Food Color Paint Palette

“The Upgrade”

I wanted to show you my new and improved paint palette.  While I loved the convenience and price of my original round palette, this new hinged version is so great for travel and not a big investment.  I was always putting my round palette into a ziploc bag and it would get messy and you probably know, food coloring can turn ugly fast.  I snap this one shut and throw it in my bag.  A paintbrush even fits in there!  I bought several versions of these palettes and this one is the perfect size.  (Here is a link to my Arty McGoo hinged palette if you’re interested in picking up one of these bad boys for yourself).

So, the how to is pretty self-explanatory, but I’m going to explain it anyway.

First let me say: I prefer painting with Wilton colors.  They have a paste-like consistency that I like.  I love me some Americolor, but for painting, the consistency is more “gel-y” than I like and it doesn’t dry as well.  Will I paint with it?  You bet!  But when setting up my palette, you can see I have used mostly Wilton colors and that is why.

This is a great set of Wilton colors and each of the 12 colors in this pack has a well in my palette.  The colors that are not included in the set were colors I bought individually.  I believe the “skintone” color was part of a Dora the Explorer edition Wilton set.  The white is a powdered food color that I much prefer to liquid white food coloring.  Liquid white has never been a friend of mine ever since I first painted with it, and it.  never.  ever.  ever.  dried. it smeared!  and was a huge frustrating experience.  Okay… so yeah, I hold grudges.  It lead me on a quest to find a suitable white and that is when I found powdered white food coloring.  I’ve used every brand of it from CK to Duff, to my new favorite: Wilton Color Dust and they all work great.  They are water soluble so it’s a powder that you can paint using water, which I am always a fan of.  This color dust is not to be confused with pearl dust or luster dust.  There is no sheen or shimmer whatsoever. It gives a flat, matte white color and is perfect for painting on a chalkboard cookie, highlighting details with an added pop of bright white, or anything you can think of.  Big fan here.

Moving on to the metal/sheen family.  For the metallics I’ve put some Americolor airbrush gold, silver, and pearl into sections of my palette mixed with their gold, silver, & pearl luster dust counterparts.  I will just put a couple of drops of the airbrush color in and mix in some luster dust.  This combination gives double metallic coverage and when it’s dry, it can be easily painted on with a damp paintbrush.

For the rest of the colors, I found it easiest and less wasteful to put a small blob of color into the wells using a scribe tool.  The only non-wilton color I used was Americolor gold (non-metallic) because I love that color.  I just squeezed a little bit of that into the well. I think that is the key with setting up your palette.  If you like green (like I do) you might want to have 4 wells of different greens.  If you use a lot of a certain color, then use a whole well for it.  I’m still getting to know my new palette and sometimes I have to look at my guide I sketched out with the color placement, but I’m loving the large mixing areas and how tidy it is… it might even last!

The great thing about using a food coloring paint palette is once you set it up, it will last indefinitely.  It works great for me, because I prefer my colors dried out, and I take the dried color onto my damp or wet paintbrush as I need them.  I don’t re-constitute the whole well with water as it is not necessary and a little bit of color goes a long way.  I definitely go through brown the quickest.

I hope that covers everything!  Don’t hesitate to ask any questions I may have missed.

Happy painting!

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Barb Florin

    I love this idea. Thanks for the post Professor!

  2. Cristina Gaia

    Loving your classes, Arty! Please, tell me if the letter stickers you used in the cookie above are food safe? At what kind of store can I buy them, please? Thank you!

  3. Katie Frank

    I have just ordered my painting supplies and am so happy to have found McGoo U! I am a super-busy teacher, so I don’t have much time to paint cookies, but you have really inspired me! I’m planning on decorating cookies this week, and am excited for decorating for Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day. Thank you for all of your expertise and truly effective instruction! -Katie

  4. Patricia Perez

    We’re can I buy the pallette

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