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I water really that evil?


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Right. So I just finished preusing a painting how-to elsewhere, and it says to never, ever, ever, ever thin your paints with water.

 

I've been thinning acrylic paints with water my whole life. Am I committing a cardinal sin here? Why not thin with water? Is it really that evil? And if you're not going to thin with water, what do you thin with? I'm a cheap sort of person, (living on an artist's income, which is, like... nothing,) so I don't want to go out and buy some kind of paint thinner if I don't need to.

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Right. So I just finished preusing a painting how-to elsewhere, and it says to never, ever, ever, ever thin your paints with water.

 

I've been thinning acrylic paints with water my whole life. Am I committing a cardinal sin here? Why not thin with water? Is it really that evil? And if you're not going to thin with water, what do you thin with? I'm a cheap sort of person, (living on an artist's income, which is, like... nothing,) so I don't want to go out and buy some kind of paint thinner if I don't need to.

 

I know that many excellent painters on this board use water alone. It definitely isn't a sin!

That being said...

 

Some possible problems may be -

hard water - some areas have water with a lot of "bonus materials" in them. They may have an effect on color, drying of washes, etc.

 

thinning out binder - others are better versed in the chemistry of Acrylic paint, but my simplton understanding is...the paint pigment is actually very fine grains suspended in binder, if you thin your paints excessively you dilute the binder and the paint is less stable. That's why you hear of the use of "Gunk" or other additives.

 

rings as washes and glazes dry - sometimes, just adding water alone doesn't help with surface tension. Don't know if you ever notice washes drying with distinct rings? A surfactant (flow improver) will help the paint fight that.

 

As to what to get as additives...if you're an artist that works with Acrylics, you might have these already.

 

Extenders and Mediums - such as Liquitex, FolkArt, (drawing big blank...) will boost your binder during thinning.

 

Flow Aids - Winsor Newton, Liquitex, others, Future Floor Wax (hard to believe, but if you're really on a budget...people swear by this and a bottle lasts forever...and you can do floors too ::D:...not for brush lickers though! ) Dishwashing detergent (just the teeniest drop) all help break surface tension.

 

Diluted water - if those arsenic crystals forming on your minis are getting annoying ::P:

 

Gunk - specially formulate mix of all three. Many have posted their special mixes. Many use a different formulation for different techniques (E.G. mix A for washes, mix B for general thinning, mix 3 for...)

 

Also, check out other threads on this board. A search for "Gunk, Additives, Liquitex, Wash, Thinning" should lead you to a gold mine.

 

Hope this helps

Thanks

AWhang

 

edit: Vaitalla, who I see is looking at this right now, will be able to shed much greater light on this :)

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What site were you on, would be my question. There are some companies, Tamiya comes to mind, which formulate their acrylics so that they can only be thinned with their own special brand-name thinner. All standard paints for our hobby (Reaper Master Series, Reaper Pro, Vallejo, GW, etc...) are easily thinnable with water. Master Series in particular already has additional flow improvers added to the paint so that thinning with pure water gets even better results. ::):

 

Otherwise, there *are* several additives which will help your painting--flow improver and retarder come to mind--but those should be added *in addition* to water, not *instead* of water.

 

--Anne ::):

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I know I should use other additives when thinning my paint, but I'm lazy, so I usually just use water.

 

If I do use other additives, I still use water in addition to the other additives.

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Water is perfectly fine for use with most acrylic paints. Brands like Reaper, Vallejo, and Games Workshop all work with water very well.

 

Vallejo has alcohol-based acrylics which use alcohol as a thinner. It is limited to a few metallic colors, and the labels indicate that they use alcohol.

 

You will run into certain brands that aren't completely happy with just water, e.g., Tamiya acrylics use their own brand of thinner.

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I usually use Folk Art Acrylic Thinner as my main 'flow' improver'. Its cheap and works well.

 

Craft paints (since there are just some colors I can't give up) seem to work much better with 'flow improver' as opposed to water.

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There are some cheaper (though not necessarily better) answers to some of the problems with water. Distilled water takes care of local hard water problems. If you use it just for thinning and not for washing out brushes, a $1 gallon will last you ages. I've heard of solutions like a tiny, tiny amount of dish soap or white glue added to water to break surface tension to take care of rings in washes. Future Floor Finish (Klear and some other brand names in other countries) about 1:4 with water is another cheap 'gunk'. The actual art products mentioned will last for ages in the tiny quantities we use. I love Reaper Master Series flow aid, but in the amounts I've been using it lately, I wouldn't call it the cheap solution. ;->

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Is water evil? Of course it is. Read all about it here :devil:

 

Or check out the song "Rab's Last Woolen Testament" by Robin Williamson

 

 

 

(oh wait, now that I read the previous posts, you're talking about putting it in your paints and not about drinking it, that's ok then :lol: )

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