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Old 02-20-2010, 11:30 PM
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Dondi Dondi is offline
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Difference between "blending medium" & "watercolor medium"

I attended a watercolor demonstration by a Winsor Newton rep at my local art store and she gave each of us a goodie bag that included a jar of blending medium. I already had some watercolor medium but hadn't tried it out yet. Now, I'm confused - are they basically the same thing? What do you use them for, if you use them at all?
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:00 AM
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Srishti Srishti is offline
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Re: Difference between "blending medium" & "watercolor medium"

Usually watercolor is painted with just water... I have no idea what the blending medium would do? Perhaps it's like ox gall or maybe gum arabic?
I would be interested in knowing the answer too
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Old 02-21-2010, 03:05 AM
Catwoman2 Catwoman2 is offline
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Re: Difference between "blending medium" & "watercolor medium"

As I understand it, blending medium is used to keep your watercolors from drying too quickly so you can work with them for a longer period of time. I would guess that it's most useful to those who live in an area where the climate is hot and dry. I believe you can mix it right in with your paints in place of water if you want to slow the drying a lot, or you can mix it with paint and water to slow drying to a lesser extent.

Water Colour Medium is used to make your washes apply more smoothly and to make your watercolors look more transparent. You don't mix it directly with the paint; you add a bit of it to your water container. It's similar to gum arabic, but I think it's geared more toward making your paints flow more easily and to spread more thinly, if that makes any sense.

Susan
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Old 02-21-2010, 04:47 AM
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Re: Difference between "blending medium" & "watercolor medium"

Thanks, Susan! I'm working on a background right now that's giving me fits
I think I'll experiment tomorrow and see which one of these mediums would be most helpful. I'll report back and let you know what I find out!
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Old 02-21-2010, 01:36 PM
Catwoman2 Catwoman2 is offline
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Re: Difference between "blending medium" & "watercolor medium"

Good luck with it -- I hope it works well for you!

I know that when I've used mediums in the past, I always had to be very careful not to use too much of it, because sometimes they dry with a glossy, plasticky appearance. I remember a while back, I read a Joe Francis Dowden book on how to paint water, and I got a little gung-ho with the gum arabic when I was painting the reflections. Well, let's just say that my results weren't quite as nice as Joe's were... and I quickly learned that a little gum arabic can be a good thing, but a lot of it is a big disaster!

I think you can use the blending medium quite freely, as it's made to be used straight out of the bottle, but I think I'd try using it on a piece of scrap paper first, as a straight mix of paint and medium might take forever to dry, and it's better to find out on scrap paper than on a "real" painting. I'm usually too impatient to get on to the next step, so I'd only use blending medium if I were outside in the desert or something, or else I'd be sure to use just a small amount in some water to thin it out -- I can't stand waiting for paint to dry!

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Old 02-22-2010, 12:28 AM
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Re: Difference between "blending medium" & "watercolor medium"

Okay - I tried it out today. I was trying to do a background on an underwater painting of fish blending manganese blue and cerulean blue. The problem was that there were lots of details in the fish that I had to paint around while doing the background and pre-wetting the paper didn't give me the effect I was looking for. Bad news: those two paints don't "meld" for a smooth, clean look. Good news: the Watercolor Medium definitely made the paint stay wet longer and allowed me to keep up while I was painting around all the details of the fish. My conclusion: yes, watercolor medium is a tool that I will keep using - but when I have a detailed foreground, I will mask it out to allow for a clean background.
I ended up tearing up the painting and starting something new. Believe me, the results of my experiment wouldn't have worked as bookmarks no matter how you tore them up
Thanks again for your advice and interest!
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Old 03-11-2010, 04:33 AM
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Re: Difference between "blending medium" & "watercolor medium"

I've only ever used blending medium when using Acylics, and it used to seamlessly blend two colours alongside of each other together.

The Medium used to extend the drying time of paint, again usually used with Acrylics is called Retarder.

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