Old Masters Academy

Oil painting lessons and techniques: PALETTES

Oil painting lessons and techniques: PALETTES

Oil painting lessons and techniques: PALETTES


Cleanliness —The cleanliness of a palette consists in its being always in such a condition that you can handle it without getting dirty; that the mixing-surface will not foul the freshly mixed paint; and that the paint around the edge is always so that you can pick up a fresh, clean brushful. If you try to clean off all your color every day and polish your palette nicely, you will not only take up more time with your palette than you do with your painting, but the fact that some left-over paint may be wasted will make you a little stingy in putting on fresh paint, which is one of the worst habits a beginner can fall into. You cannot paint well unless you have paint enough on your palette to use freely when you need it. It is all well enough to put on more, but nothing is more vexing than to have to squeeze out new paint at almost every brushful. You must have paint enough when you begin, to work with, or you waste too much time with these details.


If you are painting every day, leave the good paint where it is at the end of your work, and scrape off all the muddy or half-used piles, and clean carefully all the palette except those places where the paint is still fresh and pure. Then, when you have to add more to that, clean that place with the palette-knife before squeezing out the new color. In this way the palette will not look like a centre-table, but it will be practically clean, have a good clear mixing-surface, and you will neither waste paint nor be stingy with it.


The Arm Palette.—For painting large canvases, where the largest-sized brushes are used and paint must be mixed in greater quantities, the arm palette is a most convenient thing if it is well balanced. It is in the way rather than otherwise for small pictures, and is useful only as it is particularly called for.



Categorized: Fine Art Tutorials , How to Paint
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