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Author Topic: Thinning Acrylic Paints with Water  (Read 1047 times)

nolan

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Thinning Acrylic Paints with Water
« on: August 24, 2014, 12:57:59 PM »
Jackie asked me this question:

Quote
one of the first thing I learnt from my acrylic teacher was the 30% rule....you should never have more than 30% water when using acrylics......in the sunset painting I'm a little concerned we are using more than that when doing the sky.

Should I change to glazing medium rather than water.....I think for learning exercise the water is ok but I am worried if someone used the same method in a painting for sale that the paint will peel off with time.

Anyway, let me know what you think.

nolan

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Re: Thinning Acrylic Paints with Water
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2014, 01:10:19 PM »
I have looked into this and this is what I have found:

Golden website:
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Thinning
OPEN Acrylics can be thinned and extended with OPEN Thinner, OPEN Medium, water, or other GOLDEN Mediums. For most painting techniques the following guidelines are recommended:
 
  • OPEN Thinner will reduce the viscosity while still preserving the optimal working time. Since OPEN Thinner contains no binders, limit additions to a maximum 3:1 ratio of 3 parts paint to 1 part OPEN Thinner to maintain film integrity. OPEN Medium is useful when a more fluid application is desired while maintaining the working properties and extended open time. Can be added in any ratio.
  • Water will very rapidly reduce the viscosity of the paint, but will not preserve the extended open time. To maintain film integrity limit additions to a maximum 2:1 ratio of 2 parts paint to 1 part water.
  • Faster drying GOLDEN Mediums can be added in any ratio to OPEN Acrylics to modify viscosity as well but will lower the open time in proportion to the ratio.
For washes and stains on porous and absorbent grounds, one may exceed the above ratios, although the resulting paint films will become increasingly fragile and water sensitive. To later preserve these works, they will need to be properly framed and protected in ways similar to watercolors, or the surface will need to be consolidated with a layer of acrylic medium or an isolation coat prior to varnishing.
Daler Rowney:
When thinning down acrylic colours with water, the general rule is not to exceed more than 50% water. If the colour mix has more than 50% water it starts to lose its adhesive properties and will not be durable enough and will most likely start to peel. However, when it comes to acrylic mediums there are no such rules and you can add as much medium as you like to achieve the effects you desire. This is because acrylic mediums are made with acrylic resin as their base, which is the ‘glue’ or binder used in all acrylic colours.
then they also say this with regards to using acrylic paint for airbrushing:
System 3 Original should gradually be thinned with water, about 1 to 1 by volume to produce a milky consistency, to work effortlessly in your airbrush.

The other manufacturers don't mention anything about a ratio limit.

For most applications you can go all the way up to a 1:1 ratio, which is roughly what we used for the sunset seascape class without running into problems.

I usually don't worry about this ratio too much as I always varnish my acrylic paintings.

If however you need to paint to be thinner - runny consistency - or if you are not going to varnish your paintings then the advice is to use an acrylic medium (preferably the one from the manufacturer of the brand of paint you are using) when thinning past the 2 parts paint to 1 part water mark.

Having said that, please now don't go and become pedantic about these rations and start trying to measure them, they are simply guidelines.

I have never heard of an acrylic painting that has peeled off, or even cracked in all the years I have been teaching - I have had lots of oil paintings crack and peel though.

voodoolady

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Re: Thinning Acrylic Paints with Water
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2014, 02:30:58 PM »
Phew  8) Thanks Nolan........I was looking for something else and saw that video and then remembered the 30% thing.

I can get on with worrying about getting the clouds right now.  On my 3rd attempt......first attempt wasn't too bad but thought I could do it a bit better, 2nd attempt is now a lovely abstract of trees so will do 3rd attempt today  :2funny:

The best thing is the more often we try something the more brush mileage we put in and the more "oh so that's what happens when we do that" we get.
Jackie

Whoever said "It's as slow as watching paint dry" was obviously not an acrylics painter

dennis

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Re: Thinning Acrylic Paints with Water
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2014, 02:41:27 PM »
I have been painting in Acrylics for many years and still have in my possession my very first demo painting when I started teaching 27 years ago. In fact it is on the wall in my lounge.

I've done many commissions and many acrylic paints during this 27 year period and have never once even given the water amount a thought - just thinned to the consistency I needed at the time. Not one of my paintings have ever shown the slightest sign of deterioration, let alone the peeling factor. The Makes I used was originally Atalier (long, long before the Interactive) and then Daler Rowney System 3 and Grumbacher Academy. My MOTTO: don't add any more water than you need to.
Another thing: I always add a varnish to my paintings after making sure that the painting is completely dry.

Again, you are the master of your own painting, and you must follow your own instincts and what is best for you.

If you are using one of the impasto gels then don't add more than 25% gel to paint volume. Any more than 25% will start to lighten the colour but not the break down of the binder.
You are what you THINK about - Napoleon Hill

voodoolady

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Re: Thinning Acrylic Paints with Water
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2014, 03:18:38 PM »
I have been painting in Acrylics for many years and still have in my possession my very first demo painting when I started teaching 27 years ago. In fact it is on the wall in my lounge.

I've done many commissions and many acrylic paints during this 27 year period and have never once even given the water amount a thought - just thinned to the consistency I needed at the time. Not one of my paintings have ever shown the slightest sign of deterioration, let alone the peeling factor. The Makes I used was originally Atalier (long, long before the Interactive) and then Daler Rowney System 3 and Grumbacher Academy. My MOTTO: don't add any more water than you need to.
Another thing: I always add a varnish to my paintings after making sure that the painting is completely dry.

Again, you are the master of your own painting, and you must follow your own instincts and what is best for you.

If you are using one of the impasto gels then don't add more than 25% gel to paint volume. Any more than 25% will start to lighten the colour but not the break down of the binder.

Thanks Dennis and Nolan....I found I was adding a lot (in my mind) of water and I was a bit worried as usually when I've used acrylics I have used clear painting medium (as I was previously taught) to thin rather than water.  Water was only really used sparingly and as a mist to keep things from drying.    It's good to have such wonderful  advice at hand so that when a question arises we known your combined many years of experience comes to play. 

I have always varnished by paintings anyway (again something I thought you were supposed to do regardless) so I guess it won't ever be an issue

Thanks so much both of you for your speedy replies  :thankyou: now I can get on with just  :painting:

Regards
The Overthinker of the Group  :blush: :flowers:
Jackie

Whoever said "It's as slow as watching paint dry" was obviously not an acrylics painter

dennis

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Re: Thinning Acrylic Paints with Water
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2014, 03:24:22 PM »
Don't worry about being an "OverThinker" O0 All these questions only serve to teach better and to ease the minds of the doubtful :clap:

PS: Although there is a lot of good info and videos on the Net there is also an enormous amount of misinformation and absolutely inferior "training" videos. Just be careful!
 
« Last Edit: August 24, 2014, 03:29:03 PM by dennis »
You are what you THINK about - Napoleon Hill

Tony (ASM)

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Re: Thinning Acrylic Paints with Water
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2014, 08:40:40 AM »
I've enjoyed reading this thread. Thanks for sharing the great information relating to acrylics and, the years of wisdom in it's use Dennis.  :clap: O0
''Don't spend life going forward in reverse, just glimpse the rear view mirror now and again then, focus on what lays ahead''.
(Tony. ASM 3rd July 2013)

dennis

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Re: Thinning Acrylic Paints with Water
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2014, 01:00:03 PM »
 :urwelcome:
You are what you THINK about - Napoleon Hill

Danielle123

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Re: Thinning Acrylic Paints with Water
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2017, 05:42:56 AM »
Nolan and Dennis you have just answered my question on this water mixing.  I was wandering about it too as the lady at the art store was telling me not to put water but use a medium . :thankyou: for the info.
Danielle
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Annie.

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Re: Thinning Acrylic Paints with Water
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2017, 05:56:08 AM »
Great info!  I am bookmarking this page  :thankyou:
Cheers, Annie
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doina

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Re: Thinning Acrylic Paints with Water
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2017, 04:57:04 AM »
Thank you Dennis and Nolan for these informations. As you said there are many wrong informations on the internet. Thanks for clarifying the issue. :thankyou: :flowers:
Doina

liz

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Re: Thinning Acrylic Paints with Water
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2017, 09:10:46 PM »
Hi Everyone,
Here's what I do re thinning acrylic paints:
1.  I dip/wet my brush with medium then into the paint;
2.  Depending on how big an area to be painted, I sometimes dilute 1 to 1 medium with water and dip my brush into it and then into the paint;
3.  If doing an underpainting or blocking in color, I spray/brush the canvas with water, then use a small amount of paint with more water to spread the paint.
All that said, I recommend using medium and varnishing.  And I have never had paint peel or crack on me.  :)
~Liz

 

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