View Full Version : Gum arabic for WC effect?
05-26-2002, 06:56 AM
This may be the silliest question out (especially for my first post here:) but can anyone tell me if you can use Gum Arabic with acrylics to create a watercolour effect as opposed to using water, or I assume there is a commercial thinner of some sort available for this purpose? I have not had much success with watercolour (have only done half a dozen or so), but I was reasonably happy with the outcome of this first acrylic painting that I did using water to thin the acrylic - it seemed a little easier to control that WC, although with most of the same effects.
05-26-2002, 08:26 AM
Michelle, I don't know about Gum Arabic. You can get several acrylic thinners. Windsor and Newton make a range of them. They not only improve the flow, but they also make the colours a little more transparent. Water however, as you've discovered, works fine.
05-27-2002, 11:24 AM
I agree with chelle, I do use the acrylic flow improvers from windsor and newton but I also use water, I tend to use water if I am mixing a large wash and the flow improvers if I am painting some fine lines - mike
05-28-2002, 11:58 AM
Thanks Mike and Chelle, I will put that on my list next time I go to the art store:)
05-28-2002, 12:30 PM
I have never used gum arabic...I thin my acrylics carefully with water or like mentioned, with thinners.
Have you ever tried the fluid acrylics??? beautiful pigment and vivd color...but really only appropriate for paper, I suspect they would bead on canvas...
Happy painting...hey , by the way, there are no silly questions...we are ALL learning and evolving all the time...;)
05-31-2002, 05:29 AM
Thanks Paintergirl:) I've only done one acrylic, thin with water on wc paper, so my experience is severely limited, plus I'm only using student acrylics, but I definitely preferred using the acrylics this way compared to watercolours, same effect but it was easier to keep the colours brighter.
05-31-2002, 10:38 AM
Golden makes a product they call an absorbent ground. from what I understand about it, it is made for using fluid acrylics to achieve a watercolor effect. I just recently bought a jar of the white version, but haven't had achance to use it yet. It also comes in a tan color. since it looks just like gesso it might be a good idea to keep the surfaces treated w/ absorbent separate from the usual surfaces.
05-31-2002, 01:50 PM
Good idea Snuffy, I had not heard of that product yet.
Fluid acrylics are almost 'violent' in their brilliant color yet can be easily thinned for lighter glazes and washes. The brands I purchase come in bottles with eyedroopers (FW fluid acrylic ink and ArtistColor Acrylic Ink.) Beautiful range of color, and I know there are many other brands out there also.
Student watercolors have poor pigment so you might find you are ready to switch over to a higher grade brand. You will find the paint 'works' differently and the color will be much better.
Have fun and happy painting!
06-03-2002, 03:33 PM
Originally posted by darlingart
... tell me if you can use Gum Arabic with acrylics to create a watercolour effect as opposed to using water, or I assume there is a commercial thinner of some sort available for this purpose?
The effect of gum arabic can be simulated with fluid gloss acrylic medium. Acrylic medium (paint vehicle sans pigment) is available in many viscosities, ranging from milk-like to a very stiff gel.
You might want to try "flow release" as well. This is a mild detergent which has a wetting effect in thinned acrylics similar to that which ox gall liquid has on watercolor.
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