some time depending on how many colors are in your palette. Don't feel like you have to do it all in one sitting. I explain the process in the video, but if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask! 

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