Saturday, August 21, 2010

New Palette Prep

Cleaned /Prepped Surface
New Palette Surface
Students often say "why don't the colors on my palette mix like yours?"

Students often show up with new palettes that are barely broken in or new. The problem with new palettes is the finish is slick. Sometimes the surface may even have a residue from manufacturing. Watercolor when mixed on a new palettes have a tendency to bead up and not lay down. Not only do the colors bead up they have a tendency to pull back from the colors you are trying to mix them with. 

When you get a new palette clean it. You can use something as gentle as baking soda or a liquid cleanser. I use Soft Scrub but any inexpensive off brand will work. It only takes a small amount (1/2 teaspoon). A gentle cleaning and a good rinsing is all it takes. I will periodically re-clean my current palette with the formula that contains bleach just to remove any stains from the surface. One word of caution.... Don't let any cleaners get into your paints.

In the photos above the paint colors are the same in both images. The top image is the cleaned/prepped palette. Look how the paints move and mingle on the surface. The paints in the picture below beaded up and pulled back from the others colors. 

Happy Painting!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this info on breaking in a new palette, Brenda, this explains a lot concerning my frustration with plastic palettes! In fact I've just ordered this very same palette you show in your posts, as well as your DVD on Negative Space from Cheap Joe's. Also thanks for the layout and names of your paint preferences...I also think the world of DS and Holbein. I have some difficulty with my paints cracking as they dry if I fill the wells (or pans) full all at once. I've now taken Roz Stendahl's advice to fill them in thirds, letting them dry after each time. Which takes quite a few days here in the Pacific Northwest!