hi guys, so recently ive been squeezing out more paint on my palette to overcome "paint stinginess" i squeeze out much more than i would use in a few days, after which many colors have a skin over them, which is fine as i can peel back the skin and reach wet paint. the problem is after doing this several times on the same pile the paint feels sticky or tacky and also dries very fast (overnight for most colors in a thin application using no medium)so im wondering what is the best way to over come this, put less paint on the palette?, use a medium? what are your suggestions?
There's no point putting out more paint than you'll use in a day on purpose. It's fine to salvage leftover paint that's skinned over, but, as you've found, the consistency will change (the drying process has started, even though the paint is still fluid). If you absolutely must must must keep the paint on your palette wet for an extended period of time, add a drop of oil of cloves to each paint pile (maybe two for extremely fast dryers like umbers, none for slow dryers like ivory black and alizarin).
Oil of cloves is both very slow drying and an antioxidant. It used to be sold as a toothache remedy, so you can get it at some pharmacies (chemists). It's also used in aromatherapy, so you can find it at health food stores or places that sell new-agey stuff. It's not a big seller as an art supply (most people want their oil paint to dry faster, not slower, and a small bottle can last you years), so you're unlikely to find it at any but the most well stocked, specialized art supply shops.
The fumes alone from oil of cloves will be enough to slow the drying time down. You could just place a little by itself on your palette and then keep it covered. It's not necessary to mix it in. If it's in the paint, the surface will stay wet for several days.
However, in practice I do as Elwell states; just put down about a day's worth and mix up a new batch again as necessary. The oil stays fresher in the tube than on the palette.
puck: thats a good idea, but it sounds kinda messy, i can imagine the butterfly pattern effect happening with all my lovely paint, what do you find?
Well, it depends how you keep your palette I guess. I have all of my colours laid out in the same way; Tit white in the corner and the warms and cools coming off in different directions ordered by value - all around the outside leaving the centre for mixing. When I've finished with the day I scrape everything from the middle of the palette into a pile, which gets smooshed together into either a warm or a cool grey, this then goes into the spot I leave aside for my greys. Then I use a glass scraper and clean the middle off, leaving it ready for the next day. The cling wrap does have all the colours on its inside surface, but since they always line up with the piles, there's no cross-contamination (the clingwrap is held under one end of the palette, so when it folds over it always lines up). And you don't push the clingwrap down into the paint, just press around the piles with your finger to get it to stick to the glass, creating little pockets of paint. Works for me.