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My Favorite Watercolor Palette

By Mary Ann Boysen

You'll notice that I use paints from several manufacturers. My watercolor palette changes every year or so because I like to try different ones as I discover new colors that I like.  Experimentation is part of the learning process.  All of these companies make fine pigments that are of lasting quality.


Watercolor PaletteMy favorite palette (at this writing) is a very transparent one and makes beautiful and vibrant secondary and tertiary colors. I sometimes add other colors if I need a special “local” color that this palette cannot produce.

If find these colors work well together, but I have many more pigments available to me in my studio, and especially when I travel to areas that may have a different look to them than the landscape in my home environment.

My Second Favorite Palette

The is my second favorite watercolor paletteMy second choice of colors gives my paintings a much different look. Perylene Maroon is a rich color that deepens the hue of many others. In this palette, I have used it with Cobalt Blue and Hansa Yellow.

opaque-triadThis next one is an opaque triad made of Indian Red, Yellow Ochre and Cobalt Blue Deep.  My preference over French Ultramarine Blue, which is most often the third opaque color in this triad. This palette works well with opaque subjects: pottery, old buildings, stones and masonry.


watercolor palette otherOther colors that I frequently use are Permanent Sap Green with Perylene Maroon to make a rich warm brown.

watercolor palette otherFor accents I use Cadmium Red Light and Turquoise.

Watercolor palette otherMixing the turquoise with Cadmium Yellow makes a spring green shade which is useful in that season.

Watercolor Palette otherAnd when Cadmium Red Light is mixed with Cadmium Yellow, the result is a Cadmium Orange.


Return to Watercolor Paint from Watercolor Palette

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Learning the Basics of Watercolor
Learning the Basics of Watercolor

Painting Flowers in Watercolor
Painting Flowers in Watercolor

Painting on Watercolor Canvas

Painting on Watercolor Canvas


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