The best palette for acrylic paint is the most important tool for any artist. It’s what you will use to mix colors, create textures, and more! But with so many options out there it can be difficult to find the perfect one. That’s why we have put together this article that answers common questions about palettes, provides product reviews of some of our favorite brands, and contains helpful tips on how to make your palette last longer.
What Is a Palette?
A palette is a flat surface on which an artist mixes and blends different paint colors. Palettes are used by artists of all levels to create the color combinations needed for their paintings, drawings, or other works of art.
Some artists also prefer the feel of certain types over others. For example, wooden palettes are often chosen by artists who want something more sturdy than plastic but don’t necessarily need the durability offered by metal palettes.
Why You Need a Palette for Acrylic Painting
1. Speed Painting
Palettes are great for mixing colors quickly on one surface and then using that pigment to paint your artwork several times before having to go back and make more color adjustments.
2. Easy Cleaning
Palettes are easy to use and clean and you don’t have to worry about spilling paint or thinner everywhere. Simply wipe them down with a moist rag, let them dry, and you’re ready for the next day.
3. Consistent and Predictable Paint
Palettes help you mix colors that are the same consistency each time. If the paint is mixed on a table or other surface it can be harder to get consistent results.
4. Advanced Techniques
Palettes are great for advanced techniques like glazing and scumbling. They can also be used to mix washes, gradients, textures, etc.
Types of Palettes for Acrylic Painting
As mentioned before there are many types of palettes but it mostly comes down to personal preference. Artists usually go with what feels right in their hands when holding it while creating artwork!
Glass palettes are often considered the best for acrylic painting because they allow you to see your paints. They come in different sizes and shapes but usually have a flat surface that is easy to clean.
Many ceramic palettes are made by hand which means each one has its own unique look, feel, and design. These can be very expensive but also make great pieces of art if you want them displayed instead of used!
A lot of people choose plastic palettes over other materials because they are easy to find, usually cheap, and very durable! They don’t warp or get soggy when wet. If you’re looking for something affordable this is probably the best choice since most artists have several in their home studio so one gets used while another dries out completely between sessions.
These don’t warp and usually come in a few different shapes and sizes which means you can get one that fits comfortably in your hand while painting all day long. Metal palettes work best for advanced techniques where multiple colors are used. They also tend to last a very long time which means you may only have to buy one in your lifetime!
The only downside of wood palettes is that they warp when exposed to water which means you have to keep them dry between sessions!
Paper palettes are definitely the most affordable and usually come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and designs. Artists love them because they are easy to replace if necessary.
They’re easy to find at any art supply store or can be cut out of old sketchbooks, cereal boxes, or anything else you have lying around the house!
Large Paint Palette
Large palettes are usually chosen by artists who work on a larger scale or need more space for their supplies. This is especially common among portrait and landscape painters because these types of art require a lot of color decisions to be made before the session begins.
Small Paint Palette
Small palettes are usually chosen by beginners or people who work on smaller-scale pieces. Most artists tend to choose them because they believe that there is more control over their paint when it’s in a small well than if the entire palette was filled with paints and mediums.
Pocket Palette – Great for Travelers!
Smaller palettes can also be used while traveling if you don’t have much room in your suitcase! They’re lightweight, inexpensive, easy to replace and come in different designs and sizes. These make great gifts as well since they look stylish yet very functional at the same time!
3. Style and Shape
A palette with no well allows you to see your entire painting at once which can be helpful when deciding between colors, mixing paint in specific areas, etc… This also makes it easier to cover up mistakes by just wiping away all of the excess paint into one area then applying new layers over the top if necessary.
The biggest advantage of having individual small wells on your palette instead of one big space is control. It’s much easier to decide what color goes where before putting anything onto the canvas. Having each section filled with paint or medium can also be helpful for mixing colors since it allows you to see the results of your experiment.
Palettes With Lids and Seals
Another advantage of having individual wells is that they allow you to store different paints in their own sections which means you don’t have to worry about colors getting mixed together, drying out between sessions, etc…
Paint Palette with a Thumb Hole
Palettes with a thumb hole are usually chosen by artists who paint from life or want to have full control of their brush at all times. This type allows you to hold your palette in the palm of one hand while painting which means less chance for dirt and paint build-up on your hands as well!
Another popular option among beginners is a foldable palette. They come in different sizes, styles, colors, and designs but what they all have in common is that they’re extremely lightweight making them perfect for traveling around campus or long trips abroad without having to carry extra supplies!
You might also be interested in our article about The Best Palette for Acrylic Paint.
Wet vs Dry Palettes: What Are They and When to Use Them?
A wet palette is usually made from plastic and has a seal that allows you to store water or any liquid medium. This allows artists to experiment with different types and consistencies without worrying about color changes or mixability since everything will stay exactly as it was when you first opened it! It’s best for messy projects like painting from life where colors can be smudged around easily, etc…
It also needs a bit of preparation before use because certain areas need to be covered up with tape, foil, etc… in order for the paint not to seep through while using it.
The advantage of having a dry palette over wet ones is that you don’t have to spend time preparing it before use! You simply open up your acrylic paint set, choose the color you want then go for it without worrying about anything seeping through since there are no liquids involved.
The downside to this option however is that paints will start drying out between sessions so you’ll need additional supplies like lids or foil if necessary in order to prevent them from doing so quickly.
Best Palette for Acrylic Paint Comparison Table
Best Wet Palette
|Masterson Sta-Wet Premier Palette|
Best Disposable Palette
|Strathmore Palette Pad|
Best Thumb Hole Palette
|U.S. Art Supply Oval-Shaped Acrylic Painting Palette|
Best Well Palete
|Bella Bora Plastic Palette|
Best Refill Pack
|Masterson Handy Palette|
1. Masterson Sta-Wet Premier Palette – Best Wet Palette
The first thing you notice when opening the box is just how lightweight this palette really is. It’s sturdy and durable but not heavy which makes it perfect for traveling since artists won’t have to worry about lugging around a bulky item that takes up all of their space!
The inside features soft foam padding which holds wet paints without them seeping through onto other items like clothing or books you might have underneath if left open during transportation or storage.
This Sta-Wet palette contains the same excellent paper and sponge as Masterson’s other wet palettes.
You don’t need any additional supplies like foil, tape, etc… in order for the paint not to seep through which is really convenient! All you have to do when working with this palette is put a small amount of water before beginning your painting session.
This will allow artists to use both dry and wet mediums without having to worry about mixing them together or worrying about liquids seeping through! The best part however aside from its lightweight design has got to be how quickly everything dries making clean up extremely easy after finishing up my work.
The Masterson Sta-Wet Palette may just look like another ordinary product but once you start using it there’s no doubt that you’ll fall in love with it! It’s lightweight, easy to use, and clean up after which makes it your favorite palette for sure.
2. Strathmore Palette Pad – Best Disposable Palette
It has 40 sheets of medium-duty white paper, useful in creating artwork. The pad’s size makes it easy to carry around and store anywhere without taking up too much space. Every sheet comes off easily, so you can use a new one if needed or just cut out what you need from the old ones.
The paper has a nice thickness to it and there’s no odor coming from the pad itself (which isn’t always true for other types). You can get them in several different sizes depending on what your needs are but if you are just starting out with acrylic painting or watercolors these work great also.
The palette pad is ideal for use with acrylic paints and mediums. It can be used wet or dry to mix colors. The paper surface has glue running through which holds the sheets in place so there’s less chance they’ll move while working.
This lightweight, but sturdy palette pad features a smooth surface. The paper has enough weight so it doesn’t curl up while wet but not too heavy where the pad is hard to handle either.
It’s also easy to transport and store when not in use. This is a great feature if you plan to take your palette somewhere such as class or an art show where you’ll need the convenience of storing it under other items.
The Strathmore Palette Pad is a great starting place for an artist looking to pick up a palette at a low cost. The paper surface is heavy-duty and stays sturdy even when it’s wet with water or paint; It doesn’t buckle as some other brands do.
3. U.S. Art Supply Oval-Shaped Acrylic Painting Palette – Best Thumb Hole Palette
U.S Art Supply Oval-Shaped Acrylic Painting Palette is a great option for acrylic painters and designers looking to add some variety when it comes to their palettes.
It has an oval shape which gives more room than most other brands and is perfectly sized for both beginner artists/designers as well as professionals who need a good quality palette in order not to waste too much time doing clean-up after each painting session.
The palette also features a polished thumb hole design so your hand stays in place throughout each painting session reducing fatigue levels significantly You’ll have fewer cramps and pains in hand after using it.
The U.S Art Supply Oval-shaped Acrylic Painting Palette doesn’t bend or warp over time and stays in shape after being handled regularly for months on end without losing its rigidity which makes painting easier.
Its all-plastic design makes it lightweight, easy to handle even if your hands are wet or covered in paint. Just rinse off under water and let dry before storing away until next time use required. The rounded shape feels nice in hand.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive acrylic painting palette yet want something versatile and durable U.S Art Supply Oval-Shaped Acrylic Painting Palette would be your best choice!
4. Bella Bora Plastic Palette – Best Well Palette
Bella Bora Plastic Palette is a great option if you’re looking for something lightweight, easy to carry around, and affordable. It’s made from plastic which makes it very durable while still remaining lightweight weighing at just 6.7 ounces but can last through years of use without getting warped or bending out of shape!
It comes with 16 individual wells (4 square, 4 circular, and 8 small circular) that are perfect for both small and bigger paint brushes making them extremely versatile when compared to other brands available on the market today.
The wells are deep enough to hold lots of paint, making them perfect for artists who use a lot of different colors when working! The palette is easy to clean either through rinsing under water or by wiping each well with a paper towel or sponge before storing away until the next time required.
If you’re looking for something lightweight yet has durability this Bella Bora Plastic Palette would be the right choice for you! It’s affordable, simple but effective design makes it versatile; just wipe off any excess under running water then let it dry before putting it away.
5. Masterson Handy Palette Acrylic Paper – Best Refill Pack
Masterson Handy Palette Acrylic Paper is a great option if you use stay-wet painting palettes. It’s an economical way of saving money by refilling the paper every time paint dries out on yours!
Masterson Handy Palette comes in white color only and measures 8.5 x 7 inches which makes this palette perfect for small paintings or sketches. It features 30 individual sheets that will easily fit into any standard size tray, making them extremely versatile for all types of painters who need something quick and effective.
The Masterson Handy Palette Acrylic Paper would be a great addition if you already have some decent acrylic painting tools at home yet want something quick and effective; it’s economical, versatile, and easy to clean!
Things to Consider When Choosing a Palette for Acrylic Painting
Price is usually one of the top factors that people consider when choosing a palette for painting with acrylics but there are some other things that might influence your decision too. The main thing you should focus on is how comfortable it feels in your hand – after all this will most likely be attached to your arm during the entire painting session!
Size and Shape
The shape and size of the palette you choose will both be very personal so it’s best to go with something that feels comfortable in your hands while painting.
As an artist gains more experience he/she may prefer larger palettes, but beginners should stick to smaller ones until they know what works best for them.
Care and Cleaning
Palettes can be made from a variety of different materials but some are definitely easier to take care of and clean than others.
Palette paper is usually the cheapest option available because it can easily be replaced every time paint dries out.
Palettes made from wood and metal can be harder to keep completely free of paint residue which might not always make them the best choice when working on large paintings.
If you’re just starting out, however, all types of palettes should work fine for beginners who want something simple yet effective.
Frequently Asked Questions
Thanks for Reading!
Hopefully, this article has helped you decide what the best palette for acrylic paint is based on your personal needs as an artist! Just remember that not everything works perfectly for everyone so make sure to test out a few different types until you find one that feels right for your work.