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Thread: Palettes

  1. #1
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    Palettes

    I see most of the top artists either using glass or wood palettes. Currently I'm using a gessoed masonite palette I got for $6. I can understand the advantages of a glass one, but can someone explain what makes the wood ones so great?
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    Dunno, I've never seen the point of buying a fancy palette. I've been using cheap white plastic plates for years, and they work perfectly fine...
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    It is a throwback to an older time. Don't get a wood palette if you won't take care of it. They have to be oiled and the patina built up over time. It is a beautiful warm surface to work on if you have the discipline to keep one, but most people don't, and so you lose the benefits of it. Best to use glass, easier to keep and clean.
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    Depends on how you work. If you like to have a vantage point away from the canvas, a large and comfortable palette can be more convenient. I have used a fairly big wooden palette since I first started painting. It didn't make me a better painter, I just enjoyed using it and taking care of it.
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    Thanks folks.

    @Queen: Whatever works right? 8)

    @dpaint: I've been thinking about going with glass.

    @Andreas: I see what you're saying, honestly I'm not the best at cleaning up, and I know I need to work on that. I was looking at this H-frame easel (i'm using a A frame right now) and it came w/ a maul stick and wooden palette, I didn't realize they took a ton of effort to keep up. Which doesn't mean I won't get that easel though...
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    I have never used a wooden palette, so be aware of my bias.

    I learned painting on a large glass palette in a shared studio environment at art school. This meant that sometimes the last person to use the palette on your workspace was less than diligent on cleaning up. You get a razor edged paint scraper from the dollar store, and that doesn't matter anymore because you take two minutes to scrape it all off, and you're done.

    I just picked up a large picture frame from the store to use as a palette now that I'm trying to work in my apartment rather than a studio with allt he equipment there for me. I haven't tried it out yet, but I expect it should work just the same.
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    Friend of mine gave me a bottle of what he called "gamma lacka" or similar pronunciation. Anyone have an idea what the regular name of this might be?
    It basically makes my palette smooth as glass, it comes in a solid form which you dilute into pure alcohol, give your board 10 coats of it and you can simply wipe paint off.
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    Just a thought, plastic cutting boards might work pretty well, too. Easy to clean, durable, light enough to hold, and some even have a handle...
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    I like wood palettes when I opt to hold my palette- in most cases it's lighter than masonite, and has the advantage that you can fairly easily sand it/plane it/cut it to get it perfectly balanced for your particular hand.

    I've also made several thumb palettes using foam core and balanced them out by cutting and fine-tuning with small weights. They're lighter, but I still prefer my nice, balanced wood thumb palettes to those. I would like to try it with Gatorboard sometime, though. (If you haven't tried a good, balanced thumb palette it's worth a try. It takes some work to get one balanced and not too heavy and they're a bit more maintenance, but it's a nicer experience than a table palette, IMHO.)

    For a table palette, glass is hard to beat- except when traveling due to weight and/or fragility.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyskoa View Post
    Friend of mine gave me a bottle of what he called "gamma lacka" or similar pronunciation. Anyone have an idea what the regular name of this might be?
    It basically makes my palette smooth as glass, it comes in a solid form which you dilute into pure alcohol, give your board 10 coats of it and you can simply wipe paint off.
    Sounds like some type of resin, which would make sense.
    About the glass palette, mine is 18x24 safety glass, bought it at a glass store
    I converted a baby changing station to hold it and my supplies.I'm right handed so it is at my right side and the correct height, when I paint at my easel.
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  13. #11
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    Part of the advantage of the wood palettes historically had to do with colour.
    When you're painting onto a warm toned ground it helps to have your palette the same colour to make mixing easier.

    Thats one thing you can do with glass that's nice is to put different coloured papers underneath
    depending on what colour of ground you're painting on.
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    It'd be nice if there was a glass palette in the shape of the wooden ones with a layer underneath where you can slide in different colors depending on the necessity.
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  16. #13
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    My gf just me a glass pallette, i'm about to test it out. I'll show you guys the results.

    thanks!
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