(Specifically the Martin Universal Design Mijello Oil and Acrylic Peel-Off Palettes)
These palettes are on “My All-Time Favorite Things” list for good reason!
I have been using my Peel-Off palette for a few years now, and I absolutely love it. I own the Small Ellipse model. It measures approximately 7.75″ × 10.5″ × .75″. Here is mine, encrusted with memories of our long time spent together:
(As a matter of fact, I just used it about an hour ago, which is what prompted this review.)
And here is what it looks like when it’s all nice and clean:
- The “Peel-Off” factor: A Peel-Off Palette is made from impact plastic, which allows you to easily peel off your paint when dry – this works especially well if you are using acrylics. Oils can easily be wiped off, and if you want to peel them off you just need to wait longer since oils take longer to dry. Nonetheless, the process of “peeling-off” works just the same in either instance. My experience: when the paint fully dries, it really does peel off with ease. Just slide your fingernail or the tip of your palette knife under an edge, and it just lifts right off – no sticking or having to pry off your dried paint.
Now to continue with the good stuff:
- It keeps your paint wet longer. Any user of acrylics knows that they dry FAST without the extensive use of mediums or a special kind of container to store your palette in. Now, they don’t last for days, and my acrylics do develop a skin on them after a while, but overall I noticed that they do stay workable for longer. A major plus! (This company also offers an Air-Tight version of the Peel-Off Palette…I may have to try that in the future)
- Each of the palettes is divided into separate compartments to lay and mix paint
- It has a raised lip: I don’t anticipate my paint sliding off of my palette anytime soon, but if it started to, this would prevent it from free-falling down onto my carpet. Other than that, I frequently use the lip of this palette to wipe excess paint off of my brush, so I am glad it is there. (It’s always the small things that count…)
- It’s Ergonomic: It is lightweight and therefore easy on the wrists when holding it for long periods of time. The groves and depressions on the sides also make it comfortable to hold whether you are left or right-handed.
- It is very durable: I am not ashamed to admit that I’ve (accidentally) dropped mine numerous times on various floor surfaces, and it is still going strong – not a scratch or a crack to show for it.
- There is no “coating” to worry about, so if you ever feel like giving your palette a good soap and rinse, you can do so knowing your palette will still function as well as the day your purchased it.
- It has a nice, sleek, and smooth surface to mix on
- It’s fun – I’m not sure why, but even after a few years of using this palette, peeling off those solidified mounds of paint never gets old. C’mon, this palette can technically create its own 3D work of art – I suppose if you want to get really into it, you could strategically lay out your paints out and mix them into some cool design and then peel them off and witness the magic. What other palette can claim to do that?
- Different designs to suit your painting needs: The Mijello Peel-Off palettes come in various sizes and offer various features to suit your painting needs. Like I mentioned above, I am interested to try the Artelier Air-Tight Palette and compose a review on that. (I have currently have an alternate method to keep my acrylic paints workable for days, and I’ll share that method in a later review)
- It can get scratched when aggressively using a metal palette knife, which, over time can defeat the purpose of having a smooth, non-stick surface the palette initially provides. I know we painters can be “in the moment” when we are painting. But if you are worried about it, just go easy on your palette of switch to a plastic palette knife.
- When you are mixing your paint, or creating a “wash,” the residual paint streaks are a bit harder to peel-off when dry. Sometimes it feels like they are “flaking off” more than they are peeling. Dry flakes of paint can sometimes be mixed in with your wet paint/washes if you do not keep your mixing areas separate or keep your palette fairly clean. But again, this is a minimal concern – a quick sponge, soap, and warm water scrub can quickly remedy this.
Price: These palettes retail from anywhere between $8.99 (for the Small Ellipse) and $29.99 (for the Air-tight palette.) Amazon.com is a great place to buy online because they often offer the lowest prices. Although I think these are well worth the money (I believe I bought mine for full price), you can still find them cheaper in any art supply/craft store or online, but remember that some stores may only carry one or two of the palette models, so you may want to call your store before heading over.
And if you are in a money-pinch and still want to try these, keep your eyes out for sales and coupons offered by your art/craft supply stores. Michael’s Arts and Crafts and Joann Fabric Superstore frequently send out a 40% off coupon for any one regularly priced item if you sign up for their e-mailing list (it’s free).
Conclusion: Overall, I highly recommend this palette! Whether you use oils, acrylic, or use moderately large volumes of paint – or tiny portions, this is really a great buy. Easy clean up, easy on the wrists, durable, and overall an excellent piece to add to your list of art supplies. So if you are on the edge and can’t decide whether or not to purchase this palette, I’d say, go for it! You won’t be disappointed – I wasn’t.