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View Full Version : How do you prepare your palette for a new painting?


joa
11-07-2004, 02:23 PM
I have seen several mentions here about mixing all the colors you will need for your painting, and making sure you have enough mixed to finish.

I have never done that, and wonder it it is the most efficient way. I try not to mix very much at one time so that I won't waste any, and when I run out, I mix some more.

Just wondering how most of you make up your palette?

Jo

connievanwinssen
11-07-2004, 02:27 PM
I work the same way you do, Jo. :) If I don't have enough I mix some more. I don't care if it's not exactly the same colour because I think it enhances the livelyness of the painting.

Artguy29
11-07-2004, 02:30 PM
I never put out more paint than I think I'll need; you can always put more paint out but you can't do anything when it's dried on your palette.
I don't pre-mix the colors I will need for the reason of waste, too. This is mainly because I don't know how long one of my painting sessions will be, so I like to be on the safe side and put out the paint as I go.
If you choose to pre-mix your colors, though, there are some ways to preserve your mixture over long periods of time. I don't know of any myself, but I'm sure someone dose!

Dave

Einion
11-07-2004, 04:52 PM
I used to be careful about not mixing too much of a given colour but the fear of running short was always there. Now that I use a homemade stay-wet palette I tend to mix ample and it'll stay workable for more than enough time compared to sitting on my old Perspex palette.

Einion

Charlie's Mum
11-07-2004, 04:53 PM
I just put out what I need and add more if necessary.

In Einion's thread on paints (I think it's a sticky), he mentions keeping unused paint in film containers, as long as no water has been added, and it keeps well almost indefinitely.

If I do make too much to use in one session, I cover it with coffee jar lids and cling film (food wrap) and manage usually to salvage it!

I do use a stay-wet palette, and as long as I spray the paper to keep it damp, it lasts quite some time.

joa
11-08-2004, 06:13 AM
If I do make too much to use in one session, I cover it with coffee jar lids and cling film (food wrap) and manage usually to salvage it!
Maureen, I never thought of using a lid over it. Once in a while I mix a little too much, and then can't stay and use it all up. I tried putting food wrap over it, but when I take it up, it takes most of the paint! I am definitely going to try some kind of lid. Thanks!



I work the same way you do, Jo. If I don't have enough I mix some more. I don't care if it's not exactly the same colour because I think it enhances the livelyness of the painting.
Connie, I agree, especially on backgrounds and large areas. Of course if I'm painting a detail, I need exactly the same color, but that's not a problem.



This is mainly because I don't know how long one of my painting sessions will be,
Exactly, Dave! Can't count on not having any interruptions.



Now that I use a homemade stay-wet palette I tend to mix ample and it'll stay workable for more than enough time compared to sitting on my old Perspex palette.
Einion, I remember seeing instructions for making a stay-wet palette--do you know where it is? I might use that if it's comfortable for me.

I do know that saving mixed colors in airtight containers will not work for me. When I did crafts, I would save them, but in the middle of a creative fugue state :D I would forget about them and mix the color I needed--again!

I use freezer paper, and mist the colors if I have to leave them for a few minutes. And if I'm going back and forth between 2 colors on the palette, misting helps.

BTW, Einion, what is a Perspex palette?

Thanks for your input, everyone! :)

colours_man
11-08-2004, 07:36 AM
I keep mixing more.
As I dont have about 10 colours I dont find it difficult to keep re-mixing. I tend to constantly change the mixtures as I work so a little variation does not matter anyway.
Whatever I do I always guess the quantities wrongly, mix a little of the one I need a lot of; then make a big dollop of another and hardly use it.
However I do use a home made stay wet pallette.
Nick

theIsland
11-08-2004, 09:12 AM
I put out enough paint to last 20 or 30 minutes.

Side note: Yesterday morning, I was surprised to find that my paint was still workable after sitting out on my foil "palette" overnight! Our humidifier is set at 30%, which is not enough to keep it wet, so I'm totally mystified. I'm just glad the cat didn't track Thalo blue all over the house.

Noma

Lady Carol
11-08-2004, 11:30 AM
I only put out what I will use within about 20 min. I do a lot of glazing so it doesn't matter to me if the colours don't match exactly. I do occassionally mix a lot of paint but generally I find that I am not good at guessing the quantity that I will need and invariably I mix too much.

MsLilypond
11-08-2004, 03:56 PM
I don't often mix on the palette, except for with white. I've been painting w/ acrylics since I was 12 (gee 14 years goes by so quickly), so I've learned how to paint quickly enough that I mix colors right on whatever support I'm working on. And since I try for a more impressionistic approach when painting, matching colors exactly doesn't really matter too much.

If I do for some reason mix up a batch of paint I don't use, I either put it in baby food jars or film canisters or if I know I'm going to paint later on that day or the next, saran wrap. I use styrofoam plates to work on so with those and the clingwrap, it doesn't usually dry up for a few days.

connievanwinssen
11-08-2004, 05:24 PM
I put paint (usually unmixed colours) that is left over on my palette in little plastic jars with a lid on it. I can preserve it this way for many months. Sometimes even Years. Those little jars are also Very handy if you work somewhere else, of if you just need a tiny bit of a certain colour. :)

Einion
11-08-2004, 08:44 PM
Hi Jo, nice to see you :wave:

Einion, I remember seeing instructions for making a stay-wet palette--do you know where it is? I might use that if it's comfortable for me.
It's simple enough so I'll just repeat it here. Mine is made from a sealable plastic food container, you want something pretty shallow. That should be 'are' technically, as I have three or four that I can use interchangeably if I'm doing more than one thing at once; this is one of the advantages of making your own as they cost practically nothing.

The reservoir is made from nothing more sophisticated than kitchen paper; I spray a quick sprintz of a bleach-based surface cleaner onto it to help it from going smelly and lesson the chance of mould growth if I might be using it for a while. Then I add enough water to wet it fully (I use boiled water if I have some handy, distilled water would be best if you have it available).

The important part in a way is the paper surface, I use baking parchment. I don't know whether the equivalents in different countries would work as well but it appears to act just like the palette paper in the commercial type. I wanted something that wouldn't get sodden when wet or give off little flakes of paper easily when rubbed with a brush because I usually paint very small where a flawless surface is vital.

BTW, Einion, what is a Perspex palette?
Just a small sheet of plastic about a foot square. I've had mine since school, gotta be 26 years old now and still going strong. I was sad to retire it really but painting from a stay-wet palette has really been a great boon to me. I can't believe it took me this long to change and I have a friend to thank, his recommendation finally got me to try making my own and I can't believe I did without one for so long.

I mix my paint on a glazed ceramic tile now, before transferring to the stay-wet, as you can clean these with a razorblade in the same way as glass so my poor sheet of Perspex is now truly obsolete.

Einion

TxAggieDarlin
11-08-2004, 10:36 PM
http://www.yarnellart.com/

If anyone is interested you can buy one here for $12 and it comes with a sponge that covers the bottom...and with paper for you to put your paint on and a lid...........It keeps them for a long time and I was pleased with it...

I did keep a spray bottle and misted every once in awhile...

Enchanted
11-09-2004, 09:46 AM
If I do make too much to use in one session, I cover it with coffee jar lids and cling film (food wrap) and manage usually to salvage it!
Good ideas!

I prefer using small squares of cling wrap over individual "piles" of leftovers. I can exclude virtually all air that way. The square is larger than the "pile" and bonds to the glass palette that I use. I find the next time I go to use the "pile" that it most often hasn't skinned over on top either. And any paint that sticks to the cling wrap is easily scraped back onto the glass palette.

When I begin a day's painting session, I try to put out just what I think I will need, but for many reasons that often doesn't work since I never know who or what may interrupt my day and cause me to have to "cover up."