|'Way Down South' 18x24 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
The answer is to limit the number of pastels used for a painting. Many pastel artists leave out each stick of pastel used. Or they stand them up so they can see how many are in use. I prefer to choose my pastel palette in advance. I am still too tempted by that big box of yummy color so I have to avoid it and keep my working palette seperate.
I like to pull out the colors I think I will need for a painting during the planning stage. I found the perfect way to keep them available and protected. Metal Butcher Trays! They are sold for mixing paint (purchase here) but they make excellent trays for a working pastel palette.
|'Way Down South 2' 5x7 oil on panel $75|
I bought several of these trays. I line them with an old washcloth so the pastels don't roll around or shift. Having several trays allows me to keep a working palette for a painting while starting a new painting with a different palette. This week I have three trays in use. I have three different projects all with different palettes. I don't have to clean up and start over until I am finished with my projects.
Sure you can use box lids or even place the sticks you are using on a table or paper towel....but these butcher trays are durable, easy to clean and stack for storage. They truly have been one of the most important tools I use in the studio!
|butcher trays with working palettes in action|