A thin board or tablet, usually oval or oblong, for laying out and mixing paint. Traditionally wooden and with a hole for the thumb, they can come in almost any shape or size and be made from any type of non-absorbent material such as ceramic, glass or marble. The term is also used to refer to the range of colours used by an artist in a painting.

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Mary Beale
by Mary Beale
circa 1666
NPG 1687

Edward Collier
by Edward Collier
NPG 6069

Michael Dahl
by Michael Dahl
NPG 3822

Sir Joshua Reynolds
by Sir Joshua Reynolds
circa 1747-1749
NPG 41

Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg
by Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg
NPG 2493

George Arnald
by George Arnald
NPG 5254

Emilia Francis (née Strong), Lady Dilke
by Pauline, Lady Trevelyan (née Jermyn), and Laura Capel Lofft (later Lady Trevelyan)
circa 1864
NPG 1828a

Sir Matthew Smith
by Lola Walker (Lola Marsden)
6 April 1951
NPG x125622

Duncan Grant
by Jane Bown
NPG x28622

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