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Another Newb Painting Question


Gargs
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Hey all,

 

First off, just wanted to give a shout out to how helpful everyone here is.

 

Second, I do have a quick question regarding thinning paints. I thought I had it figured out previously but want to make sure. I see a lot of 1:1 or 4:1 ratios given which I am assuming is pretty much an estimate as paints and climates differ. However, as I was reviewing the LTPK1 instructions I saw mention of a "brushfull" of paint and "brushfull" of water. Is this a case of merely soaking the brush in water and then swirling it around in the paint you are about to use? Seems simple enough, but wanted to make sure. I was probably overthinking the process before. :p

 

Thanks again in advance and for the patience in answering newbie questions.

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That's what they mean, yes. As I understand it, the LTPKs pre-date the Master Series dropper bottles that they now come packaged with, so the drop-ratio as a way of explaining mixes wasn't really an option when they were written.

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That's what they mean, yes. As I understand it, the LTPKs pre-date the Master Series dropper bottles that they now come packaged with, so the drop-ratio as a way of explaining mixes wasn't really an option when they were written.

At least not so much for LTPK 1 - 2 and 4 certainly use dropper measurements, with 4 saying you should add a drop of water to every two drops of paint.

 

The most common advice I see re: thinning your paint is to give it the consistency of milk; there generally isn't a lot of explanation offered along with this term (skim milk? 2% whole? half-and-half?), so I usually either go for the brushful (swirl my brush in water, brush it against the side of the glass to wick away the excess, and then dip into my paint) or I add about one drop of water for every two to four drops of paint.

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I usually either just dip a fingertip into a clean water cup and let that drip off onto my palette to count as "drops" or if I want to be a bit more precise I do have a dropper I bought from Walmart or Target, it was found in the baby stuff section and is used to give babies medicine through the dropper. Also I recently purchased a bunch of empty dropper bottles (like what the Reaper paints come in) from Amazon for $8, I plan on making my own washes and just having one of them as a distilled water bottle for thinning my paints a bit more cleanly.

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The most common advice I see re: thinning your paint is to give it the consistency of milk; there generally isn't a lot of explanation offered along with this term (skim milk? 2% whole? half-and-half?), so I usually either go for the brushful (swirl my brush in water, brush it against the side of the glass to wick away the excess, and then dip into my paint) or I add about one drop of water for every two to four drops of paint.

The way I've heard it (and practice it) is to get your paints to the consistency of whole milk. Which just so happens to be about 2:1 (Reaper MSP) paint to water. Other brands are thicker (notably P3 and GW which are about 1:1 or even 1:2, sometimes). I haven't used any Vallejo (except for a few dry pigments) or Tamiya (except for the clears, which usually get mixed with glue anyways), so I have no input there.

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Brushfuls were the standard unit of measurement when paint came in pots, and are still referenced by companies that use pots to deliver their paint (P3 and GW). With the advent of the screw-top droppers used by Vallejo and now Reaper, people started using the measurement of "drops".

 

Ultimately, they're roughly synonymous, so if it asks for a brushful, just use a drop. If you need a drop of water, you can buy eye droppers at pretty much any drug store for $2 each. LTPK1 was a bit hazy on more than a few details and instructions that never were updated when Reaper switched to only including the droppers, and the mentions of brushfuls were not updated. Presumably because they're reworking the LTPKs to use Bones?

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Wow, thanks for the excellent and quick replies! While it wouldn't be a huge issue if I screwed it up a little, still feels better to have a decent handle on what is meant, especially as it should help save on paint. ;)

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It's really not a big deal if you have a little too much water, it just means that you my have to go over the same area with that particular thinned paint 2-3 times, which a lot of people around here swear by anyhow. I've seen numerous replies about how they paint as they build up and layer up their paint with many thin layers of paint.

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And ultimately, it's all guesswork anyway. Everyone has a certain consistency that works for them, and they know it when they see it. You just have to play around with it and determine what works for you. I've heard anywhere from 3:1 to 1:4 paint:water mentioned as the "ideal" consistency. So if your ratio is somewhere outside that range, you might want to reevaluate your strategy, but anywhere between those ratios is normal, and just a matter of finding what works for you and your preferred painting style.

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I totally agree w/ Slendertroll, I'm sure if you ask the pro painters they will ALL tell you something different for what works for them individually. It's great advice to just find out what works best for you, and experimentation with paint is FOR SCIENCE!

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By messing around on my own (I didn't specifically seek out any particular thinning formula or ratio), I settled on 2:1 paint:water. There are a few of my colors that are a bit thinner than the others, so I'll go 3:1, or else add a drop of Glass and Tile Medium (it's a little thicker than water). I bought a couple packs of Reaper's empty dropper bottles, and have one with distilled water in it, and another with my GTM in it, so I can keep my paint recipes consistent. :)

 

Welcome to the hobby and the forums! :D

 

Huzzah!

--OneBoot :D

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Oh yeah, and I use empty eyedropper bottles of contact solution. (The little ones you drop directly into your eye, not the big ones you fill the lens case with.) One is full of water, which I use to count out drops when I'm thinning paint, and a few others have some of my more common washes pre-mixed in them.

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By messing around on my own (I didn't specifically seek out any particular thinning formula or ratio), I settled on 2:1 paint:water. There are a few of my colors that are a bit thinner than the others, so I'll go 3:1, or else add a drop of Glass and Tile Medium (it's a little thicker than water). I bought a couple packs of Reaper's empty dropper bottles, and have one with distilled water in it, and another with my GTM in it, so I can keep my paint recipes consistent. :)

 

Welcome to the hobby and the forums! :D

 

Huzzah!

--OneBoot :D

 

Woah woah, wait a minute OneBoot! I thought you used TT for your measurements??

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Woah woah, wait a minute OneBoot! I thought you used TT for your measurements??

 

 

lol I used to do it a lot more than I do now (for those wondering, TT was my abbreviation for "toothpick tip" meaning the amount of paint I got when dipping just the tip of a toothpick into paint).

 

When I started getting ridiculous measurements like "11 TT" which got rather difficult to remix consistently (and quickly), I started measuring more by drops/half drops. I do still use it from time to time when adding colors to pure white, since it doesn't take much color to tint the white. :)

 

Huzzah!

--OneBoot :D

Edited by OneBoot
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