For over 20 years I didn’t use a wet palette, just random stuff like old CDs to pour my paint onto. I always thought a wet palette is only for wet blending masters and Golden Demon level paint jobs with a lot of intricate paint mixes, but not for me, who uses most paints straight out of the bottle. I didn’t consider a wet palette to be an essential hobby item, but having made the switch, oh, how wrong I was. In this post, I tell you five ways a wet palette will improve your painting no matter your skill level.
1. Makes your highlights more consistent
A wet palette will improve your layering, as it will keep the paint’s consistency more even. No more half-dried paint on your brush, but the perfect flow all the time. This will make it much easier to achieve the level of precision you need for sharp and precise highlights.
2. Keeps your paint fresh in summer
Summers are getting warmer and warmer, even in the north of Craftworld Germany. Global warming is real, people. Remember all the times when you poured some paint on your palette this Summer, and a minute later it’s already half-dried? A wet palette is a godsend in hot temperatures as it will keep your paint fresh and workable.
3. Saves valuable hobby time
When painting, I put all the paints I want to use for this session on the palette, so I can switch quickly between them, for example when I make a mistake I need to fix. Before I had a wet palette, I had to look for the correct paint pot on my desk, open it, close it, put it back – often multiple times during a session. No more. Every paint is readily available on my palette. Doesn’t seem like much, but it really helps to save valuable hobby time and get into the flow.
4. Allows painting with different consistencies
When I put paint on my wet palette, I often like to pour two drops of paint, then thin one of them with some extra water. This means I have the same paint in two different consistencies readily available – thick and thinned down. This is very helpful when building up layers or chunky highlights. Start with thinner, more transparent paint layers, then use the thicker paint to finish with a crisp edge highlight.
5. Reduces paint wastage
Keeping your paint fresh for a day or two also means less wastage, especially when you use paints in dropper bottles. How often do you put a drop of paint on your palette just to fix a single highlight or something, and then like 80% of the paint just dries? And half an hour later, you need that paint again, so you put another drop of paint on your palette, and, guess what, most of it will dry again. A wet palette will keep your paint fresh so you can come back to it whenever you need, which is much more economic than letting your paint dry out all the time on your conventional palette.
Do you use a wet palette already? What do you like most about it and how did it change your hobby? Tell us in the comments, and if you got any ideas or questions for future ToP tips, submit them below.