Eureka! I know this may seem stupid/obvious, but I finally discovered the three-container system for keeping my gouache water clean.

Ever since kindergarten, I’ve received furrowed glances for messy painting habits (Mrs. Gray: “Paint! Don’t scrub!”) and I honestly tried to take the advice of my illustration teacher, Anne Garner: Always use two water containers: a clean one for dipping, and a separate one for brush cleaning.

But even with two containers, I’d still be dipping my dirty brush in the clean water which ends up adding a gray tone to all of my colors, eventually. I pretend that I like that…that it adds cohesiveness to my palette…

But only today did I finally figure out that if I keep a bottle of pristine water handy, I can empty my dipping cup into my cleaning jar regularly and possibly… maybe… keep my colors clean.

Today is for celebration. I’ll deal with my messy palette issues another day.

Clean water, dipping cup, cleaning jar.

Clean water, dipping cup, cleaning jar.