When planning a paint and sip party, you need to consider all of the art materials that will be needed for each guest to complete their paintings. One thing that each person at the party will need is a palette.
Since there are so many different types of artists’ palettes available, you may not be sure which type will be best for painting parties. They can all be used, but some are better, and less expensive options.
Today we are going to take a look at the painting palettes I have used most often for the classes I teach. I will mention others just so you know they exist, but for the sake of this article, it won’t be necessary to go into details about these because you will likely never be using them anyway.
Let’s talk about paint palettes, and which ones you should choose for your next painting party.
What is an Artist Palette?
An artist’s palette is a surface on which you squeeze out the paint you will be using. It is also used for mixing paint.
An artist’s palette is one of the most important tools for anyone who loves to paint.
In the past, the most common type of artist’s palette was made from wood. It is an oval-ish shape, with a cutout and a hole to make it easier to hold onto.
Today, you can find many different types of palettes, made with a variety of materials. Each type has its good points and bad points.
Palettes are available in all shapes and sizes, but I tend to choose the simplest and smallest for painting parties. Not only are they easier for beginners to use, but they are also easier to pack up and transport to and from paint and sip parties.
Types of Artist Paint Palettes
As I mentioned, there are many different types of palettes for painting, and they can be made from several different materials. Some artists prefer to work with pallets made from safety glass.
These are durable and do not break easily, and they are easy to clean when you have finished painting.
Other palettes can be made from plexiglass, regular glass, white or clear plastic, and wood. You can even get disposable painting palettes, or you can easily make your own from materials you already have around your home.
Let’s take a look at the five different kinds of painting palettes I use most often at paint and sip classes.
#1. Plexiglass Palettes
Plexiglass is clear acrylic plastic, and it is a common material for painting palettes. There are a couple of options you can choose from. Art supply stores usually carry a variety of plexiglass palettes, in many different sizes and shapes.
Another option is to go to a framing store. They usually have pieces of plexiglass they will sell, and this could be much less expensive than buying actual palettes.
What I like the most about these palettes is that they are much like glass, but they won’t break. At a paint and sip party, it isn’t unusual to have people drop things, and if a glass palette is dropped, it will make a mess and possibly end up cutting someone. Plexiglass is the safer option.
#2. Clear Acrylic Palettes
A clear acrylic palette is pretty much the same as one made from plexiglass. They are usually made to look like traditional wooden palettes and even have a thumb hole so they are easier to hold onto.
While some people might try to tell you that this type of palette is difficult to clean, I say it is just the opposite. Even if the paint does dry onto the palette, it is still quite easy to clean it off.
All you have to do is soak the palette in warm water for a few minutes. Then, the paint will be soft enough that you can simply peel it off. If some bits of paint just won’t come off this way, you can always use rubbing alcohol to get the palette nice and clean again.
#3. Disposable Palettes
While I don’t usually tend to use disposable palettes, many artists do, so I figured I should mention them here. You can find these palettes at art supply stores.
They come in a book that looks much like a sketchbook. All you have to do is remove a page, and you have a disposable palette.
These palettes are much like waxed paper or parchment paper. Instead of spending a lot of money on disposable palettes, I would recommend using a roll of waxed paper or parchment paper, and just using tape or something heavy to hold down the corners.
In addition to being costly, this type of palette isn’t eco-friendly, because it goes into the trash after it has been used.
#4. Plastic Palettes
At most painting parties, you will find that the artists are using small plastic palettes as opposed to metal palettes. These are available at most dollar stores, and they are quite inexpensive.
One of the biggest advantages of this type of palette is the fact that it is lightweight. This makes it easy to hold onto and use, even for beginners.
Some of the larger plastic palettes even have thumb holes, and look much like traditional wooden palettes.
One thing I don’t care about with this type of palette is that there are several small mixing wells. I prefer to mix my paint on a flat surface, so there is lots of room to move the paint around. On the other hand, these mixing wells are ideal if you are working with watercolors.
These palettes are as easy to clean as the plexiglass palettes. Again, if the paint does get dried on, it can easily be removed by warm water or rubbing alcohol.
#5. Wooden Palettes
Finally, we come to wooden palettes. These are the traditional palettes that artists have been using for a few centuries.
I do enjoy using these palettes, but they are difficult to clean. As long as you can clean the paint while it is still wet, it isn’t a problem. But if it is dried on you will end up having to scrape off the paint, which could cause you to scrape away some of the wood surface.
Even if you can peel off thicker layers of dried paint, you may end up removing a bit of the wood as well.
You can use just about any flat surface as a painting palette. I’ve even been known to use old dinner plates if there is nothing else around.
To make cleaning a flat palette easier, I suggest covering it with plastic wrap. Then, all you have to do is throw away the wrap and you are left with a clean palette. Of course, if you want to be eco-friendly, you may not want to try this.
*image by Denisfilm/depositphotos
Sari Green is a semi-professional artist and professional writer. She has been hosting paint & sip parties for the past couple of years, and truly enjoys helping other people to create their very own masterpieces. She loves to create, and you never know what she’s going to come up with next!