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painting the figure

IN OILS

module 1: supplies

A: Palette and easel

a. Palette

This is a tabletop palette, which I prefer using something like this rather than holding it in my hand. Fatigue will set in if I hold it in my left hand being that I'm a right-handed painter. This is something that I had made for me at a TAP plastics nearby. I had them cut me a 14x18x1/4 inch plexiglass with rounded corners.

What I did was took some acrylic paint and painted the back to get myself a tone so that I'm not just working on a clear piece of plastic.

Another reason I tone it is so that I have a baseline that is close to 50% and neutrality of a gray, so that I know when I put white on it, white looks bright, and when I put down a dark it looks dark, so this gives me a good middle ground to start with.

The advantage of using a plexi instead of glass is that it is lighter, usually cheaper and more durable. You drop it and it won't shatter. The disadvantage is that it scratches easily when you're cleaning your palette with a knife. You will most likely put some sort of gouges or something into it.

The good thing is that they are easy to replace for about $25 so it's not too bad for something that will last me possibly a lifetime if I really take care of it. You can have one made at any size you want, but 14x18 is good for me because it's big enough to handle all my mixing and small enough to store somewhere so that it won't be in the way most of the time.

A: Palette and easel

a. Palette

This is a tabletop palette, which I prefer using something like this rather than holding it in my hand. Fatigue will set in if I hold it in my left hand being that I'm a right-handed painter. This is something that I had made for me at a TAP plastics nearby. I had them cut me a 14x18x1/4 inch plexiglass with rounded corners.

What I did was took some acrylic paint and painted the back to get myself a tone so that I'm not just working on a clear piece of plastic.

Another reason I tone it is so that I have a baseline that is close to 50% and neutrality of a gray, so that I know when I put white on it, white looks bright, and when I put down a dark it looks dark, so this gives me a good middle ground to start with.

The advantage of using a plexi instead of glass is that it is lighter, usually cheaper and more durable. You drop it and it won't shatter. The disadvantage is that it scratches easily when you're cleaning your palette with a knife. You will most likely put some sort of gouges or something into it.

The good thing is that they are easy to replace for about $25 so it's not too bad for something that will last me possibly a lifetime if I really take care of it. You can have one made at any size you want, but 14x18 is good for me because it's big enough to handle all my mixing and small enough to store somewhere so that it won't be in the way most of the time.

b. Easel

It will really depend on what your budget is and your space considerations. This Mabef easel pictured here is very similar to what I use in my studio. It can handle most sizes up to about 50 inches comfortably. Mine I bought from my local art supply store years ago for about $250. Depending on what you want, you can spend anything from $75 to thousands.

You can try to find deals on something like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or any online classified ad site if you're willing to go with used equipment. Measure your space, consider your environment, and research accordingly.