Working with a Wooden Palette

Last year I bought a large wooden palette. I wanted something that I could prop up on my easel and work from as I filmed my workshops. (Far cheaper than buying a second camera to record a palette!) I bought a Richeson palette because I liked the size of it and thought that it would be the best thing for the job. I painted it a light grey before I used it.

(You can see where I had my palette paper taped to the palette.)

Well, one thing that I wasn't very good about was cleaning the palette after every use. I'd let the paint (especially white) dry up until it got to the point where mixing anything on the palette was near impossible. I decided I needed to do something about it. I tried scraping and peeling. I tried Windex and other cleaners I had researched online. Nothing worked. 


I started thinking about the best place to peel the paint from. The edges! I hadn't tried that. So, I began in the center (where you can put your finger through) as well as the very edges of the palette and started peeling. Since the paint was so thick, it actually was easy to peel and resulted in a nice, thick skin.

I peeled everything off but there was still a layer I couldn't get to which was very bumpy. I thought about it again and decided to turn the palette over and start again.

I painted it with a light grey. I then used whatever gel medium I had on hand and layered at least three coats of medium onto it (allowing it to dry between layers.)

Now, I'm making sure that I wipe off any excess paint immediately (and/or brush it onto my palette paper.) I'm definitely taking more time and care to wipe the palette off so the paint doesn't become thick and bumpy like last time. 

One thing that I have been thinking about doing is arranging my colors on my palette in a specific way. I know that many artists do this, especially those that work with a limited palette and that it's very helpful. It makes it so that it's one less thing that you have to worry/think about when you know that your yellows/reds/blues, etc... are always in the same place.


Please let me know if you have any questions. I'd love to know how you set up your palette!


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