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Fluid Matte Medium vs Flow Improvers


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#1 Canuck

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 09:43 AM

I am a novice mini painter and have been reading up on painting techniques in anticipation for the Bones arrival. I will be using the Reaper MSP on the Bones minis.

I am unsure about the differences between matte medium vs flow improvers. It seems they do roughly the same job thinning paints, with the matte medium providing some extra color protection.

Is Matte medium solely used for dark shading washes and not so much a general thinning solution? Would/could you also add a retarder to it?

What I have gotten so far is generally you want to thin most paints depending on the type of coating that you are applying and to do this you make a solution of 1/3 retarder, 1/3 flow improver, 1/3 water and then add that to the paint that you will use on the coating.
Basecoating 1:1 parts solution to paint Layering 4:1 parts solution to paint Washes 10:1 parts solution to paint

Can I use the Golden Fluid Matte Medium for both making dark shading washes and as a flow improver in the thinning solution?


Golden Fluid Matte Medium:
http://www.goldenpai...ums/medprop.php
GOLDEN Fluid Matte Medium
GOLDEN Fluid Matte Medium is a liquid, pourable acrylic medium useful for extending colors, increasing translucency and decreasing gloss. This product is particularly useful with GOLDEN Fluid Acrylics to decrease gloss without altering viscosity. It is also useful as a translucent ground.
ALTER CONSISTENCY: Mixing any fluid medium into thicker products, like Heavy Body Acrylics, will thin the paint and increase its flow.

Matte medium is used to thin paints and make them more transparent. When matte medium is used with dark paints (that flow well) and water, you can mix up the equivalent of a "magic wash" that makes very short work of shading and darklining.


GOLDEN Acrylic Flow Release
http://www.goldenpai...s/additives.php
Acrylic Flow Release GOLDEN Acrylic Flow Release is an additive used to reduce surface tension of the water in the acrylic emulsion, therefore increasing the slickness and flow of the paint. It is effective for achieving rich stains on a porous surface.

Retarder GOLDEN Retarder is an additive used to increase the open (drying) time of acrylic paints. Useful for "wet in wet" techniques and reducing skinning on the palette.

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#2 MonkeySloth

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:05 AM

I don't really use either much but Matte Medium is paint without pigment and people do tend to use it with washes however flow improver is something that breaks up the surface tension of the paint (which Matte Medium does not do) so it flows into cracks better.

I would recomend that you use the same Matte Medium as the paints you're using as there is a defference between brands. Also remember that you don't really need extenders with hobby paints as the pigment density is much higher and paints, like Reaper's, thin down really well without any.

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#3 ThornDJL7

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:37 AM

What matte medium does Reaper MSP use?
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#4 MonkeySloth

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:45 AM

I believe it's this http://www.reapermin...lineStore/09215

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#5 Canuck

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:51 AM

Also remember that you don't really need extenders with hobby paints as the pigment density is much higher and paints, like Reaper's, thin down really well without any.


What do you mean by "extender"? Flow Improver or Drying Retarder?

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#6 MonkeySloth

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 12:08 PM

Matte Medium is what I mean by an extender as that's what it's generally used for. If you read the first few sections for that golden matte medium you'll see what is meant by extender.

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#7 papabees

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 12:21 PM

In my experience, which is mostly robotic sci fi ish type stuff, Matte Medium thins my paint but does not change it's properties. When I use flow improver it breaks down the surface tension to allow the paint to more easily descend into cracks and crevices and stay wetter longer. I hope that helps to some extent.

* Note - Since most people learn best from their own mistakes, I try to make as many as possible, so hopefully I'll learn a lot quicker.


#8 vutpakdi

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 01:18 PM

Drying retarder is mostly useful if you are doing wet blending. I wouldn't use it just starting out.

I use matte medium to help give washes some body (and thereby stay in recesses) and also keep the pigment in suspension (when really diluting). Others don't use it at all. I use Liquitex Matte Medium, though the Reaper Brush On Sealer works just fine as well.

My thinning solution is mostly water with a bit of flow improver. The MSPs have some in there already, so it's not strictly necessary, but I do use other paints as well.

Some flow improvers are concentrated and need dilution before use, so be sure to read the directions. ::):

In terms of dilution ratios,
  • 1:1 (thinner : paint) would be rather thin for a basecoat if using MSPs. You'll have to do quite a few layers to get coverage. Might be okay for thicker paints though.
  • 4:1 (thinner : paint) is where I start layers as a rough guideline though I adjust up and down depending on the difference in shade between my current layer and the layer I am applying.
  • 2:2:1 to 5:5:1 (water : matte medium : paint) is my range for washes. All depends on the paint I am using and what the basecoat was. Less of a difference in shade/contrast, less dilution. More of a difference, more dilution
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#9 salyvan

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 01:25 PM

Some flow improvers are concentrated and need dilution before use, so be sure to read the directions


Indeed. I just bought some of that Golden Flow Improver and was surprised that the instructions said to mix 20:1 water : flow improver! Wow...

And in my opinion, Dawn dish soap worked better :rock:

#10 MonkeySloth

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 01:28 PM

Drying retarder is mostly useful if you are doing wet blending. I wouldn't use it just starting out.


Just letting the OP know it's also used for freehand painting.

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#11 Wren

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 05:20 PM

I believe it's this http://www.reapermin...lineStore/09215


Reaper's brush-on sealer is the one that can be used as matte medium.

The anti-shine additive you linked to above has a lot of matting agents. You can add it to paint in SMALL amounts to dully a shiny paint. Use too much and you'll start seeing frosting. I actually use it straight for frost effects.

#12 Canuck

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 07:09 PM

Ok,

Trying to take all this in. Seems everyone has thier own chemical solution mixtures and techniques.

I also read the Reaper "Craft Resource Articles" Let It Flow, The Art of Thinning Acrylic Paints & A Beginning Mini Painter's Shopping List
http://www.reapermini.com/TheCraft/32
http://www.reapermini.com/TheCraft/15

With the pre-primed polymer/plastic Bones minis I will be using the Reaper MSP. So I have gathered that the Reaper MSP are already fairly thinned and mediumed.

I will probably try to use an un-diluted MSP for the base coat, then maybe a 3:1 to 5:1 (Thinning solution : MSP) for highlighting layering, and a 3:3:1 to 5:5:1 (water : matte medium : paint) for washes and see how that works.

The Flow Improvers that I have read up on are to be diluted 10 to 20 parts water per part of Flow releaser. I'm going to err on the 20 parts water to Flow releaser since MSP seems to already be fairly fluid.

It doesn't seem like anyone recommends adding any Drying retarder to the mixes to prevent the paint from drying on the palette.

I guess I will have to learn by experimenting and feel.

Thanks for all of the tips guys.

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#13 Wren

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:05 PM

I guess I will have to learn by experimenting and feel.


A lot of it adds up to that. In particular, the dilution amounts for layering and washing and such. Try not to get too locked into the idea of a formula. I know it would be so much easier if you could just always do 3 drops water, 1 drop paint, but it's not necessarily the best way. Some paint colours are more opaque or transparent. Some are going to come from the factory a slightly thicker mix one time than another. Some will thicken up a little over time as water slowly evaporates from the bottle. It's better to try to mix to to a certain fluidity or opacity.

One reason I like to use a porcelain palette, particularly when mixing paints in classes, is it makes it pretty easy to check and demonstrate the dilution properties. You can use newspaper or other similar tools to test. A basecoat should be as opaque as possible to cover in as few coats as you can, but fluid enough that when you run a brush through it, brushstrokes or 'wake' almost immediately fill in. A layering dilution should be transparent enough that when you draw it up the sides of the well it will overlay the palette surface with the colour, but you can still clearly see the palette beneath. A wash or glaze should be diluted enough that when you do the same thing it just slightly tints the palette and plenty of the palette colour shows through.

If you're using MSP, I would say feel free to try with just water and see how you like it. I did use flow improver more in my earlier days as a painter. Now I really only use it for freehand and the like. I didn't find the art store brand seemed to do much, but I had a bad little MSP Flow Improver habit there for a while, empty bottles all over the paint room. ;->

Drying retarder can be useful if you want to try some wet blending techniques, or if you need to have paint mixes open for many hours at a time. If you're doing regular layering or washing, it's more likely to make things take longer or mess up what you're doing than it is to help. If you do use it, be careful about checking for dryness before applying anything new on the area.

But also my big tip to new painters is - don't get too hung up about it! Just sit down and have fun for a few minis. The first time I drybrushed chainmail was almost magical, and I too quickly dove in to trying to become perfect and artsy and stuff instead of just enjoying those experiences.

When

#14 MonkeySloth

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:31 PM


I believe it's this http://www.reapermin...lineStore/09215


Reaper's brush-on sealer is the one that can be used as matte medium.

The anti-shine additive you linked to above has a lot of matting agents. You can add it to paint in SMALL amounts to dully a shiny paint. Use too much and you'll start seeing frosting. I actually use it straight for frost effects.


Thanks for setting me straight on that. Guess I do use more Matte Medium then I thought as I use Reaper's brush on sealer for glazing highlights since Gencon. Not sure who taught me that but it was probably someone who knew what she was doing.

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#15 vutpakdi

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 06:39 AM

But also my big tip to new painters is - don't get too hung up about it! Just sit down and have fun for a few minis.

That's also my biggest tip to new painters at Paint and Takes: just have fun and enjoy putting paint on a mini. Most important thing is to get started and paint with little concern about imperfections.

Even now, I find myself avoiding trying things for fear of screwing up. Most of the time, I won't screw up, and even if I do, it's often a minor thing that works out just fine in the end.

Also, everyone has different painting styles and experiences, so sometimes, people will tell you something slightly or radically different because they do it differently because their style and goals are different. And, people's styles, techniques, and understandings change over time. ::):

For example, the "Let it Flow" article was written when the original Pro Paints were around. The general gist is still sound, but I'm sure Anne and Jen use a slightly different mix for general dilution with MSPs (if they use anything beyond water at all).

In my own case, the "Beginner's Toolkit" class that I teach at GenCon is a bit different than the "Beginner's Toolkit" craft article because my own understanding, technique, and preferences have changed from when I first wrote the craft article.

Ron




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