I recently got really....really....really tired of replacing watercolor pods. It seemed like I was fixing watercolor trays every single day! I thought there had to be a better way....so I invited my "watercolor maintenance system".
Above is a photo of how I store my watercolor paint trays by the sink.
Warm color trays on the bottom. Cool color trays in the middle and "special" colors on the top.
I was going to clean all the trays up for the photo but honestly this is about as good as they usually look and I did not want y'all to think I was super clean all the time...because I am not!
I have a table manager at every table and a classroom paint manager who is in charge paint, brushes and anything on the sink counter. These students are the only ones allowed to put out or pick up paint. I specially train them on the care of all things paint. The paint manager and the table managers keep their jobs all year long. This saves a lot of time during class giving us more time to create.
I have 12 trays of warm colors each with
3 reds, 2 oranges, 1 brown and 2 yellows.
I have 12 trays of cool colors each with
3 greens, 3 blues and 2 purples.
I have found by breaking up the trays into warm/cool/special I can control the colors students use better and also by doubling and tripling up on the colors in the trays I do not have to replace them as often. I have 2 sets of each color scheme for each table.
If I was in charge of watercolors at Prang and Crayola I would make bigger pans for elementary art teachers...hint...hint...hint...Crayola and Prang!!!
This is how I store my speciality watercolors.
The round tubs hold all the speciality colors: Prang Magenta, Crayola Red-Voilet, Prang Yellow-Green, Prang Turquoise, Crayola Turquoise, Prang Blue-Green, Crayola Blue-Voilet, Prang Yellow-Orange, Prang Red-Orange, Crayola Red-Orange and Prang White.
This is my specialty tray. I include brown and yellow in this tray along with all the specialty colors so when I only want to put out one tray instead of the warm/cool trays the kids will still
have a full color wheel set of colors.
I store the primary colors and brown in rectangle tubs. All the tubs stack neatly together and are stored under the sink cabinet.
All my primary colors and brown are from Crayola. It's not so much that I like Crayola better than Prang but my district has a warehouse were we can order supplies much cheeper than from any catalog. The warehouse only carries Crayola primary colors...and brown.
You may notice I order some of the same colors from both Prang and Crayola. This is because even though they call the colors by the same name they are actually different and I want the kids to have as many colors as I can possible get for them.
I order the "specialty" colors from Dick Blick, they have very fast delivery.
You may also notice there is no black. I pull out all the black pans and put them in their own cups. Students have to ask their managers for black and they can only use black when they are finished with everything else in their painting. I know this may seem strange but if you leave the black paint in the trays....EVERY SINGLE THING turns black this is elementary school people! Their paintings, the trays, the tables, their hands I mean everything. I am guessing this is just an elementary school thing but OMG it is a thing.