Helpful tips about paint!
All artist colors are mixtures of pigments and other basic ingredients.
Acrylics are synthetic acrylic polymer resin. They consist of a pigment an emulsion of plastic resins and a binder which is water. They dry extremely fast because the water evaporate.
Oil paints have three things in them: Linseed oil, turpentine and the pigment. The linseed oil is the binder that holds the pigment and makes it possible for you to spread the paint out on your surface. The turpentine simply thins it a bit so it is easy to spread. Not all oils contain Linseed oil, some are mixed with poppy seed oil or walnut oil. Oil paints dry as a result of oxidation, not evaporation. The oil reacts with the oxygen in the air and turns into a gel and then into a solid.
Watercolor in theory is any paint medium that is soluble in water. That would include gouache and tempera. However, we are going to look at watercolor where the artist applies washes of color. This type of watercolor paint is made up of pigment and gum Arabic which is a water soluble binder with water added.
Gouache is the opaque watercolor paint, this is created by adding other ingredients such as zinc, talc, white or china clay.
Tempera is made up of a pigment and egg yolk which is the binder and then water is added.
Not all pigments behave the same way, oil paints dry slowly and the hues don’t change, whereas acrylics dry faster but the hues will change as they dry. Most pigments come from metallic ores or compounds; some come from plants, animals, fish products and charred bone or wood.
Here are some tips about mixing colors no matter what medium you use.
If you want to mix colors, you must remember that you cannot mix the primary colors. These are red, blue, and yellow.
If you want to create a secondary color, you need to mix two of the primary colors together, it is just that simple. Red+ Blue = Violet, Yellow + Red = Orange and blue + Yellow = Green. You can get many shades of these by increasing or decreasing one of the primary colors.
If you mix all three primary colors, you get a black color.
If you add white to any color, you create a “tint” of that color.
Just think of how many orange colors you can make, there are so many reds and yellows and any mixture of the two will create a different orange. For example, if you mix more red than yellow, you get a reddish orange; if you add more yellow than red, you get a yellowish orange. One of the best things to do to learn how to mix colors is to keep a record of the mixtures you make.
One rule is that if you want to keep your colors the brightest they can be, you need to mix colors that are made of one pigment only. If there is more than one pigment, you will not get the cleanest colors.
Next, we have what is called a Tertiary color. Simply put it is when you mix a one primary color with one secondary color, easy isn’t it?
When you are mixing colors I have found that it is best to add the darkest color to the lightest, only a takes a small amount of a dark color to change a light color, but it needs a lot more of a light color to change a dark one.
Another trick is to add your opaque color to your transparent color, only a small amount of an opaque color is needed to change the color of a transparent one.
One of the most important things about color mixing is, understanding Complementary colors. Two colors on opposite sides of the color wheel are “complementary” colors. When they are placed next to each other, they make the other color appear brighter. The complementary colors are: Red- Green; Blue-Orange and Yellow-Purple.
When these colors are mixed in the proper proportion, they produce a neutral color (grey, white, or black).