Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Glass Palette

It's Tippy Tuesday! A collection of tips I've gained through experience or stolen learned from other artists.

A glass palette works best for me - mostly because it's so easy to clean.

I've used those disposable paper palettes, and they're okay in a pinch, but when you need a clean space to mix and you still have blobs of fresh paint on the paper, you end up wasting a lot of paint trying to transfer it to a fresh sheet. And I've used wooden palettes, but I don't like the way they eventually take on the colors of the paint. They never get clean. Although, I have to admit, like a cast-iron pan, they work very well with the proper maintenance.

Whether you use oils or acrylics, whether the paint is fresh or has dried, you can scrape it off a glass palette with a razor knife. Wipe it with a little OMS or turpentine to loosen up any stubborn flecks, and voilĂ , good as new.

The palette I use is 11x14 inches. It has a white backing, so there's a clean surface behind it, instead of seeing through the glass to whatever lies beneath. I put a piece of cardboard behind it as well, for a little cushioning.

<- See that broad palette knife in the upper left? I never use that. Too small, too flimsy, not a straight enough edge for scraping paint. I use the razor knife on the right side there.

Update: since I wrote this, I've changed my routine a little. I remove the white backing from the glass palette, and put a neutral gray backing behind it (a sheet of disposable paper palette). That way I can really judge whether a color is "light" or  "dark" by contrasting it with the background.

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