Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Palette Clamp

Anonymous asked: "You have archived pictures of your grand taboret with the hinged panel for paint. Could you post a picture of the sliding clamp that fixes the angle? Love any gear information you provide. Thank you."

Dear Anonymous,
The name of the piece of hardware is a friction lid support. It screws into the side of the taboret. The slotted part attaches to the base for the palette, which tilts up and down on door hinges. By tightening the crank, you can clamp the palette at any angle.

The mixing surface is a roll of white freezer paper, which is hung below the edge of the palette. It spools up, around, and under the wooden bar, which floats about 3/16ths of an inch above the paper.

The wooden bar is for the oil paint that you squeeze out from the tubes. The white palette paper is for mixtures. As mixtures dry up and are no longer needed, the paper tears off the side of the palette.

I got this basic idea from John Berkey when I visited his studio almost thirty years ago. One difference was he had a take up spool with a crank on the right side of the palette.
Previously: Taboret (with more pictures) 


Super Villain said...

always love seeing your set up, its like seeing into a mad scientists lab, haha.

also one question that occurred to me today that is a bit off topic is, why don't more artists group together and go on tour like musicians?

there are more than enough gallerys in each state that i'm sure would love to host a group show of popular artists, more than enough fan support to support the shows turn out? and something that i'm sure would really boost the popularity of fantasy art.

would this be something you would ever consider? a US tour of James Gurney, Paul Bonner, William Stout and Jean-Baptiste Monge!!!! this would be a dream come true for very artist in the US, a gallery visit from the touring Fantastic Four!

Andrei Popescu said...

Very interesting, and a good idea.

As you use white paper for your mixes, do you find this in any way problematic when painting on colored grounds?

James Gurney said...

Andrei, No, I prefer a white mixing surface because I can judge transparent mixtures more accurately. Having a toned palette match a toned canvas is a good idea, though, especially when using opaque mixtures and when working outdoors (to cut glare).

Super V: That's a cool idea. I've heard of groups of artists taking turns running a gallery -- there's one like that in Laguna. But doing a tour from gallery to gallery would be a lot of fun. The shows would have to be up for a short time to allow them to move on, and there's no guarantee to the gallery at the end of the line that they'd get enough good paintings. Maybe if you were selling prints, or if there was a book created by multiple authors, or some sort of group presentation to an art school.

jeff jordan said...

Perfect timing for this post. I built myself a version of this setup without the tilt mechanism. Works really well, but my question is--what do you do with the used paper? Save it up for a toxic waste day at the recycling center?

I really like the setup. Thanks for passing it along......

Anonymous said...

Mr.Gurney, thank you for answering my question about the hardware.We artists are always required to be our own clever engineers and sharing your information also demonstrates your generous spirit.

Derek Sohoza said...

This doesn't have to do with your taboret, but I wasn't sure where else to leave a question.

I've started acquiring supplies to build my own miniatures for reference, and I was wondering what gauge wire you use before adding the clay.

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Andrei Popescu said...

Thanks for the swift and clear answer.

I use a toned palette now, but I'll give freezer paper a try (mostly cause I'm too lazy to clean the palette every time!)

By the way, I owe you one. Your book "Color and Light", this blog with invaluable information (and my subsequent discovery of Solomon J. Solomon's book) have been among the things that sparked my foray into oil painting, so thanks :)

Sergio Lopez said...

A bit beside the subject, but I noticed your palette has one of the masked color wheels like what you demonstrate in your "Color and Light" book. Do you have them pre-made for every situation, or do you create them every time you need them? How closely do you adhere to it when you use one?

James Gurney said...

Jeff, I usually throw away the torn-off sheets. I don't use that much paint, so hopefully it doesn't hurt the environment. I had a friend who used to roll the paper up and burn it on the fire to watch the pretty colors in the flame--probably hazardous.

Derek, that's OK. Typically I'll use a 12 gauge. Wire, that is. Not shotgun.

Thanks, Andrei.

Sergio--I have one color wheel, but four or five masks that I use sometimes (not always) for color mixing. I find the gamut system most useful for sequential works, such as illustrated books, comics, and film design, where you need distinctly different schemes within a larger work.

Sergio Lopez said...

Thanks for the response!

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