Several weeks ago I made this DIY Gouache (pronounced gwash) Palette for my Plein Air box. I forgot all about it.
Yesterday, I noticed it still drying where I left it on top of a box of paint sticks. The Gouache didn’t dry like regular watercolors, you can see it is all cracked and broken in the bottle cap pans, but it does reconstitute well. The colors were as vibrant as they ever would be, considering this is the cheapest set of gouache I could find, and I was pleased with that.
Here’s a refresher on how I made the palette:
I used a plastic container with a lid that snaps closed. I forget what was in it originally, but it worked well for this purpose. On the bottom of the container, I cut to fit a large flat magnet sheet. It was a refrigerator magnet with a poem or something on it. It was the largest sheet of magnet they had at the dollar store I went to. You could buy several small ones and attache them to the inside of the box if you can’t find the larger size.
I used bottle caps as my paint pans. I filled the box with pans, then filled the pans with gouache paint. I made a swatch of all the paints in the palette and attached that to the closing lid of the box. I let the gouache dry and now have the gouache palette ready for my box.
Easy and cheap. And it works well, which is even better.
Edited to add:
I filled the remaining empty bottle caps with additional gouache. A few years ago I purchased tube paints from Goodwill. There were watercolors, oils and gouache. I discovered the gouache tubes in my extra art supplies storage tote. Some of the gouache was completely dried in the tubes, but I just cut the bottom off the tubes and peeled the tube back off the dried paint. I put the chunks in the bottle caps and pressed down. They have stayed secure in the pans. The remaining colors were squeezed into the pans and left to dry. The brand of the paints is Venus, and it is clearly a much better quality paint than the Artist Loft gouache which was already in the palette.
So remember: if you have water soluble paints which have dried in their tube, remove them from the tube and use them anyway. You don’t waste one speck of paint if you are using watercolors or gouache paints. They reconstitute with water, no matter how dried out they might be.