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Wet Pallette vs. Extender/Slow-Dri

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Hey Gang!


Question for you as I'm a bit confused:


I've started applying Darin Hlavaz's painting article in the Craft section and it's worked wonders for me. Thanks again, Darin.

Now, in that article he's mentioned using flow Improvers and Extenders/Retarders with the paint. That's great, and it's helped alot. But, I've also read articles about wet pallettes (one was a great idea of using a WarMachine blister (you know those big clam-shell blisters for their minis), as a wet pallette.).


So, I'm wondering... Do I want to use a wet pallette when I'm using acrylic extenders? I'm concerned that a wet pallette may make my paint too thin, if I use flow improvers and extenders... Is there such a thing as, "too much a good thing?"


Please Advise!


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As one who lives in the dry climate of Colorado, I've found that even using an extender to thin my paints, the paint dries very quickly on a dry palette. I haven't actually tried a wet palette, though. I'm hoping to experiment with that very soon.

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Hey, Mike. I'm glad you liked the article. It was my pleasure.


I use a wet-palette for preserving custom mixes of paints taken straight out of the tube or bottle for the duration of a project -- especially when I think I'll need to revisit the newly created color. These paints have not been thinned ever by me. Then, when painting, I move portions of these custom mixes over to a "thinning palette" (read blister) and thin there, using my extender/flow improver solution. The wet palette remains simply a method of preserving a custom mix for the duration of the project -- a mix that I do not want to create a large batch and store in a separate bottle but that I will require again later.


Thinning with solution on a wet-palette would prove *very* messy.

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I have done some thinning on a wet pallette for apply base coat. All hights are too thin to be mixed on the wet pallette, they would drip all over the place. My wet pallette does not make my thinned paint too thin. In fact, it tends to absorb some of the extra moisture. The special parchment of a wet pallette is designed to absorb water and stay damp. The bulk of your paint will take some moisture from the pallette to stay wet. However, I think there may be an equilibrium issue. When I apply very thin paint, the excess water gets aborbed back into the pallette, but the paint will stay wet. Could have something to do with the fact that paint is too thick to be absorbed by the parchment, but once you thin it, some of it will go.


Anyhow, the answer is no, the wet pallette won't over thin your paint. However, it gets really messy to have super thin paint on a flat surface. I suggest you follow Whiz's advice and move paints to a separate pallette if you plan on thinning more than like 2 to one water to paint ratio.

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When I first started painting, I was using Reaper Pro-Paints and Liquitex Basics tube paints. These were too thick for my liking, so I started putting them in a watercolor box so I could thin them appropriately. This also meant I could carry quite a few colors with me.


Problems? Well, the box dried out. I tried to get around this by putting a damp paper towel on the top of the paints. But that dried out (since the box wasn't airtight. And my paints started getting "furry", especially after I started adding Magic Wash. Oh, and heaven help me if I dropped or tipped the box. Eventually, I abandoned the watercolor box.


I started using a wet pallet. Problem? By the time I had the paint to the consistancy I wanted, it was like watercolor, and spread all over the inside of the paint box. :(


So I'm going to give the inside of the watercolor box another try. I'm going to seal the sectional part of the watercolor box in an air-tight container and put damp papertowels underneath.


This way, I can get my paints as thin as I want without them spreading all over the place. The watertight box and internal spounge should help keep them liquid.


ANYWAY, to answer your question: it's perfectly fine to use extenders ON a wet pallet. As a matter of fact, I'll often spread a little Magic Wash on my pallet before adding paints. Of course you can add extenders/thinners to paints on your pallet. Just be aware that when they get really thin, they need a little room to spread. That Warmaster Blister for a wet pallet ain't gonna do it. It's too darned small.


Most wet pallets are intended for acrylics, which are fairly thick. If you like your stuff more watercolor consistancy, you might try putting damp paper towels under one of those little pallets with the dimples in them in an air-tight box.


Oh, and an atomizer bottle isn't a bad idea, either. You can spritz your pallet and keep it damp. DON'T put any thinners in the bottle - just plain water. Some of the thinners are dangerous if inhaled as a mist (says so right on the bottles), so DO NOT try spraying any thinning or extending agents.

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