Uploaded on Aug 12, 2010
http://www.cheapjoes.com -- Welcome to Artist Palette Productions at Cheap Joe's Art Stuff!
There are a lot of different palettes out there. I suggest if you're starting out to get a good travel palette. There's a good chance you're going to be taking classes.
When you do, this is a nice one that's relatively new on the scene. It's a nice sturdy plastic and it has a little gasket that runs around the edge so when you pack it up to go home and put it in your bag, your paint won't be everywhere.
When you get a new one, you want to clean this surface very well with a slightly abrasive cleaner. Just rub it on and then rinse it off. If you don't do that then what will happen is when we paint, the paint will bead up. Just by removing that coating you can create the paint puddles you need.
This is a John Pike's palette - very sturdy, it's a hard plastic and I would guess that most of the watercolor artists would use this palette. These things are so sturdy I had a teacher run over hers one time with her car and didn't even break it!
When you put your paint into a palette, decide where to put it. I tend to group my colors together. Then I put my lighter colors way off to the end to keep them from getting dirty from the darker colors.
When you squeeze your color in fill it all the way up. You can spread it with the tip end of your brush or even a toothpick. Leave your palette open for 3 or 4 days and let the wells dry - they'll get nice and hard.
You can now carry the palette around, and it will keep your paints nice and clean so when you lay your brush on it with another color, all you have to do is just wipe it off.
We're going to talk a little about paper towels. All are not created equal when it comes to art. For watercolors, Viva is your friend and I'll show you why. There are occasions when we want to lift paint from the paper. I can lay this down and rub my hand across it because it acts more like fabric. Other brands will leave marks and patterns in your painting.
I also suggest you have one folded and tucked under your palette. Which brings me to another point. If you're right-handed keep your palette and towel on your right side, and vice versa for left-handed people.
This way you can avoid dragging paint over your paint.
When you start to paint, clear everything off your desk except for everything you need to paint with. It frees your mind.
Paper for the most part we use Arches Blocks. I like it very much, it's 140lb. cold-pressed watercolor paper. It's on a block and these come with 20 sheets. They're attached along the edges and there's a little opening at the top to stick your palette knife into to separate out the sheets.
I'd like to suggest that when you start get a little watercolor sketch book to the side. You really want to use watercolor paper, and if you're going to be doing test strokes, then you want to know what the results are going to be. Always keep one near.
Paper comes in weights and it's described that way. My opinion is that anything less than 140 lb. paper is too thin. Most watercolorists use 140 lb. and 300 lb. paper. I tend to go with heavier weight paper with larger pieces because it's sturdier and has slightly more texture.
Different manufacturers have different qualities to their paper. One that's important to me because I have corrections sometimes, is paper that has external sizing. This makes it easier to lift paint off the surface of the paper. Some softer papers don't allow you to do that.