This is where the magic of paint mixing happens. You can’t substitute a palette with anything. Unless you want to be lame and use a piece of cardboard (actually did this in high school *sobs*). You just look cooler holding a palette!
If you choose to use a wooden palette, you have to make sure you take care of it. Before you begin be sure to spread linseed oil on the palette and wipe it dry (this preserves the wood longer so it doesn’t wear and tear). However, if you prefer not to spend money on yet another product, then use a piece of foil to wrap around the palette. This is what I prefer to do as it makes it a lot easier to clean up at the end because there’s no need to get messy by having to wipe all the paint off. Plus, it keeps your palette looking as good as new.
When you start putting paint on to the palette, don’t get too excited and start squirting paint in the center of your palette. Place the colors on the top edge of your palette in rainbow order (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black and then white). Leave enough space in between the paints in order to prevent unwanted mixing. The bottom half of your palette is used to mix your colors together. With oil paint, you only need a blueberry sized amount for each color. One thing I love about oil paint is how highly pigmented each color is and how a little amount can spread so much on canvas. Remember not to take too much of your paint out, thinking that you’re going to use all of it because in the end you won’t. Then you’re left with wasted paint and it’s really quite sad.
What makes oil paint so pigmented anyway?
Oil paint is made out of a mixture of dry pigments and drying oil. The pigments are powdered natural minerals and dyed minerals. These powdered minerals (cadmium and titanium) are mixed with oils to ultimately create opaque oil paint. On the other hand, pigments from dyed minerals when mixed with oil create transparent colors (transparent colors are used for glazing a painting before you paint and/or after). Interesting stuff!