Wet palette woes ... any tips appreciated.
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Thread: Wet palette woes ... any tips appreciated.

  1. #1

    Default Wet palette woes ... any tips appreciated.

    I've been using a wet palette for about two years now, and I must admit that I question whether it's worth it.

    I have little control over paint-consistency. At least with a normal palette, I can keep adding some thinning medium if the paint gets thick. And I really miss having a concave dish as opposed to a flat surface, which I think contributes to the problem.

    The paint ends up spread so thinly (especially if needs to be mixed) that the consistency just ends up wrecked. To make it worse, it's completely unpredictable which way it's going to go. Take the examples in the photo below.

    Those paints were laid down within five minutes of each other, yet the green one is un-usable due to being too watery and separated, and the grey one is completely dry.

    FWIW, I have experimented with different levels of hydration with the palette, from wringing the sponge out all the way to having it floating in water.

    I must be doing something wrong. Any help appreciated.

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  2. #2


    I'm sorry I can't help with advice as I'm brand new to painting myself. I just wanted to say that I have been having big problems with wet palettes too. I see all the advice to thin paints a lot and use many layers to glaze and make great blends but when I thin the paint on a wet palette it just spreads and runs the whole way across the palette, inevitably mixing with anything else on the palette in the process.. so.. yeah, I'm sorry that I'm of absolutely no help but I just wanted to let you know you're not the only one having issues with something that seemingly ought to be straightforward..

  3. #3


    Try not to spread your paint out too far. Keep your paint globs in tight, small pools and they won't dry out as easily. Be on the lookout for little water droplets and make sure they don't get in your paint if you don't want it to become over-thinned.
    Last edited by filthytraitor; 02-15-2021 at 10:07 PM.

  4. #4


    A couple of things come to mind. Are you using wet palette papers or have you started using everyday baking paper? It shouldn’t make much difference though and certainly not to the extent shown in your pic. When the paper is first put down and begins to curl up do you either let it curl fully over on itself before it flattens back down or turn the paper onto the other side so the side that initially touches the wet sponge is facing upwards? If the upper surface has touched water the edges of the paint can bleed outwards and I’ve personally never had it do so without too much water being on the paper before I apply paint. Sometimes I’ll do this deliberately if I want colours to bleed together.
    Is very hard to tell with the picture not showing the full size of the palette to gauge the size of paint spread and what is shown looks like multiple brush strokes has dragged the paint out more than bleeding. There is no need to throw out all separated paint. A lot of paints will do this if left long enough on the palette. If you have only recently put the paint down just mix it back up. If that doesn’t work add a touch more paint to thicken it back up a bit.

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