The Useful Paint Niche

Recently at our scribal meeting, I was asked about how I use my gouache palette. Do I put out new paints for each painting session? Do I reconstitute the dried paint in its well? What do I do if the paint breaks into small bits? All great questions. 

This is what I do. You may find other scribes work differently.

I use a student grade plastic watercolor-type palette. Nothing fancy. 

When I set up the palette I usually let the paints dry in their section before painting. And I usually don’t reconstitute all the paint in a well to a creamy, smooth consistency. 

When I begin using a color I take a big brush, like a #4 and drop a little water on the dried blob. As I work I dip my brush in water and rewet only the small area where I drag my brush to pick up the paint. I turn the brush each time I stroke the blob eventually creating a small “V”. That niche points the brush tip as I work. Only the paint in the small “V” surface area becomes reconstituted.

When your paint breaks into small bits it is difficult to reconstitute. If you have a special need to keep that paint you can mix in a little gum Arabic binder as you try to rewet it. This may make the paint glossier too. Once the bits are totally dry or the well is used up I soak and clean off my palette to reset with freshly squeezed paint.  

I’m so glad scribes ask these questions and more. It’s one way I find topics to post for you here.  Please, feel free to ask your own in the comment section below.
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Categories: Tips

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