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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Mr Lee's way of Wet Palettes


One of the biggest things that we learn in both the Beginners and again in the BAM class was the usage of the wet palette. Using it for the wet-on-wet technique, the glazing, the details, and just using it to mix up colors.

For most people now looking to up their game on painting they have invested in a wet palette of one sort or another.

I have tried what the Massive Voodoo boys use, which is a massive tupperware container, a huge foam insert, and some wax paper inside. They even have an article on it in their Tutorials sections here, which also harks back to references to 5th Dimension's blog as well! Their short video really shows you how to set it up, and a short how to use it as well.

Thing is, those tupperware containers are massive.. just like the MV guys in painting. But for me it is too big. So I have picked up and really enjoyed the ones from PK-PRO which are almost like DVD cases but with a more proper center section for holding water and foam and wax paper inside.

The upsides I see to it though are that it can be sealed ( close the lid ) and that it is thin. So I don't have to reach up and over to get at the paints. Downside of course is that it does not hold as much water, and in Istanbul, it can and does dry out at times. So I keep a bottle of water nearby to re-fill it or top it off at times.


The other thing for me is that this one from PK-PRO is small. I mean small in regards to the footprint of space it takes up on my desk.. and because of that I usually have 2 running at the same time. This was the case at the second BAM class. And what I found interesting was that Roman and Raffa had not thought of it first! Whoo hoo!

For me this was required more than anything while painting the Wild hunter bust. One was used for the skin, while the second was for the beard. This allowed me to switch back and forth between the colors as needed for corrections or for checking a tone variation at times.


Skin tones above, beard colors below. As you can see, the colors were separating often, but at least I was not having to remix up new batches for small touch ups all the time!


I have also used this in the past while working on table top commissions and my own pieces. Using one for a personal project that is going to take more time. And having the colors sitting, waiting for me to return to it, while the other is set up for some quick table top painting to break the monotony of detail painting.

I expect that I will move more and more into this in the future though as I begin to work on larger projects with increased details. Who knows, maybe if I get a larger desk, I might move to a third wet palette also! To really spread out the colors, and to keep my recipes alive throughout the whole piece. But then again it just might be mean that I am a messy painter ( I mean.. look at my palette! colors everywhere! ).

What do you all think? How do you use your wet palettes? Do you use wet palettes? And if so, was this helpful for you?

Tomorrow's post will be more about behind the scenes with the Massive Voodoo crew, and the ( to me at least ) legendary Shifu Heiko and his Kung Fu school! Stick around and check that one out.. it will have a ton of cool photos from the classes and in-between!

12 comments:

  1. I'll have to give this a try some time. I use a ceramic paint palette which is easy to clean and ideal for base colouring etc, but for detail work, blending etc I can definately see the advantage of a wet palette.

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    1. Big Lee.. I can honestly say that the switch from ceramic to wet palette was a big step forward for my painting. Almost instant actually. But it depends on the projects, and if you have paint that you want to keep for more than one session ( like when batch painting or painting large figures ). Then it really begins to shine as well. Hope to see you with a wet palette at one point or another :)

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  2. I've already seen the MV tutorial but for me this also was too big. I use a smaller tupperbox (but a bigger one than yours) which can hold a good amount of water. I also tried the different water carriers (tissue, foam, sponge) and for me those cleaning rags made of foam work best. And it keeps the paint moist for a looong time. But they separate like you did show :)

    I also started painting on an old CD or stuff but a wet palette is definitely a must even if you suck at painting like me :D

    Hm maybe I should do a short tut for my palette too? ...

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    1. Agreed. Theirs is waaaaaay too big.. but great for doing demos with.. so.. to each their own.

      Would love to see a tut from you on how you use your wet palette! That would be awesome! More ways to see the same kind of items is always a good thing!

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  3. I use use a wet palette more and more as i get away from power armour and more into organic surfaces. Mine is just a small tuperware container with a sponge sitting in it and a sheet of baking paper on top where i mix my paint. It's nice to be able to seal it up and come back later (with a little kid in the house there are MANY interruptions).

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    1. It is great to use, and to be honest even on the marines it has its uses. But your right that for organic pieces it really shines!

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  4. I use big plastic lids with a little edge on them. They are flat, so the reach is quite easy and they contain enough water for our danish climate, work nicely, but lack a way to seal it... So I am actually looking for a better sollution, I might try the PK-PRO box you use.

    What a great idea to run two separate pallettes, I am definitely going to try that for my next big projekt, I have several of those lids lying arround...

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    1. I really recommend the PK Pro ones.. they have made a nice change in my painting. I have tried the lid deal back when I first started with them a year ago, and it was ok, but I just used the paper towel and I saw too many bumps and bubbles on the wax paper because of it. Foam insert was much easier for a flat surface to paint on!

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  5. Really interesting. The only thing i am missing is the flat surface ot the artifical sponge from MV`s "Big Pallete 2.0". But i like your idea and i flat palletes very much, but i haven`t found a proper flat sponge yet..

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    1. For my palettes I use the foam inserts from the Mantic boxs. They all come with, or at least came with, these really thin foam pieces that work perfectly! Failing that, just couch foam or bed mattress foams ( like those from IKEA ) work amazingly well also! Curious if it helps push your painting further.

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  6. I switched completely to using a wet palette over this summer past and don't see a need to use anything but a wet palette anymore.

    On Monday I cam down ill with flu and missed your last post. I'm finally up and about again and got caught up with you. Also I'd like to thank you for the in depth critique on my Monday post. Input from you is always most welcome.

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    1. I switched a year ago almost to the day. Was prep for my trip to Aachen to meet up with Dervish and his painting class. And I have to say that I have really liked it ever since. Bit of a learning curve, but then again what isn't these days.

      Glad you liked the feedback. Am never sure if it is too much or too harsh at times. Been hanging out with the German painting scene too much and they are all too ready to give me the straight and blunt comments on my pieces. And it really has helped to have it not sugercoated for when I am working on things!

      Hope you get well soon, and looking forward to when you paint up the dwarf lord!

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