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Airtight palette for gouache

I’m using an airtight palette for three years now, let me explain how useful it is for gouache painting. I’m using two different palettes, for different purposes. The main goal is to keep your gouache paint fresh and creamy, as it’s the best consistency to take the most out of gouache.

Table of Contents

What is it?

This is small plastic box, with a silicone lid, and secure clips to close the box. It’s completely secure, you can store liquid inside and it won’t move. That makes it perfect to go plein air. Although I’m still being careful to store it horizontally in my bag, better be safe than sorry!

Large containers palette

It’s 16,5 by 7 cm, with 24 small boxes that you can fill with fresh paint. Being very large, you can fill half a tube per well, and it helps to keep the paint creamy. The more paint you have, the longer the paint will stay fresh.

If you click on the image you’ll go directly to the page where to buy it, and I’ll get a tiny commission. 

Mijello airtight palette

This one has smaller wells, and will carry 18 colors. The great advantage of this one is the mixing palette inside. You can really mix a lot, as the lid has a removable clear tray that doubles the mixing surface.

Mijello airtight palette
Mijello airtight palette

If you click on the image you’ll go directly to the page where to buy it, and I’ll get a tiny commission.

You can watch my full review of the Mijello palette for gouache painting here:

Why using an airtight palette?

To avoid waste

I always squeeze too much paint from a tube and as I like to use the fresh paint, I have to throw away the leftovers on my palette. This way I can take just a small amount of paint with a brush or a palette knife.

To go plein air

Perfect way to store your paint so it doesn’t dry. You don’t need to carry all your gouache tubes, it’s less heavy in your bag! And with the second palette, you don’t need any additional surface to mix your colors.

To save money

I’m painting daily with gouache, so I use a lot of paint! I even buy the white gouache in one liter bottle. I fill my container with paint and refill it as needed. It’s a great way to save money! Although, some colors are prone to dry: yellow ochre for example.

How do I use my airtight palette?

The first thing is to fill it. Just think ahead how you’ll arrange your colors and place them in the order that suits you. Don’t make the same mistake I did and don’t place black next to white (or it will cross-contaminate!)

How to maintain your airtight palette

Between two painting sessions, I store my airtight palette in the fridge. So it’s in the dark, no sunlight on it, it’s always the same temperature.

Once a week I spray it with tap water. If you’re living in a hot humid weather, you may want to use water with a tiny bit of alcohol to prevent moulding.

From time to time you’ll need to clean up the little boxes, use a paper clip or a toothpick for this.

So, are you ready to use an airtight palette for gouache painting? You can learn everything about gouache supplies here.

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