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Art Lessons

The Artist's Palette: Part II

The palette is one of the keys that unlocks an artist's individual style. Famous artists throughout history are recognizable by their color choices and combinations. Your palette can be influenced by mood, season, lighting, and any number of factors. Your personal style is yours to determine.

wooden palette

Setting Up a Palette

Artists often organize the colors on their palettes in a particular fashion to maintain consistency and order as they paint. As mixing becomes quicker and more intuitive for you, muscle memory will make your painting experiences smooth and efficient. Consider placing your tube colors in "rainbow order" followed by earth tones, black, and white. Place your tube colors along the edges of your palette, leaving plenty of room for mixing in the middle.

paint palette

Images and text excerpted from the fine artist's guide to Tools & Materials

Artist's Tip

Some shiny plastic palettes cause thin washes to bead up on the surface. You may want to prepare your mixing areas by scoring the surface subtly with a kitchen scrubber.

What is your favorite way to arrange your palette colors?

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