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Top 7 Justifications For Dry Palettes For Miniature Painting

Best Dry Palettes for Miniature Painting

Although a miniature painter has many tools, just a select handful are absolutely necessary. Dry palettes are an essential piece of equipment for every miniature painter.

A dry palette offers numerous apparent advantages over wet palettes. The most useful dry palettes are adaptable, durable, and portable.

In this essay, we’ll go through the top 7 reasons why a dry palette is essential for painting miniatures and models.

The Jack Richeson Porcelain Mini Tray Palette with Cover is my preferred dry palette.

Find out why you might prefer a dry palette if you keep reading.

A dry or wet palette is what?

Wet or dry palettes are the two options available for miniature painting.

Wet palette

Painting miniatures requires a wet palette, such as the Masterson’s Wet Palette.

Without one of these palettes, I could not paint as well as I do.

Actually, I used to create my own wet palettes, but I gave up when I learned how much time it required.

I don’t have much time because I work as a professional commission painter.

Additionally, my Achilles heel when it comes to our passion is that I dislike creating anything from scratch. I eventually purchase my wet palettes (you only need one).

Any wet surface that you use to apply acrylic paints is referred to as a wet palette. This surface is often a thin membrane that may take in moisture or water from a sponge-like reservoir.

In order to prevent the paint from drying out, as the acrylic medium evaporates on the surface, moisture from below the surface diffuses up into the paint.

Wet palettes prolong the acrylic paints’ working duration in this way. They enable painters to use more complex methods, such as glazing and wet mixing.

Wet palettes are common, however there are still drawbacks to using them. These include continuous upkeep and supply costs.

Additionally, there is the chance of mold development and the inconvenience of an erratic work surface. For instance, variations in the humidity or temperature of the surrounding air may affect the thickness of paint.

And lastly, not all wet palettes are created equal. Choose carefully.

Wet palettes come in a range of sizes and abilities.

For this piece, I won’t go into them, but I heartily endorse Masterson’s Wet Palette. Here are several other well-liked and suggested wet palettes for acrylic hobby paint if you want to see more examples of wet palettes.

It is the least expensive and most efficient wet palette on the market, and I use one frequently.

Dry Pallet

A dry palette is an antiquated tool for painting. Any surface that can be painted with acrylic paint before being applied to a model could be the subject.

The dry palette is “dry” in the sense that it doesn’t produce any additional moisture. This type of palette may be made of metal, wood, glass, or ceramic.

An artist can apply paint to a “working surface” by using a dry palette when painting miniatures. The painter now has the chance to change the amount of loaded paint on the brush.

For additional information on why a dry palette is necessary for painting miniatures, continue reading.

A Jack Richeson Porcelain Mini Palette

7 Justifications for Using a Dry Palette When Painting Miniatures

1. Initial Speed Painting

Speed. Do you desire quick painting?

You’ll become a better painter if you use a dry palette.

This is why:

On a dry palette, paint dries quickly. You understand how rapidly you need to work, the more often you paint with a dry palette.

It becomes second nature for you to “just do it” and stop thinking so much about how you apply paint.

There isn’t time for you to think!

But it’s all right.

With a dry palette, you must make all of your decisions before painting a model, as opposed to wet palettes. For instance, you should choose your colors in advance so that you are ready to apply them all when you pick up the paintbrush.

When using a wet palette, you can, of course, prepare your color scheme in advance. A dry palette, though, forces you to make a choice.

No need to mince words. Your paint is evaporating! Go paint!

2. Usability

A dry palette is easy to use. Paint it, then fill your brush with paint.

You are all set to go!

There isn’t much more to this, in my opinion.

A wet palette, on the other hand, requires setup time. Even if you’ve set up a wet palette correctly, you still need to make sure your surface is damp.

Some of the paint may have solidified on the wet palette if it comes from an earlier session. In this situation, you should still reload new paint.

Your damp paint palette can contain particles. Otherwise, you run the danger of getting it on your figurines. For instance, dust can contaminate your paint layers and damage a beautiful paint job.

With a dry palette, you often start from scratch.

Nothing is dirty.

3. Organizing

A high-quality dry palette is quite simple to clean, speaking of which. I advise dry palettes made of glazed porcelain.

They tidy up quickly!

Any dried acrylic paint will easily wash off with a simple water wash.

This also increases the fun of painting by making cleanup simple. There are no roadblocks in your path.

Continue using a dry, clean palette!

You can simply chuck off the paper surface of a damp palette. The foul water that seeped underneath the sponge needs to be cleaned, though.

Did I mention that setting up a new wet palette takes some time?

Additionally, you must carry out this step each time you clean your wet palette.

4. Paint is Reliable and Consistent

This is a compelling argument. Paint can remain constant with the use of a dry and wet palette. A dry palette is far more predictable in this instance though.

When using a dry palette, you can precisely measure the additional moisture in the paint. In actuality, you have already contributed that moisture if you are thinning your paints.

A moist palette is considerably dissimilar from this. Both the palette itself and the surrounding air (if you’re storing your paints for a prolonged amount of time) contain moisture.

For more seasoned painters, I’m sure this isn’t a problem.

A dry palette, however, is preferable for the casual hobbyist or the miniature painter who prefers to keep things simple. Over the course of painting sessions, there are less factors to consider.

5. Sophisticated Methods

Dry palettes are suitable for many advanced painting methods.

For instance, if you employ any of the several mixing or glazing mediums, you’ll need a stable, impervious surface to operate on (e.g., no wet palettes).

With a dry palette, wet mixing is also advantageous.

I’ve painted miniatures with glazing media (see here). A typical dry palette is also required for the usage of inks and oil paints.

A dry palette is necessary when you wish to paint quickly, as was already indicated. One of the quickest methods for applying highlights to a miniature is dry brushing.

The method quickly reveals details.

Lastly, two brush mixing is a common painting method that requires a dry palette (aka 2BB). One of the key factors that makes miniature painters lick their brushes is 2BB.

You can use a wet-palette to execute the majority of these various approaches in addition to thinning medium. However, using a dry palette makes using these sophisticated painting techniques cleaner, more efficient, and simpler.

6. Environmentally Friendly

if you have environmental concerns. Then there is the claim that a dry palette is more environmentally friendly than a wet one.

Of course, you can disregard disposable dry palettes made of plastic or metal.

A dry palette can be washed and used repeatedly for a very long period with all the other sorts of palette materials.

On the other hand, a wet palette necessitates routine trashing of both, the sponge and the work surface, such as a paper membrane. A wet palette also necessitates routine sponge cleaning and water replenishment.

You might need to use a detergent or other cleaning solution to accomplish this, which could have a negative impact on the environment.

A dry palette that is kept up effectively can last for a very long time and won’t use up a lot of resources.

7. Portability

Do you take your paints on the road? Perhaps all you do is move from room to room.

A dry palette is much simpler to move than a wet one in any scenario.

This explanation is straightforward. A dry palette is simpler to transport on the road (or in an airline) than a damp one.

You can remove all the water from a wet palette, but you will need to reassemble it at your destination.

A dry palette is my go-to palette, even when I’m travelling between different areas of my house (from my desk to the dinner table, for example).

Admittedly, I am aware that every artist is unique, and that the extra trouble of carrying a wet palette everywhere is worthwhile. But in the end, a good dry palette is quite adaptable.

What dry palette do I use and suggest personally?

Palette with Cover and Mini Tray in Porcelain by Jack Richeson


  • Small
  • Glazed Ceramic
  • Cover serves as a mixing tray and shields wells from dust.
  • Simple to clean
  • Inexpensive


  • There are only a few wells (I have two of these for this reason)
  • There will be no need for anything else.

If you’re seeking for a porcelain dry palette with a bit more space to combine additional colors, there is a larger version available.

22 Well Porcelain Palette with Lid, Large, by Jack Richeson


  • A lot of beautiful paint wells
  • Part for mixing
  • Firm construction
  • A smooth, cleanable surface
  • With a spherical bottom, paint dries slowly in round bottom wells
  • Cover guards against dirt and debris


  • Greater expense
  • May be more challenging to transport
  • Heavier

Okay, I still need a wet palette.

The Masterson’s Wet Palette is the wet palette that is currently commercially available and used by the majority of miniature painters.

These are the two wet-palettes that I have experience with, though I’m sure there are other versions.

The Masterson’s Wet Palette is something I’ve personally used for years.

It’s a little shabby, but it works flawlessly. The paper surface that it comes with might use a different color, like a light gray, though.

The bright values in acrylic paints would be easier to see as a result.

Last Word…

I typically look for the simplest tool for the job when painting miniatures. One of the best purchases you can make for acrylic miniature painting is a high-quality palette for the reasons given in this article.

The dry palette is still essential even if everyone seems to have a wet palette for painting miniatures.

Miniature painting presents many difficulties, and a wet palette can frequently make matters worse.

Are you like me and prefer a dry palette than a wet one because of its simplicity? Post a comment down below!

Have fun drawing!

Read Here A Beginners Guide On Everything About Acrylic Paint Techniques and Tools

For More About The History Of Painting Minis

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