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akw
11-02-2004, 06:39 AM
Hi I'm new to posting in this forum I have been around browsing for a while, but thought I would say hi. :wave:

I am having problems with my acrylic paints in that they dry so dark. I would appreciate any information on how to lighten them. I have tried mixing with white but this seems to change the shade, for example it turns umber to beige. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

cunparis
11-02-2004, 07:17 AM
Hi I'm new to posting in this forum I have been around browsing for a while, but thought I would say hi. :wave:

I am having problems with my acrylic paints in that they dry so dark. I would appreciate any information on how to lighten them. I have tried mixing with white but this seems to change the shade, for example it turns umber to beige. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

I've read this is due to the material other than pigment (the binders and fillers). And that since artist paint has more pigment, they darken less. Can anyone confirm this? I've been using artist paints and I'm still suprised that after I paint I put it away to dry and later that day or the next, it looks darker and duller than when I had finished it. Now I try to mix my colors a little more intense.

-Michael

Artguy29
11-02-2004, 08:04 AM
Hi, welcome to WC! and the acrylics forum :wave: .
One way to make your colors appear lighter is to work in many layers, or washes. Starting with your base color (a dark mixture containing the color(s) you want the final coat to have), take a fairly thick mixture of paint, and lay it over the area which you are working on. What this "base coat" does is it provides a foundation for your other colors. Since you are starting with a very dark color, your lighter colors will stand out and become more intense. After you have your base coat in place, build up layers of color, working from dark to light. The end result is basically a brighter color. If you don't have enough paint over your base coat (depending on how transparent your pigment is) it will become transparent to some extent, having your base coat show through your final color, therefore making it appear darker.
Using thick paint might also help with this problem.
Most people don't think about white paint in prespective. Most think that adding white to a color will give you a lighter version of that color, which is not always the case. Adding white can sometimes give you a completly new color. White is a very opaque (meaning superior coverage to other pigments), though, so if you add a touch of white to your color, it might make it appear slightly lighter. Just be careful how you use white; it can be your friend at some times and your enemy at others :D !

I've read this is due to the material other than pigment (the binders and fillers). And that since artist paint has more pigment, they darken less. Can anyone confirm this? I've been using artist paints and I'm still suprised that after I paint I put it away to dry and later that day or the next, it looks darker and duller than when I had finished it. Now I try to mix my colors a little more intense.
I don't think it's so much the paint, but rather the technique being used. I am getting very bright and intense colors with student-grade paints.

Hope this helps,
Dave

dspinks
11-02-2004, 01:39 PM
You may also find that thinning your paints with water gives a different result than mixing with acrylic medium, and different mediums give varied results also. If you don't paint with mediums, your final varnishing should perk up your colors.

Debra

MsLilypond
11-02-2004, 02:01 PM
Like someone else said, titanium white is opaque. They do make a translucent mixing white, that may help a little. The artists quality acrylics DO have more pigment in them so they don't dry quite as dark. If you want your acrylics less matte, try mixing in a little gloss or satin medium with your paints.

Froggy
11-02-2004, 02:14 PM
Artguy29 is right. I have found that acrylics require many layers. I relate them to pastels. The more layers you create, the more the colors pop against one another. You'll also find that the use of some gel mediums have a great effect on the dry color of acrylic paints. Only use them with artist, pigment paints though. Student grade paints are already filled with medium, which makes them cheaper. If you add more medium to these, it will only extend the pigments further and make you colors even more drab.

Being an art student for so long, and having very little budget, forced me to use these kinds of paints. I discovered Golden paints my senior year of college and fell in love with them! :D I can't go back now! They are more expensive, but well worth it. Save the student grades for your base foundation and preliminary sketches/thumbnails. I hate to sound like an ad, but GO FOR THE GOLD WITH GOLDEN! :clap:

As far as your comments on white paint...try hard not to use it unless you really need it. I try to save it until the very end of my layers. Just like in pastels, this is where you can make certain areas of your piece POP! Again with my Golden "Schpeel": they make a Titanium White and a Zinc White. Titanium White is the most common form of white paint. The titanium in the paint makes it very opaque and can quickly overpower your colorful pigments if you're not careful. You can successfully use it if you understand this. However, if you still do not trust yourself to mix white into your palette correctly, try using the Zinc White. The zinc is much more transparent and you have less of a chance of going overboard.

Einion
11-02-2004, 03:33 PM
I am having problems with my acrylic paints in that they dry so dark. I would appreciate any information on how to lighten them. I have tried mixing with white but this seems to change the shade, for example it turns umber to beige. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
What brand are you using?

Some brands are made specifically to minimise wet-to-dry colour shifts but you'll always get them with acrylics in some colours. This sounds like your major problem and it's something one gets used to over time, if you use acrylics for long enough eventually you won't even think about it and will just compensate automatically.

But with regard to lightening colours while you're painting adding white is the basic method. You adjust the colour by adding others if necessary - yellow for reds and greens for example - but the subject is very complex and involved unless you have specific colour mixes in mind.

Einion

akw
11-03-2004, 04:15 PM
Thank you everyone for the advice, a lot of useful information, I shall experiment with the dark to light and using lots of layers.


Einion: I tried using the daler and rowney system three at first. Now I have bought daler and rowney cryla artists' heavy body acrylics but haven't used them yet.

Einion
11-04-2004, 12:17 AM
That makes sense, System 3 are much higher in water and lower in pigment (as you'd expect from their consistency) than your average artists' acrylics so they're more prone to darkening during drying.

Einion