Thinning your paints is one of the most important things you can do to improve your painting. The problem is no one can really tell you how to do it. For me it just came naturally by dipping my brush in water and then using it to paint. The more water I left on the brush the thinner my paint would be. Learning how to really thin my paints became important to me when I started using an airbrush. In order to move the paint through an airbrush it has to be thinned down and to obtain a highlighting effect it really has to be thinned down.
This week on Twitter I found a great article from Reaper about thinning paints, http://www.reapermini.com/Thecraft/15
I am also going to copy and paste that article at the bottom of this post for future reference.
The one thing I feel this article skipped is the importance of using Distilled Water. The problem with tap water is who knows what is in the water and any chemicals can react to your paints. Distilled Water is pure and should not have any chemicals added to it that will react to your paint. I know some people are going to say tap water is just fine and form them I am sure your tap water is great. I live in an area where the tap water is not so good and my house does not have a water purification system installed. For me it is just easier to buy a gallon of Distilled Water and use it for Cleaning My Brushes, Thinning Paints and Brewing Beer.
In the article they also talk about Flow Improver to mix with water to thin your paints. I use the Vallejo Flow Improver for airbrushing. I use this on paints that I am thinning for my airbrush and paintbrush.
The reason why people can't tell you how to thin your paints is every brand of paint is different and how you cared for that paint will be a factor. So you will have to experiment with thinning your paint to learn how to thin them. I will say learning how to thin your paint is worth the effort and will improve the look of your finished models.
The Art of Thinning Acrylic Paints
by Darin Hlavaz
Thick paint holds brush strokes.
Thin paints apply in smooth, even coats.
Different painters prefer different products.
- 80% Folk Art Extender
- 10% Winsor and Newton Flow Improver
- 10% water
- 25% Liquitex Slow-Dri
- 25% Winsor and Newton Flow Improver
- 50% water
Different brands require different ratios of solution to paint.
|Basecoating||1:1 parts solution to paint|
|Layering||4:1 parts solution to paint|
|Washes||10:1 parts solution to paint|
Basecoats should remain opaque throughout.
Thinned paint for layering
should appear transparent at the edges.
Washes should be entirely transparent.
Easy Does It
Wick off excess moisture before painting.
That's a Wrap