* Prices may differ from that shown
Today I would like to share with you an amazing secret which I recently discovered. Well, its not really a secret but it is a fab discovery! I found this online when I was searching the web looking to buy some new art equipment for college. I had a bit of money for Christmas and decided what I really wanted to get was some new art stuff and I hoped there would be some in the January sales. Well I was not wrong as there is loads of great art stuff reduced at the moment, the only problem is I have gone and spent all the money that I got for christmas on buying new stuff! This is one of the things I bought. I wanted to review this one first as I had never come across anything like this before. It is such a great idea and it really works, too. It is great for people to save money as acrylic paint can be really expensive and when you put too much on the palette it is really difficult to put it back in the bottle it came from. I have tried covering up palettes by putting lids over them but the paint always dries before the next time I go to use it. So I always end up wasting loads of paint and then having to buy more which costs money.
This was quite pricey (even in the sale it was just under £12). Normally it is £15 so I did save a bit of money on it. But even though this was expensive, in my opinion, I think this is an investment which will pay off. I do loads of painting in my spare time both for college and just for fun, and my family borrow paint from me when they want to paint as well. So the fact that I can now make sure that all the paint I buy is actually used and doesn't go to waste, is really good and I'm sure it will save me money in the long run.
I'm no scientist so I don't really know how to explain in technical terms how this works, but it claims to work by osmosis. It really does work as well, paint I poured out in the morning has stayed dry in the evening. And even the next day I have come back to my desk to paint some more and the paint is still wet! So I am really pleased with this. I have only had this about three weeks so far so I can't really say much about the longevity of it as of yet, but the concept idea and the fact it works are two great things I will base my recommendation on these two points. I know I mentioned the price is a bit expensive but like I say I think it is worth it in the long run.
Overall I recommend this product I think it is great and I wish I had bought one sooner as I could have saved myself loads of paint!
I was given my Daler-Rowney Stay Wet Palette as a Christmas present around 16 years ago along with an acrylics painting kit (canvas, paints, brushes etc) as I was a budding young artist at the time and my parents decided to buy me something practical to support this.
I can honestly say, this palette has proved invaluable. I still have and use the 16 year old palette and the shape and design is just the same as the boxes on sale now (I know this as I bought my husband a stay wet palette for Christmas). Also, the price is the same as it was 16 years ago! Which says something about depreciation, or the lack of it!
This product will set you back around £10-15 for the smaller sized palette (which is around A4 sized) depending upon if you buy one on e-bay or from a local art shop which can be more expensive.
These come in two sizes, A4 and A3 approxiately depending upon how much paint you need to use or mix, I suppose! The smaller size is more than large enough for most artists doing standard A4-A1 paintings.
*What you get*
You will get a white plastic A4 sized box with a see through plastic lid which just sits over the top of the entire box. The white plastic palette has a narrow trough down one side which is for putting water in or resting paintbrushes on. You will also get a pack of four palette reservoir sheets and twelve sheets of palette membrane in the kit.
*What do you do?*
You lay one sheet of the reservoir paper (which is essentially blotting paper) in the white plastic box and pour water over it until the sheet is full of water and absorbs it all. You then tip off the excess water and lay one sheet of the membrane paper (greaseproof paper will do if you run out as a last resort or you can buy palette liners from places like The Works for around £3) on top of the wet reservoir paper.
*What is it?*
Basically this gives you a base (a palette) you can then mix paints on (acrylic paints ideally) as the paints are on a damp surface, when you put the clear plastic lid on the palette it keeps your paints from drying out for several weeks to save you money on wasted paint and to save you the hassle of re-mixing colours.
*Does it work?*
YES! This little kit will easily keep your paints wet for one to two weeks provided you keep pouring water under the membrane paper to keep the bottom sheet damp when you notice the edges of the top sheet curling up and provided you keep the kit in a cool place as if you leave it near a radiator it will, understandably, dry out quicker.
*Are there any drawbacks?*
Eventually, normally after around 2 weeks, mould will start to show on the paper so I normally throw out both the layers of paper at this point as I just don't like the idea of using something with mould on it. You are supposed to just peel off the top layer of palette membrane and re-wet the bottom layer and add a new top sheet - this is why they only give you four sheets of the reservoir paper and twelve of the membrane paper.
It is up to you how you use this and how frequently you throw the top layer out you are mixing your paints on. It would also depend upon what you are painting and if you really needed to keep one specific colour you have mixed in use until you finish that part of your painting!
For the price- this is a magic piece of art equipment that ANYONE who uses ACRYLIC paints will find a total godsend. I am really really surprised these are quite few and far between in the shops. I could only see the larger A3 sized palette in the main Art shop in our city centre when I was looking for the one for my husband and eventually tracked one down in WH Smiths but it was the only one they had in the store and it was a little dusty as if it had been there for a long time!
Purely for the fact unless you are particularly messy and slop paint all up the sides of the palette which then dries and goes all crusty and somehow impedes use of the product, or stand on this and bend it, I cannot think of how you could damage or break this to the point you had to get a new one. Mine has lasted 16 years and is still in the shape it was when it was bought and it has had some heavy use over the years.
As I mentioned above, when you run out of the reservoir paper and the palette membrane, you can use blotting paper and greaseproof paper (or any tear off palette paper) instead, or you can buy replacement official Daler-Rowney packs of the papers to go in the palette- but I have only been able to find the replacement packs online for around £3-5. I have also struggled to find packs of blotting paper as it seems to be a very out of fashion item- it is best to buy this online.
I can't see why you could not use this for oil paints too- though I rarely use oils as I find them too difficult to deal with when you have to use turps to clean your brushes etc
These are as necessary as paintbrushes for acrylic paintings!