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StarGate
08-10-2001, 05:18 PM
Help on mixing tools for large amounts of heavy body colors -
I have tried the basic stick method in plastic and glass containers and some of the mixed in color(s) stay on the container inner wall - what tools are best for mixing the heavy body colors in large amounts?
John

Einion
08-11-2001, 09:17 AM
Hi John, a lot depends on your definition of "large amounts" but the most common tool for mixing paint is a palette knife - basically a flexible steel blade with a rounded tip set in a wooden handle (plastic versions are also available but I think the stiffness of the metal type makes them much easier to use, plus you can use them to scrape off dried paint). They're very intuitive to use so it won’t take you long to learn how to mix up a pile of paint the size of your fist if you need that much.

You can also use painting knives for mixing which I personally prefer for day-to-day use as the dog-leg helps prevent getting paint on your knuckles! I like the elongated diamond type most myself (about 3" long and 1/2" - 3/4" at the widest point) which I find the most versatile shape.

If at all possible I would recommend looking for stainless steel blades on either type of knife as acrylics can stain/rust carbon steel surprisingly quickly and in my experience they retain their spring longer too. They are also much more expensive unfortunately.

It's worth a word here about palettes, glass is probably the best for acrylics as dried paint peels off easily and any stubborn bits can be soaked off with warm water (anyone notice how some colours bond much more strongly than others?). The glazed surface of a ceramic tile will work in exactly the same way. Perspex is another option if you don't want a sheet of glass in the studio, I have used the same one since 1980 or so and it's still going strong. The only disadvantage of Perspex is you have to use isopropyl alcohol or acetone to remove dried paint so it's a good idea to scrape off as much as possible before it fully hardens.

Hope this helps,
Einion

StarGate
08-21-2001, 10:34 PM
Thanks Einion :-)
John

Einion
08-22-2001, 03:17 PM
My pleasure, hope it's of some help.

Einion