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Brushwork

Blending Wet Into Wet (floating colour)

Wet colour is applied into wet colour on the painting surface. Colours blend together, each colour being affected by the colour(s) adjacent and underneath. Each brush mark is softened by the wet colour it is painted into. Since acrylics dry quickly this method often requires additives and/or mediums to be added to the paint. This slows drying and increases the ease of blending.

HELPFUL HINTS

  • Control the painting environment. Maintain high humidity and/or use atomizer to spray paint surface while blending.
  • It is easier to blend wet into wet using Liquitex Heavy Body Artist Colours.Thick paint applications dry slower than thin paint applications.
  • Use Flow-Aid Water mixture instead of water when thinning paint.
  • Add 10% Slow-Dri Fluid Retarder to Flow-Aid Water mixture.
  • Apply Slow-Dri Fluid or Gel Retarder directly to painting surface or brush, prior to blending.

Washes

  • To create colour passages that cover broad areas begin with Liquitex Soft Body Acrylic Colour.
  • Water and medium can be added until desired fluidity is achieved. Note: avoid over-thinning with water by adding medium to maintain integrity of paint film and proper adhesion (50% water/paint requires an equal amount of
  • medium)
  • Liquitex Airbrush medium is ideal for this application as it is very fluid, yet supports the paint film.
  • Sheen can be adjusted with either gloss or matt medium and open time can be extended with Liquitex Slow-Dri Blending Medium or Slow-Dri Fluid Retarder.

Colour Thinning

Many painting techniques require acrylic colours to be thinned with water. Over-thinning with water can result in weakened paint films and poor adhesion. Following these procedures will help in avoiding this problem.


Fine Line Detailing

A technique where colour is applied in fine detail. Best results are achieved using Liquitex Soft Body Acrylic Colour and a soft, round brush. Additives that increase "open" time of paint and decrease surface friction aid in achieving detailed brush marks. Water and medium can be added until desired fluidity is achieved. Note: avoid over-thinning with water by adding medium to maintain integrity of paint film and proper adhesion (50% water/paint requires an equal amount of medium). A soft, small round brush will give maximum control of mark. A smooth surface is ideal for this application.

  • Slow-Dri Fluid Retarder Increases "open" time, thus slowing down thickening of paint on brush and allowing finer detail brush marks. Often used in conjunction with Flow-AidTM.
  • Flow-Aid Flow Enhancer Mix with colours for paint that has less drag and better flow, allowing fine line detail.

Impasto

A painting technique that uses a brush or knife loaded with paint to create bold textures that stand out in relief. Well known examples include paintings by artists such as Vincent Van Gogh and Frank Auerbach. Best results are achieved using Liquitex Heavy Body Artist Colours.

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Dry Brush Scrumbling, Stippling

Use paint that is not too fluid and lightly drag a stiff brush across the surface. A rougher surface works better for this technique. A technique where colour is unevenly applied to a surface using a stiff brush. May be done with Liquitex Soft Body and Heavy Body Artist Colour. No mediums or additives are necessary for this technique.


General Information

Each additive and medium, when mixed into colours, imparts specific qualities to paint. Various brushwork techniques can be done using one or a combination of various additives and mediums. The specific additives and mediums chosen will reflect your technique, substrate and studio environment.

  Blending wet in wet using LIQUITEX Soft Body Artist Colours Blending wet in wet using  LIQUITEX Heavy Body Artist Colours
Slow-Dri Fluid Retarder
  • Increases "open" time for improved colour blending, without significantly altering paint viscosity.
  • Can be used in conjunction with Flow-Aid.
  • Increases "open" time for improved colour blending, while decreasing paint viscosity.
  • Can be mixed with Slow-Dri Gel Retarder.
Flow-Aid Flow Enhancer
  • Improves blending, smooth transitions and spread of colours by reducing friction of paint surface.
  • Large areas of colour can be more easily covered by slightly thinning paint with Flow-Aid Water.
  • Flow-Aid Water (1 part Flow-Aid, 20 parts distilled water) mixed with paint will have better leveling properties, spread in a consistent manner and dry to a smooth surface with little or no brush stroke.
  • Improves blending of colours while reducing paint viscosity.
Slow-Dri Blending Fluid Medium
  • Improves blending by increasing "open" time and improves spread of paint.
  • The more medium used, the more transparent the colour will be.
  • Maintains viscosity and aids blending by slowing drying time.
  • Adding Slow-Dri Blending Medium increase transparency.
Gloss Medium & Varnish
  • Aids colour blending without changing paint viscosity. Colours dry to a gloss finish.
  • The more Gloss Medium & Varnish used, the more transparent the colour will be.
  • Aids colour blending while decreasing paint viscosity. Colours dry to a gloss finish.
  • The more Gloss Medium & Varnish used, the more transparent the colour will be. Apply Slow-Dri Blending Fluid Medium directly to the painting surface prior to handling.
Matte Medium
  • Aids colour blending without changing paint viscosity. Colours dry to a matte finish.
  • The more Matte Medium used, the more translucent the colour will be.
  • Matte Medium aids colour blending while decreasing paint viscosity. Colours dry to a matte finish.
Matte Gel Medium
  • Aids colour blending while increasing paint viscosity. Colours dry to matte finish.
  • The more Matte Gel Medium used, the more translucent the colour will be.
  • Matte Gel Medium aids colour blending without changing paint viscosity.
  • The more Matte Medium and Matte Gel Medium used, the more translucent the paint will be.
Slow-Dri Blending Gel Medium
  • Increases paint viscosity and aids blending by increasing open time.
  • The more Slow-Dri Blending Gel, the more transparent the colour will be.
 

Gloss Gel Medium and Gloss Heavy Gel Medium

  • Aids colour blending while increasing the paint viscosity. Colours dry to gloss finish.
  • The more Gloss Gel and Gloss Heavy Gel Medium used, the more transparent the colour will be.
  • Gloss Gel Medium aids colour blending without changing paint viscosity.
  • Gloss Heavy Gel Medium aids colour blending while increasing paint viscosity. Colours dry to glossy finish.
  • The more Gloss Gel and Heavy Gel Medium used, the more transparent the blended colour will be.
  • Imparts oil-like quality to blending techniques. Colours dry to a gloss finish.
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