An artist palette is very important and personal. And everyone has there own way of setting it up. When asked about it, I am make sure that I convey the fact that this is the way that works for ME! Take my suggestions and use them as you can to better your painting.


Palette Surface:

you have so many choices,



tear away wax paper

enamel trays

and many more, but I use glass

    Glass has many pluses, easy to clean and mix on, long lasting and you’re able to place it on any coloured backing paper. Some people place it on a medium grey to help with mixing your colors accurately. I use white paper. This lets me see the colours as I mix them. I can see there transparency better on a white surface.


Palete knife:

here you have two choices;

flat or angled

Here I use a flat palette knife. It really is the best for mixing your paints thoroughly. I only use my knife for mixing, never for painting.



    I use Winsor  & Newton Artist oil colours. I always have. When I was first taught about oil paints, this is the brand that my instructor insisted that we use. Once I had it drilled into my head that they were the best, I couldn’t use another. Some time later I was given some other brand of paints. Being a student artist, I of course used them. I hate to admit this, but my very first instructor was right! Winsor & Newton are the best. Oil paints and there watercolours are by far better quality.



    I use a turpentine substitute for mixing and cleaning my palette and brushes. They are so many choices for a medium;

Linseed oil


Dammar Varnish

Poppy and walnut oils

Branded painting mediums

and many more

My choice is a classic mix of ⅓ each of Cold-pressed linseed oil, Dammar varnish and turpentine.


Colours and placement:

Here it is, my choices of basic palette,

Titanium white

Cadmium Yellow – Y

mix of Y+O for – YO

Cadmium Orange – O

  mix of O+R for -RO         

Cadmium Red – R

Alizarin Crimson – RV

mix of RV+B for – V

Ultramarine Blue – BV

Cobalt Blue – B

mix of B+G for -BG

Permanent Green – G


Yellow Ocher

Burnt Sienna


Sometimes I use cerulean blue or prussian blue if I need an intense pigment. My palette changes for each painting I do. I don’t always lay out all the colors if I know that they will not be used. Limiting your colours in your palette can help you focus on the subject matter and force you to mix smart.


I enjoy mixing colours, finding that exact one you want if quite rewarding!