Climbing that mountain of lead
About a month ago, Matakishi gifted me with a wet palette, since then I was been making use of it during my painting.
Since then I have been using it with all of my dropper paints. This is what I've found so far.
In case you're wondering, a wet palette (Through the miracle of science.) will prevent any acrylic paint placed on to the palette from drying out and keep it err wet.
How does this work? First there's a spongy layer that is drenched in water, then a very thin layer of 'porous' paper like grease or baking paper is put on top of the spongy layer. Paint is then placed on the paper.
Moisture is absorbed through the paper and into the paint to prevent the paint from drying out.
So is a wet palette worth it?
Obviously a wet palette only really works with dropper paints like Vallejo or Army Painter paints, unless you like to mix or thin your paints.
The Good: Wet palettes do actually work, they prevent paints from drying up for about 2 weeks. After the first 2 weeks of usage, the sponge had become dry, so I replaced the paper and 'rehydrated' the sponge.
The Bad: First off, I'm a miniature painter, I only ever deal with small amounts of paint at a time. This means I only ever put a small amount of paint on the palette at any one time.
Why is this a problem? Well on my palette I currently have 3 blobs of black , which one is the paint, which one is the wash and which one is the ink? It's pretty hard to tell. This can also apply to other paints.
Luckily, it's not too much of a problem. You just need to create a 'system' to manage how you put paints down on the palette.
The Ugly: As I wrote above, I tend to work with small amounts of paint at a time. A wet palette sometimes doesn't seem to always handle these small amounts very well.
I've noticed that with a few paints (Particularly washes or inks.), that over a little time they appear to absorb too much moisture. This can cause the pigment to become 'over diluted', making the paint pretty useless, or the paint becomes separated into different colours.
I suspect this happens with paints that tend to be a little watery already like lighter colours
So it's a bit of a mixed bag so far really.
But I'm not giving up on the wet palette yet! I'm not sure if it's saving me much paint, but it does keep paints from drying up and at least the palette can be easily cleaned (That is, the grease paper can be thrown away!).