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artists' palette

How should you Hold your Palette?

How should you Hold your Palette?

How should you hold your Paint Palette?

Artist Palette

On social media, I often see an awkward way to use an artist paint palette. The palette is not meant t0 fit in the palm of your hand or on the tips of your fingers; it is meant to be held in a different way. Let’s see how!

After reading this article, holding a palette will be no secret to you.

Artist Palette

Once Upon A Time there was A Little Palette…

The palette follows the painter in all their brushstrokes. This tool owes its shape to its regular use. It is inspired by the fan, displaying its range of colours. If you look closely at artist self-portraits, you will notice that its design has not really evolved since Botticelli.

The artist turns to a paint palette to mix, pick up and carry colours in a jiffy. The palette owes its name to the french words “pale” or “pelle” which means ‘little shovel’.

The paint palette, which is held in the hand, has several qualities: lightness, strength, rigity and is especially practical enough not to inhibit the movements of the artist when they are facing the easel.

artists' palette

What does an Artists’ Paint Palette look like?

There are different kinds of palettes: for holding or to rest on the table.

GOOD TO KNOW: Artists’ organizes their palette by colour ranges (hot and cold) because this way you can almost paint without looking at the palette (saving time).

Artist Palette

What to Avoid when using a Palette

Here you’ll see some examples of bad positions when holding a palette.

Artist Palette

What is the Best way to Hold a Palette?

The flat palette, the oval one, held against the arm, remains the most ergonomic of all.

It’s round and with a hole. This shape prevents hand fatigue and finger cramps that may occur while you’re painting.

  • Your thumb goes through the hole while the back of the palette rests on the forearm.
  • The carved side of the palette acts like a handle to place your fingers
  • Your thumb stops the palette from slipping, and the opposing fingers can be free to hold other brushes or rags.
  • With large palettes, bring the lower edge between your hip and stomach because this will offer more comfort.

Artist Palette

Most of these products are currently available at GreatArt Online or in the art supply shop in London Shoreditch.

Artist Palette

Very good position with hand and fingers.

Artist Palette


The flat of the palette should always rest on the forearm.

The perfect post for beginner painters, thank you Amylee!

Information for this article was provided by professional fine artist, Amylee Paris. You can visit her colourful portfolio or follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

GREAT TO KNOW – Find all Amylee’s posts published in GreatArt online Magazine by clicking here!

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Louise from GreatArt

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