It can be confusing when it comes to choosing a craft or an artist palette. From the surface size to the types of paint palettes, we’re taking a closer look and breaking down which is the best option for your next creative arts or crafts project.
Artist palettes for oil painting projects
When it comes to oil painting, the type of palettes available are often limited. If you’re working with oil paints, you’re also using solvents, which can eat into the plastic of a plastic palette, and no one wants that. So, for oil painting, it’s best to choose a glass, wooden or heavy-duty paper palette.
The Mont Marte wood palette is flat, sturdy and large enough for mixing colours together. Plus, the handy thumbhole is great for holding your palette so you can get up close to your artwork and add in those extra details. To get the most out of a wooden palette, it will need to be seasoned before using it. To learn how to season an oil palette check out this handy how to.
If you’re working small scale, try our aluminium round palette. Because it’s made from a durable aluminium, cleaning up won’t be a chore and solvents won’t cause damage to your palette either. Another great oil palette is our Mont Marte easy clean palette. It’s made from a warp resistant hardwood, and it features a laminated surface so you’ll have plenty of room to mix your paints and it’s easy to clean up too.
Or if you’re painting plein air, try a tear off paper palette, these are a 50gsm paper that can be easily ripped off like a paper pad and be used with oil paints. Tear off palettes are great for outdoor painting, that way you won’t have to cart a wet palette back home when you’re finished.
Artist palettes for acrylic projects
Unlike oil painting, there’s a lot more choice when it comes to acrylic palettes. If you’re working on an acrylic project, easy clean up and the size of the palette are what you’re going to be looking for.
Large scale projects
For those working with a large area, you’ll probably be after a palette with lots of space or deep wells. The Mont Marte deep well plastic palette has six deep wells for mixing paints and it’s made from a durable plastic. Plus it’s easy to clean, just use with warm soapy water to remove excess paint after your creative session.
If you’re working on a medium or large project, you can choose between a traditional style kidney shape or a large rectangular palette. The Mont Marte acrylic palette 30 x 40cm is a reusable, easy to clean and sturdy, kidney shaped palette with a thumbhole so you can keep your palette close as you work. Otherwise the Mont Marte Easy Clean Palette 30x40cm is great for mixed media projects and because it’s rectangular, it’s got plenty of space for mixing colours together.
Small scale projects
A smaller palette can still be handy for colour mixing and keeping your paints close by with smaller works. If you like the look of traditional palettes, the white acrylic palette 9 x 12inch is great for keeping your acrylics at arm’s reach, plus it’s flat and sturdy so it’s not going to warp or buckle after use. Otherwise, the Mont Marte aluminium round palette is great for experimenting or for mixing a small number of paint colours. It’s also reusable so you can pop it in a dishwasher once you’re finished.
Artist palettes for watercolour or gouache projects
When it comes to watercolour and gouache, you’ll be working with water, so you’re going to want to step away from a flat palette and move towards something with compartments or wells.
For large gouache or watercolour projects, the Oval Plastic Palette 34x25cm has five large wells for mixing paints and 12 small areas to pop in your gouache or watercolour paints. Not only is there also a handy thumbhole, you can also store your brushes using the three brush rests.
If you’re looking for something more portable and convenient for on-the-go creating, try one of the air tight watercolour palettes like our 18 or 16 slot palette. Each palette has enough room for watercolour pans or drops of paint and plenty of mixing room. Because it’s airtight, you can leave your watercolours or gouaches inside and come back to it later or leave your colours pre-mixed and just add water when you’re ready to go.
Small scale projects
Sometimes when it comes to creating, you don’t need a whole lot. The round discovery palette features 10 small wells and a large centre for mixing. This type of palette is great for small scale watercolour or gouache projects thanks to the wells or for projects that have a few colours.
If you’re worried about your work surface, the Mont Marte easy clean palette will be your best bet. Made from hardwood, this palette is durable and sturdy so whether you paint on it or use it for clay projects like polymer or air dry clay, it’s quite versatile. Plus, it can be used for acrylic projects too so if you’re planning to paint your clay creation afterwards, this is a no brainer.
For modelling work like painting figurines or constructing models, a palette like our aluminium round palette is a worth a try. With 10 wells, you’ll have plenty of room for paint, plus the durable aluminium means it can be used time and time again.
Gluing can be sticky stuff, especially when it comes to choosing a craft palette, so a disposable plastic palette or paper palette might be better options for this project. Our disposable plastic palettes have eight wells for holding anything from glue to acrylic, tempera, gouache or watercolour. Or grab a tear off palette, that way you don’t need to spend hours peeling off any glue, just bin it once you’re done.
Palettes can be life savers when it comes to creating with the little ones. It encourages them to create but also helps organise their space and materials, so you (hopefully) don’t end up with paint everywhere.
Our Paint pot palettes have seven easy to lift out, coloured pots so little artists can fill them with paints or use them to organise bits and pieces for craft projects. Or try the Mont Marte deep well plastic palette if you’re creating big projects with little artists.
Looking for more? Check out our complete range of artists palettes or if you’re looking for a fun project to create your very own palette, create a watercolour paint palette with air dry clay.