|My completed and used wet palette|
What is a wet palette? Well, a wet palette is a painting palette made from a porous material that extends the amount of time paint stays wet and workable.
What does it do? Simply put, it extends the amount of time that paint stays "wet" or workable on a palette. In my experience, paint on a wet palette can stay workable for several hours to several days if handled properly.
How does it work? A wet palette is normally made with some type of porous material that allows water to soak into the paint from below. This in turn keeps the paint workable and extends the amount of time you hae to use it (on the palette, it has no effect once the paint is on the model).
Why do I need one? You probably don't. For most painters some simple plastic palette that they can thin and mix paint on will suffice. If you are working with extremely thin paint as well as a lot of glazes then it will help those thinned paints stay wet longer. This will in turn mean you don't have to constantly re-thin paint. It can also allow you time to work with several colors at once.
The final question is a two part one and probably the most important of all. Where can I get one or how can I make one. The first part of that question is easy. Most art supply stores or web sites should stock a wet palette in some form. I also think that several of the mini companies may make them. I believe Privateer Press does but I am not sure of any others. Regardless they are fairly easy to find if you don't want to take the time to make one. I did not want to spend the money for one as I knew after reading about them that it would be easy and fairly inexpensive to make one. The second part of this question is how do I make one? Well I will walk you through how I made mine, and I will try to discuss some of the options that I know of.
The first thing you are going to need to make a wet palette is some sort of container. For obvious reasons the container needs to be some sort of bowl or box that will hold water without leaking or falling apart. It also helps if it has a lid. Even more helpful is if that lid and container make a air tight seal when closed. I chose a small plastic bowl with a lid that I had laying around the house.
EDIT**Something to keep in mind. You want the thinnest bowl/container you can find. Anything too thin/deep and it can feel in the way. You really only need something deep enough to hold one layer of sponge and the paper.
Next you are going to need something to actually hold the water.I know what you are thinking....isn't the bowl going to hold the water? Well yes, but you can't just lay the palette material in the water and hope for the best. you need something like a sponge or paper towels that can give the palette substance as well as hold and release water into the palette. For the last couple palettes I have made I used blister foam. Blister foam is the small rectangles of foam that you commonly find tucked into a blister pack that a miniature is packaged in. You can also use paper towels, but when I did so in the past they tended to dry out a bit too fast. Plus, who in this hobby does not have a pile of blister foam laying around somewhere. If you don't a few purchases from you or your friends will get you what you need.
Now that we have the material lets get to building the thing. This is extremely easy but I will give you a quick step by step for those that need it. These steps are for the one I have made, but the substitutions I mentioned above should just be worked in at the appropriate time.
|Here is my finished pallete with the paper (used) added|
An extra tip for you. If you are the type that carry paint around and want something more portable. I have made one of these out of a two part blister pact that worked extremely well "on the go".
Hopefully this will help you.