My Painting Equipment – Part IIIb

Written to parallel and supplement Part IIIa of this four part series of watercolor painting equipment articles, this text will illustrate the palette selections I have made utilizing the paint brands discussed in my previous post. It is often just as interesting to see what particular palettes an artist has constructed as it is to know the brand of paint they use.

Before I utilize nearly every new palette, I create a test sheet. I try to test the paints on the Arches 140# cold-pressed watercolor paper that I regularly use and often will lay the test swatches out on the paper in the same manner in which they will occupy my palette. As I no longer use a palette with individual wells in favor of a bare enameled butcher tray on which to mix and utilize paint, my newer paint test sheets are a bit more haphazardly organized.

In recent years, the test sheets tend to depict each paint I have selected in a very particular manner. I will usually begin by using a black sharpie marker to draw a line across each area where a paint’s test swatch will be located in order to help determine a particular color’s opacity. Then, each section will receive the color laid down in a very undiluted state. I will then take a damp brush and pull an edge of the paint downward so each color will be represented from its darkest value to lightest value. I let each swatch dry and then use a damp brush to lift away a line across a lighter area of the brush stroke. I can get a really good idea of the paint’s work-ability from this simple test sheet and I usually keep the sheet around for reference as I am working on a painting.

Below, you will see several of the palette worksheets I have created over the years. Although I haven’t used the exact procedure above for each one, you will still be able to get an idea of the way I construct a palette and will see some of the unique characteristics of each of my pigment choices. You may even be able to compare and contrast the palettes I have used over the years with my online portfolio.


Winsor & Newton Palette

  • 1 – Opera Rose – PR122
  • 2 – Alizarin Crimson – PR83
  • 3 – Winsor Red – PR254
  • 4 – Burnt Sienna – PR101
  • 5 – Burnt Umber – PBr7/PR101/PY42
  • 6 – Yellow Ochre – PY43
  • 7 – Cadmium Orange – PO20
  • 8 – Cadmium Yellow Deep – PY35
  • 9 – Cadmium Yellow – PY35/PO20
  • 10 – Cadmium Lemon – PY35
  • 11 – Olive Green – PY42/PG7
  • 12 – Hooker’s Green – PG36/PO49
  • 13 – Winsor Green (Blue Shade) – PG18
  • 14 – Cerulean Blue – PB35
  • 15 – Winsor Blue (Red Shade) – PB15
  • 16 – Cobalt Blue – PB28
  • 17 – French Ultramarine – PB29
  • 18 – Neutral Tint – PB15/PBk6/PV19
  • 19 – Ivory Black – PBk9
  • 20 – Davy’s Gray – PG17/Pbk6/PW4/Pbk19

Winsor & Newton Palette



Rublev Palette

  • 1 – Venetian Red
  • 2 – French Red Ochre
  • 3 – Italian Burnt Sienna
  • 4 – Cyprus Burnt Umber
  • 5 – Italian Brown Ochre
  • 6 – Italian Dark Ochre
  • 7 – Gold Ochre
  • 8 – Yellow Ochre Light
  • 9 – Verona Green Earth
  • 10 – Nicosia Green Earth
  • 11 – Celadonite Green Earth
  • 12 – Prussian Blue
  • 13 – Lapis Lazuli
  • 14 – Royal Smalt
  • 15 – German Vine Black
  • 16 – Chinese White

Rublev Palette



Sennelier Palette – Old Formulation

  • 1 – Ultramarine Deep
  • 2 – Cinereous Blue
  • 3 – Lemon Yellow
  • 4 – Indian Yellow
  • 5 – Carmine
  • 6 – French Vermilion
  • 7 – Raw Umber
  • 8 – Rose Madder Lake
  • 9 – Phthalo Green Light
  • 10 – Viridian
  • 11 – Ivory Black
  • 12 – Raw Sepia

Sennelier Palette Old



Daniel Smith Palette

  • 1 – Cerulean Blue
  • 2 – Cobalt Blue
  • 3 – French Ultramarine Blue
  • 4 – Phthalo Blue
  • 5 – Quinacridone Violet
  • 6 – Quinacridone Magenta
  • 7 – Alizarin Crimson
  • 8 – Quinacridone Rose
  • 9 – Permanent Red
  • 10 – Quinacridone Burnt Orange
  • 11 – Burnt Sienna
  • 12 – Raw Sienna
  • 13 – Quinacridone Gold
  • 14 – New Gamboge
  • 15 – Aureolin Yellow
  • 16 – Green Gold
  • 17 – Olive Green
  • 18 – Sap Green

Daniel Smith Palette



Sennelier Palette – Reformulated Series – L’Aquarelle

  • 1 – Ultramarine Blue
  • 2 – Phthalo Blue
  • 3 – Forest Green
  • 4 – Phthalo Green Light
  • 5 – Burnt Sienna
  • 6 – Payne’s Grey
  • 7 – Warm Sepia
  • 8 – Lemon Yellow
  • 9 – Sennelier Yellow
  • 10 – French Vermilion
  • 11 – Sennelier Red
  • 12 – Opera Rose

Sennelier Palette New


As can be seen from the information above, I love to experiment with different paints from different manufacturers. Do you have a link to a particular palette you use? If so, share it in the comment section below. I would love to see what my fellow artists use for their creations.

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