Posts Tagged ‘Colour charts’

Tutorial; Colour Cards

Welcome Back,

A quick n easy tutorial today, but one I’ll hope you’ll find useful. When you start painting with watercolour paints, it can be a little tricky remembering which colour is where on your pallet just by sight alone. Once the colours dry, some of the darker ones look identical. Here’s how to make a paint chart, so you will know where your colours live and what they look like painted up.

Colour cards for watercolour paint

Colour cards for watercolour paint

You Will Need

  • A piece of card, just smaller than the paint box you want it to live in. Use the cardstock that you paint on most regularly.
  • A pen, that will not be affected by moisture, but will write on your cardstock of choice.
  • Ruler and pencil
  • Paint box of your choice
  • Brush and water


  • Start by ruling your cardstock into squares to match the layout of the paint box, you need a smaller square for the paint patch and a larger one next to it to write the colour. My paint box has three rows of paint so I need six rows of squares.
  • Paint one square on your card, for each of your paint colours
  • Next to each painted square, write the name of the colour that was painted there.

If you travel with your paint box, you might also want to write your contact details on the back of the card, so that if you were to loose your box, it could be returned to you 😉

Colour cards for watercolour paint; in use

Colour cards for watercolour paint; in use


Help, I don’t know the names of the colours in my paint box! Now What?

If you have a Winsor and Newton paint box and your paints are in removable pans, carefully remove the pan from the paint box and look at the side of the little pan. In more recent years, the names of the colours have been scanned onto the pans.Handy eh! 🙂

If your paints are older or from another brand, try checking the manufacturers websites for their colour charts, they are often available as PDFs. Compare your painted squares to the colours on the charts and you should have a good idea of which colours you have.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and will give it a go, call me sad but I do have a paint chart in each of my paint boxes. I never remember the names of the darker colours or the exact locations of colours, even though they are in the same places in the box. It’s really helpful to have a little card, so when you need to add a little dash of a particular colour you have a quick and easy reference point to check back to.


Check out the Art tab at the top of the blog, beneath it you will find listings of the main manufacturers of art supplies.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie 🙂


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