Benefits of a Glass Palette for Oil Painting

Are you deciding whether a glass palette will work best for your artist practice? Choosing the right oil paint palette from the large range available can take a bit of figuring out.

Mabef wooden oil palette
Traditional Mabef Wooden Palette

Initially, I fell in love with the idea of a traditional wooden hand-held palette. It looked like a tool a craftsman would use. It conjured up romantic notions of what it would feel like to be a real artist.

However, for me, this was not the ideal solution. It’s really important that I have a quick, efficient way to preserve the oil paint on the palette in between painting sessions. As oil oxidizes, not dries, popping your palette in the freezer is a great way to slow down this process. 

Benefits of a Glass Palette for Oil Paint.

After examining all the options, I decided a glass palette that I could store in a closable, plastic box would work best for me.

Glass palettes are brilliant for many reasons:Benefits of a Glass Palette for Oil Paint.

  • Easy clean up of both fresh and dried up paint. Baby wipes or damp lint free cloth for the wet paint and a simple glass, razor blade scraper for when its dried up.
  • The ability to tone the underneath of your palette. This can help you judge value and chroma and also give you the option to match the colour of your painting surface.
  • You can place a tonal value strip underneath, to help match values.
  • Glass palettes are not porous, this is beneficial when storing your palette in the freezer. Wooden ones can be vulnerable to the additional moisture and swell over long periods of exposure.

Jacksons sell a range of Glass Palettes by both New Wave and their own brand. Here’s a link if you want to see more and check out their prices: Jacksons Glass Palettes

At the time I was putting together my painting kit these Artists oil palettes weren’t available so I

Glass Palette in Storage box with Tonal value strip

bought a simple glass worktop saver like this one super value one: Transparent Glass Worktop Saver

For the plastic box I found this:  A3 Tuff Box by Tiger to be ideal and fantastic value for money. It’s pretty robust, has a clip shut lid and fits my glass palette perfectly.

Alternate Palettes

Occasionally, if I’m painting something radically different that requires a very different palette of oil colours or if I’m working on two very different paintings I’ll also a sheet of palette paper.

Tear Off Palettes are the ultimate in convenience as they’re completely disposable. I’m not keen on the feel of palette knife on the surface when I mix my oils, (yes I’m very tactile) but they work well, seem to be popular and are relatively cheap.

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