Custom Watercolor Palette

watercolor palette[T]his is my favorite watercolor palette, customized with all the paints I use both in my studio and in the field.

  • lightweight folding plastic palette with 24 wells, 5 large mixing areas, 2 smaller mixing areas, extendable mixing platform, and thumb hole.
  • 32 colors*, 16 full pans, 16 half pans, plus white gauche.
  • Color key on back.

I use two identical palettes, one for my studio and one for my field sketching kit. That way I know the palette and where to reach for what colors and my field kit is always ready to go. You may also be interested in making this palette on your own. For step by step instructions, see the blog post Customizing the Holbein Palette.

*Neutral Tint, Payne’s Gray, Black Tourmaline, Shadow Violet, Bloodstone Genuine, Raw Umber, Burnt Umber, Italian Burnt Sienna, Monte Amiata Natural Sienna, Buff Titanium, Phthalo Yellow Green, Rich Green Gold, Serpentine Genuine, Hooker’s Green, Undersea Green, Chromium Oxide, Perylene Green, Indanthrone Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Phthalo Blue (Green Shade), Manganese Blue Hue, Cobalt Blue, Winsor Violet, Napthamide Maroon, Quinacridone Pink, Pyrrol Red, Permanent Orange, Quinacridone Sienna, Quinacridone Gold, New Gamboge, Hansa yellow Medium, Hansa yellow Light and Permanent White Gouache.

Paint color mixing chart


30 thoughts on “Custom Watercolor Palette

  1. Michelle Bailey says:

    Are you still selling your palettes? I am very interested. I just filled my cart with the 5ml paint tubes and realized its going to take me a long time to have the variety of colors I am longing for.

    • John Laws says:

      I am not selling palettes at this point. Next year we should make some more. If you are in the SF Bay Area you can join us at a palette making party!

      • Debra says:

        Great! Glad you’ve got so much going on. I’ll peek back in December and sign up for follow-up comments in case you post here when they’re ready…

  2. Gina says:

    Hi John. Do you have a waiting list for the palettes? How much are they? Thanks so much for all your wonderful blog posts; I’m looking forward to your new book.

    • John Muir Laws says:

      Hi Gina, No waiting list for the palettes. I will make a batch soon (60 of them) so there should be plenty to go around. I sell them for $160.

  3. Jenny says:

    Hi John!
    I’m so happy that I found your videos, (and quickly made the connection “Hey this is the guy that authored my favorite field guide!”) thank you so very much for making your life’s work available for all of us to learn from. We are truly enriched because of it. Also, count me in as a future customer of your palette when it becomes available. I may be on the wrong thread for this question, but I see that you are teaching a composition class this month. Do you recommend this for absolute beginners, or perhaps I should wait for a different one? I live down in Ventura, but would like to come up and engage with the journaling group at some point. Cool!

  4. Lynne Atkinson says:

    Love you You Tube videos, especially color mixing but I have questions. You rx using Daniel Smith H2O Colors and rx using magenta…which you do not include in the palette you have for sale. Is is the pink? I am confused because pink is light red NOT magenta, secondly you rx pthalo blue and I am assuming that is what Daniel Smith calls pthalo blue green? It seems bloody obvious but I want to be certain. Also in your demo you did not mention WHICH yellow as there are many. Can you please enlighten me.

    You are a great teacher and I am learning a lot from your videos…I only wish I had found you when I lived in the Bay Area…it is a long commute from Mexico!

    Thanks so much for your attention to my questions and please keep teaching!


    Lynne Atkinson

    • John Muir Laws says:

      Great questions Lynne,
      I use DS Quinacridone Pink which is a deep magenta in mass tone but dilutes to a bright pink. I use DS Phthalo Blue (Green Shade) for my cyan. I use Hansa Yellow Light for my yellow. In WN pigments, I use Quinacridone magenta, Phthalo blue.
      Pink is light magenta, and light red is light red. Try em side by side. Light red will look pinkish to you until you see what you can get by diluting magenta. Now that is pink.

    • John Muir Laws says:

      I am in the process of ordering more blank palettes. I should have them back in stock later this year. Sorry for the delay.

  5. Kristin Ramsden says:

    Hello John, – I’m just starting out on this journey of sketching/ painting and wonder if you sell your lightweight pallets? Thanks, Kristin

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