The Art of Sandra Busby...
Painter of Playful Light in Glass and Still Life


Thursday, 26 July 2012

A great tip for saving oil paint...

But firstly, something to make you smile...

...Just a quick little sketch, but who could resist a face like that? :0)

I remember when my babies looked like this - all squashed up and pudgy. I must have kissed their poochy little lips a million times a day back then!! :0)

Anyway - as promised in the title of today's post, I also want to share a tip on how to save your oil paints from drying out between painting time :0)

So often I go back to my palette to find that the paint has formed a skin, or even completely dried out! It's ironic really, because when it's on a canvas and I want it to dry, it takes forever, but on a pallete when I want it to stay wet? Not so!

Anyway, I have found a nifty solution in the form of a simple ice-cube tray with a snap-on lid!

As you can see, after painting a large area of canvas, I had a fair amount of colour left on my palette...

So I used a palette knife to scrape up the excess paint...

...and put it in the ice-cube tray...

Because it was going to be a few days before I would go back to it, I also put a drop of linseed oil on the top of the paint (without stirring) to further prevent it from forming a skin.

Then all that was to do was to snap on the lid!

As you can see in the photo below, when I removed the paint from the tray a few days later, it was still as buttery soft as it was the day I put it in...

 ...And the paint will last even longer if you put it in to the fridge.

I know that it doesn't apply to everyone, but for those of you who do use oil, I hope this tip might come in useful :0)

Just before I go, I just want to say that summer has FINALLY arrived here in the South of the UK! Hurrah!
It is blistering hot and I am Rosy red :0)

And just look at this beautiful flower that popped up in our garden just a few days ago...

I have no idea what it is, but there are several of them coming up now.
They look quite tropical and I just LOVE the colour!

Anyway, I hope that all of you are enjoying some sunshine too :0)


  1. Oh what a sweet little baby! I just love the wrinkles in his forehead!

  2. I am so glad the sun has shone for you. yes I do know what it feels like to have a child you just so love. I have two recentlyy my son thought his cancer had returned and I felt all those feeling again. I so love reading your blog . You are a person full of wonderful emotion.Thank You.

    1. Thank you so much :0)
      About your Son - I had no idea Ralph - that must be just the worst most scarey feeling! I really wish him a very healthy and long future!

  3. Those flowers look like day lilies to me. Our backyard was full of them in Alabama. Glad you are getting some summer in, wish I could send some of our heat and sun in exchange for rain. Great tip, for all those oil painters:)) Hope you have a fabulous weekend!! And love the sketch, when all babies look like little old men, precious:)

    1. Thank you Carrie!
      Lillies? Yes - I think you may be right! I just for some reason always thought that lillies where white only?

  4. Oh I love the baby sketch Sandra!! I did the same thing when my babies were babies, kissed them all day long! :)

    And that is a great trick for oil painting. I have a palette with a snap on lid for my acrylics and it was a huge help when I finally broke down and bought it. So I can see how this would be helpful for oil painters.

    And LOVE the flower!!!! :D

    1. Thank you Crystal!
      And it works for water-soluble oils too ;0)

  5. Oil colour in the fridge? It's a new for me! Arianna

    1. Lol, Arianna - Yes, it was a surprise to me too :0)

  6. great sketch and a cute baby although i have to say i melt more at baby animals than baby humans!

    congrats on getting shortlisted on the cover competition-I did send you a facebook message to let you know I voted for you. good luck and I really hope you win.

    that's a great tip-I wonder if it would work for acrylics as the same thing happens to me and I end up wasting a lot of paint that way.

    1. Thank you Nicola - Now this was the very comment that I read last night which made me even aware that I had been shortlisted at all! So THANK YOU!!!
      Yes - I think this would work for acrylics, but swap the drop of oil for a couple of drops of water. They will last much longer - as long as it is airtight :0)

  7. I love the sketch of this beautiful baby, Sandra!! SOOO sweet! I remember also, holding my squashed up baby and never wanting to let her go!!

    AND my friend told me to put the oil paints in the freezer also but I like the idea of the ice-tray...I've never seen one with the top..Love it.

    1. Thank you Hilda!
      Babies are SO cute! At this age they are so easy too aren't they, because all they do is sleep, lol! :0)

  8. Hi Sandra, what a lovely sketch of this sweet baby, I like it.
    I'm thinking whether I can use a ice-cube try for my watercolors, I want to separate the space where I mixed the colors with water, from the palette. Thanks for this interesting solution to think. Have a nice week end! Ciao!!

    1. Thank you Tito! If you got one with nice deep wells I think it would be really useful :0)

  9. All paintings are hand-painted oil paintings .The quality of paint pigment is stable and the color is not easy to change, which is up to the international detection standard of environmentally friendly materials. We pursue high quality of the painting and precise control of the detail.


Thank you so much for leaving a comment! Where possible I will respond via email. I really do love to read them! They always make me smile ;0)


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