Palettes for Oil painting.
Wooden studio palettes are traditionally made of Mahogany in a kidney shape with thumb hole and finger grip, held along the forearm between
elbow and wrist. (New wooden palettes need to be oiled well with Linseed oil to prepare them for use).
There are many shapes of palette on the market today and available in a variety of materials other than wood - clear and
white acrylic, glass, porcelain, plastic and tear-off.
A large palette is not a necessity, but certainly a pleasure when it comes to mixing paint. Any palette after all, is your 'thinking ground', a place where you mix colours, judge their properties, make decisions, it needs to be comfortable to hold and suitable for the way you work.
Acrylic and plastic palettes are easy to clean, the oil paint can be scraped off using a palette knife and the surface wiped. Greaseproof paper and tear-off palettes are easy to dispose of at the end of a painting session. Glass and Porcelain are more appropriate if you are seated as they are quite heavy.
The type of palette is very much a personal choice, a large palette is very useful if you are standing at an easel, not so vital if you prefer to be seated. You can of course adapt any suitable surface as your palette, greaseproof paper, paper plate or butchers tray.
Laying colours on the Palette
When laying the colours out on your palette, it's a good idea to lay them out in some sort of logical order. That order can be from light to
dark, in colour families, following the colour wheel or frequency of use. It's also a good idea to put them close to the outside top edge of the palette, this leaves plenty of working/mixing
area in the centre.
Cleaning the Palette
Some people don't bother to clean the palette, leaving dried paint in hard ridged masses, adding new paint as required. Others clean the palette after each painting session, it's all a matter of personal choice and how you prefer to work.
Note: If you use the above cleaning process on a wooden palette that has not yet formed a protective patina, then it's as well to rub it over with kitchen towel dipped in Linseed oil after cleaning, this will help to protect the wood and build up the paint mixing surface.
Copyright © Jacqui Blackman 1999
We stock 'easy to clean' white palettes in our online shop at J and T's Art and Calligraphy
AWARDS | BRUSH CLEANING
| BRUSHES for oils | COLOUR
| COLOUR MIXING |