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kate252
06-15-2011, 03:30 PM
hi- please move this to the right forum if you need to. my problem is an annoying one and i was wondering how other acrylic painters deal with it- the paint drys so quickly on my paint so i put new blobs on- which sometimes merge with the dry and then i can get little bits - then my little batches of mixed colours dry too quickly too, and i have to make new batches. and soon the whole plate is full of dried paint- which when mixed with the new paint can create bits......... how does anyone else deal with this problem- is there some magic palette that stops acrylic paint from drying?

may thanks
kate

ShannonTeague
06-15-2011, 03:55 PM
Hi Kate,

There are a few different strategies you can use. First there's the Masterson Stay-Wet Palette. You can pick one up from Blick or other online sources I'm sure. I've never used one personally but there are a lot of folk who do use them and swear by them.

Another thing you can do is keep a mister or atomizer at hand and periodically spray the paint on the palette with a light mist of water.

Third there's retardant medium which you can mix with your paints. It'll keep the paints from drying so quickly.

A fourth way that I learned from a Helen Van Wyk book is that when your paint starts to skin over, don't break the skin on top. It acts as a kind of barrier. Slide your brush underneath the skin to get more paint. Once you've used up all the paint underneath the skin you need to remove it or you'll have dried bits of paint in your fresh paint as you've found out. I use a razor blade to get it all up before putting more paint on the palette.

Scharbb
06-15-2011, 06:35 PM
I use the Masterson Stay-Wet Palette, Kate. It keeps the paints wet for two or three weeks at least. Works very well for me. It cost about $25. There might be cheaper home-brewed ideas, too.

OkeeKat
06-15-2011, 08:57 PM
I just use a small spray bottle to mist the palette very often while painting. I store it. .which is only a foam try in a air tight plastic container. with a wet sponge/or old foam brush with a penny( to prevent mold and smell) I have no trouble keeping the paints moist, I do onlly put out a marble size at a time and re add more when I really need it.

Einion
06-15-2011, 09:19 PM
Back when I still used a standard palette I would scrupulously clean it between sessions to avoid the kinds of issues you describe Kate. The cleaning procedure was tedious but I didn't know any better, and although it could be quite a satisfying to do it wasted a lot of time and effort that would have been better spent painting.

Now I use a stay-wet palette (homemade, not commercial) so I don't have any of these problems any more. In addition to the savings in time there's less wasted paint - I once estimated that 1/3 of my paint or more ended up being scraped from my palette instead of ending up in paintings.

...is there some magic palette that stops acrylic paint from drying?
Well it's not magical but a stay-wet palette does exactly this :)

Einion

idylbrush
06-15-2011, 09:54 PM
Liquitex also makes a wetting spray. I like what it does to the paint as well. Gives it a slickness that I find appealing on occasion.

art.lover
06-16-2011, 01:31 AM
I am also interested in a home-made palette for acrylics. Einion, would you please explain how it is to be done? Any other ideas that have worked for others? I would really like to know.

ecobb
06-16-2011, 02:09 AM
I just work fast.

kate252
06-16-2011, 06:56 AM
stay wet palette would be ideal- in the mean time im going to keep it in blobs and then when the surface starts to make a skin- ill go underneath and get some- then take the whole blob out...but i totally agree a stay wet palette would be idea- because we all dont need to waste paint in this way.....youll probably get your investment back on the palette in terms of not needing more paint so soon.
i dont think ill try the mediums that slow the drying time, because i have not had a good history with these mediums....it tends to complicate the paint and then change the way its applied/dried and reacts......you take years to get your head around how to apply a certain paint and when you add a medium to it - it alters everything im a slow learner i guess.

bluefish
06-16-2011, 07:50 AM
after over 50 years of painting in acrylics, trying everything that came down the line, the only pallette I use is polyethyleen 'coffee can' lids......you can put paint on and cover with another lid and it will last the day.....have a number of them on a surface next to the easel and utilize as needed.....at the end of the day they clean right off, as the paint will not stick to PE...or you can spray the remains and utilize the next day......depending on the humidity of your studio..... and it's 'green' because you are recycling the PE....environment friendly :) ........

Roompuz
06-16-2011, 09:57 AM
Does the stay-wet palette keep the paint from drying during a painting session, or is it only between sessions?

Einion
06-16-2011, 10:31 AM
I am also interested in a home-made palette for acrylics. Einion, would you please explain how it is to be done? Any other ideas that have worked for others? I would really like to know.
The building blocks are listed in a couple of previous threads (search is your friend ;)) but I'll go into them again here as it's good to spread the word on how easy they are to make at home.

------

Homemade Stay-Wet Palette
There are only three parts, from the bottom up: container, reservoir, water-permeable membrane paper.

Container first, something shallow works best (so you don't have to reach over a high lip) and it doesn't have to have a lid, but that does help. I use plastic food-storage containers with 'burpable' covers. If you use something without an in-built lid - like a butcher's tray - they can be covered between painting sessions with plastic food wrap if necessary.

For the reservoir I simply use kitchen paper, one or two thicknesses.

For the membrane, I use baking parchment. Many similar products seem to work well, but these days with unbleached types becoming more common it can be harder to find ones that aren't brownish. An alternative is heavyweight tracing paper or tracing vellum; although this is much more expensive apparently it can last and last so you wouldn't need to throw it away between every use like with baking paper.

And that's it.

------

One of the beauties of these is that they're so cheap you can have more than one on the go at one time, for different paintings or different parts of the same painting. I have four I can use all at the same time if necessary and the total cost was less than one of the larger commercial types!

Something to note is that as these stay wet for a long time they can begin to smell a bit after maybe a few weeks of use, and can grow mould too. Between painting sessions it greatly helps to store them in the fridge if you have room.

But when this happens I throw the reservoir paper away and thoroughly clean the inside of the container, reload and start again. All the consumables of the home version are so cheap this costs only pennies each time.

Einion

PattiLou
06-16-2011, 10:38 AM
A small spray bottle with a fine mist works wonders. Keeps the paints wet while working if you remember to use it. I have one setting beside the palette and use it often. I only use water in it... no mediums of any kind.

Phranque
06-16-2011, 01:29 PM
I use plastic egg "cartons" that I get from my non-vegan friends. I put in a little water now and again and when closed, the paint stays wet enough to use for days.

Trikist
06-16-2011, 02:26 PM
I have been using the Stay Wet Palette and like it. A few observations:

There is a learning curve. If the sponge is too wet, the paints globs will turn to puddles overnight. Of course if you fully wring out the sponge, the paint will dry. You have to see what works for you.

I started with the larger "Premiere" palette. Later, I bought the smaller "Handy" palette. I was surprised but liked the smaller palette better. The larger palette took up most of my workspace and induced me to work in an undisciplined manner. With the smaller palette, I work with a more limited selection of paints and think before I start mixing. Thinking before I act, what a novel idea.

The Stay-Wet paper is very sturdy. No fear about scraping an old mixture off with your metal palette knife. Unfortunately, the absorbent paper will retain some of the pigment. You have to be careful not to create mud.

Regards, Gary

bluefish
06-16-2011, 08:53 PM
Einion

by 'kitchen paper', you are referring to paper towels, utilized in the kitchen?

you put the paper towels in the container, wet them, then put the baking paper on top and the acrylic paint on it......am I correct?

thank you for all this wondeful info.....you are quite the expert on 'acrylics'....I always read all your comments.....outstanding ....

'blue....' :wave:

DonEc
06-16-2011, 10:12 PM
Does the stay-wet palette keep the paint from drying during a painting session, or is it only between sessions?I'm not sure as I have not used one yet but from what I have read it keeps the paint from drying while you paint and after you quit painting, but the length of time your paint stays moist depends on several factors. Like is the stay wet palette covered, what is the temp and humidity like. Also if the sponge or reservoir is too wet it can make your paints thin and run when left to set. If the sponge or reservoir is too dry then your paint could dry. According to the instructions that come with the commercial version I have seen you should wring out the sponge when you put the palette away like for the night and close the palette.

DonEc
06-16-2011, 10:19 PM
Something to note is that as these stay wet for a long time they can begin to smell a bit after maybe a few weeks of use, and can grow mould too.
EinionI heard or read somewhere about using a penny to keep either the smell or mold away or both, but I don't remember where or if the penny has to be in the water or paint or just in the container. Do you know how that works?

art.lover
06-17-2011, 12:35 AM
So many ways to keep the paint moist :)

Thanks Einion for explaining it here in this thread. Won't the paper gradually dissolve in paint? Is there any other option besides baking paper and heavy tracing paper?

Einion
06-17-2011, 04:37 AM
Einion

by 'kitchen paper', you are referring to paper towels, utilized in the kitchen?

you put the paper towels in the container, wet them, then put the baking paper on top and the acrylic paint on it......am I correct?
Yep and yep.


I heard or read somewhere about using a penny to keep either the smell or mold away or both, but I don't remember where or if the penny has to be in the water or paint or just in the container. Do you know how that works?
I've tried it a few times. Didn't seem to make any difference that I could detect.

As should probably be expected the best improvement to long-term storage is from keeping the closed container in the fridge. I tried an experiment recently and everything seemed good after about three months.


Won't the paper gradually dissolve in paint?
The membrane paper can begin to flake a bit if you brush over the surface heavily, especially if it has been wet a long time. This is where you may want to experiment with a few alternatives, find something that holds up well.

FWIW the tracing vellum may be the best thing in this regard, but like all products it too varies and it's not available everywhere as well.

Is there any other option besides baking paper and heavy tracing paper?
I'm sure there must be one or two other things that might do the trick. Baking paper itself was just a "I wonder if this'll work?" guess :)

Einion

frodron
06-17-2011, 06:00 AM
A simple stay wet palette consists of a shallow dish or container (a polythene plate will do) or more than one if you wish & place your paints on these. Once you have finished painting, spray the paints lightly with water if you can & cover the dish with Clingfilm.
Another tip is to keep the palettes in a fridge or cool place between painting sessions.
One valuable lesson I learnt from this site (sorry I can't remember who said it, but I think it was Einion) is to always have at least two water containers with one of them containing water mixed with a little washing up liquid. It is surprising how this helps to keep the brushes clean.
Always use tap water when mixing your paints as the chemicals in it helps to prevent mould.

bluefish
06-17-2011, 07:39 AM
Einion

have you tried a PE pallette instead of the baking sheet.....a thin PE, like cutting out the bottom of a contaiment tray and utilizing it inside the containment tray along with the wet towels......wiping the containment tray with 'LYSOL', after cleaning, will help prohibit the growth of mould.....

'blue....'

ColorColorColor
06-17-2011, 06:13 PM
Einion,

When I learned tole painting, the teacher had us use the shallow meat trays like you'd get a steak on at the grocery story. You need two and two heavy-duty elastics. Clean the meat trays well with a paste of dishwasher powder and boiling water.

Then, purchase deli paper called, Handi Wacks. It's a thin, tissue paper-like film. It comes in a box of folded sheets.

At the beginning of your painting session, do the following:

Pull about 3-4 continuous sheets of (Bounty) paper towels from the roll. Fold the length to the size of the bottom of the meat tray, making sure all the layers are of equal size. Wet the paper toweling under the faucet and with your two first fingers of one hand out straight and around the toweling, going down the length of the toweling, squeeze out the extra water. You don't want it dripping. Place the toweling in the meat tray. I then take 3 sheets of Handi Wacks. With two of the sheets, slip half of one sheet under each side of the paper toweling and fold the other half to the top. Adjust the "packet" on the tray so that all layers are even. (Don't tuck extra toweling in on one side, causing an uneven surface; otherwise, the paints will tend to drain toward the lower side of the tray and mix with the other colors.) Lay the third sheet of Handi Wacks on top of the "packet". Take the second meat tray and stack it, bottom down, inside the first tray. Weight it down with a couple of tubes of paint and let it sit for 10 minutes while you finish setting up for your painting session. This distributes the water in the toweling and sufficiently wets the deli paper.

When you're ready to paint, lift off the top meat tray, and your "wet palette" is ready. The toweling keeps your paints wet. If skin does start to form on your piles of paint, you can spritz it with some water; but, I've rarely had to. Store the second meat tray underneath the first tray while you're painting. When you finish your painting session, place the 2nd meat tray, bottom side up, on top of your wet palette as a cover. Put an elastic on each end to keep everything together.

My paints have stayed wet like this for at least two weeks, usually more. I've never put them in the fridge but I guess you could do that, too.

Good luck.

--Kate

DonEc
06-17-2011, 10:42 PM
When you are through painting can you scoop the paint on your palette up and place it in small bottles or will it still dry out?

artbox
06-18-2011, 11:20 AM
I'll throw my two cents in here too!!!:D I use a flat glass palette. I don't know what kind of glass it is..really thick though. I back it with watercolor paper. or sometimes a toned paper, which I replace as needed..usually once in about three or four years.. tape around the edges, to keep the backing on, and around the edges and on top of he palette about 1/2 inch in.

I fold a paper towel into strips, and don't use a cheap brand! as they disintegrate with being wet and moved about by paint. I use Bounty or Viva. the have the type that has smaller sections.. and I like that..less to deal with. Fold into strip, wet thoroughly, dripping.. gently squeeze out most of water, stretch out on the edge of the glass, http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Jun-2011/964530-acrylicpalletaartbox.jpg

This is an image of my palette after I was done, a couple days out, so it is dry. easily rewetted and scraped off with a razor in a blade holder. Just spray thoroughly and scrape. You can save the scrapings for a random abstract with unique texture. but you get the layout.

You keep spraying the paper towel strip, through out the painting process.. I tend to test blend on the palette, but do the major part of blending, on the canvas itself.

Sometimes if I want just a hint of color, glaze, I'll use the color that has spread a bit around the color, then I'm not wiping off excess on the tape edge..

If I have to leave the palette area for past 30 min.. I spray/mist with water, cover with saran wrap.. and it stays wet a long time. just slowly peel back the saran, and use the paint that sticks to that first..

If you are a neater painter than I ... I suppose you could cut the paper towels into individual squares for each color, but they would dry out faster. I spray the top lightly, but keep the towel fairly moist.

I do paint fast, but sometimes a piece will take longer than a couple days. but I've only had ONE painting, that I've had the paints turn weird. in all my 20 plus years in painting.. and I ran across the tip in WC about pennies under the palette to keep them fresh. Next time I'm working acrylics, I will try this!! :D

Just a hint on sealing the plastic, it works better, when your paint is placed on the inside half of the wet paper towel..sometimes I remember, sometimes I don't when I start..but if you have a wet edge on the towel without too much paint on it.. the saran will stick, run your finger along the top of the saran around the edge of the paper towel, all the way around.. on the glass portion too. Scrape the working part clean, mist, apply saran, seal. I have left this alone, over night, worked great.. but use new saran every time you seal. and spray the saran, paint side before applying.

sorry that was choppy. :( Not as smoothly explained as I'd like.

I had one of the stay wet palettes, I didn't care for it...but that was when I first started.. and didn't use the correct stuff.. and :lol: I didn't like it.. the lid had built in support stems on it.. argh... drove me bananas.

This might seem like a pain in rear..but it works for me. :D

I used to go off when finished with a painting.. clean my brushes and forget to deal/clean up.. the palette, and the towel would be stuck to the glass..but I spray, rewet to soppy, scrape and it comes off slick as whistle.

Hope this gives you something good to think of..:D I sometimes like the way the colors hit on the palette, hence my taking pictures of it, colors are so pretty.... :thumbsup:

Charlie's Mum
06-18-2011, 01:55 PM
It's worth checking through our Information Kiosk for info .... it's a sub forum here on the main page of the forum, or there's a link in my sig. line.
Check this Tips thread (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=278190)too - there's a wealth of stuff there.:D