Save-a-Cent Tuesday: Paint Palette Tips

I have decided to change the name of Club Creative Studio’s Two-Cent Tuesday post title to “SAVE- A-CENT TUESDAY” Often times a project or idea featured on Tuesday will save you more than a few cents or cost more than a few coins so, it just seems more fitting.

Welcome to the first SAVE-A-CENT post!

Today’s Save-A-Cent low cost art idea will give you tips and ideas to use a paint palette more effectively. I help you think of creative ways you can make and use your own paint palettes.

The Traditional Palette Traditionally paint palettes are flat surfaces a painter uses to conveniently hold dabs of paint for their painting project. The painter arranges the colors and mixes them on the same surface.



A paint palette can be made of wood, plastic or any rigid and stable surface.  It is best to use nonporous material because you will likely add water or oil base to the paints, or other mixed media additives when mixing on top of the surface.

A palette can be any size that is manageable. The most commonly type of painter’s palette known is made of a thin wood board designed to be held in the artist’s hand and rest on the artist’s arm.

My friend, Lauren Parker Lasater is a painter and this palette is symbolic of her profession. Photo credit: Lens Friends

Watercolor palettes are generally made of plastic or porcelain with small rectangular or wheel shaped built in wells and mixing areas for colors.

As a Save-a-Cent tip, I am suggesting other ways that you can make a palette for your paint. Styrofoam packaging from meats, recycled box lids, old cookie sheets, ice cube trays and paper plates make great disposable or reusable palettes.

You can line most any platter or a regular plate or old cookie sheet with foil, parchment paper or plastic wrap for protection as well. Change the shape of a paper base plate for better comfort and effective use.

Paper plates make great pallets.
Paper plates make great pallets.

Paper plates come in all sizes and weights. The more ridged a plate the better. It should withstand the brushing against it with the paint brush or palate knife.

For artists of all ages, the placement of hands for holding this type of palate is a challenge. As a creative solution to hold the plate more securely, pre-cut the plate from a round shape to a kidney shape and cut a designated area for your thumb to rest. Hold it in support of the palm of your hand under the plate. Make this for a left or right-hander comfortably and affordably.



Let us know if you plan to use this specific paper plate paint project for saving time and money while painting in comfort.

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Mother Nature, The Natural Mother

Spectacular weather anytime is something to be grateful for to Mother Nature. Mother Nature is a natural “Mother”, giving warmth and beauty and sharing beauty with many, on her good days.

Club Creative Studio Nature phot Rocks and Plant

I often draw inspiration from nature, even when I am working in my indoor work space Club Creative Studio.  The times that I can work outdoors however, that is a calming productive time I value.

Club Creative Studio Nature photo

Connecting with nature gives us a chance to step away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  In the city, it is a welcome quiet place for me to focus on nature instead of the sights and sounds that can be interesting, but slightly distracting at times.

swirl leaf photo Club Creative Studio

Whenever possible, I take photographs of nature. Mother Nature has a way of centering me. Nature inspired photographs have had an impact on my art in various ways. I use photographs in nature for painting references, color ideas, texture and line prompts as well as design and theme ideas.

Club Creative Studio flower photo

I look to nature as an inspired lesson always offering me something to learn about uniqueness. For example think of a flower and the details of the petals. The fact that each bud or bloom is unique in color, shape, texture, line, and form gives me ideas to mimic and incorporate into clay creations.

Photo taken that was edited to gain texture effects.
Photo taken that was edited to gain texture effects.

When I take photographs of nature, I find that I gain new perspectives because looking through that lens allows me to focus (no pun intended) and obtain a new point of view of common items around me. When editing, I am able or chose to  add effects, the photo can then take on an entire new look.

Club Creative Studio photo

Imagining that I am seeing something for the first time, or am a tourist in my own town gives me a reason to see more intensely. The next challenge after taking photographs is to decide how I’d like to take those visions to the next level.  It is the role of a creative artist to give a “voice” to visions through art.

Using original photographs as a prompt, I enjoy creating a painted vision with a voice.  Please visit the next blog post in our Featured Friday post, I’ll be painting with acrylic paints and showing you my step by step process in photographs. Perhaps it will inspire you to start your own painting based on a photograph you have taken.

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Q-tip Art Celebrate the letter Q

Art can be found in many places. I have stressed this in many Club Creative Studio blog posts before.  Today is no different as we celebrate the letter “Q”, I have a focus on Q-tips as an art supply.

Recently while walking down the hallway of my daughter’s dorm, I noticed a piece of art on one of the doors. It was apparently created by a young child as the signature indicated crude penmanship.  Come to think of it…given the fact that I was at a university, I would certainly HOPE that the art was created from someone much younger being it’s elementary style.

Q tip art sampleThis art was created by dipping the ends of Q-tips into various paint colors.  This theme was apparently autumn, however, I can see the use of different colors used to highlight other seasons, painting dots to represent for example flowers or buds.

The style of Pointillism which is a technique that places small, distinct dots of pure color usually paint are applied in patterns to form an image. Georges Seurat and Paul Signac developed the technique in 1886, branching from Impressionism but, this effect can be accomplished in a wide variety of mediums including markers.  It can be replicated easily by painting on the ends of Q-tips.

I recall creating a Pointillism project in art class in the 6th grade where we used Q-tips for this technique. Each dot represented a section of an object and when we stood back to appreciate each dot, our eyes focused on blending the colors naturally. The technique relies on the ability of the eye and mind of the viewer to blend the color spots into a fuller range of tones, thus completing the picture from dots to larger images. The same goes for this tree sample when you squint your eyes, individual dots become a whole area.


I found a blog that highlighted an interesting project that also used Q-tips.  This project was inspired by nature.  It is also a sculptural work of art.  This simple yet creative piece was completed by an elementary student in an art class as posted by a teacher at: Splish Splash Splatter.  I can see an adult using these for table setting decorations, a festive wreath, hanging in a window pane area or even just displayed on a large platter, as well as in a pot as a potted plant, or created in several different sizes placed in a container like a topiary display, just to suggest a few.


What so you say, are you going to look at the use of Q-tips more creatively from now on? These are just a few of the interesting art projects you can try using Q-tips. Are you ready to help someone get started?

Be sure to check back on this blog or better yet, sign up for the easy sign-in to get notices when a new post is shared. Creativity has no limits and it is Club Creative Studio’s pleasure to share tidbits of creative information. Enjoy your future Q-tip Art projects.

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How An Elephant Paints- Celebrating the Letter H

Club Creative Studio recognizes that there is creativity in us all. Even the wild animal world can apparently display creative ways through art!

If you have ever wanted inspiration or motivation to learn to paint, view this “How-to” video of how an elephant paints as we celebrate the letter H in blogging.

If an elephant can paint- why can’t you? Chew on that question today!

Inspired? Grab some paints, your use your hands…or your trunk…in creative exploration.

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