Everlasting Wet Palette – the PRELUDE
When Vivien Massad at Redgrass Games approached me regarding the Everlasting Wet Palette (check out news on the KICKSTARTER HERE) I was instantly intrigued, I have used a wet palette for several years now, yet there are still issues with it’s use and suitability. For instance the need to replace the sponge or kitchen roll as it has gone mouldy and smelly, the depth of most wet palettes on the market and in particular those who make their own from Tupperware containers and if like me you’re using baking paper, the need to cut this to size is fiddly and annoying. So I was definitely interested in seeing whether their claim was a little exaggerated to say the least.
Myself and other content creators and promotors were sent a 3D printed prototype of the Everlasting Wet Palette for review purposes only, so bare in mind this is not the finished product, I will provide details to the product you will be able to purchase a little later. Even as a prototype though the palette is rather attractive and stylish in design and after the weekend of Euro Miniature Expo in Folkestone I had the chance to try out the palette.
The Kickstarter for the Everlasting Wet Palette is planned to start today at 7PM Central European Time (CET) where you will be able to pledge for your very own “advanced hydration system”, the painter pledge will cost you 25€/$30 and will contain one Everlasting Wet Palette, 1 Wavy, 100 hydration paper sheets and two foams. Although I have not seen all of the details I believe there are several pledge levels and a studio pledge level that includes a far larger version of the palette, as a lot of competition painters use far bigger palettes than that which I have road tested here.
Ok right from the off this is an easy to set up piece of apparatus, the lid is held on by a elasticated fabric band, remove the lid, insert the foam, soak in water, pour away the excess, place your pre-cut palette paper on top and good to go. Take time to lay your paper down so as not to get creases and bubbles trapped underneath, you can feel immediately the coolness to the touch, as the paper absorbs the cool moisture from beneath. Use the palette exactly the same way you use your own wet palette, apply your paint and if necessary a little water, spreading the paint across the surface for differing dilutions or for mixing.
The Wavy is a nice idea, this accessory has five wells which you can easily use for glazes and washes meaning, you can separate your heavily diluted paints from the more opaque ones on the actual Everlasting Wet Palette. You could also use it to house the palette of colours needed for this particular paint session and just add to your palette as you go rather than having to keep going back to your bottle rack. The Wavy has two small, round magnets, strong pull, that line p with magnets on the palette so as to keep it close to hand and secure, so as to avoid unwanted spills. It can be attached either of the palettes sides.
I set the palette up, played with some paint and was really happy with the consistency of the paints, not only that I found that my paints after several hours had not soaked up too much moisture and as such had not spread across my palette, this happens too often with my own palette, especially if I am unable to get my preferred Kitchen Towel to act as the reservoir paper beneath.
I was able to take a baby wipe and wipe clean all of the paint from the palette, meaning 100 sheets of paper could actually go even further, assuming your paint session is finished and the paint is still moist on the palette paper. I was able to relay my used paper and work on it again without any deterioration to the paper’s surface. I am assuming that Redgrass Games will be making the paper available to reorder as and when you run out.
I have no idea what the sponge like foam material is and I believe this is the main selling point of the palette, it is cold and moist to the touch prior to any water being added and the paper “sticks” to the foam for a great connection meaning, hydration of the upper palette paper is very good indeed.
DESIGN AND TECHNICAL INFORMATION
The design and styling is very slick, it doesn’t look bulky or cumbersome. The shallow depth of the palette means you have great access to the paints without having to incorporate unnatural use of the brush for mixing or to get paint on your brush in the first place. The foam has a very high water retention and is totally odourless, I believe it is also resistant to the growth of mold etc (I have seen several painters growing fungi and other mycelia type organisms in their palettes!), I have to admit sometimes when I remove my lid the stale and damp smell is quite revolting.
One of the issues I feedback to Vivien was how the hydration paper did not fit perfectly, there was a gap wich meant water may be able to ingress from the well beneath and make a dripping mess of the paint above. For the prototype the paper was cut manually, I have been assured the paper for the final product will be accurately machine cut for the perfect fit, which is a great attention to detail!
I was thinking about the lid and whether it could be of an additional use; we all will wipe excess from our brush before applying paint to our figure, so I set the lid up too, with foam and paper, so that I can remove the excess, this worked really well and also meant I did not pick up any fibres from tissue etc. I mentioned this use to Vivien who has said that they will look into a possible solution to their design with this function in mind.
Although this prototype is 3D printed the real product will be made from ABS plastics and rather conveniently will be dishwasher safe! The fit of the lid will also ensure airtight conditions to ensure your paint mixes stay wet from one session to the next! The Wavy accessory as mentioned earlier is another nice touch ensuring inks and highly diluted paints can be used in conjunction with the Everlasting Wet Palette whilst avoiding an ever expanding mess. The use of magnets along the palette sides also means you can set up your painting area according to whether you are left or right handed and to fit nicely with your current set up.
I have been very impressed with the prototype and these could be the next BIG ting since Stephan Rath and his figure holders! Easy to use, easy to clean and with the prospect of never having to replace the foam, this could be the wet palette we have been hankering for. Highly recommended and I will be very interested in using the real deal once the Kickstarter is fulfilled! The product, the materials, the pricing all seem to be spot on, I hope their Kickstarter runs smoothly, everything so far is of the highest quality. Look out for the Kickstarter later this evening! Happy Painting![ABTM id=3764]