Buffy Kaufman
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Setting up a Pour Palette

Setting up a Pour Palette

May 15, 2020

What to look for when setting up your Pour Palette:

Strong, saturated, intense, transparent, non to low granulating colors to create smooth flowing washes and pours. Paintings will be full of energy, light, and rich color. Pthalos and Quinacridones have steadfast saturation and are marvelous mixers. The following pour palette is full of wonderful colors with endless mixing possibilities.

Just starting to build your palette? I recommend this limited palette of 6 happy mixers:

Daniel Smith:

Hansa Yellow Light | Q-Sienna |Q-Red | Q- Magenta | Pthalo Turquoise | Pthalo Blue Red Shade|

or -

Winsor and Newton:

(Winsor Yellow | Q-Gold | Q-Red | Q-Magenta |Aqua Green | Winsor Blue Red)

Here is my "limitless" Daniel Smith Palette, -Winsor and Newton Substitutions are in (italics)

Hansa Yellow Light: (Winsor Lemon)

  • Semi-Transparent - Low staining – High Tinting - Non-Granulating - Low Dry Shift

  • Perfect for glazing and layering


  • Transparent - Staining –Non-Granulating

  • Exception -Quinacridone Sienna

  • Saturated - Intense colors

  • Deep Darks, clear glowing washes and pours

  • Predictable glazing and layering


Q- Sienna: (Q-Gold)

Q- Red: (Q-Red)

Q-Magenta: (to sub mix Q-Red with touch of Winsor Blue Red Shade) Blue Toned pink


  • Transparent - Highly Staining - Moderate Dry Shift - Low Hue Shift –Non-Granulating

  •  Predictable glazing and layering

  •  Smooth flowing washes and pours

  • Super staining, clean glazes

  • Dominating in color mixing –less is more


Pthalo Turquoise: (Pthalo Turquoise) - medium staining

Pthalo Blue Red Shade: (Winsor Blue Red Shade)

Additional Notes:

Toner & Shade:

Toners neutralize a color, or I like to say naturalize a color, converts bright vivid colors to the colors of nature.

Shade darkens a color without losing its color.

Tone and Shade Colors: (optional)

Sepia: (Sepia) TONE - Semi-Transparent, Low Staining, Granulating - just a drop or two added to color mixes brings it to a nature inspired shade.

 Neutral Tint: (Neutral Tint) SHADE - Semi- Transparent - Non Staining - when mixed with any watercolor pigment, Neutral Tint produces glowing, darker values of that color.

I have attached this color wheel with tips. You can use ramekins to create small batches of paint for pouring. Plastic pipettes work well to pour/drop color. I hope you enjoyed these palette suggestions, Happy Painting!

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