WetCanvas
Home Member Services Content Areas Tools Info Center WC Partners Shop Help
Channels:
Search for:
in:

Welcome to the WetCanvas forums. You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload your own photos and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please visit our help center.

Go Back   WetCanvas > Explore Media > Oil Painting
User Name
Password
Register Mark Forums Read

Salute to our Partners
WC! Sponsors

Our Sponsors
Reply  
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-13-2012, 07:07 AM
Dave Johnson Dave Johnson is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 428
 
Hails from United States
Paint transparency

I've been thinking about paint transparency lately, and so I took a look at the tubes I have on hand, and a good percentage of them are transparent paints. ( I use mostly Winsor & Newton artists oil colours, and they have a little square graphic on the back that indicates the degree of transparency. )This high percentage of transparent paints somewhat surprised me, and I'm wondering how much people pay attention to this, especially beginners. I didn't know about it when I first started, and I think this lack of knowledge led to confusion about certain things. I think there might be a tendency for beginners to think that paints should be more opaque then they really are. Without the knowledge that some paints are suppose to be transparent, beginners may dismiss certain paints as weak, or ineffective, due to their lack of covering power. I know I thought this way in the beginning, and was frustrated because some paints I was using didn't cover the canvas like I wanted them to. Some of this was due in part to using student grade paints early on, but I suspect that it was mostly because I was unaware of the transparency factor. I still prefer using artist's grade paints, but maybe some of those student grade paints I used in the past weren't so bad after all.
__________________


"A bold failure is better than a timid semi-success." John Howard Sanden
Reply With Quote
  #2   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-13-2012, 08:44 AM
sidbledsoe sidbledsoe is offline
WC! Guide
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 11,128
 
Hails from United States
Re: Paint transparency

Polls reveal that the most popular red and blue colors are transparent, aliz crimson and ultramarine, yellow however is usually the opaque cad yellow.
Many paint with these as their only or main colors, I don't think they are considered weak and lack covering power because usually they are in mixtures especially with white which is normally opaque. I don't even think about the transparency except when I am selecting pigments for glazes.
Reply With Quote
  #3   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-13-2012, 12:04 PM
timblan's Avatar
timblan timblan is offline
New Member
Orlando FL
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 11
 
Hails from United States
Re: Paint transparency

Dave, thanks for this thread. I am a beginner oil painter as of November of 2011. I have always been wondering about how to tell if my paints were opaque or transparent. I find myself smearing a little very thinly on my pallet to try to get a idea. I will have to check my paint tubs when I get home to see. Also a little confused about the color swatches under the tubes in the stores. From left to right they start off one color and then have multiple other colors side by side for the same tube of paint. Lots of basics to learn for a beginner. This site has taught me so much already in my 6 months of painting.
Reply With Quote
  #4   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-13-2012, 12:27 PM
Freesail's Avatar
Freesail Freesail is offline
Lord of the Arts
East Coast USA
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,684
 
Hails from United States
Re: Paint transparency

Some earth tones are or can be also transparent within some brands of paint. Brunt Sienna comes to mind.
__________________
Solvent = Leaner Oil = Fatter

Drawing is the basis of art. A bad painter cannot draw. But one who draws well can always paint. (Arshile Gorky)
Reply With Quote
  #5   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-13-2012, 02:19 PM
Keith Russell's Avatar
Keith Russell Keith Russell is offline
A WC! Legend
Lenexa, Kansas, USA
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 32,655
 
Hails from United States
Re: Paint transparency

I think about transparency constantly, as I paint from opaque to transparent, as well as from dark to light.

Yes, most oil paint colours are transparent, seriously opaque colours are actually rather rare.

Burnt Sienna comes in two "flavours"--PR101 (which ican be either transparent or opaque, and actually used in a number of "colours"--Trans. Red Oxide, Brown Pink, Venetian Red, etc.) and PBr7 (which is a natural earth colour, and is semi-opaque.)

Reply With Quote
  #6   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-13-2012, 07:18 PM
Ribera Ribera is offline
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 566
 
Hails from United States
Paint Transparency

Dave,
While all paints have transparency to
some degree, some moreso, this the
case, if you examine standard colors,
ivory black has transparency, mars
black: opaque. Ultramarine blue's
transparent, cobalt blue less so,
manganese and cerulean blue rela-
tively opaque.
All the cadmiums are opaque.
Phthalo Greens, viridian, and terre
verté all transparent.
Indian yellow: transparent.
Quinacridone rose, alizarin crimson,
rose madders, and others all have
high degrees of transparency.
The point bein', many of those trans-
parent paints won't attain their home
value till they've been mixed with
opaque paint like flake white, so
the trasnsparency's not always so
much the concern.
r
Reply With Quote
  #7   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-13-2012, 11:02 PM
Keith Russell's Avatar
Keith Russell Keith Russell is offline
A WC! Legend
Lenexa, Kansas, USA
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 32,655
 
Hails from United States
Re: Paint Transparency

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ribera
Dave,
While all paints have transparency to
some degree, some moreso, this the
case, if you examine standard colors,
ivory black has transparency, mars
black: opaque. Ultramarine blue's
transparent, cobalt blue less so,
manganese and cerulean blue rela-
tively opaque.

Genuine manganese blue is a very transparent colour...
Quote:
All the cadmiums are opaque.
Phthalo Greens, viridian, and terre
verté all transparent.
Indian yellow: transparent.
Quinacridone rose, alizarin crimson,
rose madders, and others all have
high degrees of transparency.
The point bein', many of those trans-
parent paints won't attain their home
value till they've been mixed with
opaque paint like flake white, so
the trasnsparency's not always so
much the concern.
r
Reply With Quote
  #8   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-14-2012, 02:43 AM
bedazzledx2 bedazzledx2 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 88
 
Hails from Australia
Re: Paint transparency

Just to throw a spanner in the works.... anyone tried this and what do you think? From the Art Spectrum web site...Spectrum Clear Oil Paint. It wont allow me to copy and paste but essentially its touted as an oil paint without pigment, useful as a medium and to create transparency.
http://www.artspectrum.com.au/img_oil-with-solvents.jpg
Deb
Reply With Quote
  #9   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-14-2012, 03:18 AM
Sarah Edgecumbe's Avatar
Sarah Edgecumbe Sarah Edgecumbe is offline
Veteran Member
Brisbane, australia
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 767
 
Hails from Australia
Re: Paint transparency

I am making a chart, laminating it and sticking it behind my work space about transparent vs opaque. Im new to oils, and nodoubt ill remember in time, right now i have to open internet and remind myself.


I agree, when most get mixed with white= problem solved. However as i just love the glazing style, its pretty important for me. Otherwise i end up trying to glaze with cad yellow.

Quality - Funny this should appear today, as i was trying to find an appropriate yellow for glazing. I was going to try Aureolin as well. Or perhaps indian yellow.

Good luck getting your colours. Im going to try for windsor and newton if i can afford more paint this week.

Oh and one of my painting books by bill creeny has a brief (10 pages) on glazing and the paints required. It shows a reasonable spectrum of colours, glazed over each other. It also has a good list of each colour and which ones are transparent vs opaque.

Sarah
__________________
My NEW Facebook Art Page <using the most.

My blog ~ follow my journey learning drawing and oil painting ~
Reply With Quote
  #10   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-14-2012, 12:54 PM
Dana Design's Avatar
Dana Design Dana Design is offline
Moderator
In My Art
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 14,634
 
Re: Paint transparency

Sarah, did you mean Bill Creevy? I have one of his books as well. Good stuff.
__________________
When life hands you lemons, ask for tequila and salt and call me!
Custom Portraiture

FAQ Oil Painting
Reply With Quote
  #11   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-14-2012, 01:43 PM
Toril's Avatar
Toril Toril is online now
Lord of the Arts
Virginia, US
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 2,913
 
Hails from Norway
Re: Paint transparency

Great thread!

I am working on that exact issue - but my whine is that I like transparent paints, so I'm going to get some 'lighter' whites for mixing.

Sarah, I'm also working on my own color/sample charts - it's really so necessary and educational, and puts what I read into practice.
Reply With Quote
  #12   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-14-2012, 01:51 PM
WFMartin's Avatar
WFMartin WFMartin is online now
A Local Legend
Glendale, Arizona
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 7,584
 
Hails from United States
Re: Paint transparency

Transparent oil colors are the most versatile of the paints. Used fresh out of their tubes, they mix with other transparent colors to create some of the most deep, dark hues you could ever want.

For example, do a simple experiment: Try mixing a deep, dark green using an opaque, Cadmium Yellow Light (or ANY cadmium Yellow), and perhaps Fr. Ultramarine Blue. Try to create the darkest version of that green that you can, with those colors.

Then, trade the Cad Yellow Light for Winsor & Newton Transparent Yellow 653. You can decide for yourself which yellow is more capable of creating the darkest green possible (while still maintaining its "green-ness").

Those same transparent colors can be mixed with white to create some of the brightest, most brilliant light colors you could imagine. This addition of white causes them to become opaque, and they literally burst with color, imitating the cadmium colors very well.
__________________
wfmartin. My Blog "Creative Realism"...www.williamfmartin.blogspot.com
Reply With Quote
  #13   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-14-2012, 02:09 PM
Dana Design's Avatar
Dana Design Dana Design is offline
Moderator
In My Art
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 14,634
 
Re: Paint transparency

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toril
Great thread!

I am working on that exact issue - but my whine is that I like transparent paints, so I'm going to get some 'lighter' whites for mixing.

Sarah, I'm also working on my own color/sample charts - it's really so necessary and educational, and puts what I read into practice.

If transparents are mixed with white, they are no longer transparent.


Edited: ooops. Bill just said that as I was typing.
__________________
When life hands you lemons, ask for tequila and salt and call me!
Custom Portraiture

FAQ Oil Painting
Reply With Quote
  #14   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-14-2012, 02:52 PM
Toril's Avatar
Toril Toril is online now
Lord of the Arts
Virginia, US
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 2,913
 
Hails from Norway
Re: Paint transparency

Bill, thank you, I will give that a try!

I felt that when I used Titanium White or Soft Mixing White, colors lost some of the 'glow' I wanted them to have. Reading more, I found this on WN's homepages:

Quote:
2. How do the whites in Artists' Oil Colour differ?

The nine whites in Artists' Oil Colour ensure that artists have the widest possible array of choices, as in every other part of the spectrum. Because of its paler colour and lessened tendency toward yellowing, most of our whites are milled with Safflower oil.

Safflower Whites
The following whites are made with Safflower oil.

Titanium White
The most popular modern white. It is the whitest, most opaque white, softer than Flake White No. 1.

*Flake White No. 1
The traditional lead white in oil colour, Flake White is excellent for painting as a result of its flexibility, durability and speed of drying. The inclusion of zinc pigment improves its consistency. This is the stiffest white in the range.

Flake White Hue
A titanium based formulation which avoids the hazardous lead based Flake White No.1. It has a lower tinting strength than Titanium White to match
Flake White and a similar drying rate to the original.

Zinc White
This is a less opaque white, making it ideal for tints and glazing. It also has the shortest consistency.

Transparent White
A titanium based white with extremely low tinting strength, providing the palest white glazes.

*Cremnitz White
Also made from Lead, the absence of zinc gives a stringy consistency. Some artists may prefer a pure lead colour in principle.

Iridescent White
A mica based pigment which makes a pearlescent white. It is effective mixed with transparent colours.

*Lead white in tins: For reasons of toxicity these colours are only available in tins in the EU.

I want to try some of these to see if they give the result I am looking for. I may not know much about how to oil paint, but I do know what I like.
Reply With Quote
  #15   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-14-2012, 06:36 PM
Sarah Edgecumbe's Avatar
Sarah Edgecumbe Sarah Edgecumbe is offline
Veteran Member
Brisbane, australia
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 767
 
Hails from Australia
Re: Paint transparency

ah sorry Dana, Yes i meant Bill Creevy. Excuse typo.

Colour is so much more that red/yellow/blue isn't it! But enjoying every min.

I can't wait till my new paints arrive. So excited...

Sarah
__________________
My NEW Facebook Art Page <using the most.

My blog ~ follow my journey learning drawing and oil painting ~
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:08 AM.


Copyright 1998-2013, F+W Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.