Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Wet Palette:: Update

At the end of last month I posted an article about my latest painting “gadget”



At the time of writing I’d only been able to test the set up overnight.  I thought I’d add some comments after using it for a month.

In summary: I don’t know how I managed without it!  It’s not perfect but it works and I’ve found it really helps. I’m painting so much quicker. Here are some of the pros & cons.

Pros
  • The palette contains just seven of my main colours and the ability to dip my brush quickly in any one of wells has had a surprising effect on the speed of my painting.  I suppose it’s simply quicker than opening a bottle and using a standard palette well
  • Mixing is easier.  Even though I still do this on a standard palette the ready availability of my main colours seems to give me more control.
  • My regular palette has switched to being a proper mixing palette rather than a paint storage palette.
  • I normally flatten my paints with a touch of talc especially reds. I have successfully flattened paint in the wet palette and the paint stays fluid.  This means I don’t have to flatten batches of paint each time I sit down to paint saving me time with the bonus of a more consistent finish.
  • I am wasting far less paint.  Even if I have a “big gush” from a Vallejo dropper bottle it’s not wasted.
  • When I have to add more paint to one of the wells I can add water or medium to ensure the paint has the right consistency, will flow well off the brush and cover in one coat.  If I’ve over done the dilution and I have to add more paint it isn’t wasted.
Cons
  • There’re only seven wells.  I suppose it’s a sign of how well I have integrated the wet palette in to my painting that I am now annoyed that I have to open a bottle for my next colour.
  • It does dry out but very slowly.  I have had to add water to the towel under the plastic palette and occasionally to the paint wells.  On average I’ve been doing this every other session. If the palette has been open for 3-4 hours I now top up the water before I close the box.
  • The towel will get mouldy.  In the last four weeks I’ve replaced the towel once (after three weeks) when I noticed some very small patches of mould on the edges of the towel.  I suspect that at some point I will have to clean the palette, and the box, with some bleach if the mould returns too quickly.
What I’ve decided to do is make a few more of these.  I think single colour boxes would be a good idea.  I plan to make one each for browns & horse colours, greens, tans/yellows and finally reds.
I hope this helps you and let me know if you’ve tried this.

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