Bill Martin's Guide to Oil Painting
Put Your Paints on a Palette
A Palette is a flat non-porous surface where the oil paint colors are mixed. The palette can be held in your hand or placed on a neighboring surface. Hand held palettes have thumbholes. Palettes are commonly made of wood, Plexiglas or safety glass.
A wooden palette should be coated with linseed oil and wiped dry before its daily use. After the palette has been cleaned at the end of a session it should be coated with linseed oil and wiped dry again. Richeson Palettes as the wooden palette of choice.
Plexiglas is a good surface for a palette and safety glass is the best. Both of these will need a neutral color backing. Mixing colors on a white palette makes it hard to distinguish dark colors. The Amaco Paragona Glass Artist Palette is a quality product, and you can remove the white backing and replace it with brown wrapping paper. All palettes should be cleaned at the end of a session. A glass palette can be cleaned later with a razor if need be but wood or Plexiglas will scratch.
On top is a Plexiglas palette in the middle is a wooden palette and on the bottom is safety glass, (a car window).
The hand held palette with the colors in place and ready to paint. The pure colors are placed at the far edge of the palette. Portions of these colors are brought forward, mixed with the palette knife and then painted on the canvas. For more information on palettes, palette knives and other materials, you can view my recommendations on the art supplies that I use to paint.