Tjrez

Flow improver, Lahmian medium and glaze medium differences

26 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

5 hours ago, ced1106 said:

My solution to using additives was... to use water. :lol: I do stupid amounts of glazing (because I'm too lazy to blend, go figure) and water works fine. Uh...especially when I'm supposed to just basecoat the miniature. 

Guess thats was my question, basically the additives dont really do anything that the water couldnt. 

Edited by Tjrez

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* Pingo, if you're reading I have a question more for you at the end.

Additives on our scale primarily just change the handling of the paint. Depending on how you paint, and which paint you use, the effects of that might be too subtle for you to notice or care about. I thought I had gone over them in some detail, but will try to distill it down by product.

 

Flow improver - if you are getting 'rings' when you do washes, this will likely help. If you feel like the paint is a little sticky coming off the brush (and you are probably more likely to notice this with a small brush painting tiny details), adding a bit of this might help.

Drying retarder - acrylic paint dries pretty fast. If your paint is drying on your palette before you have a chance to finish what you're painting, adding a drop of this will slow it down. Note that it also slows down how long a coat takes to dry on the figure, so you'll have to wait longer to paint over an applied coat. Some people also use this when trying to do techniques like wet blending, but it is most useful to people who paint long stretches at a time or live in dry environments.

Anti-shine additive - this is a suspension of little particles that break up the light and makes a surface look more matte. Add just a TINY amount to a paint that you find shiny to dull it down. Or use full strength to paint something that looks like frost. This is what's in Brush-on Sealer to make it more matte.

Wash Medium - the clear binder portion of paint, the 'acrylic' of acrylic paint. It will help avoid rings in washes if you get those. It will keep pigments in suspension better than pure water, especially for very watery mixes like washes and glazes. It will keep metallic mica pigments in suspension much better than water if you want to thin metallics. It may feel a little less 'watery' to work with if you thin with this instead of water. Reaper seems to use pigments that thin down really well, but that isn't true of all paint, and for the sturdiest paint film it is probably better to use a medium like this. But plenty of us don't with few apparent consequences.

Brush-on Sealer - A sealer that includes a bit of the particles in anti-shine additive. Some people use it off-label like wash medium. Needs to be shaken really well before every single use. Then shake it some more. Otherwise the matting particles collect at the bottom of the bottle and you are likely to get a frost effect on your figure using the last 1/3 of the bottle. The sealer is semi-gloss straight out of the bottle, add a drop of water to 2-3 drops of sealer for a more matte finish. Note that matte sealers are never as protective as gloss sealers (which Reaper now has a brush-on version of, too). For the most protective seal in game play, coat with gloss, then apply matte over. You may need a matte spray like Dullcote to truly kill all the shine if you seal this way.

Products from other companies such as matte medium and glaze medium are probably pretty similar to the wash medium. Some may have matting agent added, or I suspect flow improver or other additives like that, with the aim to helping them make your paint behave slightly differently. Generally the purpose will be to allow you to thin the paint more and keep the pigment in suspension better, and possibly reduce how watery it feels to use. There's no magic to these that using them makes you instantly able to blend, or you have magic washes that only go where you want them to. For many people they may make certain techniques a little easier to do, so they can be worth trying if you're frustrated and see some recommendations for a particular additive that might help work with what you're trying to do, but if what you're doing is working for you, carry on without fear that you're missing out on something awesome.

Miniature paints are pretty thin in comparison to artist tube acrylics. The possibilities for what we can include as mediums and still have them function as intended are probably limited to make it flow more easily, make it stay wet longer, and thin it with something that more like the clear binder of paint.

* Pingo question:
Recently I attended a product demo of Golden paints. Their product lines include heavy body tube acrylics, fluid acrylics, and super thin high flow acrylics. The demoer mentioned in her early poor days, she would thin tube paints heavily with water to get transparent consistencies, which I believe is similar what you do to paint miniatures? (But maybe you use something like the fluid or high flow acrylics?) She was wiping a canvas down after a show and the areas with the heavily thinned paint started to come off, and believes this to be due to stretching the acrylic polymer molecules so thin that they never cured to a proper film, and her advice was to buy paints formulated with more liquid mediums if you wanted to use more liquid paints. I got the feeling this was more personal experience than parroting a company party line. I know there are people who paint miniatures with tube acrylics, so this seemed like a question worth investigating. 

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Hey, Wren.

 

I use Golden's fluid acrylics, the matte line (which is not as matte as specialty miniatures paints, but is noticeably less glossy than their regular fluid acrylics).  They seem to work for my needs.

 

When I was a kid I learned to paint miniatures with tube acrylics because it was what I had.  Come to think of it, I always added a little gloss medium to my colors when I thinned them.

 

I have experimented with severe plain water thinning of tube acrylic paints, and I would say that, like over-turpentined oil paints, they kind of disintegrate on a canvas' surface.  If you rub such a paint film (dried), color comes off and that's a really bad sign.

 

If people are using tube acrylics I would recommend careful thinning with prepared media rather than straight water.

 

Golden's high flow acrylics are, I believe, their airbrush color line.  So far as I know they should be fine for miniatures work.

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Thanks! I've heard people are using Jo Sonja tube paints a fair bit, particularly in locales with fewer options. I've thought about trying some Golden fluid paints now that I'm more comfortable with mixing due to playing around with watercolours for the past year, but then I think maybe I'm just looking for ways to spend money/buy paint. ;->

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Great post, Wren!

 

Maybe revise it with Pingo's information and make an article of it? I think your summary is very useful, and I would recommend semi-experienced painters read it after learning Reaper's The Craft articles!

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I've seen some artists on P&P mention in their comments that they were using tube acrylics.  There was one recent enough that I actually remember it.  Erich_Strasser.  You might try dropping him a line and see what he's using. 

 

http://www.puttyandpaint.com/projects/13288

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I had bought a set of Reaper paints recently and it came with these products , so I was curious as to how they worked or what the benefits were. After looking thru the forums I found this helpful tip in the craft section part of the forum. http://www.reapermini.com/TheCraft/15

I went ahead and mixed the 1/4 flow, 1/4 dry reducer and 1/2 water mix as suggested just to try the products.

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I been working with the solution mixture for several hours and I can say it  helps the consistency of metallic paints to flow smoother and it also suspends the pigment better allowing it to be applied more evenly without any noticable brush stokes. 

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On 2017-05-08 at 0:10 AM, ced1106 said:

Great post, Wren!

 

Maybe revise it with Pingo's information and make an article of it? I think your summary is very useful, and I would recommend semi-experienced painters read it after learning Reaper's The Craft articles!

Now I'm thinking that ReaperCon needs a Mastering Mediums class. There's so much stuff you can add to paints that almost requires a hands on experience.

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Posted (edited)

On 5/8/2017 at 4:01 AM, Tjrez said:

I went ahead and mixed the 1/4 flow, 1/4 dry reducer and 1/2 water mix

I have been experimenting with this mixture for several days now and find it to be a beneficial mixture when used with the loaded brush technique as suggest by Ben Komets.  It allows for greater control of the medium as opposed to just water. I load the brush with the solution and add pigment to end of brush for easier wet blending

Edited by Tjrez
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Posted (edited)

On 5/3/2017 at 9:27 PM, Wren said:

Reaper now has a product called Wash Medium. That sounds like more what you're after. Wash medium is the clear binder part of paint with no pigment added. It's less runny than water. So it will feel a little easier to control if you mix a wash or glaze with the medium than with straight water. For washes you might want things a little more watery, but also want to keep the pigment in suspension, so half and half wash medium and water is a good approach. Prior to the release of Wash Medium, many in the Reaper community had been using brush-on sealer in a similar way, 'off label' as it were. 

This sounds much the same to the Lahmian medium. Do you know if the wash medium or the flow improver has gloss in it?

Seems like I have a slight shine after i use them. The Lahmian Medium has a matte varish added to it so it drys a lil more flatter. 

I started different thread on this subject also 

 

Edited by Tjrez

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