Art Tutorials for Students: How to Make a Paint Palette

By Milan Art Institute on March 1, 2021
Art Tutorials for Students: How to Make a Paint Palette

Photo caption: This step-by-step art tutorial for beginners teaches you how to make a painter’s palette. Photo courtesy of the Milan Art Institute.

When the words “artist palette” come to mind, you probably think of Bob Ross’s larger than life palette, an old, wooden, paint encrusted, hand-held one, a disposable pad of palette paper, or even (cringe) a paper plate. 

Perhaps you’ve used one of the above painter’s palettes yourself, but we’d like to share with you how to make a glass paint palette that is much more practical and versatile and less expensive in the long run. 

This is important because your artist’s palette is the one tool you will always work with. This is true whether you become a professional artist or are even a student artist in traditional painting and drawing classes or an abstract art course.  

A glass palette is inexpensive to make, easy to clean, and reusable, so in the long run it is less wasteful and you will save money. (Money you can spend on more art supplies!

Aside from all of these reasons, the artist who can make his/ her own art tools is an empowered artist. Knowing how to set up your artist’s studio allows you to take control of your art career.

Free Art Tutorials: How to Make a Paint Palette

To make your painter’s palette, you’ll need the following supplies:

A piece of glass

  • You’ll want real glass. It’s more durable than plexiglass.
  • Make sure the glass is clean and free of any fingerprints.
  • You can buy this at a hardware store. Or if you’d like a more inexpensive option, go to a thrift store and buy an old frame to re-purpose the glass.

A piece of wood

  • Shape the wood to be slightly larger than the piece of glass to protect the glass. 
  • You can cut the size of your wood yourself or go to your local hardware store to have them cut it for you.

White paint or a white sheet of paper

  • Paint the wood white or add a white piece of paper between the glass and the wood. If you use paper, make sure that it’s the same size as the glass.
  • A light neutral gray color is a good option as well, but if you don’t feel confident that you will find or create that specific shade, plain white still works great! 

Heavy duty duct tape

  • Make sure your tape is a solid, neutral color. Don’t use colorful or printed duct tape because it will be distracting when you try to mix clean, beautiful colors.
  • Place the tape along the edges of the glass and the wood, and leave some tape over the edges so you can fold it over the back.

Photo caption: John Milan demonstrates how to adhere the tape to a DIY painter’s palette.

More Quick Tips for Students for Making a Paint Palette

For everyday use, make your painter’s palette at least a 16 x 20“. You can always customize the size depending on its purpose (plein air painting, larger projects, etc.) 

If you need extra guidance, watch this video. John Milan offers a step-by-step tutorial on how to make a paint palette. 

Video caption: How to make an affordable glass painter’s palette.

Final Thoughts on Making a Painter’s Palette

Becoming an exceptional artist means that you have mastered every aspect of your art career, including the behind-the-scenes stuff, like making an artist’s palette. This step-by-step art tutorial was intended to empower you to be that kind of artist. 

If you’d like some more in-depth art tutorials for students, consider joining the Milan Art Community, or if you’re interested in becoming a professional artist, look into the Mastery Program. It’s a one-year professional training program that teaches you how to become a professional artist. 

For More Free Art Tutorials for Students, Check Out These Blogs:

Art Resources: A Quick Guide to Artists’ Brushes 

3 Revolutionary Steps to Creating Atmosphere in Your Paintings 

3 Ways to Emulate the Masters Without Copying Them

Milan Art Institute
Milan Art Institute

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