Skip to main content

New Palette - Art Tip

Masterson's Sta Wet Palette
Well alas, I guess it is about time.   I have had my Masterson's Sta-Wet palette for over twenty years now and it is beginning to crack around the edges, meaning that it really isn't going to continue to seal when closed in the very near future.  I am looking at new palettes, and yes am seriously thinking of getting yet another Masterson's palette.  Why, you might ask?

As you know I work a lot with acrylics, and now that I am going more into mixed media pieces, I will continue to use the acrylics as my foundation.  I found several years ago a tip from Jerry Yarnell, on PBS television on how to set this palette up specifically for acrylics, gives continuing moisture to the paint and EZ clean up.

1)  Change out the paper palette sheets with a piece of glass, I usually put a piece of white paper towel underneath the glass, so I continue to have a white surface (for a while) to compare colors to.  2)  Then I take a paper towel, cut it in half, then fold each in half and wet them - now I am not talking sopping wet here, but you definitely want to have it wet.
3)  Place those two paper towels back on the top and right side of the glass piece and add paint.
4)  For EZ clean up on glass mixing area, just use spray mister, then take your palette knife and scrape the paint off the glass, spray again and wipe the glass and you are ready to keep on painting.
5)  Want clean/new paint piles, peel up the paper towel sheets, scrape off any good paint onto the next set.  Spray under the towels for bleed through paint color, and put new sheets on glass, transfer paint or put on new squeeze of color.  

While I paint I continually use a spray mister over the paint on the towels and on the glass palette to keep the paint moist.  Since I sometimes use interactive acrylics I can reactivate color pools on the glass surface.  Before closing for the day I make sure I have added a spray of mist onto the paint/towels and close it tight.  I keep paint in here for weeks, if I open frequently I don't have any mold issues.  But, once the towels dry out, so does the paint.  

Thanks for stopping by and hope this helps.


  1. Thanks for the tip. I use two glass palettes with neutral background. Don't have a cover but put leftover paint in small cosmetic containers and put them in a freezer bag in the freezer. They keep very well!

  2. I have a smaller stay wet palette, you have reminded me to pull it out again :) Interactive acrylics?? Sounds interesting :)

  3. I have always been incredibly cheap so when I started working with acrylics I came up with a 'cheap' version of the Sta-wet palette. I use two styrafoam meat trays, one for a bottom and one for a top and a large ziplock bag to keep them sealed. I place 2 layers of damp paper towel on the bottom tray and top that with a piece of wax paper. My paints go around two sides and the rest is used for mixing, When the mixing area is too messy I can transfer any left over paint to another towel/waxpaper set. The paints lcan last up to 3 or 4 weeks without getting moldy and when I am finished with acrylics I just roll up the towel/waxpaper and throw it away. This method worked very well when I was doing my beginner artist groups when I had to supply 12 set-ups for the students. I have tried other palettes but always go back to my 'cheap' method.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Fortune Teller finally finished acrylic figure

The Fortune Teller
She certainly was a fun project and came together pretty much as envisioned.  But it is the great thing about painting, each picture has something different to teach you.  While you might struggle in parts and aspects, if you push through you will be pleased to accomplish something that helps you in the next picture or so.

I really like the drama of this piece and have to credit background for that.  While my goal was to pain this realistically, it is not hyper realism and I was able to use some of the techniques I learned while I was doing the performers series.  I always have to remember to step back.  Like Monet is the best example, right up close it is a bunch of squiggles, dashes and blobs of color.  But step back and magically it comes into focus.

On to…

Magnolia Blossom acrylic portrait magnolia flowers

“Talent is a pursued interest. Anything that you're willing to practice, you can do.”  - Bob Ross

I thought this was a wonderful quote.  I don't know if it has happened to you, but people say, oh you are so talented.  Not true, couldn't be farther from the truth, although I am sure there are many artists who do possess that something extra, something special.  But for the most part for the rest of us, it is just a matter of studying, learning your tools and materials, practicing, and then start to trust your inner self.  I am on a journey to try to find my voice.  Not that I am a late bloomer, but I should have already found it, yes?  I guess what I am really looking for is the way I wish and want to paint.   Not necessarily how I have been doing it.

I am pleased with this piece.  Many thanks to Sanne who put this wonderful reference piece up at PMP.  Personally I think Magnolias are just wonderful flowers.  They have so many interesting stages.  Also it doesn't hurt tha…

Inquisitive pastel seal under water


Not sure but think this might be Penguin day.  No, this isn't a penguin, couldn't get motivated to do one or anything else.  Not ready to tackle my next project and was just casting about looking for something I could do.

So  made up a quick pastel support using watercolor paper and acrylic inks.  Then once that dried I applied a layer of clear gesso.  For whatever reason clear gesso has a grit to it and it makes it perfect to hold several layers of pastel and makes for a very economical sanded support.  I really liked getting some pastels out of the box that I don't usually work with.  And, think it gives a very under-the-sea appearance.    I am still into color because it is so gray here - no rain today but never have seen the…