Wet Palette – Why and how.

In the many years I have been dealing with this hobby I have never, until recently, heard of a wet palette. I had no clue what it actually was and was never really interested. Apparently these things were supposed to keep your paints moist and wet enough to use for extended periods of time. I never really saw the need to this, since I mostly finish off the paints I use on the models I currently work on. So why bother storing paints I do not plan to use? Well, there is actually often quite a lot of excess paints left over from painting. I am the type of painter who does not dab the brush in the pot and apply to the mini, I use dropper bottles and the likes and often mix my own paints as well. This actually consumes quite a lot of paint over time. One drop of white paint for two little specks for white eyes.

So I decided to use a wet palette. Give it a try. I have to say, these things are amazing. I cannot even imagine painting without one now. Not only does it conserve paints you are currently using but it also enables you to paint over days with the same paints instead of a few minutes to half an hour, depending on when the paints dry. I am currently using a wet palette to paint up 11 models for my Gremlin crew in Malifaux. Over the course of two days I have been painting skin tones on my models, all with the same drops of paint from the beginning. Mixed paints for highlights stay accessible over time and you can create a consistent shading and mixture of paints for more than just one model. Awesome stuff. It really impressed me.

So now, I would just like to show you how I make my wet palette. There are plenty of guides online on how to do this as well. Feel free to compare and check them out as well. You’ll probably get more info than from this corny little guide. Ha ha.

What you will need:

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A Container to use as your palette. This will need a lid of some sorts to seal off the palette from too much air. Even wet palettes can dry out. I used an old stamp pad holder (just removed the stamp pad from it).Some regular paper towels.
A slice of baking paper. Not the waxy kind.
Water. I used distilled water, but regular water works well too!

Step one: Insert the paper towel into your soon to be wet palette. I folded mine in half in order for it to absorb more water and thus last longer.

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Step two: Pour your water onto the paper towel. Add enough for the paper towel to be fully absorbed with water and a bit more so it flows a bit around the sides. This will help keep the paper towel moist longer.

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Step three: Add in your slice of baking paper. It will roll up early on while it adjusts itself to your paper towel.

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Step four: After a couple of moments just flatten out the parts of the baking paper that didn’t flatten itself and you are ready to go!

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That is it! Simple as pie. One heck of a tool for miniature painters. Especially those who cannot sit down for long hours and paint all the time, or those who get interrupted frequently and cannot paint for more than a few minutes at a time. I hope this helps! ๐Ÿ™‚

Edit: Addition

Here’s a small addition to this guide. I decided to add some photos of paint on the palette, all dry and useless as such for painting. This is a photo of paints that are 2-3 days old.

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All you have to do is add a drop of water and mix it up with the paints. Now you can paint using the same colors and mixes you used previously, days before! How awesome is that?

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2 Comments on “Wet Palette – Why and how.”

  1. May 22, 2013 at 5:07 am #

    I hadn’t heard of wet palettes until fairly recently either. Finally decided to just buy one premade (the one from P3). It does work wonders.

    I still use Citadel paints for nearly everything, but drybrushing, or very nearly so, wiping excess paint off of the brush onto a paper towel was wasting so much paint, especially when it came to colors I used a lot of [like ochre (averland sunset?) & blue (shadow grey) for Misaki’s extended crew]. The wet palette lets me wipe the excess without it drying onto a paper towel to be wasted.

  2. May 22, 2013 at 5:53 am #

    I heard of them but never really gave them a chance. Stupid me. ๐Ÿ˜›
    I am pretty satisfied with my self made one, though I cannot compare to a pre-built one. I wonder if there is really any difference between them.

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