Thursday, October 25, 2018

Art Tip - Freezing the Palette

Palette in the Freezer?
As a daily painter, I am constantly reaching for my oils to paint.  It is a real time saver to me to simply pull them out of the freezer!  Using an old metal china painting palette, which has a lid, I load the glass or plexiglass surface with my oil paints.  After each use, I put the lid on, slip it into a ziplock freezer bag, and pop it into my freezer.  I have a top shelf in my freezer that is reserved for all my palettes.  I keep them in freezer bags to help prevent oxidation, and to protect the food from any cross contamination that could occur.  I have many different palettes for each pochade box, fitting the internal shapes of those boxes.  I even have a couple of Altoid tins for those small thumb box pochades!  
When I pull the palette out the next time, within a few minutes, the paints are pliable enough to use.  Over time, a skin will form over a worm of paint from natural oxidation.  Often times, I will just punch through with my paintbrush, scraping out the paint underneath.  If the worm starts to get too hard for use, I will scrape it off with a razor and start anew.  
Biggest benefit of keeping a palette in the freezer?  I am always ready to paint at a second’s notice.  Once I land at my plein air location for the day - I can start painting immediately.  No squeezing out paint before the process starts.  When every minute counts, this little timesaver really helps.  In case you are continuing a painting started the day before, your paints are just like you left them, no premixing needed to match yesterday’s colors.  Another benefit?  Little clean up!  I simply put the lid on and place it in the bag.  It gets tossed in the freezer as soon as I get home.  If it will be hours to and from my location, I keep it in an insulated lunch carrier with an ice pack.  It just keeps my paints fresher for longer.  

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