Thursday, February 18, 2010

Setting up the palette-

     As I set up a new palette today, I thought I'd share the paints I use. After several months my palette ends up looking like this-

    I can still use it but when I add more paint on top of what is here, the dried layers underneath tend to suck the oil out of the new paint, leaving it too dry to work with. As shown here I usually work on a sheet of 16" x 20" glass with a 2" rim around two edges made from masonite. This rim serves to "corral" the paint, keeping it from taking over the surface. Before I did this, the paint would creep into the center mixing area little by little over the weeks, until I had a mixing area of about 5 square inches to work in. 
   You can see this masonite piece clearer below;
    This palette is smaller than above, 12" x 16" and I have used plexiglas because I will be traveling with it. A piece of beige paper is placed under the plex so that I can see white paint clearly and judge values better. The masonite piece is treated with 2 coats of shellac or the oil in the paint will be drawn out by the porous surface of the masonite. The colors I use vary slightly but these are the basics: from lower left- Burnt Umber, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, Viridian, Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow Light, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red Light, Cadmium Red Medium, Alizarin Crimson, Terra Rosa and Burnt Sienna. This whole palette is sitting inside the Masterson Palette keeper which has a soft plastic lid which snaps on to help keep things air tight and prolong the working time of the paint.
   Keeping the cool colors on one side of the white and the warm on the other is a good way to organize. Whatever way you decide to layout your colors always do it the same everytime, so that you can get what you need fast.

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