Acrylic Paint Storage Tip

Artist Patti Mollica's Secret to Storing Paints

In May we released all 4 of Patti Mollica’s Expressive Acrylic Painting video lessons in our Online Workshop Classroom. Patti has been a fine artist and illustrator for over 30 years and in her series of lessons, she shares some of her best tips and techniques for loosening up and painting in a style that is free and playful.

If you paint frequently, you probably know what a hassle it can be just to get ready to paint. You have to locate all your materials, gather all your paint tubes, make multiple trips back and forth to your painting spot, set up your palette, get your water out, get some paper towels, etc., etc., etc.  So maybe we sound a little whiny, but it can be rather time consuming and hindering when all you want to do is let your creative juices flow!

In Patti’s first Acrylic Painting lesson, she shares a very helpful tip for storing paints that will keep you organized, cut down on your setup time, and make the process of painting easier. As a clarification, this is a helpful tip for those who paint regularly versus sporadically.

Instead of gathering all of her paint tubes and squeezing paint onto a palette as needed, Patti squeezes full tubes of paints into a plastic bead storage container. That way she has all of her colors right in front of her as soon as she’s ready to paint and she doesn’t have to spend time putting a dab of each color on the palette. Plus, she doesn’t need to worry about having colors left over and wasting them. If some paint is left over, she can easily put it back in its compartment. This method also prevents her from having to stop in the middle of a painting to squeeze a new color onto the palette or get more of a certain color.

Patti Mollica

People often ask Patti how her paints don’t dry out in the container. There is quite a bit of paint in each compartment (about a tube of paint each), so a large amount of moisture stays in each compartment as it is. As you’re getting ready to store it, place the lid on top, then put the entire container in a large Ziploc bag with a wet paper towel. As long as there is enough paint in each compartment, they should stay wet for months on end.

Any type of plastic container with compartments would work. Many craft and hobby stores sell bead box containers and hardware stores sell storage containers for things like nails and screws.

Plastic Bead Box Storage Container

When Patti is ready to work, she grabs her paint container, opens the lid and she’s got it all ready to go in one place. She dabs her paint brush into the different compartments then mixes colors on her palette as needed.

The colors Patti keeps in her container include:

  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Cerulean Blue
  • Phthalo Blue (Green shade)
  • Teal
  • Green Gold
  • Cadmium Primrose Yellow
  • Cadmium Yellow Medium
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Cadmium Orange
  • Cadmium Red Light
  • Alizarin Crimson
  • Quinacridone Magenta
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Carbon Black
  • Titanium White

If you didn’t catch Patti’s video lessons, you can still access them for free HERE.

Register a free student account, then follow along to her video lessons where she shows you how to paint these beautiful and expressive pieces:

Lesson 1: Wine Bottle and GlassesWine Bottle

Lesson 2: Colorful Rooster
Colorful Rooster

Lesson 3: Three Pears
Three Pears

Lesson 4: Country Field
Country Field

To learn more about Patti and see more of her inspiring artwork, visit her website: Patti Mollica

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