Setting a palette
Setting a palette is necessary for a well organized, clean palette. Use a palette that is of a neutral, medium value. if you use a white palette your colors will appear darker than they actually are. If you use a dark palette your colors will appear lighter than they are. Clean your palette when you are done painting for the day. I place any unused paint in the refrigerator in a sealable Tupperware container. The paint will remain usable for several days.
I am comfortable with a rectangular palette. I shaped the palette to fit the interior dimensions of my french easel. You may prefer a larger oval palette. Look at self portraits of past masters to form your own opinion.
My palette is composed of 1/4 inch oak plywood. Make sure the the hole for your thumb is a comfortable size and shape.
I place my white above my medium and turpentine cups. Then my warm colors: yellows, oranges, reds and browns across the top of the palette.
Down the left of my palette the cool colors: blues, greens, violet.
Along the bottom of my palette I place my three grey tones. The black is ivory black, which is blacker than black. It is as black as Washington Black.
(a tip of the hat to Pysch)