I have finally scraped my palette clean, dusted down my brushes, filled up my water spray and jar, and actually got on with some painting over the weekend. Painting on a canvas and everything!
As I have struggled to get back into a regular painting routine cleaning my palette, from the state that it had been left in after my last painting session earlier in the year, seemed like a huge task:
In actual fact it is not difficult at all. As I use a Stay-Wet palette all I needed to do was to peel off the two layers of paper ground. It is strange how certain simple practical tasks can compound a spate of creative block. Small, simple, tasks turn into huge obstacles that cannot be overcome, and used as an excuse to not do anything.
I always prepare my palette in the same way. The blotting paper is thoroughly soaked by pouring water onto it, with a crisp sheet of lining paper carefully placed on top. I then arrange a selection of paint colours in an 'L-shape' around the left and back sides of the palette ground:
After such careful preparation my palette quickly descents into colour mixing anarchy, although I prefer to think of it as organised chaos:
The fact that my palettes are always organised in the same way has naturally evolved. I suppose that this is because the arrangement creates a large area in the centre of the palette within which to mix colours, and because I am right handed so placing colours down the right-hand side would mean that I would keep accidentally leaning into the paint. The arrangement of the colours is usually fairly random, although they are often roughly arranged form light tones on the left to dark tones on the right.
I almost subconsciously arrange my palette in this way, often on auto-pilot, no matter what painting task is scheduled to take place.
I would be interested to know how other painters arrange their palettes? Is there a certain ritual or habit that you follow, or do you organise your palette in different ways depending upon the particular task to be undertaken?