Here is, as you all know, one of the issues that drives me crazy! Why students have such messy palettes? You should keep your palette organized! This means you place you colours in the same order each and every time – not all over your palette willy nilly. A good order is as follows:
Top centre White
Top left Your yellows
Middle left Orange Middle Right Blues
Bottom Left Reds Middle Bottom Purple Bottom Right Greens
This arrangement means all your warm colours are on the Left and most your cool colours are on the Right with purple at the bottom.
Also place your dollops of paint on the edge of your palette, again not in the middle, there by leaving all the centre for mixing. And by dollop I mean a nickel size worth, not a little smear.
When mixing your colours, do it in front of the colour you are using i.e. if mixing green it should happen down by the greens.
Why all this fuss, because keeping your palette organized helps to keep your mind organized and you never having to second guess where colours are or what colours you used.
Find a good palette you can use over and over again. There are some that are better than others and if in question ask your art instructor who will have some good ideas.
You can always use disposable ones, they are especially handy in a classroom environment.
In my studio I can keep my palette operational for weeks by simply misting it and placing Saran Wrap lightly over it and tucking in the edges.
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