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A question on drops


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This may seem like a silly questions, but anyone noticed that when you put water in a dropper bottle the drops are big compared to a drop of paint. If I were to say want to dilute paint 2:1 water to paint, would I only use like one drop of water out of a dropper bottle to one drop of paint?

 

I think some of my problems with painting is that I use like 3 or 4 drops of water to one drop of paint, but I think that that would actually be like 6:1 or 8:1.

 

Could someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

 

Cheers!

 

James Penny

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For my base coats I use 1 drop gunk to 3 (or so) drops of paint. For glazing its 1:1 or sometimes 2:1 (but not often). and my drops of paint are paint on the pallet equal to what a drop of gunk comes out to (yes they do seem smaller)

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I also use 3 drops of paint to 1 drop of gunk for most base coats. There are some colors where I'll go the 4 drops paint to 1 drop of water route (mainly Honed Steel and Antique Gold).

 

Sometimes the drops of paint seem smaller, but not always. Are you using the same dropper bottle for the water?

 

Ron

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I think some of my problems with painting is that I use like 3 or 4 drops of water to one drop of paint, but I think that that would actually be like 6:1 or 8:1.

 

That's really dilute--the first is a wash, the second is rinse water. ::P: Don't stick to formulas if they don't work for you. There are too many variables for them to apply to everyone equally (humidity, temperature, paint consistency in the bottle, personal painting style, and so forth). Add more or less water until the paint behaves like you want it to. I only really count drops when mixing colors I want to duplicate later, and go by the feel and behaviour of the paint the rest of the time.

 

I add a little water to paints that are very thick in the bottle so that they dispense without squeezing hard.

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Thanks for the replies,

 

@Paintrix

I think one of my biggest roadblocks in my development in this hobby is trying to get away from the formula type painting. I find it really hard to just go by feel, although I know I should :rolleyes: it's probably the technologist in me wanting the formulas.

 

Just out of curiosity though, if you could give just a ballpark idea, how thin do you layer with? I know that different paint types would probably yield different answers though. I guess this question could go out to everyone too, just cause I'm a little nosey ::P:

 

@vutpakdi

I actually use a bigger bottle for the water, with a pin hole in the tip. But I would think that since the surface tension of the water was the same then the water would just build up until the water was in the amount that it would "drop". Of course I could be out in left field with a hockey stick here ::D:

 

 

Cheers!

 

James Penny

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I think some of my problems with painting is that I use like 3 or 4 drops of water to one drop of paint, but I think that that would actually be like 6:1 or 8:1.

 

That's really dilute--the first is a wash, the second is rinse water. ::P: Don't stick to formulas if they don't work for you. There are too many variables for them to apply to everyone equally (humidity, temperature, paint consistency in the bottle, personal painting style, and so forth). Add more or less water until the paint behaves like you want it to. I only really count drops when mixing colors I want to duplicate later, and go by the feel and behaviour of the paint the rest of the time.

 

I add a little water to paints that are very thick in the bottle so that they dispense without squeezing hard.

 

What she said. Also, the long needles used in ceramics to take out air bubbles in clay make great pokie things for paint bottles.

 

Paint thickness will vary because of a lot of factors, so it isn't terribly useful to try to have a "formula" for mixing paint. If you've got a puddle of paint on your pallet and are working for a while, you will need to add more water to that.

 

As for "How thin is it?" For one thing, that's been one of my biggest hurdles to getting good results. I want to use thicker paint and spend less time with layering, glazing or blending. It has been and still is a real struggle to discipline myself to thin my paint out to where I will get consistently good results.

 

Exact thickness varies by application. On base coats I tend to have about a 2:1:1 ratio of paint:water:additive. For layering it's more like 1:1:1. Glazes can be much thinner, 1:5:5 or more. To get that thin, I usually mix a puddle of water:additive. Then I have another puddle of paint with just enough water to give it a little open time. Then I dip the tip of an applicator brush in the paint puddle and swish that in the water/gunk puddle. If it's not quite thick enough, I get a little more paint. It is rare that the mix has too much paint.

 

I also vary by the results I want. Paint for a "show" model or solo for an army will be much thinner than "rank and file". For R&F, it would be more like 4:1:1 for base coats, 1:1:1 for washes and the drybrushing paint isn't thinned at all.

 

I work with a lot of new painters and experienced painters who are looking to improve. I've noticed that new painters get good results straight away by thinning their paint. Experienced painters are fun. You can see them go through an epiphany as they realize that most of their problems aren't their skill, but the thickness of their paint and the brushes they use.

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Just out of curiosity though, if you could give just a ballpark idea, how thin do you layer with? I know that different paint types would probably yield different answers though. I guess this question could go out to everyone too, just cause I'm a little nosey ::P:

 

I have an answer that you'll love. It depends on the paint :upside: For colors with a lot of white in them (white, linen white, ghost white, light greys, flesh highlights, pinks, etc) I go pretty thin. For yellows and oranges, not so thin. For the darker colors, when shading down, I start pretty thin. My final shade colors, are not so thin. I really don't follow any rules, but this is generally what happens. There will be times when I apply the paint, and want to thin it down more, and times when I want to thicken it back up. And sometimes I want more of color X or Y in the paint mix. I really don't know for sure until the brush hits the mini.

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Thanks for the replies,

 

@Paintrix

I think one of my biggest roadblocks in my development in this hobby is trying to get away from the formula type painting. I find it really hard to just go by feel, although I know I should :rolleyes: it's probably the technologist in me wanting the formulas.

 

Just out of curiosity though, if you could give just a ballpark idea, how thin do you layer with? I know that different paint types would probably yield different answers though. I guess this question could go out to everyone too, just cause I'm a little nosey ::P:

 

@vutpakdi

I actually use a bigger bottle for the water, with a pin hole in the tip. But I would think that since the surface tension of the water was the same then the water would just build up until the water was in the amount that it would "drop". Of course I could be out in left field with a hockey stick here ::D:

 

 

Cheers!

 

James Penny

 

Actually what I would do is get a hold of the Warlord rulebook and read Anne's painting guide that she wrote for it. If gives you a visual example of what paint looks like when it has been thinned to different levels. That probably helped me more than anything else. Descriptions that said something like to the consistency of skim milk didn't do me much good.

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For Reaper MSP's:

 

Basecoat: 4:1 paint to water, should cover in two smooth coats

Layering medium to dark color: 2:1 paint to water

Layering light to medium color: as thin as 1:1 paint to water

Pure white will sometimes require more thinning

 

And your drops of water are bigger because there's nothing to break the surface tension. Every paint has a certain amount of surfactant in it (because it's present in the pigments and bases), which breaks the surface tension a bit. MSP's have even less surface tension because they have flow improver added. So water coming out of the same aperture will create a bigger drop. You can still use formulas, just be aware of this, and that you might have to add an additional drop of paint to your mix if it's not behaving as you would like. ::):

 

--Anne

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Here's a couple of tricks I learned at the Reaper Artist Conference and some other painting sessions.

 

Don't add the water/gunk directly to your paint. Put it off to the side and then use your brush to bring it into the paint. Then you can control it better.

 

Using a ceramic palatte you can determine just how thinned your paint is. Mix it then drag some up the side of the well. See how it clings and covers. Since most of a mini is also vertical that will give you some idea of how it will appear on the figure. Too thick? Add more water. Too thin? Add more paint.

 

And yes, the different colors of paint will require different amounts of additive. So the best way to get familiar with that is to paint lots and lots and lots of figures!

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Here's a couple of tricks I learned at the Reaper Artist Conference and some other painting sessions.

 

Don't add the water/gunk directly to your paint. Put it off to the side and then use your brush to bring it into the paint. Then you can control it better.

 

Using a ceramic palatte you can determine just how thinned your paint is. Mix it then drag some up the side of the well. See how it clings and covers. Since most of a mini is also vertical that will give you some idea of how it will appear on the figure. Too thick? Add more water. Too thin? Add more paint.

 

And yes, the different colors of paint will require different amounts of additive. So the best way to get familiar with that is to paint lots and lots and lots of figures!

 

Sounds an aweful lot like what I said:

 

Exact thickness varies by application... I usually mix a puddle of water:additive. Then I have another puddle of paint with just enough water to give it a little open time. Then I dip the tip of an applicator brush in the paint puddle and swish that in the water/gunk puddle. If it's not quite thick enough, I get a little more paint.

 

What I didn't mention is sometimes it's puddle of paint, puddle of gunk, make a third puddle of the mix. Just depends on how much patience I had ATM.

 

Vut and Matt, don't drive yourselves nuts obsessing over water-drop size and exact formulas. It isn't relevant anyway. If you try to rely on exact measures you will never be happy with how the paint looks. Try a lot of painting with a lot of different paints and find the consistency that works for you. After about six months, thin it down some more. ::):

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So are all drops of water the same size, regardless of what bottle they come from? If I squeeze a drop of water through a syringe and hypodermic needle, is it the same size as a drop that falls off the sink faucet?

 

No, a drop isn't always the same. It will depend on the size of the orifice, material of construction of the bottle, how hard you squeeze/how fast the water is moving thru the orifice, are your hands shaking, etc.

 

In an ideal world, all drops coming from the same type of bottle would be the same, but this is reality (unfortunately)

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Strictly personal preference, but I tend to go 1:1 paint/water and or gunk for basecoats, 1:2-3 for layering, 1:4-5 for washes and 1:6 for glazes. For lighter colors, I will lean toward a thicker composition. This is usually a very ballpark estimation and is always in flux. Here lately I have been attempting what EricJ calls "tinting", which is laying down some paint and then wicking it toward the area you want to color. It is another way to layer, really, you are just "pulling" the painting instead of "pushing" it as you would with layering, I suppose. Anyway, it helps to have relatively thinned paint to help with the wicking process to I have gone more thin than I used to.

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