Gouache normally comes in tubes, and you are supposed to squeeze it out onto your palette right when you paint. But what should you do when sketching on location? How do you go about using gouache without the hassle and mess? I get this question a lot. And I've got an answer for you!

I have found the perfect palette, which

  • is portable and compact

  • is airtight and leak-proof

  • prevents gouache from drying (if you know a little trick).


Amazon | Jackson's Art

This palette was originally intended for watercolors, but I also use it for gouache. I actually have two: one for watercolors and one for gouache. That's why you see it in all of my Instagram photos.

I love it because it has a large mixing area, has 18 wells for paints, and the lid has a rubber ring which makes it airtight.

This is what it looks like when it's closed. The dimensions are 27x130x23mm. It comes in different colors (but they might not all be available, so grab whichever color the store has!)

bright red Mijello foldable palette closed

This is what an empty palette looks like inside. Ready to be filled with Winsor & Newton gouache:)

What are the toothpicks for? Read on and find out!

Miljello foldable palette with Winsor & Newton gouache tubes around it

Here's my process for filling the palette with paints.

First, squeeze out some gouache, enough to fill the wells about halfway. Smooth the paint in the wells with a toothpick.

Mijello palette filled with bright gouache colors

Let the half-filled wells dry for two or three hours. Then fill the wells all the way, and again smooth the paint with a toothpick. If you don't use this two-step process and fill the wells in one go, the gouache will dry unevenly with air bubbles in it that can cause the paint to dry out very quickly.

a corner of the Mijello palette filled with yellow-red colors
Read this post if you are not sure which gouache colors to buy.

If your gouache becomes too dry inside the tube or on your palette, use some gum arabic. Just make sure to use only a small amount so that your gouache does not become too diluted and lose its rich quality.

One more trick for keeping gouache moist:

Put a small wet sponge inside the palette before you close it. The palette is airtight, so the moisture from the sponge will stay inside, thus preventing the paints from drying.

This fantastic palette is an integral part of my urban sketching kit: it allows me to pack my gouache paints quickly, have them ready when I sit down to sketch and prevent my precious gouache from drying.


  • Beginner's Guide to Gouache provides answers to the most frequently asked questions.

  • Gouache Colors for Beginners explains which paints to buy.

  • A Colorful Storefront PDF tutorial (subscribe to my newsletter to get it) takes you through 8 steps for painting a beautiful storefront with gouache and colored pencils.

  • Let's Draw Some Homes Skillshare class teaches you to sketch with gouache and colored pencils.

  • Let's Draw some Doors Skillshare class shows you how to measure proportions, draw light and shadows and choose colors for your sketch.


A sketch of a stunning turquoise house by the pool

Urban Sketching with Gouache: Turquoise House by the Pool Skillshare class. You will create a stunning sketch using a combination of gouache and colored pencils!

If you are not on Skillshare yet, use my referral link to get your first month free.

Windmill with Gouache and Colored Pencils PDF tutorial.

Take a short survey and download this pdf tutorial: it contains detailed instructions and lots of photos. The survey takes between 5 and 10 minutes and can be done anonymously if that's your choice.

Thank you for your time!


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Hello, I'm Julia Henze.



Art is my passion. Urban Sketching is my love.

My work (and this site) is devoted to sharing ideas, tools, and resources that will help you to find your way in the world of art.

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