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Kharsin

Basing Materials vs. Cost

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I credit a huge improvment in my painting to a wet pallete.  The ability to mix on the fly is huge.  also, if you are like me and use a nice big one you have some of every color you are using on that mini so you can throw some of those colors into all sorts of things.  There is less temptation to stray from the limited pallete of colors you already have out.  The increase in working time is also huge.

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Wet palettes are cheap and easy.  Get a plastic sandwich container, a couple pieces of paper towel, and a piece of parchment paper.  If you don't know what parchment paper is, it's used for baking, and you can get a roll of it at the grocery store for a couple dollars.  You'll probably find it wherever they shelf the tinfoil.

This link has a really good description of how to actually use it, and goes over a lot of the problems you'll run into when using a wet palette and how to combat them:
http://minutiaeofwar.wordpress.com/2012/03/18/tutorial-the-wet-palette/

If you go with a sponge instead of paper towels, clean it out thoroughly every so often, and you'll want to replace it after a few months, otherwise it'll start to stink.

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Different palettes work better for different media. For egg tempera I use ceramic palettes that look like escargot dishes because they are a good size for mixing a working amount of paint for that technique (and can be washed *very* clean, which is *extremely* important when egg yolk is your medium). For oils I use a large pad of disposable waxy paper which helps me spread out and mix the colors.

 

For something quick-drying like acrylics a wet palette is a godsend. Switching over to one has eliminated most of my frustrations with acrylic paints.

 

Mine are mostly square paper plates, dessert plate sized, covered with foil for waterproofing, then with one or two good thick felt-like paper towels (a good brand at the moment is Viva) folded to fit and dampened with water, all covered with a square of unbleached parchment baking paper. The paper plates have a little depth, and another plate covered with foil and inverted makes a surprisingly reasonable cover to keep paint fresh for several days.

 

More hardcore painters use plastic sealable palettes which can keep paint fresh a lot longer.

Edited by Pingo
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I've not mastered the art of mixing paints on my wet apllet yet, but I love it, because it keeps my colours working for a good long time.

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I'm not even sure I'm doing it right for my wet palette. I use the Masterson Sta-Wet Palette, paints still seem to dry out pretty easily, but not as easy as if I have them in a normal palette. Maybe I'm not using enough water or something.

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In my experience the stuff that they bill as pallete paper is worthless.  What you really want is parchment paper for baking, It allows the water to keep the paint wet but the paper doesn't absorb the paint the same way pallete paper does.

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In my experience the stuff that they bill as pallete paper is worthless.  What you really want is parchment paper for baking, It allows the water to keep the paint wet but the paper doesn't absorb the paint the same way pallete paper does.

 

Ah, that makes sense. I do notice that this palette paper is pretty thick and doesn't seem to allow water to seep up into it very well, I'll have to raid the kitchen tonight and see how the baking paper works out for me instead... Thanks for the heads up!

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I prefer parchment paper over the wet pallet paper.  It keeps the paint moist but not too wet and doesn't soak into the parchment.  I also like the fact when you are done you throw the paper towel and the parchment paper away and you do not have to worry about mold and such.

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I'll have to try these out. I need more parchment paper anyway as the last bit went to making a rosemary loaf on a baking stone... Or cookies. It might have been cookies... I suppose it'd be worth it to give the snail dish a break!

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The rosemary loaf was delicious! I don't have that big of a sweet tooth so the cookies were moot. Actually they were too sweet. Dark chocolate next time!

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Okay, after many days, Wally World finally had parchment paper back in stock. I can now try my hand at a wet palate! I assume that the cold weather activated the baking granny gene in people, thus the rush on parchment paper over the last two weeks. At any rate, I've been working on Varaug the Great (http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/53536-varaug-the-great/) and this will definitely keep my paints working longer!

 

It seems that I'd though of a question earlier, but I can't remember what it was... Ah well! Wish me luck!

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It worked well! I'm not used to having that long of a working time, so it was nice. I will have to make adjustments as the paint didn't need near as much thinning. There were several times I had to manage run off as I wasn't accustomed to the improved flow rate.

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