Thursday, 16 May 2013

Six reasons to use a wet palette when painting miniatures

One thing that many newcomers to this wonderful hobby do is use paint straight out of the pot.  I did too for a long time. However, one of the things that really helped me to improve my painting was when I started using a palette, in particular a wet palette.

So what is a wet palette? Well, it's a plastic lid with some old rag or kitchen towel in it and grease-proof paper on the top. It's cheap and easy to make and is on of the things that can improve you painting fast. If you want to see how to make one there's a quick tutorial here.

A wet palette for miniature painting
A wet palette

Why use a wet palette though? What's so great about it? Here are six reasons:
  1. You'll paint better
    Using any palette makes it possible for you to thin your paints and mix colours, both of which are essential for good painting. If you ever want to try layering or blending on your miniatures you'll need  to do both. There's so much to say about these that I'll talk about them in detail in a future post.
  2. Paint stays wet longer
    Paint can stay wet for hours on a wet palette at the right humidity and room temperature. Even in the least favourable conditions it stays wet much longer than anything on a dry palette. Given how quickly acrylics normally dry this is a huge advantage.  You also don't need to continually keep getting fresh paint out of a pot which can speed up batch painting considerably. If the paint is still wet on your palette, that means it won't dry on your brush whilst you're studying the miniature and thinking about what to do next.
  3. Keep you options open
    It's easy to keep several colours available at once which is useful when you want to go back and touch up a spot you missed or cover up a slip of the hand. You don't need to open the paint again, put paint on the palette and dilute it just to repair a small error.
  4. Get a point on your brush
    The wet rag in a wet palette is perfect for bringing you brush to a point without the need to lick it! Put the bristles of the brush on the rag and roll the brush in your fingers while moving it towards you. Try it, it's trickier to describe than to do!
  5. You use less paint
    Leaving you paints open for long periods of time means that they start to dry up. They're also more likely to get knocked over by pets, fellow gamers or other unwary passers by.
  6. No cleaning!
    Dry palettes get caked in dry paint quickly and need to be washed before they can be used again.  With a wet palette you can just throw away the grease-proof paper when you've finished with it and put some more on.
So, there you go. One simple way to improve your painting. If you want to know how to make one click here .

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