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Author Topic: Watercolour paint softening  (Read 892 times)

bakeinspain

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on: April 16, 2013, 10:33:10 PM
Up till very recently, I have always put out my paints as and when needed. However, after seeing many demonstrations where people set out their palettes, I thought I'd give it a go. Living in Spain, watercolour paints don't seem that popular, so it's not easy to get many types without going on ebay or such and forking out for postage on products you can't see. Now I have a mix of brands, W&N, Pebeo, Cotman;  some have been given as presents, some I bought myself, so I do have plenty of paints.
However, after even so much as overnight in the palette, my tube paints get hard and flaky, some worse than others but even the ones that appear soft from the tube sometimes get really hard.
I was reading the thread here about brands and discovering that some are made with honey, decided to experiment. (Nothing I like better than playing around) ;D

So, my palette had some almost full (pots?) and others half full or nearly empty, I'd been painting yesterday anyway. A good time to try, less to lose if I failed but I figured if I put the same amount of liquid honey in each one, I could find out the ratio needed.
First, I dropped enough water on each one so that if the paint did activate it would be of similar consistency, then using a cocktail stick, I dropped one drop of honey in each one and stirred with clean sticks. Actually I used 2 drops on some Raw Umber that had refused to activate recently and had all but turned to rock! :banghead:
I had them mixed to a thick cream/paste and left them out uncovered for the night.
Well, this morning I looked at them and to my delight, they are not dried out again, they are set, smooth and shiny. I eagerly dipped a brush in this morning and low and behold, I could actually pick up smooth creamy paint, just ripe for mixing! :yippee:
Only time will tell if it works for very long but if it does, I shall develop the practice of putting a couple of drops of honey in the pots before adding paint from the tube. - Oh, I painted swatches and the paint dries fine as well, not gummy :clap:
I feel like doing a happy dance but had better save my energy for the cleaning I have to do - got a friend coming to stay. Funny how we get very popular when the UK weather is bad! :)

sandra


jennylynn

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Reply #1 on: April 16, 2013, 11:42:04 PM
hey Sandra, what a great tip, let us know how you get on with it,  stupid question I know, but what type of honey did you use?  want to try this  O0
jennylynn


bakeinspain

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Reply #2 on: April 17, 2013, 12:33:47 AM
Hi, I used a cheapo runny honey that hubby bought in a local Moroccan shop, it isn't labelled as anything and was dirt cheap!

The theory behind honey being used in paint is that it attracts moisture from the air, it will be interesting to see how well it works! It was literally just a drop or two falling from a cocktail stick dipped in the stuff.

sandra


musika

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Reply #3 on: April 17, 2013, 01:35:49 AM
Glycerol is another hydroscopic additive for watercolours.
Ray


bakeinspain

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Reply #4 on: April 17, 2013, 02:32:54 AM
Yes there are several things you can use but there are probably more jars of honey than Glycerol hanging around in cupboards! :)
Photos added to my watercolour gallery show a little of how 'juicy' they now are.
(I did not know how else to post pics!)

sandra


Happychappy

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Reply #5 on: April 17, 2013, 04:19:53 AM
 :thankyou:  Sandra for the tip which will benefit us all.  I am just wondering about the long term effect, if anything, by using extra honey.   


 :thankyou:  Ray too, for the Glycerol tip.  All very interesting stuff.  Patricia
Patricia
Blessed are those who give without remembering and blessed are those who receive without forgetting - anonymous


Sarah (arch)

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Reply #6 on: April 17, 2013, 05:51:40 AM
Poor Sandra is going to be attracting bees while doing plein air painting!
Sarah


Germa

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Reply #7 on: April 17, 2013, 08:37:46 AM
Reading your post, I got so curious, I've read some articles in Dutch about wc and honey, but there I've read one should also add some ox-gall to the waterpaint, and don't forget, a preservative (often phenol in earlier days), to prevent mold.  :D ;D

 


Bev S.

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Reply #8 on: April 17, 2013, 11:23:06 AM
Poor Sandra is going to be attracting bees while doing plein air painting!
Oh my yes. . . to say nothing of the ants. . . yikes!!! ???
I live to draw and paint, it a good thing that I don't have to draw and paint to live!


bakeinspain

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Reply #9 on: April 17, 2013, 10:42:30 PM
 :2funny:

I can't paint outside easily - I need glasses for distance and not for painting, so I can either see the subject or the brushwork but not both! I'm not going down the bifocal route yet. So far though, the honey experiment is going well, still got useable paints. :yippee:

sandra


Lillian

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Reply #10 on: April 18, 2013, 07:07:56 AM
Interesting post, Sandra and  :welcome:  to Paintbasket if I haven't done so already!
"The way to be happy," said Winston Churchill, "is to find something that requires the kind of perfection that's impossible to achieve and spend the rest of your life trying to achieve it."


bakeinspain

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Reply #11 on: May 08, 2013, 10:48:46 PM
OK. It's nearly a month into my experiment and the result has been very good. I have certainly found the paints easier to activate and not one of them has gone to that horrible cracked, dried out scabby stage.
When I refill my palette, I shall definitely be putting honey into the wells, possibly a bit more than I originally did.
I have also purchased some ice cube trays with lids and shall use these for some of the most well used colours.
Younger son is going stateside for a couple of weeks and I have asked him to look out for some Daniel Smith paints to try out the Quinacrodome reds.. :yippee: I hope he gets some  - I do have a birthday coming up! :)  He should also be able to supply me with lots of photographic material - he's been on an extended trip since last summer - to Australia, going back to UK via NewZeland and America.

sandra


ncwren

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Reply #12 on: May 10, 2013, 07:04:47 AM
I think it has been better for me to fill the cup area all the way with my paint instead of a little blob-less surface area to dry out.  Then there is the pill container that Dennis uses-great for a traveling kit.  ;)
~Natalie

Be an encourager. The world has plenty of critics already. ~Dave Willis


 

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