How to tint your palette and why you should.

Have you ever mixed color on your palette only to discover the value is completely off when you brush the paint on your canvas? The trick is to tint your canvas and your palette the same color and value, this way there will be no surprises when it comes to mixing the correct values.

When I streamlined my studio, I attached my palette to the wall next to my easel. I also have a palette table on wish I premix all my colors. I then transfer my mixtures onto my wall mounted palette. Now I can visually compare color and value on my palette with the painting I’m working on.


Glass cutting board or glass microwave plate or a piece of glass cut to size.

Underpainting White

Burnt Umber

1″ to 2″ Brush

Palette knife

Odorless Mineral Spirits

Paper towel


Glass for my palette

With your palette knife, mix some burnt umber into the underpainting white and thin a little with OMS until you reach a value of about 7. You want it to be a little darker than too light because when you flip the glass it will appear lighter. So just make allowances for that.

burnt umber underpainting white

Brush the burnt umber mixture over the piece of glass as smoothly as you can.


Paint it thick enough as not to see any glass, but not too thick. Start your brush strokes off one side, then smooth it over to the other side and off the glass, this way you eliminate brush marks. Leave to dry over night. Flip it when dry and viola! I attached mine onto the wall mount I made.

Palette complete

Yay! All done and ready for action!

Next up ~ I’m going to show you how to create an underpainting and how to manipulate oil paint!


2 thoughts on “How to tint your palette and why you should.

  1. What an excellent idea! I have seeing many expensive papers on the market to accomplish this end, but your idea put this into the hands of most of us you try and stretch are painting dollars. Further, it allows the painter to choose the color of the ground on which to work. Excellent!


  2. Pingback: How to set-up an Oil Painting Studio… | The Oil Painter's Studio

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