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.


4 Painting Techniques for Beginners

First of all you might be wondering what is a painting technique?  I  thought I would explain as many of my learners get confused about what they are and what media they can be used in.

A painting technique means a way of using the paint – applying it or removing it, to create a desired visual effect.  There are lots of painting techniques you can use, some are general techniques that you might use with any paint media (watercolour, acrylics or oils) and some are designed to be used with one type of media (or are more effective with this type of media).

It can be really confusing when you hear names of techniques and have no idea that they are.  With this in mind I will go through the most basic ones that you might try as a beginner:

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