Paint Palettes

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What should I look for in palettes for different media?

    Palettes for heavy body paints such as acrylics and oils will generally have a large, open area where paints can be arrayed and mixed as needed. Because acrylic and oil artists often work standing at an easel, the palettes are often (though not always) lightweight and may have thumbholes. Palettes for fluid media such ask ink and watercolor will usually have wells to keep colors from accidentally mixing. Since these media are usually worked flat on a table, the palettes often don't have thumbholes (unless they're intended for plein air) and may be made from heavier materials like porcelain. When selecting a palette, be sure to keep in mind how—and where—you intend to use it.

  • Will a covered palette keep my paint from drying out?

    Not all covered palettes will keep paint from drying — some will just keep the paint clean and dust-free. To retard drying, look for a palette that specifies that it's airtight. If your paint is waterbased, look for a palette with a sponge insert to help keep the paints moist.