I have been trying to find the perfect studio palette for some time now. I started with a plastic round palette, as some might know the plastic palettes are not the greatest as the paint beads up on it. This makes it difficult to see the colour as it will look. Porcelain is said to be the answer but a large porcelain palette is very expensive. I bought one of the butcher tray palettes but did not like the lip around the edge and there really isn't anywhere to put your paints and keep them isolated from each other.
Another thing I do not like about pre made palettes is once you pour the paint in, it dries in place and you can not move it or change the order easily without waisting a lot of paint. Ceramic works great as an alternative to porcelain. I started using white ceramic tiles to mix my paints on, this works great but I now have a palette to hold the paints and one to mix on - too many palettes. I decided to jot down what I felt would make a good palette.
1. Ceramic or porcelain.
2. A large mixing area, the bigger the better.
3. A way to move paint around if I want to change it's location or swap it for a different paint.
4. Lots of room to keep my paint and more room to keep convenience colours ( colours I mix that I use often )
Here is what I came up with as well as instructions on how to make it.
The palette is essentially a piece of hardboard with a ceramic tile glued down ( two part epoxy ). The colours are held in watercolour pans that have sticky tack under them to hold them in place.
This is how it looked when I purchased it. The hard board is from Home Depot as is the tile. The tile I used is 12x8 and the hardboard is 24x24. I am using full pans that I will fill with my handmade paint ( you can purchase my paint from my shop above in the menu ).
I placed the tile on the hardboard and used the pans to get an idea of how large I needed it cut.
I then cut the hard board to size
With the tile in place I traced around to mark the location of the tile on the hardboard.
It is a little difficult to see, not the greatest photo, but here I have the two part epoxy on the board. I then put the tile on and placed a few books on top of it. I let it dry for about 30 mins.
One thing to note about ceramic tiles - you will need to clean the surface with an abrasive cleaner, I have used ajax, as well as vim ( shown above ). Depending on the coating on the tile the paint might bead if you do not do this.
Here you can see how well the paint lays down on the tile. Love the large mixing area.
I used a sharpie to put each pigment on the outside of each pan.