Oil painting tip.

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Oil painting tip.

How to keep your palette paint smooth and workable over a few days.

Palette board1

When a painting straddles a few days, I've found it difficult to keep my palette from stiffening and becoming grainy: sometimes drying out altogether. I've always covered the board with either tinfoil or clingfilm, but this only seems to work over a short period. I recently worked on three street scenes at once and used the same palette for all of them. This naturally lengthened the time I required to use the paint. It suddenly dawned on me how to extend the workable life of the colours. I simply placed a drop or two of Linseed Oil over each dollop of paint prior to covering at the end of the session. The oil seeped down over each mound and cocooned it perfectly. It did not thin the paint excessively at future sittings and meant I could happily leave the palette for a day's break without problems. The small amount of thinning that did occur aided the 'Fat over thin' principle as I found by the final day's work I was down to the center of the mounds where Linseed oil had not penetrated. If you've not done this before give it a try. I'm sure you'll not look back!


Good tip Fen, thanks, I will try it.

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