How to Hold a Paint Palette [Step-by-Step]

How to Hold a Paint Palette

If you want to learn the art of painting, you must first start with the more minor details, including learning to hold the paint palette properly. For example, many people prefer to paint while sitting. For such painters, placing the palette aside on the ground is feasible. On the other hand, you will find painters who prefer to paint while standing. Such painters need to hold the palette properly in one hand.

It will not be wrong to say that adequately holding the paint palette is an art. It would help if you kept it so that your wrists do not feel pain or get cramped when holding it for a long time. It would help if you also positioned the palette so that you do not accidentally drop it.

Ways to Hold Your Paint Palette

When it comes to holding the paint palette, there are two distinct ways of doing so. People are comfortable with different ways, so try to find the way you are most comfortable with.

1.    Use Your Hand to Support the Palette

As the name suggests, in this method, you use your hand to support the paint palette by placing your hand under it. However, this method only works if the paint palette is lightweight and small. Start by adjusting your grip at each end of the palette until you find a way to balance it on your hand comfortably.

Holding a paint palette this way will help avoid making a mess by spilling paint on the flooring. You can also prevent palette leakage at each end of the palette. At the same time, it will also increase your hand’s stability. However, it would help if you were sure you did not support the palette with one hand. Doing so may lead to an unbalanced palette.

It is also necessary for you to ensure that the palette is safely and securely balanced on your hand before you start painting. This will avoid hand fatigue if you need to hold the palette for long hours. It will also help you keep the palette with ease.

2.    Grip the Palette between Your First Two Fingers and the Thumb

In this method of holding a paint palette, you need to insert your thumb into it and hold it with your index finger and middle finger. The palette will rest on your forearm. Your thumb will go over the top, and the remaining fingers will go underneath in this method of holding a paint palette. This way, you can maintain a firm grip on the palette and prevent it from slipping while you paint.

This way of gripping the palette with a thumb and the first two fingers of your hand will ensure you enjoy great control over it. As a result, you can move it around quickly and easily. This technique will also help your wrist to move around and maintain a constant blood flow. Thus, avoiding any wrist fatigue and loss of concentration.

This method also gives you a stronghold without putting too much pressure on your joints. This will result in fewer paint spills. However, you need to ensure that you do not hold the palette too tightly, especially between the middle and index fingers.

You also need to pay attention to the spot where you place your thumb to ensure proper balance of the paint palette and smooth movement of your wrist. If your wrists can move smoothly, it will provide adequate blood flow and avoid muscular pains or cramps.

Color Arrangement on the Palette Is Also Crucial

If you observe painters painting on a canvas, you will notice that they arrange different colors on it in a specific manner. For a painter, proper arrangement of colors is essential. Various painters have different preferences regarding color arrangements on the palette.

  • Many painters arrange colors on a palette by similarity. If you know that you will use different shades of a specific color while painting, you can put them accordingly.
  • On the other hand, some painters prefer to arrange the colors according to the lightness or darkness of the colors. For instance, if you plan to use different colors, some of which are dark and some light, you can arrange them from light shades to dark shades or vice versa. This arrangement will also reduce any confusion while painting.
  • You can also mix different palette sizes to arrange the colors while painting. However, this method of putting colors depends on the number of colors you must mix simultaneously. If you want to use a few colors to paint a large area, you better opt for a smaller palette. Such a palette will encourage more detailed work.
  • You will find some painters using a complementary palette to arrange colors. Portrait painters usually use such palettes because it helps them enhance the details of a person’s face. Such a palette uses two different colors opposite each other on the palette. You will witness a high contrasting effect if you mix these two colors.
  • If you are a first-timer at painting, experimenting with different palette-holding techniques is the best solution. This will help you decide on the most comfortable method.


Painting takes many years of hard work. You need to know every shade of all the colors accurately to use them like an expert. Some painters like to paint sitting in one place, while others like standing and painting. Depending upon this, the method of holding the paint palette may vary from one painter to another.

Holding the paint palette depends upon a painter’s comfort level and preference. However, whichever technique you follow, use the hole in the palette properly to get a firm grip on it. This will ensure that you maintain balance throughout and paint does not spill on the flooring. Properly holding the palette will also ensure blood flows throughout your hand and wrist. This will help you hold onto it even if it takes a long time to paint an image. However, you can always take a break when your hand or wrist pains or cramps after some time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.