Which palette to choose for oil painting?

как выбрать палитру

Which palette to choose?

The palette for the artist is an integral assistant in creating a masterpiece. Indeed, thanks to the palette, you can create not just colors, but shades of paint. Palettes are used to mix oil, watercolors, tempera, acrylic paints…

Most likely, if you are fond of painting you know what a palette is. Let’s look at what palettes are and what qualities they have.

First of all, I will tell you about different palettes for oil painting.

The palette for painting should be flat, thin and light.

I think everything is clear:

  • flat so that it is convenient to mix paints,
  • thin so that it was convenient to carry and take with you to the open air,
  • a light palette should be necessary, because putting it in a sketchbook you should not feel its weight (an artist can walk up to ten additional kilometers in search of a good landscape).

Palettes for drawing come in different materials:


Wooden palette

Wood palettes are the most commonly used among artists. The wooden palette is comfortable, lightweight and quite durable. Artists write on such palettes both in the studios and in the open air (the wooden palette is an integral part of the sketchbook). It is convenient to mix paints on a wooden palette, it is easy to clean, but after purchase, be sure to prime your palette so that the tree does not draw oil from the paints. To do this, open the oil palette in 2-3 layers, with the obligatory complete drying of each layer. After that, your palette is ready.

Important:

  • even if you bought a primed wooden palette, open it all the same with oil.
  • wooden palette can be deformed from moisture (even if primed with oil).
  • a palette of wood can take a slight bend if it does not lick horizontally, but stands at an angle (relies on something).

Plastic palette

Plastic palettes – this is an innovation that has given us modern time. These art palettes are particularly subtle and light. Of the advantages, it is that it does not need to be primed and is very easy to hold in your hand. Often in such palettes there are even cells for different colors.

Important:

  • plastic palettes are very light, due to which it can easily be torn down by the wind in the open air.
  • of course, the plastic palette will not suffer from moisture, but keep it on your advice to you in a place where direct sunlight does not fall. For a long time, this can deform the plastic.

Paper palette for oil paints.

Surprised? Yes, paper palettes are gaining authority among contemporary artists. This is not the kind of paper that is often used for watercolor paints. In fact, it is a notebook with paper sheets, which are a one-time palette. The front side of each sheet has a coating that prevents the paper from getting wet and pulling oil from the paints. The paper palette is sold in 36-40 sheets. The disadvantage of such a palette is that a notebook usually costs like a wooden palette, or even more, but you have to pay for comfort.

Important:

  • the front side of the paper palette is of course water-repellent, but the back side can absorb moisture, which will necessarily give a “waviness” to the paper even after drying. This applies more to its storage, I do not advise storing it in rooms with high humidity.

Palette from canvas?

Exactly! A small canvas can serve as an excellent palette. Despite the fact that the canvas is often primed (if you buy it, but don’t do it yourself), it’s still worthwhile to refine it so that the palette is full, just mix different colors on it all over the surface (it seems that Igor Sakharov has a video on how to do this ) This is necessary in order to reduce the grain structure of the canvas, after “painting” the palette from the canvas, let it dry completely and your “palette-canvas” is ready. I do not advise taking very small canvases for the palette, because you need a place not only to place the paints, but also a place for mixing them.


It happens that artists use palettes from other materials (extremely rare, for often if there is no palette at hand, but you want to draw). These are such uncommon materials for the palette: glass, metal, cardboard. By the way, cardboard also needs to be primed, you can just glue in several layers.

It is also worth saying that the palettes are: round, oval, square, rectangular.


Honestly, every artist selects a palette for himself. Personally, I like to use the canvas palette at home, and the open-air wooden palette. Choose you, the one that you like.

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