Abstract Painting-Setting Up Your Palette

Abstract Painting-Setting Up Your Palette

I’m fairly organized in everything I do in the studio, so having an organized way of putting out my color is an extension of my studio practices. I find too many beginning painters have no idea how to set up a palette and they get easily overwhelmed with color. Having an organized palette will help cut out some clutter and help clarify color selection and painting decisions.

My system is very simple and is used by many professional painters. I always start on the upper left with my yellows, then to oranges, pinks, reds, violets, blues, greens and on the bottom left is Titanium White. I don’t always use the same colors for each painting, but the general grouping of the paint color families is the same, regardless of the colors chosen for the painting. Sometimes I have so many colors, or color mixes that I have three rows of colors rather than the two shown in the video. I have a large palette and try to leave plenty of room for color mixing.

I find that for beginners, starting with organized studio practices pays long term benefits. It is also much easier for a beginner to mix the paint on the palette to see how it tuns out, rather than trying to mix it on the canvas. I often mix on the canvas but I’ve been painting for almost 30 years. One of the worst things to do is not have a large area for mixing. I see way too many people using styrofoam plates, which is a terrible habit to get into. There is no mixing area on a plate.

As a painter, you should give yourself every advantage to be successful. Having an organized palette which leads to an organized painting is a great place to start.

If you'd like to learn about abstract painting, then please join me for a painting workshop: (You can view a list of 2019 workshops HERE)

  • March 5-8 Cultural Arts Alliance, Santa Rosa Beach, FL. For information and registration contact Bonnie Loman. Email: pghsteeler1@icloud.com.

  • March 15-17 Helen Day Center, Stowe, VT. For information and registration contact Danielle Naylor. Email: education@helenday.com.

  • March 27-29, 2019 Amarillo Art Institute, Amarillo, TX. For information and registration contact Rachel Flores, Email: director@amarilloartinstitute.org.

  • April 12-14, 2019 Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts, Florence, AL. For information and registration contact Christi Britton. Email: cbritton@florenceal.org.

  • April 24-26, 2019 David M. Kessler Fine Art Studio, Winston-Salem, NC. For information and registration Click Here. FULL-Waiting List

  • May 10-12, 2019 New Braunfels Art Center, New Braunfels, TX. For information and registration Click Here.

  • May 16-18, 2019 David M. Kessler Fine Art Studio, Winston-Salem, NC. Mentorship Workshop. For information and registration Click Here.

As always, thanks for your support!


P.S. If you you'd like to learn more about Abstract Painting in the comfort of your home or studio, I have a great course called Abstract Painting Academy available for you:

Abstract Painting Academy is the next best thing to a live workshop event. You can find out more by Clicking Here.

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