I’ve used them all!
After years of painting on all kinds of palettes, I’ve decided to paint on a glass palette. When I started painting I used a wooden palette but I found if I didn’t wipe off the paint immediately, it dried quickly and was difficult to scrape off. I did that for years though. After that I went to the super-easy paper palette. It doesn’t get much more simple than that, just tear off and throw away the coated sheet after each painting session.
Why use a glass palette for artists?
Here are the reasons I’ve found:
- Glass so easy clean. I can wipe off my unused paint when I’m finished painting, or use a razor paint scraper with a handle to scrape off paint even after it’s dried.
- I can put a sheet of paper under the glass in my choice of color.
How to fit a palette for glass
I have three different palettes and I took them all to the glass store and had 1/8″ clear glass cut to fit each palette. I chose 1/8″ thickness because that would add the least amount of weight, which is especially important for plein air since I have to carry everything. I chose a neutral medium grey colored paper from the art supply store and cut a sheet of paper to fit in each palette. The glass was put over that and secured with a clear bead of SILICONE around the edges by the glass store.
The color of paper you choose to put under the glass is an individual decision, I’ve taken a number of workshops from artists and naturally I look to what they paint on. Quang Ho paints on a glass palette with a white sheet of paper underneath. Dan Gerhartz paints on a glass palette with a medium/dark grey paper underneath. Others use wooden palettes. I haven’t seen one use a paper palette.
French mistress and french companion
What you see above is a “french mistress” and it measures 17 1/2″ x 21″ with those flaps closed. It weighs 10 pounds plus now I’ve added the extra weight of the glass. It’ll never leave the studio if I can help it. It’s sitting on a plain old wooden tray table. There is also a smaller version of this box called a “french companion” but since I got it for my studio, I went ahead and bought the larger size. I’m excited to paint on a palette that BIG.
Below is my pochade box that I use when I paint plein air or when I travel to locations by car. It’s a bit cumbersome to take on an airplane, especially since it has a tripod that goes with it. But I don’t mind packing it in my car when I have a destination within driving distance. Mine is an Easy L pochade box and I love it! I have a lightweight Manfrotto tripod to go with it. I would definitely recommend going with a lightweight tripod! They cost a little more but it’s well worth it.