Best Watercolor Palettes For Simple & Easy Organization

Michael Daly
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Today I’m going to talk about the importance of buying good watercolor palettes specifically made for watercolor painting, and one of my favorites available.

NameCategoryProduct
Watercolor Palette by Portable PainterBest OverallWatercolor Palette by Portable Painter
Mijello Airtight Watercolor 18-Well Blue PaletteBudget PickMijello Airtight Watercolor 18-Well Blue Palette
John Pike Watercolor Palette Plastic PaletteUpgrade PickJohn Pike Watercolor Palette Plastic Palette

1. Watercolor Palette by Portable Painter

Our rating: 9 / 10

Watercolor Palette by Portable Painter

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Pros:

  • Can be used with any water-based medium
  • Contains numerous colors, so you can mix your own
  • Compact and flexible
  • Can be used with water, paint, or gel mediums
  • Portable, so it can be taken anywhere
  • Covers mistakes on a surface
  • Provides a perfectly clean surface
  • Non-toxic and BPA-free

Cons:

  • The colors don’t always blend well
  • You can’t see which color you’re using
  • Can’t see how much paint you have left
  • Colors can wash out if not used correctly
  • Colors show up best on dark surfaces

If you’re looking for a good paint palette for watercolors, you’ve found it. Well, you can’t really say that about this palette. Actually, it’s more of a paint organizer that allows you to keep your paints separate from each other. You can use this organizer with any water-based medium and can be used with water, paint lotion, or gel mediums.

2. Mijello Airtight Watercolor 18-Well Blue Palette

Our rating: 9 / 10

Mijello Airtight Watercolor 18-Well Blue Palette

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Pros:

  • Large size
  • Sturdy plastic
  • Easily stackable
  • Good value for money
  • Comes with a mixing tray for easy paint mixing
  • Airtight, which helps to prevent paints from drying out

Cons:

  • Lid doesn’t fit too tight, so it’s not as airtight as some other palettes
  • May be too big for some users

This is a very popular watercolor palette, due in part to its affordability and versatility. It’s great for beginner and experienced watercolor artists who like to paint outdoors.

It’s made from high-quality plastic so it’s handy for transporting paints without damaging your precious paints. If you’re interested in mixing paints for creating your own colors, you can use the included mixing tray for making a mess on the palette.

There are spaces for 18 individual colors, or 9-color mixing spaces. The spaces are arranged in two rows of six wells each. Most colors will fit in the wells with room to spare.

3. MEEDEN Empty Watercolor Tins Palette Paint Case

Our rating: 9 / 10

MEEDEN Empty Watercolor Tins Palette Paint Case

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Pros:

  • Organizes a variety of half-pan sized watercolors
  • Anti-slide rubber bottom
  • Contemporary design
  • Easy to clean
  • Great price for what it is

When it comes to an organized and minimalist studio, choosing the best paint palette is a very important decision. This watercolor palette from MEEDEN is convenient, functional and at an affordable price.

The 24-Color Half Pan Watercolor Reusable Palette is convenient for its storage design and available in 8 different colors: black, white, pink, blue, yellow, gray, green and red. This palette features a stacking, slide-off top for easy access to your brushes. The bottom of the palette is made of non-slip rubber. This icing on the cake is that the palette is dishwasher safe.

The MEEDEN palette, not only is durable and made of high-quality plastic but also is lightweight. And it’s easy to clean and easy to organize. Best of all, the MEEDEN palette is made to replace the traditional watercolor palette.

4. Darice, Skil Art 20 Wells

Our rating: 9 / 10

Darice, Skil Art 20 Wells

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Pros:

  • * Assorted pack includes 12 small and 8 large palettes for easy organization

* Measures 13.5" x 9.4"

If you’re after something to organize your watercolor pigments into, then this is a neat option. This set contains 20 individual, portable plastic palettes that you can use for watercolor painting and maintaining your colors. The palettes measure 13.5 x 9.4, so they’re fairly slim, and easy to carry around.

The surface of the palettes is made of plastic, so you can separate your colors in these pre-designated wells, and even use them for mixing and separating color if you’re trying out different watercolor techniques.

Because they’re made of plastic, we do recommend keeping an eye on any larger paint brushes, just to be on the safe side.

5. Color Around Aluminum Watercolor Palette

Our rating: 8 / 10

Color Around Aluminum Watercolor Palette

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Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Ease of use
  • Durable
  • Good quality
  • Safe and easy to clean
  • Vibrant colors
  • 6 inner pouches

Cons:

  • No clear top to see from color to color
  • Slightly less-vibrant colors
  • One reviewer reported some colors of the palette as already having paint blotches when they arrived

At first glance, you really can’t go wrong with this paint palette. It’s easy to use and very affordable, and it has multiple storage areas for paints. While it’s not the biggest palette on the market, it does have enough storage for your colors. It’s a simple, yet stylish and high-quality addition to your art supplies.

It has a few clear windows to help you keep track of which colors you’ve used and which you haven’t. It’s made of a heavy-duty aluminum, and it’s the perfect size to take with you on the go, whether you’re on a paint sesh around town or you just want to paint sitting by the pool.

6. Martin Universal Design Watercolor Palette

Our rating: 8 / 10

Martin Universal Design Watercolor Palette

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One thing we like about the Martin universal design palette is the easel design, which allows it to be used in two different ways: as a palette or for mixing paints. The design is professional and gives you easy access to all your paints.

The palette is made from tempered glass, so it’s sturdy and will stand up to many years of use. The construction of this palette is solid and well made. It’s easy to clean and can be cleaned with an abrasive sponge or towel with warm water. Since the palette is made from tempered glass, it’s not dishwasher safe.

The model we used during our research has a blue case. It also comes in beige, red, and green. We think the blue and red look great, but the green isn’t the best color IMO.

7. PRO ART 3333-031Pro Art Large Folding Palette Box

Our rating: 8 / 10

PRO ART 3333-031Pro Art Large Folding Palette Box

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Pros:

  • Storage compartment prevents gouging
  • Allows you to view your colors easily
  • Allows for vertical or horizontal storage

Cons:

  • Foldable design doesn’t allow for compact storage
  • Some customers find it inconvenient to store vertically

If you’re looking for a collapsible palette that’s easy to store, the PRO ART is a great choice. It doesn’t take up much room when it’s in storage.

We were very impressed with the material of the PRO ART collapsible palette box. The hard plastic will protect your painting surfaces from cracking and even scratches. In addition, the palette box is made of non-stick material, which is hygienic and easy to clean.

This collapsible palette is lightweight and has a durable construction that will last you a long time.

8. Jack Richeson 22 Well Porcelain Palette

Our rating: 7 / 10

Jack Richeson 22 Well Porcelain Palette

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Pros:

  • Large, so it can be seen easily
  • Made of durable porcelain
  • Includes a cover to protect your paints
  • Made by a brand used by artists for over 50 years
  • Includes 22 grinding wells for a large palette of colors
  • Can be used for oil and watercolors
  • Can be taken on location
  • No chemical cures are necessary

Cons:

  • Too large for some artists
  • Can get heavy when filled
  • The paint can dry in the wells and be hard to remove

Sometimes, we like our palettes to be as practical as possible and as beautiful as possible. The Jack Richeson 22 well porcelain palette does both. It’s one of the most beautiful palettes on the market, but it also lasts forever, and it’s particularly good when you need to take you palette on location.

The Jack Richeson 22 well porcelain palette is made from porcelain in the USA, and it’s exceptionally durable. The palette comes in several different sizes, but the large one measures 15 x 9 and is 2.25 inches deep.

It holds approximately 24 ounces of paint, and has 22 shallow grinding wells.

9. Large Watercolor Folding Plastic Palette

Our rating: 7 / 10

Large Watercolor Folding Plastic Palette

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This is mainly a watercolor palette but you can use it for any kind of paints.

The surface is made of durable plastic so you can protect your investment.

It comes with a lid that covers the entire thing so you can cover it up when not in use and protect it from the elements.

10. John Pike Watercolor Palette Plastic Palette

Our rating: 6 / 10

John Pike Watercolor Palette Plastic Palette

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Pros:

  • Made of durable polycarbonate
  • Wide rectangular shape
  • Excess paint drains down into the paint cup
  • Raised ridges on the palette surface for easy mixing

Cons:

  • Narrow in width
  • Paint tends to dry and crack on the ridges

As a beginner painter, you’re probably looking for a learning palette that will help mix your paints and will drain excess paint down into a cup. In that case, the John Pike palette is a great beginner palette. It’s made from heavy-duty polycarbonate plastic that is thick enough to prevent cracking.

The wide rectangular shape is great because it allows for ample room to mix your colors. The raised ridges on the palette surface makes it easier for mixing colors and for drying your paint.

However, if you intend on using quality paints and don’t mind them drying out, just use painters tape as a make-shift palette. This will allow you to mix your paints as you go, which can save you a lot of time since you won’t have to mix a large amount of paint in one sitting.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which watercolors are best for beginners?

Watercolor paint is 100% pigment, so the best watercolors for beginners are full-strength pigmented paints. Unfortunately, full-strength colors are not easily found in everyday, inexpensive watercolor sets. These are difficult colors to control and mix. For beginners, a palette of mixed-medium colors is best. Mastyx or Edmund

Surface Painter’s Color are mixed-medium colors. They are very close to paint but mix better.

What is best quality brands of watercolor?

The best quality water colors on the market are Winsor & Newton Artists Water Color Paint. There are many other brands of excellent quality but you will never go wrong with Winsor and Newton Artists Water Color paints, plus they are readily available at art stockists everywhere.

What makes a good water colour set?

There is in my experience nothing better than a good high quality water colour painting set. The trouble is most artists are not great water colour painters and they often have mixed feelings about this wonderful medium. So inevitably most kits consist of colours that are not true to the medium and are not brilliant in tint.

An artist wanting to be true to the medium and at the same time a keen water colourist should invest in a good set of artist grade water colours and use softer brushes. The Winton & Newton box sets have a full range which should keep any artist happy.

How do I organize my watercolor palette?

Sort your paints based on pigment and water content. Dried paint should be in one container, and fresh paint should be in another. If you do this, you will get the best and longest lasting results out of your paints.

Don’t forget to have a space for your brushes! If you do, you won’t have to fumble around and try to blend your colors while painting. Keeping your brushes organized also helps you paint faster, because you have easy access to them and are able to find them easily.

Here is a video to help you organize your palette and brushes along with your paints.

Which is easier watercolor or acrylic?

Watercolor is a very versatile material. It is not only easy to learn but also easy to use. Its feathery texture that appears on the paper make it a more enjoyable painting process.

The colors of acrylic can appear thick or thin depending on its texture. It is a more challenging paint to learn how to use.

Watercolor and acrylic both have their own benefits. It is ultimately up to the user to decide which painting medium is best suited for his or her skill level.

Conclusion

Creating your perfect palette for watercolor paint brushes has a lot to do with your personal preferences. Some students might prefer to have smaller palettes for their watercolors, and others might want to go large and to have a lot of extra room to store paint brushes in between wetting them.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Watercolor Palette by Portable PainterBest OverallWatercolor Palette by Portable Painter
Mijello Airtight Watercolor 18-Well Blue PaletteBudget PickMijello Airtight Watercolor 18-Well Blue Palette
John Pike Watercolor Palette Plastic PaletteUpgrade PickJohn Pike Watercolor Palette Plastic Palette