Some time ago I was contacted by Redgrass Games to ask if I’d be interested in trying out a prototype for their new “Everlasting” wet palette, which is in it’s final days on Kickstarter, and having now used the palette for a couple of weeks I would like to share my thoughts with you on the product.
Although I’m rarely seen using a wet palette in my videos, I do often use one in the preparatory stages of each tutorial whilst I’m experimenting with colours, and if I ever get the chance to paint for myself (which isn’t as often as I’d like!) I may also use one over a dry palette.
The ability of a wet palette to keep the paint moist for long sessions and to preserve mixes over-night is certainly useful, although this can also be achieved with a dry palette with a little retarder and some cling film. It’s actually the way a wet palette encourages a more free approach to mixing and experimenting with colours that I enjoy the most.
My experience of using both bought and home-made wet palettes has been somewhat mixed; due to the quality of the sponge or foam, and that of the membrane or baking paper, I haven’t always found it easy to maintain consistency in how much water actually gets through to hydrate the paint, which means sometimes the colours end up getting flooded, and other times they dry out due to lack of hydration. I’m sure this is of course as much down to my own ineptitude as anything else!
The foam that comes with the Everlasting wet palette is incredibly smooth but firm, and holds the water beautifully. In fact I initially over saturated the foam and it took a couple of sessions for me to actually trust that it was holding enough water to properly hydrate the paint.
The paper that forms the membrane naturally comes cut to size and certainly lets an adequate level of moisture to pass through to the paint, and after laying the paper down and chasing out the trapped air bubbles I found I was able to create a far smoother surface to work from than I was with other palettes.
As this was an early 3D-printed preview version of the palette the quality of the casing material is probably best described as “functional” but I am assured that the final version will be made with high-quality ABS plastic.
The version I’ve been using is the smaller of the two and if I’m working on a figure that has a multitude of different-coloured elements, I would certainly prefer the larger palette that they offer (although the lid can also be used as an additional palette if you want to double your working area).
I haven’t actually tried using the magnetised wavy yet but the wells are nice and deep making it ideal for mixing shades and glazes and being able to snap it magnetically to the side of the palette is a convenient feature, and this palette is all about convenience.
In summary I have enjoyed using the Everlasting wet palette more than any other I have tried previously. I do think it will appeal more to certain painters than others; experienced painters who already have a wet palette they’re comfortable with using may find little about this product to tempt them (expect perhaps its portability if you travel between painting sessions!?). For newer painters who are looking to try using a wet palette for the first time, or painters like myself who have had inconsistent results from other palettes (bought or home made) I think this is a terrific palette and I look forward to trying out the final product.