I was in Cass Art, Hampstead the other day stocking up on paint and taking full advantage of their Summer Sale when suddenly I saw something which could solve a huge painting problem of mine.
It looked like a little sketch book but was in fact, Winsor & Newton Tear-off Palettes for use with oil and acrylic.
Cleaning a full palette of oil paint is a pretty messy job having ruined loads of palettes and if you try to wash it in the sink water does absolutely nothing to oil. In fact if you use your hands and fairy washing up liquid the paints goes absolutely everywhere covering your hands, sink, tea-towels and makes the biggest mess.
The other option is to use white spirit but that can become expensive and is still a pretty messy job. I also do not like getting white spirit on my skin.
I used to use old plates for palettes which worked quite well. At the end of the day I would cling film the plate so that I could use the paint next day and at the end of the week I would just throw the plate out. This worked quite well but when I finally ran out of old plates I was reluctant to use the expensive ones.
I then started using pieces of cardboard, which worked OK but when you put the oil on the cardboard for a few hours the oil expands into the paper and soaks up the paint.
The Winsor & Newton tear off palettes are brilliant. They cost £5.50 in the current Cass Art sale normally £8.35 and there are 50 disposable sheets in a pad. They are shaped like a paint palette with a hole running though the pad for your thumb. The size is 290mm by 200mm.
I didn't paint straight onto the pad which I think it is designed for, I tear out a sheet and overlay it on to a piece of cardboard I have already cut to shape. On the top side they have a greece proof paper effect to stop the oil paint soaking into the sheet. This also makes it really easy to mix the paint as the brush glides over gently.
I tend to use one sheet a day, using less paint and then at the end of the day I will just throw out the sheet and use a fresh one the day after. These little palettes have absolutely made painting with oils so much easier for me and less messy. The days of ruining sinks, palettes and tea towels are now over!