New Wave Palettes - perfect palettes for hard-working artists
Haidee-Jo Summers says the New Wave palettes won’t let you down, whether you use the hand-held, tear-off or table-top palettes – they’re easy to use, easy to clean and comfortable to hold.
'When it comes to choosing equipment such as easels, paint brushes and palettes I need products that are as hard working as I am,' says Haidee-Jo Summers.
'New Wave Fine Art Products is a small family firm that produces hand-crafted palettes in Pennsylvania, USA, and I first became aware of them shortly after they started exporting to the UK.
'I confess I hesitated at the price of the Grand View Confidant as I had never before managed to keep a wooden palette clean for very long. When the build-up of dry paint became too much of a nuisance I would start on a new, clean palette, so I had a collection of variously savaged palettes hanging around the studio.
'When I purchased my Grand View Confidant from I expected it would end up the same way as all my others, but over two years later I'm very happy to report that it looks as good as new and I am so happy I invested in it.
'I was initially attracted to the palette’s beauty, as well as the innovative shape – a patented design that hugs the body for an incredibly comfortable fit when held.'
My New Wave Confidant - two years old and as good as new
Easy to use
The first issue this palette solved for me is that it's really easy to clean.
The maple wood is very carefully sanded to a fine texture and treated with a proprietary finish that is resistant to traditional mediums and solvents, leaving it almost as smooth as glass but with some additional tooth that is a pleasure to mix on. This makes my palette very easy to wipe down at the end of each painting session.
You can use a little turps or similar solvent on a cloth or paper towel and it is clean in no time. I find it best to clean it daily and not to let the oil paint dry.
If you do forget and end up with dry paint all is not lost. Just apply a little extra turps or solvent and allow it to soak in and soften the paint. This, combined with scraping with a palette knife will get the palette clean again.
The wooden hand-held palettes come in a range of sizes, for example the Highland, which is rectangular in shape and may even fit into a French box easel (check your measurements before ordering).
The reason I chose the Grand View Confidant is that I like the largest mixing area possible. I don't want to break off to clean areas of the palette in the middle of a painting as it would interrupt my flow of concentration.
I'm quite small, so people are often surprised when they see me painting and holding an apparently enormous wooden palette that looks really heavy. When they hold the palette they are always amazed that it’s so light and easy to handle. The weight is well distributed across my forearm and rests against my waist; I can hold it for hours without getting tired.
There is a thumb hole, and the palette is available in left- and right-handed versions. The extra- large hole next to the thumb hole allows me to hold a handful of brushes and a rag at the same time.
All in all it’s very easy to keep on the move while painting, which is an important part of my method.
I used this palette as my regular studio palette for over a year before trying the large grey rectangular POSH palette that is designed for table-top use. I liked it so much that I now I have two POSH palettes side by side on top of a wheeled trolley beside my easel, which provides a total mixing area of (80x100cm) – a single palette is (40x50cm).
The POSH is also made of smooth maple but finished in a neutral mid-toned grey with a soft satin surface.
This can really benefit your colour mixing as it is easy to see how warm or cool the mix is and know instantly if it is a high or low tonal value. I clean the palette at the end of each working day and it only takes a couple of minutes. This way I start each day with a beautiful clean surface and I know it’s going to last me many years.
Disposable New Wave
I still use my Grand View Confidant hand-held palette for every oil painting demo that I do. It is easy to move around while talking and painting and to tip to show the colours and mixes.
Acrylics are a different matter for me, as I don’t like to clean up after those!
I’m very happy to use the New Wave disposable paper palette pad for all my demos in acrylics. It has a large mixing surface and contains a generous 50 sheets of paper. It’s available in either white or grey sheets, which is most unusual as far as disposable pads go.
There’s a shaped version with a three-point design for balance and a thumb hole, and a rectangular design without a thumb hole for table-top use, which gives a slightly larger mixing area.
The styles are glued on three edges so the pages do not tear out while mixing, curl, or blow in the wind while outdoors. Both are the ultimate in convenience if you attend a painting group as you can simply tear off the top sheet and dispose of it at the end of the session, and slip the palette pad into a bag.
The New Wave disposable paper palette has grey paper – I photographed it on my POSH palette and turned back the cover to show the colour of the sheet.
For details of where to buy these New Wave palettes please visit the website.
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