Artist Nina Weiss talks about the best practices for laying out your palette and getting the best results with brush technique.
Nina uses a white enamel butcher tray. The white allows you to see your color, the enamel is easy to clean, and it has plenty of room for mixing.
You’ll want to lay out your full palette every time you sit down to paint. Nina suggests laying out a warm and a cool of each primary color, as well as white. The colors she uses are Titanium White, Lemon or Cadmium Yellow light (cool), Cadmium Yellow Medium (warm), Alizarin Crimson or Quinacridone Red (cool), Cadmium Red Medium (warm), Ultramarine Blue (cool), and Cyan Blue (warm). It may be helpful to mark your tubes as warm or cool for future reference. Lay out your palette from left to right, light to dark, and wipe the rims of your tubes to keep them clean. Be sure to keep your paint wet by misting it with a spray bottle, otherwise it will dry out quickly.
Nina likes to use a bright-shaped brush for mixing. If you use water to thin your paint as you mix, use GAC 100 as well to keep the paint polymer strong. Always mix a darker color into a lighter color. The bigger your mixture gets, the more you have to keep it corralled so that it doesn’t overtake your palette.
Sometimes paint will creep up to the ferrule of your brush as you’re mixing, so be sure to get that back into the mixture to get it mixed thoroughly. Look for a paint mixture that flows without dribbling with good opaque coverage. To change the value of your color, you will add white to your mixture. Don’t scrub your brush back and forth as you lay the paint down. Lay it down in long strokes. Painting isn’t just about getting color on your support, it’s about how you lay it on there.