tutorial customizing your watercolor palette by Amy Bruce

Greetings Illustrated Faith Family!

I am so excited about Illustrated Faith’s new watercolor set.  I have been playing with watercolors for many, many years and, well, I think you can never have too many watercolors.  There are so many things I love about this new set.

The set is is a great size for travel –

Popping this little palette in a bag with Bible journaling goodies for a vacation or retreat will be a breeze and it includes a cute little travel brush.

It’s customizable and has space for additional colors –

I love that Pebeo designed the set with the traditional pop out watercolor pans.  For those of you new to watercoloring, the “pans” are the little white boxes that the watercolors sit in.  These pans allow watercolor artists to customize their palette.

Bright, beautiful colors –

The colors Shanna Noel and Pebeo selected are spectacular and the vibrancy for a set at this price range is exceptional.

Let’s walk through how I set up my palette.


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First I opened up the palette packaging… and oohhh… look at all those yummy colors.  
tutorial customizing your watercolor palette by Amy Bruce

I popped the pans out by gently bending back the metal clips.

tutorial customizing your watercolor palette by Amy Bruce

I decided I wanted to keep the individual pan labels with the color numbers and names.  I used a utility knife to gently cut around the two sides adhered to the pans.  If you decide to do this, be careful not to cut your fingers!

tutorial customizing your watercolor palette by Amy Bruce

After cutting the labels, I flipped over the cardstock palette label that came on top of the watercolor set and trimmed it down so that I could use it to paste the individual pan labels on.  tutorial customizing your watercolor palette by Amy Bruce

I tore a page out of one my journals to use as my swatch card.  I used an ivory journal page because I wanted the swatches to be painted on a creamy ivory paper.

Believe it or not, watercolors change depending on if you paint on pure white or ivory.   Since I will be primarily using this set for Bible journaling (and Bible pages are ivory),  I wanted to have a more accurate swatch card.  You could just as easily make your swatch card out of any sturdy paper.

Once I had the size right, I rounded the corners on both cards so they will nestle comfortably inside the watercolor box.

Next I arranged the colors in the order I wanted them and added two empty pans from my stash to fill with a favorite tube watercolor at a later time.  

tutorial customizing your watercolor palette by Amy Bruce

I used the Illustrated Faith tape runner to put a bit of adhesive under each pan before placing them back into the watercolor box.   This just keeps them more snugly in place since I am extending my colors out past the metal tabs.   I left the labels on so you can see the order I selected.  

tutorial customizing your watercolor palette by Amy Bruce

After adhering the pans inside I carefully bent the metal tabs back into place.

Next I glued the my pan labels onto the white cardstock with clear glue and laid the ivory card below it so I could roughly designate where my colors were going to go on the swatch card.  I aligned the ruler and drew lines with a mechanical pencil.

tutorial customizing your watercolor palette by Amy Bruce

Once I had my areas designated, I grabbed my water to see what these colors would look like on paper!  

I like to keep two jars of water.  One to clean the brush (I call this my dirty water) and one to load up my brush (I call this my clear water).

If you use only one jar and don’t clean your water A LOT, when you load your brush, you will transfer residue of the dirty water and dull the color you are picking up.  You can only see one of the jars in this picture.  But basically when I am ready to change colors, I wash the brush in the dirty water first.  I use a paper towel to dry the brush, dip it into the clean water and then load my brush with the next color I am going to use.    I always clean out both jars after I finish any art piece.

I also put rocks and glass pieces I have collected on the shores of Lake Michigan in the bottom of the jars to help move the water around.  It also makes me happy, happy to see these bits of memories at the bottom of my jars and makes a musical sound when I swish the water.

tutorial customizing your watercolor palette by Amy Bruce

Once my card dried.  I popped both the label card and the swatch card into the top of my watercolor box.  

tutorial customizing your watercolor palette by Amy Bruce

I decided to add an additional layer of color and some favorite wash combinations to the ivory card along with scribbly black lines.  Eventually I will add the two additional pan colors.

Once I am completely done with the swatch card,  I will laminate both cards so they remain clean.  If you don’t have access to a lamination machine, you can use clear packing tape over them.

I grabbed my Illustrated Faith Zip bag from the Genesis Collection and I am ready to go on a Bible journaling adventure!

tutorial customizing your watercolor palette by Amy Bruce



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ESV Leather Journaling Bible | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd Watercolors | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd Tape Runner | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd Genesis Kit | Corner Rounder | Utility Knife | Cutting Mat | Glue | Ivory Paper | Schmincke Half Pans | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd – WOW God Washi Tape

1 Comment
  1. Monika Alston-Miller 5 years ago

    Wow. Thanks for teaching me more and more about watercolors. I especially love all your water tips! So grateful!!

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