052 – Pamela Caughey – VALUED TIP! Keep ACRYLIC PAINTS Wet 12+ HOURS on your Palette 🐝

052 – Pamela Caughey – VALUED TIP! Keep ACRYLIC PAINTS Wet 12+ HOURS on your Palette 🐝

– Hi, everyone. This is Pamela Caughey and
I’m in my studio today, and I have a fun tip for you. But before we get to that,
I just wanted to give you a really big thank you, say how much I appreciate you
commenting below my videos, and really enjoyed
reading all the comments about what your favorite tools are, and what your biggest struggles are. So today, I’m gonna be
showing you just a wonderful technique that I learned in a
workshop with Nicholas Wilton. It’s a way to keep your
acrylic paint wet longer. So keeping them fresher
longer is just wonderful. For those of you who
have worked in acrylic, you can just not have to throw
away the paint once it’s dry. So it’s a great technique,
it’s a great tip, and I hope you enjoy it. And at the end of the
video, I’m going to show you where to find the supplies that you need. So I hope you enjoy the video. Thank you. So what I have here is a cafeteria tray. And it’s about 14 by 17 inches, and you do have to
somehow get one of these to make this kind of work. I got mine on Amazon, and there is a link in my Resources at artandsuccess.com. If you look at the Resources, I do have the cafeteria trays there. So the other thing you’re gonna need is some blue shop towels. You could use regular
paper towels as well. But these hold more water, and
I think that’s probably why Nick preferred the blue towel. And so, what I did here
is I have several layers of this blue towel and I actually
cut them to fit this tray, which is 14 by 17. The 14 by 17 just didn’t
quite line up with where the sheets tore. So rather than having
them hang over the edge, I just decided to cut these ahead of time. And I’m putting four sheets down, so you can kind of see me doing that. So that’s part one is
just getting that down. Part two is when you
wanna take some water, and you basically wanna flood this. I have a little container
here full of water. And you really want it to soak
into this blue shop towel. And give it a few minutes. Might need more water. You definitely want too
much not too little, because we’re gonna be
dumping the excess off. And right now there’s
a lot of excess here. Okay, so now it’s nice and soaked. You can kind of see it’s
like a pond. (laughs) There’s a lot of water in there. So I have my bucket, my big bucket here. I’m gonna show you how you want to pour that excess water off, okay? You’re gonna just let it drip. So I tip this cafeteria
tray until literally there’s just a few drops
coming off that corner, okay? So now I know that this blue
shop towel is, four layers, are really wet, and that’s
good ’cause that’s really important that they’re
wet, but not too wet. So then the next thing you’re
gonna need is tracing paper. What I have, I found a
tracing paper that actually matches the size of the cafeteria tray. So the cafeteria trays
come in different sizes, but I tried to find one that matched some brand of tracing paper,
and this is what I found. So take a sheet of that. Here is my tracing paper, just one sheet. And you’re gonna lay it on
top of the blue shop towel. And this is really what,
it’s like a wet palette. So now, when I take my paint, and I’m gonna just put them
on to the surface here. So you don’t want water in
the top of the tracing paper. You want it below to begin with. I mean eventually, as you
clean your brushes out, you’re gonna get water on top. And that’s fine, but I’m
just showing you that. How do you set up your palette? I generally put the
warm colors on one end. I’m just gonna squirt some out here. Maybe I’ll put white
and black in the middle. I know you don’t have to have black, but in workshops a lot of
times we do value studies, and for those we actually use black rather than mixing your own. You can mix your own if you like. No need to use the black
paint if you don’t want to, but again, it is nice if
you’re doing value studies. Just so you know what I
mean by value studies, I did this for a workshop that I did, and when I talk about value, I’m talking about how
light or how dark it is. So we all know that
every color has a value. White is the lightest and
then black is the darkest. But on most value scales,
you’re gonna find a wide, about 10 total values that
they put on a value scale, but of course, it’s infinite. I’m gonna put out some green. This is not a limited palette. This is a lot of color, but
it’s fun just to play around. So what I’m gonna do is keep putting the paint out. So you’re just gonna have to
take my word for the fact that once you start to mix these paints. Let’s say your brush is full of paint, in just a few minutes you’re gonna see that it will be full of paint. But if you lay it on this wet palette, and you just go home and
you come back the next day to your studio, or if your
studio’s in your house and you come back to your
studio after you’ve slept, whatever, you come back into your studio, and the paint is gonna be, really it’s not gonna dry up on you. And as long as you keep these
blue shop towels nice and wet, then it permeates through
this tracing paper and keeps your paints
wet and also your brush. I mean, to a certain
extent, maybe about a day. So you’re gaining a lot. I mean, normally the
acrylics would be drying in about an hour on most palettes. So unless you keep putting
water or polymer medium, or airbrush medium. So anyways, I just
wanted to show you that. And that’s a big thanks to Nicholas Wilton who showed us this. And that’s one of the things
he shows in his workshops, which is one of the most valuable things I think I’ve ever learned
in any workshop of any kind. So here is my palette
at the end of the day. You can kind of see that there’s not a whole lot of paint on there. There’s a bit of airbrush medium here, that’s why it’s kind of swimming. And then I’ve got quite
a bit of black here, and I’ve got quite a bit of
yellow and orange and green. So yeah, I want to save
these paints, right, I’m not gonna just throw it out. And this is, again, on
that wonderful wet palette after I’ve used it at the end of the day. So I am going to turn out the lights in the studio and go home. I’ll be back tomorrow in the morning, and I’m gonna show you this palette and we’ll see if it looks like this. Hi, everybody. So as promised, here is the palette, the same one I was
working with last night. This is easily 15 hours later. And notice that the blue shop towel has remained nice and moist. And if it starts to dry
out, you can lift this up, and just add more water underneath. But you can see that the paints
are still nice and fresh. My puddle of black is
still nice and fresh. And my green is great. Keep in mind that this
is a wonderful solution for any acrylic painter. It’s going to allow you to
have a lot longer work time without adding extra
mediums to your paint. So you get to keep it really simple, and I hope you enjoy this tip. So I hope you enjoyed that video. And just so that you know, I really, really appreciate your comments. I wanted to let you know
that I’ve been reading every single person’s comment. And it’s been just eye
opening for me to kind of hear those of you who responded about
what your favorite tool is, or what is your biggest challenge in art. I feel that there’s a universal
feeling between artists that we kind of struggle in the same way, and it doesn’t matter how
long you’ve been painting, whether you’re beginner,
you’re intermediate, you’re advanced, or what
medium you’re working in. So I appreciate your comments and I hope that you’ll continue
to comment on my videos. And the other way that helps
me is it helps me to know going forward what kind of
video content you enjoy. And the reason I’m doing
this is to share information, and I feel like we’re
just one big community. And when you comment and
when you like my videos, it’s nice to know you’re out there, it lets me know you
enjoyed the video content, and I just so appreciate you being there. So again, thank you so much. And you will find the resources
that were talked about in this video at artandsuccess.com. Go there and you click
on the Resources link. There’s all my favorite art supplies, including the cafeteria tray
today and the tracing paper. So thanks again. Until next time, bye. (slow bass music)


  • Catherine Gutsche says:

    I'll be using this tip. Thanks.

  • Shelley Hakonson says:

    Really a very useful tip, I've thrown out so much dried up paint. Thanks for this.

  • Ellen Kirwan says:

    I really, really need to do this since I've become sensitive to acrylics and have to blow a fan over my work area!

  • Phyllis Jarrett says:

    Perfect tip!

  • Kim Lacefield says:

    Great tip…Thanks for sharing! 🎨

  • Susan Stone says:

    Thank you for sharing. You're an inspiration for me. I have two abstract paintings in the up coming YAM auction. I would love to meet you if you come to the auction.

  • Deborah Bowen says:

    Thanks for the tip! It will change the way I dispense paint. I’ll put out more paint and won’t worry about using it all up in one painting session.

  • shawn says:

    Great tip and I appreciate the format of the video. you explain everything really well and in a calm way. thank you!

  • nadine falguieres says:

    formidable je vais essayer cette technique.J'aime beaucoup et apprend beaucoup avec vos vidéos .Bonne année et continuer à partager c'est super

  • Ron Janssen says:

    Pamela, a great bit of information here. Thanks so much. I guess most people who work with acrylics have had to deal with the problem of wasted paint.

  • Wendy Verco says:

    I use Glad Bake (baking paper) for this, with Wettex (thin kitchen sponges) underneath. A document case or container with a lid keeps the paint useable for some days. However, too long, and it will go mouldy! 😀

  • Sharon Dozier says:

    Thanks for this tip! I have been fussing about how quickly my acrylics have been drying recently!
    This will surely help, especially with the heating unit running during cold snaps. Thanks!

  • Christopher Walker says:

    Great 'wet palette' Tip. I'm hoping you may be able to spend some time in one of your upcoming videos to go into the variations of colour mixing, assuming most viewers are well past 'beginner' stage. Colour, its intricacies and limitless boundaries, still occupy an unbelievable amount of my time and sometimes, patience. Also, your thoughts on primaries being Magenta, Cyan and Cad. yellow light, as opposed to past doctrine? Looking forward to your next post – and many thanks for all your previous ones.

  • Dominik lopez-rokah says:

    great tip! thank you!

  • Robyn Jorde says:

    Super tip! I tried this yesterday and was able to premix my colors and paint all day.

  • Culture Fan says:

    Nice tips on keeping the paint wet etc. I don't know if you've seen any of the Bob Burridge video but I enjoy them quite a bit, and they are really informative as far as technique. I enjoyed your video on creating three smaller paintings on paper all at once, and would enjoy seeing how you taped all that down on the wax paper or whatever it was.

  • Karen Kahle says:

    thank you pamela! i was also wondering if putting a lid over this would add or subtract to the workability? i don't like tacky dried paint mixing in with my new paint. is this a problem here? really great idea!

  • Wilma Voermans says:

    I just use a plastic cakecontainer (dont know the exact word in english). You can buy them at a household store to save you cakes. You can buy them round or rectangle.
    They have a lid and small airholes. I put layers very wet kitchentowel , than a bakingsheet. Thats all… My paints stay fresh for weeks without molding or getting that thin film you dont want.

  • Jeffrey Kahn says:

    Thank you and Nick! I never knew tracing paper would work! Regular paper dissolves into the paint … yuck!

  • Inspired Palette Studio by Jo Toye says:

    Thanks for this wonderful tip! I have used the stay wet palette before but this is so much more immediate since the palette paper doesn’t need to be soaked ahead of time. I am going to try it with a large butcher tray that I have.

  • Sharyn Miller says:

    Thanks for cutting down the frustration we all experience with acrylic paints

  • Elyse Katz says:

    Thank you for this wonderful tip. I've wasted so much paint in the past. Can you share what kind of paint are in the squeeze bottles?

  • Angela M.D.G says:

    Thank you this is a very good idea l will use it!

  • Jaz W says:

    I use kitchen waxed paper instead of tracing paper

  • Marion Wigzell says:

    Hi Pamela. Thank you for the advice. I'm in Australia and even though I live in a hot and humid climate I still find that acrylics go off far too quickly. Your studio set up is enviable by the way lol 🙂 Marion

  • John Lenz says:

    What a great tip! Thanks!

  • Rosanne Markham says:

    Great tip and so easy to do!

  • Eirin Hov says:

    I appeiciate this a lot, thank you!

  • Real Talk says:

    Thank you somuch 😘

  • Natalie Angelheart says:

    Thank you so much, it helped a lot especially because I paint with acrylics but don't use mediums because they are so expensive here in AU. My paints dry up very quickly. I'll definitely try this one! 😊

  • Max Nelson says:

    I must try that.  I normally use the blue towel folded to about a 2 in width, wet it and place my unused, cleaner colors on that.  Place it along with a wet sponge into one of the large rubber/plastic paint boxes with the seal on lid.  Paint keeps for weeks.  But for just overnight the tip looks great.

  • Andrea Harutunian says:

    Just found you and I'm so happy I did! Love your videos and tips~ very inspiring for me…

  • Art gig says:

    Nice tip

  • Moses Lawson says:

    Im doing this TODAY!!! Thank you thank you thank you so much for sharing this!!!!

  • caren katzenberger says:

    This is awesome! I might put a dome over this so I can keep fan on. Thanks! I just found you last night and I am excited as I really appreciate a great teacher.

  • Anuradha Bhalla says:

    Thanxs. I love this useful tip. I do acrylics ..now. Though I was always doing oil. .. ❤️do u do acrylic on canvas wud like to see u doing an acrylic painting showing the steps u do.

  • Nancy Moore says:

    I love this Pam. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Harriet Blank says:

    Thank you for your useful tip. I always squeeze out too much. The next day it is dried up and useless.

  • racheldowneynz says:

    Great tip Pamela! Thank you!. Also – love your work. 👍😊 Cheers, Rachel

  • Scarletta Woo says:


  • lynch david says:

    Pam , thanks so much for this valuable tip.

  • Selene Seltzer says:

    Hi Pam – Love this palette trick. I've found by having another cafeteria tray and if you turn it over and using #2 tray as a cover, it keeps the paint lots longer! Thanks!

  • swingingmonk says:

    A great way to save money and time buying and applying mediums. Thanks!

  • Art by Jaime says:

    Thanks Pamela. Can you use acrylic paint with cold wax?

  • Cheryl Davis says:

    I can't seem to find part 3 of My yellow painting grows up….the finished piece. Where can I find it?? I would love to see how it ended up!

  • Deborah Babin says:

    I am enjoying your videos very much.
    I would like to know what kind of paper you use for the stencils?

  • Julia PK says:

    My cafeteria trays are due to be delivered today !

  • painterly03 says:

    Hi Pamela, great tip. I use a Masterson Palette with their papers but found the sponge they recommend with it also became saturated with paint and often became moldy. I got rid of the sponge and only worked with the paper and would spritz some water underneath once in awhile. I also added a bit of 70% alcohol into the water undersneath the paper so no more mold. Had tried paper towels but they were too hard to deal with. The shop towel trick with the much cheaper parchment paper is inspired. Am sure hubby has some stashed somewhere. If I put the lid on the palette correctly the paint will last a week unless you use all of it in the meantime painting. Cheers, Sybille

  • manu cute says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Its like you connected the lost piece in my art journey. Again thank you.

  • booyoon yeom says:

    I appreciate your tip. Thank you very much~

  • cedric ahzkein says:

    Can I use unused clothes instead of tissue paper?

  • Expressionist Art Studio Gallery Priscilla Batzell says:

    I hope its O.K. to share another alternative to the tray, towel tracing paper option…I appreciate knowing about your the alternative to the blue box that has a lid and seals up tight …it requires a layer of yellow sponge( purchased separately) in the bottom wet( with distilled water ) but not flooded also the kit comes with a paper liner ( like the tracing paper above the blue towels)a 10 pack of papers is also purchased se[erately . The paper can take paint directly or If I want to use fluid /airbrush thickness acrylic paints I use small restaurant take out cups( they will fit under the lid and stay perfectly moist too.) If I leave them too many days eventually some of the paints may develop some black or mold …( a rare but definite possibility) when I was still using a verticle surface to paint on I had two of these Pallets going. I will probably try your alternative the next time I get to work large again . But for anyone who's working a bit smaller who may not be able to get back to work overnight the pallet that seals up completely adds days to the life of saved paint. I originally bought mine at a chain art supply store..so they are probably available many places.

  • Bob Worthy says:

    Wow! What a practical and useful solution. Thanks!!

  • Nick Adamopoulos says:

    Thank you

  • Antique Road Trip says:

    Is it possible to use gray palette paper instead of tracing paper?

  • katerina serafetinidou says:

    Brilliant tip!!! Thank you

  • Lauri MacLean says:

    Brilliant! Thank you for this incredibly useful information.

  • Freepalestine One says:

    I must have bought a to light weight tracing paper as it devolved and broke up where I was mixing 😕

  • Mohamad Farah says:

    Am from Sudan – hope my comment is not late – and am very fond painting in acrylic .. I liked the idea of keeping color wet specially if artwork takes days to finish .. we have big problems here first all painting medias are really expensive .. second our weather is hot and dry all time.. could you try find another way to keep"m wet specially after mixing.

  • marthakey50 says:

    very very good inf. thanks. any tips to keep brushes in good shape?

  • Ricardo Rincón-Benzalá says:

    Thank you very much for the Spanish subtitles. That allows me to fully understand your explanations.

  • kumar pp says:

    Hi Pamela, you can add another technique to this.Just using a similar sized tray to cover on top of the tray with acrylic paints will keep the paints fresher for a more longer time.Just my experience.

  • Nick Adamopoulos says:


  • alyda art says:

    Thank you!

  • Diane W says:

    Just found your videos today, and I love them! I love your work and your tips. Thank you so much!

    Finally someone who paints what I love to see. Beautiful work, just beautiful.

  • Pamela Powell says:

    wow! never heard of anything like this! i waste soooo much paint because i'm called away a lot. Thanks so much!

  • Judith Brock says:

    Thanks Pamela, very helpful info. You also mentioned once using Golden Open medium with acrylics. Another great tip. Appreciate your generous sharing.

  • Anna Tronson says:

    Thankyou! Nice to eliminate plastic . You just leave it. Even without a cover it stays wet?! This is great as I said to eliminate plastic wrap which I’ve seen on other palettes. 😊🌿

  • Rose Malbourn says:

    can we use butter paper ? please reply

  • Cynthia Russell says:

    Thank you! A quick question and maybe someone has asked already. I live in the desert and have such a challenge with paint drying. Do you think that this will work in a climate where daily humidity sits around 5%?

  • Marisa Moeller says:

    Fabulous tip!!!

  • Joanna van den eijnden says:

    Pamela hi, is there a follow up to this video?

  • Atelier Meló says:

    Thank you!

  • Flavia Slag says:

    Thanks for the tip.

  • Janine Kurzinger says:

    Parchment paper works. Cheaper

  • Beth Bartlett says:

    The advantage of Oil Paints – drying time. 🎨

  • Golpira Mirzazadeh says:

    thank you for amazing videos. what kind of paper u use?

  • Debora Levy says:

    Wouuuu!!! This is the best tip I heard !!!!! Many many thanks !!!!!

  • Sandra D. Wilcox says:

    You’re such an inspiration. Thanku Pamela

  • Debby Brady says:

    Can you use parchment paper?

  • Carmen Sinclair says:

    hi Pam. Wld parchment paper work instead of tracing paper?. . LOVE yr abstract tutorials. More Please.

  • Cheryl Lavoie says:

    Thank YOU!!!

  • B Herrera says:

    Awesome! Thanks.

  • Maija Jokinen says:

    Thank you- love that❣️

  • John Delmotte says:

    Tank you so much , for tout kindness , its very interesting , I will start à new academic year , with more confidence , you are a very good teacher

  • Can Dogancan says:

    Thanks for the tip. Blue paper towel is a good idea. I used the sponge under the old ironing table cloth. 🙂 And now I will go to the cafeteria for the tray. 🙂

  • Laurie Yeo says:

    You answer questions I have yet thought to ask. This is a terrific way to create pallette

  • Deboah W says:

    Love the painting behind you. Thank you for the tips for keeping paints damp

  • Nancy Makay says:

    Thank you. I look forward to watching your videos and learning more 👩🏻‍🎨🎨🖼😃

  • Tracey Platt says:

    Why not put some film wrap over the top of the paints too?

  • Lori Roll says:

    Hi Pam, Great tip, thank you! I used wax paper on top of CWM paints and it works pretty well. My favorite tools are garage sale kitchen and work shop tools. Pastry cutting wheel is awesome, as well as angel food cutting tool. Shop tools are endlessly fun. I loved your rolling pin additions. Fun, fun! Thank you.

  • Tracy Miller says:

    Thank you for the wet palette demo! You literally saved all of your followers a ton of money as well
    as being able to match the colors already mixed, the following day!

  • Dita van Stipriaan, art says:

    Hi, thanks for this video💐
    I use, for a lot of years, a large plastic box with lid for the acrylic paint, the same way you use the tray. Also because people can take it with them when they do an course. The only thing is, not to make it to wet, otherwise the paints walks all over the box.

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