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Art Lessons

The Artist's Palette: Part I

Mixing palettes are surfaces for preparing and mixing paints. They come in a wide variety of materials, shapes, and sizes. The palette you choose depends on your medium and personal preferences. Below are the most readily available palettes for painters.

watercolor palette

Image via Shutterstock

Palettes for Oil & Acrylic

Wooden Palettes 

Plastic Palettes

Clear Palettes

Palette Paper

Sealed Trays

Notes: working with fresh paint is always ideal, but storing your palette helps prevent wasted paint and allows you to save mixes that are difficult to replicate.

Palettes for Watercolor

Simple Welled Palettes

Travel Palettes

Potted Palettes

Alternative Palettes

In addition to a surface for mixing paints, the term "palette" can refer to the selection of paint colors you use to create a work. For example, Fauvist painters such as Matisse often used bold and bright palettes to represent their subjects.


Image and text excerpted from the fine artist's guide to Tools & Materials

What is your favorite type of palette surface?

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Paul Cezanne

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