The one thing that I've learned from painting over the years is that where you have your palette is a big deal. Having to turn away from your easel to grab a new color hinders your judgement and slows you down. I've always heard that it's important to keep your reference material in front of you and not off to the side so that you can compare it to your work more easily. Your palette placement is no different and after I recently stumbled upon my new setup, it's really opened my eyes to just how important it is.
It all started when I was searching for a solution to the problem of limited space in my studio. I had decided to rebuild my workspace and I needed a setup that would allow me to move around freely while also providing me with the right height. I new I wanted something adjustable so I began browsing. And that's when I stumbled upon this mobile laptop podium.
At first, I was skeptical about using a laptop podium for painting. But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. The podium is designed so you can stand right up against it and be adjustable, so I took a chance with it and also purchased this glass palette (12x16) to place on top of it.
Setup was pretty easy and I personally did not run into any problems with the podium. It's not necessarily the most durable thing in the world, but it doesn't break the bank either. I was very satisfied with it overall.
I elected to not install the stopper bar which prevents things from sliding off as the glass palette I ordered comes with rubber corners to keep it in place, even at a steep angle. This allowed me to save room for other things like my ipad and other tools.
When I first tried out my new setup, I was blown away by how much easier it made painting. The glass palette is the perfect surface for mixing paints and the adjustable height of the podium meant that I could position the palette at the perfect height especially with my adjustable easel. I threw in this 3 tier cart as well to put my can of cleaner on and other supplies down below which makes the whole setup even more functional.
The fact that I can now move my palette around easily makes my studio space so much more enjoyable. But it's not just the mobility and adjustability that makes this setup perfect for me. It's also the fact that I can easily switch between colors without having to turn away from the painting. I can also tilt it and adjust the height with ease.
The curvature of the podium allows me to stand right up against it and keep my colors between me and the canvas. I've discovered that this has made me substantially faster at mixing colors on the fly and has made me a more efficient painter. On top of all that, I have room for my coffee or extra tools right below and additional storage underneath.
I definitely can say that this palette setup has been a bit of a game-changer for me as an artist. I'm happy I stumbled upon the podium and glass palette combination. It's a setup that works perfectly for me, and I'm sure it could work for others too. So if you're struggling with finding the right palette setup for your paintings or looking for ways to improve, I highly recommend giving this setup a try. You might just be surprised by how much easier and faster it makes your painting process.
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I'm Chuck Black, landscape and wildlife artist based in Southwest Montana.
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