In the Winter 2015 issue of Acrylic Artist, Chantel Lynn Barber shares tips on how she puts her acrylic painting materials to work. She details how she prepares her canvas, which brushes she uses (and for what), and which palette knife works best. You can read her story and see even more of her artwork in the 10 page feature. Get it here.
Masterson’s Stay-Wet Palette
• In order for the system to work properly, it must be used with the sponge and paper. To extend the life of the sponge, use distilled water to wash it every couple weeks in the washing machine on the gentle cycle in cold water. The palette paper can be used, rinsed off, flipped over and used again on the back, making one package go a lot further.
• The amount of water used in the sponge and on the palette paper is extremely important when it comes to maintaining proper paint consistency. The sponge should be soaked completely under running water (especially for the first use), and then most of the water should be squeezed out before placing in the bottom of the palette. This is where I differ from the package directions: if the sponge is placed in the palette sopping wet, it won’t be long before the paints turn into puddles.
• Palette paper should be soaked in water for 15 minutes and then placed on top of the sponge. I do not wipe the excess water off of the paper, but allow it to soak in on its own before laying my paints on top of it. Weather conditions play a big part in the paints staying moist or drying too quickly. If you notice that your palette paper and paints are drying out, go ahead and add a little more water to your sponge. If they are getting soppy too quickly, wring some of the water out of the sponge.
• My ultimate goal is to keep the integrity of the paints—wimpy paints are no good. It’s fine for the paints to soak up some water and still be workable, but if they soak up too much, they won’t adhere properly to the canvas and may even peel later. Although this palette is great for saving paint, paint should never be saved for more than a day or two, as the colors need to be kept fresh and the palette clean. Without fresh, pure colors on the palette, there won’t be fresh, pure colors on the canvas!