Much to my delight, I recently received a box filled with two beautiful artist palettes from my Twitter friends, Kyle and Keith O’Brien of New Wave Fine Art Products. Kyle asked me to test out their Highland plein air palette, plus their mid-size Grand View Confidant.

Lately, I’ve noticed a lot of artists are favoring the handheld artist palette over the artist taboret. I witnessed this last month while painting in Maine with T. Allen Lawson, so I was excited to give these palettes a try!

I have to admit that I haven’t used a handheld palette since my college days. I was never a fan of those cumbersome, heavy and hard to clean palettes. But, these two beauties are different with their innovative 3 point design and universal fit, plus the buzz about the New Wave palettes within the art community made me curious…

artist palette history

Today, I took the Highland palette out with me to do some plein air painting. My time in the field is limited, so I like to travel lightly. I was happy to discover the Highland fit perfectly in my backpack with all my portable painting supplies.

artist palette backpack

My 5×7 pocket pochade box by Guerilla has a very small area for mixing, so with the large surface of the Highland it was much easier to mix and keep my Cobra water-soluble oil paints clean. Plus, it felt comfortable and easy in my hand, and extremely light on my wrist. In fact, I even forgot I was holding it!

artist plein air painting palette

Handcrafted by the Amish in Lancaster County, PA, USA, the design is superior to anything else out there. They are made of hard white maple because the grain is less distracting than birch or oak. Along with a durable, yet chic finish, New Wave palettes are the first to fit the contour of your body, while providing functional design options for numerous styles of painting.

I was able to create a fresh little plein air painting in no time at all!

The last test for me was the clean-up. I have used wooden palettes in the past and was annoyed by just how difficult they were to clean. That is why I use an easy to clean glass-top taboret in my studio. (But, I am excited to test the Grand View Confidant palette soon!)

Much to my surprise, the finish was simple to clean and non-absorbent. Using only a paper towel, I was able to quickly wipe off the excess paint.

However, I don’t like to waste my Cobra paints. So, I have a great suggestion to transport wet paint on the New Wave palettes…

A while back, another Twitter friend (Lana O’Myer) sent me her product to try – Paint Savers.  Just place these clear cup-like devices with a sticky (TPR Rubber) gasket over the unused piles of paint right on your palette. They form an airtight seal around your individual piles of paint to keep them usable for weeks.

plein air palette paint savers

I can’t wait to get back out into the field and paint again tomorrow. Today was Day 24 of my personal plein air painting challenge! Only 1 more week to go…you can see my daily paintings on Facebook at Fine Art Tips, or stay tuned – I soon plan to post them here to help the Hurricane Sandy Victims.

Meanwhile, I look forward to testing out the larger Grand View Confidant palette and will post about my experience soon. Please visit the New Wave website to learn more about their ingenuous palettes or watch the video below.

Happy painting! ~Lori

Bringing <http://vimeo.com/51495394%22%3EBringing>  an Iconic Painting Tool to Life: New Wave Artist Palettes from New <http://vimeo.com/newwaveart%22%3ENew> Wave Art on Vimeo.

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