Mar 22, 2013

Which Art Palette?

Palettes which one is right for you?
When it comes to choosing a palette there are so many out there to choose from that it can be a bit daunting. I have listed some of the more popular types to help you decide.

My favorite here is the Masterson’s Sta Wet palettes

First of all we must remember that working with acrylics can be challenging because they dry so fast. We need a palette that will keep the paint wet and moist for a period of time while we are at work.
The patented Sta-Wet System prevents any wasted paint . . . Masterson's process keeps acrylics and other waterbased paints moist on the open palette for hours. Once the lid is closed, the paints will stay in workable condition for days, even weeks! A wet sponge and special permeable palette paper provide the paint with a constant source of moisture. Paints will not dry out!
The Sta-Wet system and its accompanying palettes works best with acrylic paints, however it will work well with gouache and watercolors as well.
Artist's Palette Seal - Accepts any 12 × 16" palette and seals it, much in the same way Tupperware® seals food. You'll save paint and valuable mixed tints and shades between painting sessions. Extends the life of acrylic paints for days and oil colors for weeks. Cover has feet that holds palette in place for travel.

Comments from users:
"I love the sta-wet palettes. I live in Mexico most of the year and when it is hot I would have a hard time using acrylic paints without the sta-wet palette. You can use your paints for days without them drying out. If you use acrylic paints you need this palette."

Sta-Wet Premier Palette - Keeps acrylics moist on the palette for hours while you're working. Keeps paint fresh for days-even weeks when palette seal is closed. Comes with 12 × 16" sponge and 5 sheets of palette paper.
Artists, both professionals and hobbyists, have requested a larger palette surface so that they can lay out more colors and still have plenty of mixing room. The Premier measures 12" × 16" × 1¾" deep (35 cm × 45 cm × 4.5 cm), with the same snug fitting, air-tight lid as the Artist Palette Seal.
The Premier Palette ships with one sponge insert and 5 sheets of acrylic palette film. The sponge layer creates a damp atmosphere and keeps acrylic film moist when the palette is sealed.
Comments from users:
This thing does exactly what it says it will do. You really need to read the directions on how to take the lid off when you first get it - the lid fits that tight. Acrylic paints stay moist while you are working, even for hours with the lid off. Paints stay moist for days with the lid on. I LOVE it!

Super Pro
Super Pro is one of Masterson's Sta-Wet Palettes, a series of palettes that are designed to help you keep your paints fresh while you are working. They're constructed of lightweight white plastic that cleans up easily. Your acrylics or oils stay fresh for weeks!

Use the top side, which has many indentations, for watercolors, and the bottom side for acrylics and oils. The sponge layer creates a damp atmosphere that keeps acrylic film moist when the palette is sealed. It should be omitted when the palette is used for oil painting.

 Airtight structure of this palette keeps your paints fresh for days and even weeks
For acrylic and oil colors just peel-off to remove
Contains (1) paint palette (13.25" x 9.25") with airtight lid.

Acryl-a-Miser Air-Tight Palette System

This palette lets you store up to 21 colors in fairly large volume and take them with you on field trips and vacations. You will no longer need to travel with tubes or jars that take up lots of space and may be accidentally punctured or opened during transit. This 12½" × 9½" × 2¼" palette system fits into virtually anything including the Pittman Palette Bag.

Take any sponge, wet it and place it into the palette to create a humid environment within. Paints will last for trips up to 17 days long! When painting in or out of the studio you simply take your paint and mix onto one of six small mixing trays or the large mixing palette and then seal palette as you are painting. This keeps blends and paint fresh for up to 5 full hours. Then just peel off the paint and mix your next series of colors.

Alternatively you can use in conjunction with Liquitex Wetting Spray to keep paints fresh with or without the lid on for 5-10 hours! colors in the small mixing trays and keep these mixtures for up to 2 weeks as well.
Comments from users:
"Had to cover the wells with plastic wrap (specifically press n seal) to keep them from drying up. Would be great if individual wells had lids. On the plus side, LOTS of individual wells, and plenty of mixing wells".

Masterson's Sta-Wet palettes are made of lightweight white plastic that cleans up easily. The Palette Seal is airtight when closed. Disposable palette film is available for acrylics or oils. The sponge layer creates a damp atmosphere and keeps acrylic film moist (remove for oils).

Color-Miser Air-Tight Palette System

 Air tight seal along the outer edge of the palette's top is a gasket that prevents air from entering the interior of the palette during transport. Huge Mixing Area - This compact 13.5" L × 9.5" w × 1.75" deep palette has up to 2 unrestricted mixing areas. One is the reverse side of the 9" × 12.5" top and the other is the 8.87" × 12.25" inside palette cover. This  special palette features a revolutionary design with deep wells that hold a lot of color and allow for the use of larger size brushes. In fact, the Color-Miser incorporates 16 slants that measure 1.18" × 1.5", and 4 slants that measure 1.5" × 2.5", so there's plenty of room for all the colors you need while painting in the studio or on the go. After you're finished painting, simply spray the mixing palettes with water and clean them off with a paper towel. Secure the lid to the palette and you are ready for your next painting session in a matter of just a few seconds. It really is an amazing system that will save you time and money!

Comments from users:   "Recommend it to both my watercolor and acrylic students. Saves acrylic paint from drying out in the palette.
Strong enough to travel with and pack at the bottom of a tote bag."

"I loved the size but the acrylics did dry and skim over and hard to clean."

Lock-Box Air-Tight Palette

This circular palette features a twist locking cover that forms an air-tight atmosphere for oils, acrylics or watercolors. This palette is easy to store and travel with due to it's compact width and reliable closing system.

Comments from users 

"Like the circular area and size of palette but am disappointed that even after one day my oil paints are already getting hard. Have a larger one (square) and paint seems to last a lot longer. Paint every day and was hoping for a product that would take up less space and have same length of use of paints."

This two piece Mijello™ Artelier Air-Tight Peel-Off Palette will keep your oil or acrylics fresh for days or weeks. Plus, due to a special impact plastic, acrylics, when dry, can be easily cleaned by peeling off the dry color. Oils can be wiped off for easy cleaning.

Multiple paint slants and large mixing areas make this palette a favorite with acrylic and oil painters. Additionally, the top of the palette can be used seperately as another palette. Measures 13.25" × 9.125" × 1.25".

Comments from users 
Oil paints developed a skin after a week but were still usable. The real problem is that the divisions are too close together making it hard to clean oil paints out. It would be better if there were fewer but larger divisions between the paints.

Mijello Fusion Air-Tight Watercolor palette

Mijello palettes feature a tremendous amount of mixing space. Made of space age, high impact plastic, each palette features an outer case in a rich metallic finish. Kept airtight by a special sealing ring that locks in moisture. Lightweight and compact size.

Small - Measures 5.5×10.5" folded with two 4×10" mixing trays and a paint tray with 18 slants and two 3×4" primary mixing areas.

Large - Measures 6×12.5" with one 5×12" mixing tray and 33 color wells designed to hold 5 ml of water.

Comments from users:
This is now my go to palette for in my studio and to take with me to my art class or traveling.....great size, compact but plenty of area for paints and mixing. I also love that it has a removeable insert for easy cleaning after a day of painting. I guess you can tell, I love, love, love this palette!
Charze 3D Artist Palette

Created by artist Charze, this truly ingenious 3-D palette has four vertical rows of space and measures only 7.5" across! The whole palette weighs less than one ounce, and its innovative rear palette grip works perfectly for right and left handed artists.

Each of the 12 color wells is completely separated, so you needn't worry that your colors will mix. The top shelf is perfect for holding your white paint, and you can easily view all of your colors at the same time. Lightweight and easy on the thumb, this little palette is just as perfect for painting on a small scale as it is for painting big. In fact, Charze has painted huge murals with it in acrylics. The 3-D Palette actually saves money by encouraging less waste. No matter what media you use, this palette is the perfect solution!

Jones Palette Box

This 12 × 16" palette features 32 sizeable mixing wells and large uninterrupted mixing area in both palette and lid. Made of pure white plastic that resists staining, it is perfect for watercolors as well as acrylics.
Comments from users:
For me this is the best palette to use with watercolor tubes.The wells have a optimal size also for large brushes. the form of the wells preserve the delicate brushes, when you apply colour on it
The weight and the dimension of the palette is optimal to paint in studio but also outdoor, or to go to paint journey.
After a long searching i finally find my palette. This is the best one i ever have. My favorite!

Mijello TruColor Neutral Grey Palette - Ellipse XL

The way a color appears on stark white is extremely different from how it appears on a tonal painting. White palettes reflect light and create shadows, thereby altering the appearance of the actual color of the paint. Luckily, there is an easy way to solve this problem!

Now the popular line of Mijello palettes is available in a true middle grey color — the ideal tone for mixing natural and lifelike colors! Neutral grey lends itself perfectly to color mixing, as it allows you to see paints just as they will appear on the canvas. Know immediately if a color is too light or too dark right on the palette — don't let the wrong shade ruin your painting! Like the original Mijello palettes, TruColor palettes are made of sturdy ABS plastic and are solvent-resistant, so you can mix oil paints with turpentine or mineral spirits without worrying about damaging your palette. TruColor palettes are also easy to clean: when finished painting, simply wipe or peel the dried paint right off the stain-resistant surface! Getting true-to-life, natural color mixes the first time around has never been easier with Mijello TruColor Palettes!
Ergonomically designed for both right and left handed artists with a convenient thumb-hole, the Ellipse XL is also equipped with four non-slip rubber discs for tabletop use.  The central wall allows you to arrange oil or acrylic paint colors along the outer edge, keeping water or solvents for mixing in the center.

Comments from user;
"As a watercolor artist this palette allows me to maximize conserving my paints. I would though, have purchased the white palette had I know it was available. Transparent colors need the whiteness to determine its application. But the face that the paint remains moist is the saving feature of this product. I would recommend this to other watercolor painter, though would suggest the whit box rather than grey."

"I purchased the Mijello Palette to use with oils when I do plein air work. The size fit VERY easily into my backpack. The seal fit very snugly and was easy to use. The entire palette is very sturdily made. The problems I'm having with it is that the mixing space is way too small for me and the clean up of the oil paints was horrendous--and I'm not exaggerating! This product should absolutely NOT be adverstised as suitable for oils!"

Paragona Classic Glass Palettes

Fashioned from tempered safety glass, Paragona Palettes are ideal for painting with oils and acrylics. Wet oil colors and acrylics can be wiped off in a flash, and dried acrylic paint peels off easily, avoiding the mess and hassle often associated with plastic palettes.Made of 100% tempered safety glass, the non-porous surface is perfect for use with any paint including Genesis Artist Colors

The smooth, pristine surface is ideal for paint mixing and color control. In addition, Paragona glass palettes won't absorb pigments, allowing the artist to see true colors each and every time.

Comments for users:
"Being an artist who works completely in acrylic media, this elite palette has exceeded my expectations. Paragon classic glass palette, by Amaco, really lives up to the product description. Dried on acrylic paint peels right off. You can also mist with water and wipe dried paint off. This palette is also surprisingly lightweight. I have not experienced any discomfort in its use. All edges are beveled and smoothed and the underside is coated for a non-slippery grip. In the past I have used disposable palette paper; this becomes expensive. I have also used other palettes; these always took a lot of soaking and scraping to thoroughly clean, wasting valuable time. For these two reasons I would have paid double for this palette. I would recommend this palette to everyone...especially to those working in acrylics."

Quinn Clear Acrylic Palette

It took a professor with many years of teaching behind her to create palettes that her students could not only use effectively but also afford.
Made of 1/8" (3mm) clear acrylic, these palettes feature smooth edges for easy holding and a glass-like surface for mixing paint on. They will not break if they fall and allow easy clean up with acrylic colors by means of using denatured alcohol or for oil colors with odorless paint solvents like her favorite, Gamsol. Available in a wide array of sizes for use in the studio and for travel needs.
Comments from users

"love this palette. I use it for mixing mediums as well as colors. It washes up superbly and if the paint dries on it it peels right off. You can use metal palette knives as well as brushes on it. It is great for beginners as well as advanced painters too."

Butcher Trays

These porcelain enameled metal trays have a convex center so water runs to the edges, making them the perfect palettes for dry brush techniques in watercolor or gouache. Modeled after the original American butcher trays, the smooth surface cleans easily and can last a lifetime. The inherent small rim chips will not affect performance.

I use them for oil & watercolor painting palettes in the studio. Easy to clean, no spilling over the edges, easy to move around Simply, a handy universal product that has been around a long time and still finds new uses.

Tom Lynch Porcelain Palette

After 30 years as a watercolorist, Tom Lynch set out to design a palette that would be stable, easy to clean, and sturdy enough for the demands of working in the studio.
As a result, Lynch's palette is weightier at 7 lbs to prevent slipping and sliding. The porcelain surface keeps colors moist longer, and, unlike plastic, won't cause them to bead and separate.
Tom Lynch's palette includes 20 outer wells for color, a large mixing area, and 8 corner holes. A large plastic cover provides extra mixing space and storage.

Stephen Quiller Color Wheel Palette
The Stephen Quiller Color Wheel Palette is arranged for ease of accurate mixing of primary, secondary, and intermediate colors. Indicator guides on the palette aid in locating analogous, complementary, and triadic color relationships to ensure fresh, beautiful, and harmonious color mixes.
The palette includes 12 extra pans around the wheel for other favorite colors, 8 outside corner basins to place earth colors or opaque water media, and a very large inner-wheel mixing area. It measures 14" × 14" (36 cm × 36 cm).
Also included is an instruction guide on how Stephen Quiller arranges colors on the palette, on how he makes full use of this outstanding palette.

  Then you can also use something I love to use when I am working on a large canvas and don't care if the paint does not stay wet for a long time. I use this in my studio for oils.
I use this large art clip board and attach Freezer paper on it. The clip board is about 16x16 so I have a very large working area which I love.
The paper is not expensive!
Be sure to use Reynolds Freezer paper as it is waxed. I have tried others and did not like them.

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