keskiviikko 24. helmikuuta 2016

Wet Work


This time I promised to show you something that has (hopefully) upgraded my painting skills to a next level: a wet palette!

This here particular design I picked from one of my favourite Youtube channels, Tabletop Minions, where they show you how to make a very fast and very cheap wet palette. I had heard of these strange gadgets before, but this was the first time I actually built and tested one. My first wet palette was built about two weeks ago and it still stands on my desk keeping my two-week-old paints ready for use whenever I want. These things are amazing!

I know some people prefer pic&text tutorials over videos, so now I shall go on to explain how exactly did I construct my wet palettes. Of course, if you would prefer a video tutorial please click here to access the one from Tabletop Minions.

On to the tutorial!

Let us start off with the required materials. You're going to need some kind of a plastic container, some kitchen paper/household towel, a square piece of baking parchment and a glass of water.
The container/plastic box I bought from a local general goods store (5 boxes for 1€) and they're basically just shallow, air-tight sandwich boxes or frozen-berry containers or something along those lines. Make sure it has a lid on it!
The kitchen paper/household towel is just a paper towel or tissue, I don't think that needs any further explanation. Baking parchment is just the rustling and slick paper you put on your baking tray before you put cookies on it.
Water... you can get it from a tap (or a well for that matter), but regardless of where you get it you should make sure the water is cool rather than hot. I've heard that the paints don't like hot water too much!

First Step
Take out the container and make sure it's intact (one of mine got so badly damaged somewhere along the way home that I didn't dare use it) and that the lid sits tight. That's all there is to it at this point.

Second Step
Fold the kitchen paper square in half, then fold the half in half again so that its a quarter of the original size. This gives the paper the thickness it needs for its job. Then tuck it nicely into the plastic box, preferably so that the edges curve upwards a little bit (should be visible in the picture).

Third Step
Now place the baking parchment into the box, on top of the kitchen paper. The parchment doesn't have to be folded in any way, just cut out a square that matches the size of the box and the quartered kitchen paper. It is intentional that some of the kitchen paper shows from underneath the parchment (namely the curved-up edges in the second step)  as it is required for the next step.

Fourth Step
This is the fun (and messy) part of this tutorial. Take the glass/cup/mug/jar of water and pour some into the box, right in the middle of the parchment. Then put down the glass/cup/mug/jar and pick up the plastic box. Now swirl the water around the box gently, so that it touches the edges of the kitchen paper that show from beneath the baking parchement. The paper will absorb the water and you will see how the paper and the parchment darken a bit as they get wet. Apply water as many times as you see fit, but when the parchment and the paper feel nice and moist you're right about there.

There you are, a self-made wet palette! You can now close the lid tight and perhaps write something on it like "Wet Palette, *name* "  so that nobody will think it's trash and throw it away.
The idea of the wet palette is to keep your paints available to you for a (considerably) longer period of time. When you start painting just open the lid, take some paint from a pot and put it on the palette, perhaps adding some water to thin it down. Unlike on any normal palette, the paint on the wet palette won't dry up in two minutes but will remain usable for a long time. Just close the lid when you're finished, and the next time you open it you can use the very same paints from the palette again!

How it functions is that the kitchen paper holds the water, providing moisture, while the baking parchment prevents the paper from absorbing the paints you put on the palette. The air-tight plastic box holds the moisture in, making sure the whole thing doesn't dry up. A lovely gadget, isn't it?

Thank you Tabletop Minions for showing me this path to enlightenment. I honestly do not know how I ever managed this far without a wet palette of my own!

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