Pamela Bohan's avatar image.

I am a Psychotherapist and Painter in Downtown Toronto.

My name is Pamela Bohan, 1 cup psychology. 1 cup artist. 1 cup self-love. 1 cup magic. Bake.

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  • What is the proper way to use a palette?

    I started painting for fun a few weeks ago and I have trouble with running out of room on my palette and getting all the colors mixed up. Do you have a process of how you use your palette? I'm also guilty of letting paint dry on my palette, any quick solutions to avoiding this problem? Thank you

    Pamela Bohan's avatar image.

    There is a traditional method of placing paint on a kidney shaped palette starting with greens, moving to blue, black, browns, then yellows and red. White on it's own off in the corner. That said, artists tend towards doing things their own way. Good thing about this is there's no wrong way and the more difficult part of that is a lot of trial and error to get to the way you like to work- that's process. Do a google search for Picasso or Van Gogh's palettes and you'll see that all the colours mixing together is often the what happens. You can buy palettes that have individual depressions for each colour and then flat areas for mixing. Or you can put paint In separate containers and use a palette for mixing only. The truth is painting is messy, that's half the fun. As for the drying factor that depends on the medium you are using. Oil won't dry for weeks. Watercolours can be reconstituted with water. Acrylic becomes plastic and the top gets a skin on it. You also need to consider how big you are working. Large paintings need lots of paint and larger brushes to start. If you are working smaller consider putting out less paint or only putting colour on the palette as you are using it. This is the way I work, even with larger paintings, using multiple palettes. Also add dark colour to light gradually until you get the colour you are looking for the other way around will waste a ton of paint. You can also mix colours directly on your panel, canvas or paper. In the beginning you are learning control of your brush and the paint, this takes time, get to know your medium. How loose can you be? How tight? I hope this helps. If you let me know the medium you're working with and what you are trying to achieve I can give you more specifics. Keep going and experimenting! Can't wait to hear how it goes.