Making A Custom Water Colour Palette

Custom Watercolour Palette

I know how often I’ve raved about my little WHSmith palette (**), and don’t get me wrong, I still love it and use it, but I’ve been wanting to make a second palette for a while which is more customised and fits a few more colours. Not to mention it also had a mixing tray which is a lovely little bonus feature.

Where I bought the pan and palette: Palette Pans (**) • Empty Palette (**)

A few months ago I’d found a few sellers which sold empty water colour pallets and I decided to get two. One for de-potting my lipsticks – which I’ll blog about later – and one for a custom water colour palette. I had to buy the pans separately, and once they arrived they fit on the tray perfectly, but I decided to remove the tray all together so that I could fit more colours into the palette.

Watercolour Tray

Once I took the tray out the palette fit twenty four colours instead of twelve. Fine, they’re not held in place as sturdily and rattle around the palette a little, but quite frankly it’s a slight annoyance I’m happy to accept. Especially if it means I get to carry more colours around with me.

My Colours

The colours I bought (**): Paynes Grey • Cadmium Red Deep Hue • Indigo • Dioxazine Violet Burt Sienna • The Works 12 Colour Watercolour Set • 2x Chinese WhiteDavies Grey

Old Palette New Palette

The colours are a a little bit of a mis-matched collection. Some are from the works and some are from Windsor and Newton. The works watercolours are a lot less pigmented than the W&N colours, but they’re still perfectly useable. As someone who tends to go overboard on the colours that is probably a good thing that they’re a little more muted. It’ll stop me from forgetting that they’re not acrylics, and that you have to build up the colours slowly.

Watercolour Swatches

The last think I did was add a swatch page on water colour paper. A few years ago I would just have skipped this step entirely, but it makes a huge difference! The purple colour for example looks like it’s a black colour in tablet form. It’s only when you add water that you realise it’s a beautiful vibrant purple. Having a swatch page allows you to see at a glance exactly the level of pigmentation you’re working with, and the finish. Now I just need to test it out on the next batch of Outsider concept art.


  1. Venessa says

    You could hot glue the pans into place? Hot glue isn’t very strong so u could just peel it off when u want to switch colours. Blu Tack would work great too

  2. says

    I’m quite surprised that you bought student grade paints since you always buy such luscious and expensive makeup. I hope they work well for you.

  3. says

    This is so neat! I’ve been needing some watercolor for a while so I’ll certainly look into this. :) Do you have any recommendations on paper?