My palette on the videos

Many of you have emailed to ask where you can order the long, narrow palette you see at the top of my work table on my videos (see below).

I ordered it a couple of years ago from Amazon, but ever since then, it’s been unavailable through Amazon and I couldn’t find it anywhere else. There are many, many similar palettes on Amazon, but none I could find that had this particular layout of long, narrow paint wells. The product listing is still up, but there’s no indication if it will ever be available from Amazon again. 

Now, thanks to Dragonfly Ann Robertson, we now know a place where you can order them. Ann ordered one from the listing below on AliExpress and after she received it, she reported back to me that it was the real deal, not a knockoff. Yay! Thanks, Ann!

Here’s the link Ann found: https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256801404935460.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.main.7.43933a997IDO3C&algo_pvid=cc304499-a800-47e4-af65-a7f73b6d3f65&algo_exp_id=cc304499-a800-47e4-af65-a7f73b6d3f65-3&pdp_npi=4%40dis%21USD%2132.05%2119.23%21%21%2132.05%21%21%402101f49917003656090665112e0267%2112000016707096073%21sea%21US%210%21AB&curPageLogUid=VerT0KhP5eqN

Note: online retailers change their links constantly, and there’s no way I can keep up. Please don’t email me to say the link isn’t working and ask me to spend time sleuthing out a new source for you. I don’t do affiliate links or product endorsements and I don’t have some inside scoop on the art supplies industry, so I’d be doing the very same search you can do for yourself. If that link isn’t working anymore, the most I would be able to tell you is that she ordered from AliExpress.US and the item is a Paul Rubens brand watercolor palette. They have several with different layouts, but I don’t know a name or model number for this particular layout of palette wells.


Don’t buy this palette just because I have one. 

I am not recommending this palette. I’m not recommending against it, either. I just want you to be aware that this isn’t the palette I use when I’m not shooting video and trying to fit more into the frame.

I use it for videos because I can put it at the top of my work area where you can see it, but it’s not too close to the right side of my painting (where I will drag my sleeve through it!). For working on my own paintings in the studio, I use a palette with a circular “color wheel” layout and a center mixing area (in the center of the photo below), which I find far preferable. 

Yeah, I have too many palettes . . . 

In particular, I would encourage anyone who is struggling with color mixing to consider some sort of palette where you can lay out your colors in color-wheel order around the edge. It doesn’t have to be round, or have wells on all four sides, but be aware that a grid layout like the one I use for videos makes mixing much less convenient (I am constantly sticking my brush in the wrong wells on that palette!)

What my “video palette” IS good for, besides a video setup: 

  • Large flat brushes up to 2” wide fit nicely in the wells, and the wells hold a LOT of paint.
  • The section with the paint wells and the mixing tray inside the lid both lift out to give you two more large mixing areas. This makes it a great palette for traveling to classes or workshops. Folds up nice and compact, lightweight, but has as much mixing area as any studio-size palette.
  • Has a rubber gasket around the edge to prevent leaks in transport.

There are many other palettes that have the last two features with different layouts of paint wells. Some of these have a larger number of (smaller) wells for those of you who like to have more colors on your palette. If you’re not specifically looking for the long, skinny paint wells, search for for “watercolor palette with gasket” or “leakproof watercolor palette” and you’ll find several options. 

The one at this link (https://www.dickblick.com/products/mijello-fusion-airtightleakproof-palettes/) is probably one of the better all-purpose layouts (sort of a grid, but you can still arrange things in more of a color-wheel).

If you mainly want something portable that is still big enough for mixing larger quantities than most travel palettes, have a look at the Mijello Fusion Leakproof 18-well palettes

This is a somewhat smaller palette than my “video palette”, and only one side lifts out, but it still has the leak-proof gasket, a lot of mixing area, and you can lay out your colors in color-wheel or rainbow order. It’s even more portable than my “video palette”. It’s a great palette for classes and workshops. (It’s what I usually recommend for beginners when I teach an in-person class.)

For a full-sized palette, I usually recommend looking for a palette with this sort of layout:

Robert Wood Palette: https://www.dickblick.com/products/the-robert-e-wood-palette/

Cheap Joe’s Piggyback Palette: https://www.cheapjoes.com/catalog/product/view/id/35826/s/cheap-joe-s-piggyback-palette-and-accessories/

Stephen Quiller Palette: https://www.cheapjoes.com/stephen-quiller-standard-palette.html

There are many other similar options. It’s really a matter of how you like to arrange your colors and how your workspace is arranged. The key features I look for are a cover, plenty of central mixing space, and paint wells arranged around the outside perimeter, so you don’t drip paint in the wrong well in the process of transferring color to your mixing area, and you can lay things out in color-wheel or rainbow order. 

I recommend you avoid those little round palettes with only a tiny center area for mixing. The key to vibrant, colorful paintings is having space to mix up plenty of color! 

Hmmmm . . . I didn’t start out to write a whole article about palettes, but there you go.

Happy painting!

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