Had a productive painting day today! But as I was scraping off my pallette today I realized… I’m taking too long to clean up.

My palette, after I cleaned it today. And it's STILL NOT CLEAN

My palette, after I cleaned it today. And it’s STILL NOT CLEAN

I bought my current palette after I ran out of my disposable palette sheets that I had from college. I never really bought a palette for acrylics/oils, except the disposable block of sheets, because they were easy to clean up and I liked that. (On the other hand, I NEEDED a palette for my watercolor tubes; but they work differently, and can be reconstituted once they dry, so I don’t need to worry about cleaning that one much, except the trays where I mix paint. But I don’t use my watercolors much right now.)

So when I went to the art supply store to get a replacement disposable palette block, they didn’t have any (that I could find), and the plastic palette was not very expensive, and I thought would last longer than a block of disposables anyway, so I figured why not.

Well, it turns out that the 20 minutes it takes to scrape dried acrylics off of it is worth an awful lot.

My time is precious enough that I resent spending that long cleaning up. If it’s bothering me that much, it’s worth shopping around for disposable palettes.

Alternately, I could stop caring about getting every little dried-on smear off, but what I like about the palette now (smooth texture, clean surface) would disappear if I stop being meticulous about cleaning it. *shakes fist*


All this got me thinking about tools. The tools you use should help your work, not hamper it. If a tool is getting in the way of my productivity, I want to evaluate that tool. How is it supposed to help me? How is it getting in my way? Is it helping me enough to make up for how it is setting me back? And finally, is there another tool that could do the job better?

It’s worth thinking about.