Saturday, July 07, 2012

From the Desk: Wet Palettes Revisited

Quite some time ago, I tried out a wet palette to see if it helped with painting. I had originally intended to report back and, well, apparently failed to. After about a month of using it, I decided it wasn't really for me. I had some challenges with it, particularly in getting a new piece of paper prepped and in place. The paper needed a lot of soaking time, and often curled up at the edge. Eventually I abandoned it and went back to my old ways.

Recently however, there was a tutorial on Hand Cannon about building a cheap wet palette. In that article, Autumn mentions that the P3 palette paper works better than wax or parchment paper. It got me thinking that I should give the wet palette another try. The picture of the various types of paper on the palette was what really sold me. I found an additional artical on CMON where the author mentions using tracing paper. So with that knowledge in hand, I headed off to my local Michael's to find some tracing paper. However, what I found instead was much more interesting...

Sta-Wet Acrylic Paper, by Masterson Art Products Inc. It was $4 for a pack of 30 sheets of 8.5x7" wet palette paper designed for water-based acrylics. Fascinated, I snatched it up. I built a quick blister-pack wet palette, added water, cut down a piece of paper, and gave it 10 minutes to properly soak. No curling of the paper or anything, and it was ready to go. And I have to say, it definitely worked better than the parchment paper did before.

Although I'd like to say I'm going to use it for a couple weeks and report back, well, that didn't work out so well in the past. And given my current projects, I may not be using it a lot. However, I wanted to share this find with other painters out there that might be interested.


Mike Howell said...

Fantastic tip. Thank you.

I struggle with curling paper and have tried various things to remedy it (weighting the corners, thumb tacks, magnets, etc.) but the paper not curling sounds the best of all. I really couldn't do without a wet palette at this point.

Ethelie said...

I love wet palettes! I turn the paper over after about 30sec or so though, to get rid of the curling.
I just started using P3's paper and it works like a charm :)