Watercolour Swatch chart

Making a swatch chart for watercolours

This is one of those tasks which helps to not only be more organised in the studio but it is also quite fun to do. Any artist can do it and making a simple chart such as this can inspire the use of new colours which perhaps are less used.

In my example there are over 40 different colours (including black and white) and they are listed below. Whilst many artists will not have this range others will have even more. By producing a simple chart such as this you can visualise how the pure pigments look on the paper. There is no mixing involved, just colours straight from the tube.

Here is a You Tube film of how I designed and completed this chart.

Why not give it a go yourself? You never know, your next painting may make use of that colour that was forgotten at the bottom of the box.

Watercolour swatch chart sample

The colours used in this chart which are all from the Winsor and Newton Artists Watercolour Range are as follows (in column order, top to bottom). Of course, some colours could fit in more than one column. *Denotes a regular colour on my palette:

Blues: *French Ultramarine, *Cerulean Blue, *Cobalt Blue, Winsor Blue (Red shade), Winsor Blue (Green shade), Prussian Blue, Indigo.

Yellows: *Lemon Yellow, *Cadmium Yellow (Deep), Cadmium Yellow, Aureolin, *Raw Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Naples Yellow (Deep), Indian Yellow, Turners Yellow.

Reds: *Cadmium Red, *Alizarin Crimson, Winsor Red, Permanant Rose, Permanent Magenta, Cobalt Violet, Winsor Violet, Crimson Lake, *Light Red.

Browns: *Burnt Umber, Raw Umber, *Burnt Sienna, Sepia.

Greens: *Viridian, *Hooker’s Green, Cobalt Green, Winsor Green, Permanent Sap Green, Olive Green, Terre Verte.

Greys, whites etc: *Paynes Grey, Neutral Tint, Ivory Black, Chinese White. Designers White Gouache (opaque paint for highlights etc where needed).

I hope that you found this informative. I do not class myself as an art tutor, far from it. However, I am happy to pass on my learning and experience. If you would like to see more posts or films on this sort of aspect of my work then please do make a comment.

Thanks for reading.


  1. Excellent exercise Andy . I tend to make up similar charts of my various paint palette’s and like yourself l do like to keep things neat and tidy . The one thing l do add to my chart is to include , just in the small rectangle sample , is to include whither they are T for transparent , S/T for semi transparent and O for opaque . I find this useful for mixing purposes .

    • Thanks for the comment Colin. I was only really doing this to see the hues of the colours on paper. I will produce a colour chart in the next week or two and the details of the tranparency, granulation etc will be on that. Thank you for your input.

  2. January 18th 2024

    My first watercolor set just arrived UPS!

    Tomorrow, I will make your watercolor swatch chart and place it in the 36 semi-moist full-pan watercolor tin.

    Thank you so…… much Andy for going step by step!

    Out of all the youtube videos, yours is the best!

    A thousand salutations,


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