What is a ‘Stay Wet’ Palette?

A ‘Stay Wet’ palette is something that is used with acrylic paints to keep the paints moist. Acrylics are extremely fast-drying which means they can dry and stick onto a palette.  You often end up scrapping off the acrylic paint from a palette and wasting excess paint.

Acrylic paint used on a plastic palette is very difficult to remove once dry!
Acrylic paint used on a plastic palette is very difficult to remove once dry!

One way to save this waste of paint is to buy or make a ‘Stay-Wet’ palette.  It works by having an absorbent sheet of paper (usually blotting paper) which you wet with water to make moist and a non-porous paper on top (a bit like a greaseproof paper) that the paints are placed on.  The palette also has a lid  so you can close it to keep the paints moist overnight and between sittings.

The Stay Wet Palette
The Stay Wet Palette

You can make your own homemade ‘Stay-Wet’ palette using a plastic tray, blotting paper (or I have seen sponge being used instead) with greaseproof paper on top.  I plan to write a post on how to make a Stay-Wet palette in the future.

If you don’t want to buy the palette, you could buy some ‘Tear Off Stay-Wet Palettes’ which come in sheets.   They look much like a sketchpad and last a while, the sheets have a non-porous surface that that acrylic paint can sit on and not sink into.  These tear off palettes will keep your acrylic paints moist for a long time

'Stay Wet' Tear Off Palette
‘Stay Wet’ Tear Off Palettes

If acrylics are your thing then I would recommend getting the Stay-Wet palette with the lid, they aren’t that expensive and are worth it.

Also see Which Palette for Which Paint? and What are Acrylics? for more advice.

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6 Ways to Loosen Up!

You may have heard the phrase ‘loosen up’ from an art teacher, I have and I never quite understood how or what they really meant.  We all have certain styles in the way we draw, some of us will naturally make bold, large strokes and others will enjoy small accurate strokes perhaps focussing on detail. Is there a need to loosen up and if so how can it be done?

Get Comfortable With Your Style

Now after many years of art classes I got the impression that you had to be ‘gutsy’ with your drawing and painting otherwise it was somehow lesser work.  Of course  this is not true, there is nothing wrong with a more ‘technical’ style and for those of us who like detail.  If you are someone who likes small paintbrushes and detail that is ok but there is some merit in trying out a looser style which you can use when needed.

Looser, more energetic strokes tend to have more movement and can look at bit fresher.  Sometimes we can overwork a piece and this is a trap that many beginners fall into because they are less confident with strokes and lines so they tend to go over areas time and time again.

Continue reading “6 Ways to Loosen Up!”