The first thing I do when starting with a fresh palette and before I put brush to canvas (or gessobord in my case), is pull out the tints (color/white mixtures) and mix the shades – or neutrals, really, because I mix roughly complementary colors for the darks in my paintings. This photo shows how I pull the pure colors toward each other first, then mix, wiping the brush or knife clean between each mixture.
Mixing all my tints and shades right off the bat helps me make quicker choices and keeps my palette organized and non-muddy while painting!
I’m also experimenting with keeping two jars of Gamsol (or Turpenoid) – instead of one – for wiping my brush clean between color changes; one for warm colors and one for cool. The jury is still out on whether this really helps keep my colors cleaner during the painting process. I’ll let you know how it goes!
Working on this one right now: