Watercolor Palette Fall-Out


Those who read my recent series of posts about using watercolor palettes may remember that I did not recommend this type – with wells in the cover and base – BECAUSE the dried paint falls out . . .

However, I do a lot of flower painting and am sort of obsessed with color matching, I buy these inexpensive palettes (under $5 at Hobby Lobby) to use for special collections of colors.

And the paint falls out when I close them.

Daniel Smith brand is especially good at not sticking to palette wells, and that brand has a great array of colors that I want to use, so I had to come up with a solution.

Circled in green above are the most recent “fall-outs”.

And here is the magic answer . . .


I have used and loved this tape for so many things over the years, and for this problem, it is great. Unlike regular double-stick tape, this does not dry out and is impervious to water. It s soft and pliable and easily removable.

You can find it on Amazon at about half the price of the office supply stores (Staples and Office Depot carry it.) Here’s the Amazon link:


Anyway, cut a piece about this big . . .


Then, cut that piece in half . . .


Stick a piece into the paint well . . .


Remove the carrier paper, and just stick that dried paint hunk back in place.


You will not notice the tape as you use and refill your paint well, but if you should ever need to clean the well entirely, the tape will come off easily after you have cleaned out the paint.

Now, of course, forethought is a good thing – and you can put tape pieces in palette wells BEFORE you ever fill a new palette, and you won’t have the fall-out problem in the first place!

Note that if you use M Graham watercolors or the Sennelier brand that also has honey as an ingredient, you can skip the tape because they don’t fall out.

If you missed my three part series on using watercolor palettes, here are the links:

Watercolor Palettes, Part 1


Mixology – Watercolor Palettes – Part 2


Watercolor Palettes, Part 3


Notes and News

It is a woman’s prerogative to change her mind and truer words were never spoken.

I thought the make-your-own art retreat, Girlfriends Get-Away, was a good, simple idea. HA!

No group of girlfriends I spoke with could agree on dates, workshops, who should get which room, etc. There were multiple requests for changes in the workshop contents and structure – some for things I have never taught or even thought about doing myself, There were even suggestions for holding the week-end elsewhere (Hello? – can I bring my retreat house with me?) I love you all, but this was just too crazy and time-consuming.

Anyway, when I got confused enough, I dumped the idea in favor of a few SET workshops in Santa Fe in 2016, because I still enjoy getting together with students to make art and learn and have fun.

These workshop/retreats will be limited to just 5 students. (Yes – you read that right). They will be 4 Day/5 night workshops, and three students can stay right at my “retreat house” for a great rate. Workshop Tuition will be $500. Nightly lodging will be $100/nt for the master suite with its own bathroom, and $75/nt for a guest room (queen bed or two twins) that shares a bath with the other guest room. You can see pictures of the house by clicking the link in the sidebar.

The first workshop will be a “Gardening Journal – Botanical Illustration” workshop in mid July, and there are only 2 spots left. We will commune with flowers and plants and watercolor and even visit my own garden in its prime.

The second will be a Fine Art Photography Workshop in September, which will concentrate on the composition and beauty of your photos rather than equipment (phone cameras are fine). We will learn design basics, go out and shoot photos, and then share them for feedback. There are tentatively only 2 spots left in that one as well.

And the third will be an iPad Travel Journal workshop which I am trying to place in time right now.

I will be back with details shortly, but if you have interest, please email me and I will put you first in line.






  1. Thanks for the tape idea. I do have one of these palettes and I love it but while most of my colors are M. Graham and don’t fall out, I do have a couple of Daniel Smith and they drive me nuts! I have the poster tape so will definitely be doing this trick!

  2. I KNOW, Timaree. I wonder what it is about the Daniel Smith. I’m surprised they even stick to watercolor paper – lol. Another bad one is Winsor Newton – constantly fall out of their own half pans!

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