The Benefit of a Clean and Tidy Palette

Just take a good look at the picture, right. The palette is beautifully tidy. Also it looks like someone’s getting ready to paint an undercoat. The two points are connected.

And like I was saying, always tidy your palette at the end of every painting session. That way, when you return, you won’t waste time but can focus straight away on preparing your paint for the work in front of you.

There’s no one particular way of cleaning up a palette.

This video shows you what we did on one particular day.

Here, we are just pausing for 15 minutes or so. That’s why, when we cover the paint (at around the 20th second), we don’t brush around the edge of the cup. The wet paint itself is enough to seal the lump inside.

We’ll return again and again to what happens on the palette. For now, and in the coming days and weeks, always consider when to take “time out” to tidy and re-organize it. This is not wasted time. (Wasted time is painting with a messy palette.)

Have a look here and see what you will see:

(Video not showing? Just got a rectangular black box? Maybe you need the latest version of Adobe Flash.)



Stephen Byrne

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16 thoughts on “The Benefit of a Clean and Tidy Palette

  1. I am just learning the art of painting on glass. Finding the time to practice is my biggest problem right now!

    I was wondering … for a newbie like me, what are the basic glass paint colors you would recommend I start with? I have the tracing black and bistre brown. Are there others I should purchase?

    I understand there is no magic bullet and that I’m not going to wake up in the morning and be a fine glass paint artist. But, I would like to start out with the very best materials I can afford.


    Donna Helms

    • Hi Donna,

      Thanks for your question. First of all, you approach is excellent: get the best materials you can afford. Glass paint is certainly an “up-front” expense. But, properly cared for and properly used, it lasts for a good long time. So the best is exactly what you need.

      For now, I myself wouldn’t look at other paints than Reusche tracing black and bistre brown. The main thing is to mix them well, to care for them, and to practice a little as often as you can. So 30 minutes once a week is better than 2 hours once a month.

      I know it takes time to set oneself up for glass painting. And I don’t know what your background is. But if someone weren’t used to using a brush, I’d suggest this: I’d consider having a water-colour brush and ordinary paper-based paints that I could quickly have a go with whenever I wanted. It’s a different mind-set when you use a brush. And any hand-eye co-ordination (and capacity for a different kind of observation) that we develop – even for different kinds of brush-based paints – will also help with glass painting.

      All the best, and we’re here for whenever you have questions –

  2. What a splendid little video!

    You guys have an exquisite command of the English language (clear, concise, etc.), but there is just nothing like a picture or in this case a demonstration to really clarify things.

    I expect the challenge in the next few months will be to organize all these tips, hints, suggestions, and videos so they can be easily referenced.

    Great job and keep them coming!
    Pat LeVan

    • Hi Pat,

      Thanks for your comment. Yes, there’ll be lots more useful video over the months ahead.

      So if there is something in particular that interests you, please always write and say.

      All the best,

  3. Great visual information. The pictures convey what words cannot. Besides – a little Bach in the morning never hurts.

    Do you use different music for different tasks? i.e. Italian Concerto for clean up, maybe Wedding Day at Troldhaugen for shading, Concerto for Four Harpsichords for designing, etc.? Maybe add a side bar entitled Good Music We Are Listening To.

    In any case, good day and thank you for sharing.

    • Hello Bill,

      Thanks for your comment. We’re just about to release seven short new video demonstrations for the e-book. And the reason I mention this is that we have chosen background music ranging from Chopin, to Ravel to Avro Part. And I also like your suggestions: the slow section in “Wedding Day” would be particularly wonderful and even poignant, I think.

      All the best,

  4. Thank you for this mini clases – it is wonderfull to see how do you work.

    Is it possible that I send you a picture of some stained glass I saw in Costa Rica? – I would like to know the process
    that you would follow to paint it.

    Thank you for your messages.


  5. I would like to see the video to clean the palette, but i cannot open it – my son said that my computer doesn’t have the necessary software: do you have an idea?

    I am so very glad that I found you, and I do not wish to miss anything!

    I am also happy with the three e-books which I downloaded.

    Sorry for my poor englisch, but I am from the South of Holland.

    Yours sincerely,

    • Hello Anita,

      I’m sorry there’s a problem … I know you need Adobe Flash to watch most videos. But it’s your computer, so I don’t want to say what programs you might want to put on it.

      Can I ask a favour: will you do a test for me? The above video is on YouTube. Mainly, though, we don/t put the videos on YouTube. And I was wondering, can you see the other videos? For example, here?

      All the best,

  6. Hello again!

    Thank you for answering me so soon, and yes I can see the other videos.
    I’ll try it again.

    Greetings from the Netherlands!

    • Hi Anita,

      Thanks for testing that. The good news is, nearly all of our videos are not on YouTube: I mean, nearly all of them are on a dedicated video platform, so, if your computer won’t show you YouTube videos, you’ll only miss one or two of ours. All the rest are on a special place where – as you proved – you can see them.

      All the best,

  7. I have been watching the videos and enjoying the wonderful information therein. It would have taken me years to figure out this stuff on my own. In fact, I might have given up. I’m collecting tools to try my first piece of painted glass. With all you teach us, my chances of success are greatly improved. Thanks for giving so much.

    • Hello Edna,

      Thanks for writing. I’m so glad you find this useful. And for our part, we absolutely enjoy the conversations we have with you and others. Thank YOU!

      All the best,