Tuesday, July 17

What Kind of Palette Should I Use?

I keep thinking that I will eventually find the perfect paint palette. I know the word palette, as in paint palette, has a couple of different meanings, but today I'm talking about the one onto which you squeeze or mix or pour your paint.

It may not seem all that important since the actual work takes place on the canvas or paper or some other support, but it is.

The palette is almost as important as the motif or the paint itself. Well, almost. It's more than the place where the paint first lands.

It's the place where ergonomics meet creativity. It's where you set up housekeeping for your colors. It's where you mix that perfect color. It's important.

The type of palette you use should be evaluated and tried out to see if it works for you. If it does, then it can make the act of painting easier (note I didn't say easy). If it doesn't, it can ruin your painting not to mention your day.

There are all types of palettes, of course, made in all types of materials--paper, wood, plastic, resin, enamel, etc. They come in all shapes, too--round, square, rectangular, the ubiquitous kidney-shaped, with any number and size of wells in which to deposit paint.

Some have very little real estate for mixing "on the palette." Some have great big areas to mix up a lot of paint. Some have many partitions for mixing many colors; some have just a few if you like a limited palette, I suppose. Some have no partitions at all, such as my handy enamel butcher's tray. Some are disposable. Some have covers, most do not.

And some painters hardly use a palette for mixing since they mix the all the paint color on the canvas or paper.

Whatever type you select, I will tell you it's a personal choice. I have tried at least 10 different types of palettes over the last few years, and I still haven't made up my mind which one suits me best. I keep switching them out thinking maybe the next palette I use will magicallyimprove my painting. The jury is still out on that.

I do prefer some palettes more than others. Currently I'm liking a rectangular one that has eight large square, four large round, and eight small round wells. That way I can mix up as much paint as I need in the colors I want.

But now I am wondering if I should be using one with a thumb-hole, or not...

Keep On Painting.

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