Last Monday I decided to start including a blog post about some type of mistake novice painters might make, sharing my wealth of knowledge to those who may not know what I know (and hopefully inspiring others who are reading that know more than I do to in turn share with me!). I've decided that instead of limiting it to "mistakes" that I will just make it "Monday Painting Painter Wisdom" or something else catchy, suggestions anyone?
Anyways, my advice/tip/whatever-you-want-to-call-it for today is, plastic wrap! This is a must have in the studio! Unless you are working with small palettes that you use in one day, you will most likely have paint left over and the easiest way to not waste the left over paint is to simply cover it with plastic wrap. Simple! Cheap! Disposable! The next day, just peel off, toss in garbage (or get crafty and make a collage or something), and paint. :) If working with acrylics, you might want to spray with a water bottle to add some moisture to paint and give the plastic wrap a little something extra to stick to. When working with oils, you just want to make sure that the big globs of paint are secure under the wrap. Chances are, when working with oils, you will have to worry less about it drying out overnight, but if you don't plan to be back to work for a couple days it is just nice to know your paint is protected from dust aside from the drying issue. I'm still a firm believer in disposable palettes which are very similar to wax paper. They make a huge selection of options including some shaped like a traditional hand-held palette with a thumb hole. You can pick up a pack of sheets at most craft stores carrying oil paint supplies for under or around $10.
Again, the best advice I can offer is just trying things out. Jumping into it yourself will show you what works best for you.