Art Term


A palette is a smooth, flat surface on which artists set out and mix their colours before painting, often designed to be held in the hand

Jim Dine, ‘Palette II’ 1969
Jim Dine
Palette II 1969
© Jim Dine
Turner’s ‘Chelsea’ palette, used at the end of his life
William Strang, ‘Self-Portrait’ 1919
William Strang
Self-Portrait 1919

The term also refers to the range of colours habitually used by and characteristic of an artist.

A palette in computer graphics is a chosen set of colours that are each assigned a number, and it is this number that determines the colour of the pixel.