Jump to content

Rignes

Mixing Inks with Acrylic Paints?

Recommended Posts

So, I've seen where people mix Inks with Acrylics.  I'm trying to get more info on it but my Google Fu is weak.  I'm finding tons of vids on using inks as washes but not mixing them with paints.

 

What effects can this be good for?  Do you mix Inks in that are similar colors to the paint to make them more intense?  Does this also thin the paint?  

 

Can you mix a Yellow Ink into a Red Paint to get orange?  And if so, what advantage does that have over just mixing Red and Yellow paints?

 

Ink are such a mystery to me.  I have so many questions I'm not even sure exactly where to start.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, you can mix a yellow ink in a red paint. It will shift the overall effect towards orange, depending on strength of the red. The benefit of inks to me is that they're brightly colored but transparent. It makes them really good to add to glazes.

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, so then I assume I can mix a black in to make a shadow version of the color I'm working with if I want? 

 

I bought a Reaper black ink to experiment some time ago but haven't really done much with it because I have no foundation of knowledge yet on inks.  I did make a black wash with it once but didn't like the results and went back to Nuln Oil.

 

I guess what  my goal is with this question to to try and get enough info on the topic to give me a starting point for experimentation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Rignes said:

Ok, so then I assume I can mix a black in to make a shadow version of the color I'm working with if I want? 

 

Sometimes. Black and white will darken* or lighten a color, but they will also desaturate it. Sometimes this works well, sometimes not so much.

 

* And then there's yellow. Add black to yellow and you'll almost always get olive drab.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Cyradis said:

Yes, you can mix a yellow ink in a red paint. It will shift the overall effect towards orange, depending on strength of the red. The benefit of inks to me is that they're brightly colored but transparent. It makes them really good to add to glazes.

 

I just had another thought.  Are inks kind of like clear brights in function?  I've not worked with those either but I've read more on those than inks.

 

52 minutes ago, Doug Sundseth said:

 

Sometimes. Black and white will darken* or lighten a color, but they will also desaturate it. Sometimes this works well, sometimes not so much.

 

* And then there's yellow. Add black to yellow and you'll almost always get olive drab.

 

I just read somewhere that you can increase the saturation by mixing the same color ink into your paint.  So, Red Paint + Red Ink can increase saturation?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Clears from Reaper behave more like paint; they're vivid, kinda translucent, and feel like paint. Also good for changing a hue in a known way. The inks are more flowy on their own. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Cyradis said:

The Clears from Reaper behave more like paint; they're vivid, kinda translucent, and feel like paint. Also good for changing a hue in a known way. The inks are more flowy on their own. 

 

That makes sense.  I think back to the bottle of ink I had as a kid that came with a quill pen kit we got at Historic West Virginia and that stuff was like water in consistency.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Cyradis said:

The Clears from Reaper behave more like paint; they're vivid, kinda translucent, and feel like paint. Also good for changing a hue in a known way. The inks are more flowy on their own. 

 

In fact they are paint. Generally single pigment (so without anything to increase their opacity, hence the "clear"), which makes them both saturated and good for mixing.

 

IIRC, @Pingo tested the Clear Magenta next to a couple of artists' acrylic Quinacridone Magentas, and other than some minor consistency and finish differences, they were interchangeable.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Rignes said:

Ok, so then I assume I can mix a black in to make a shadow version of the color I'm working with if I want? 

 

I wish it were that simple, but sometimes it just doesn't work that way. As Doug pointed out, this will desaturate your colors. It can also yield disastrous results, as that what you think will happen in your head doesn't necessarily happen in the paint world. This is all due to color theory, of which I am no expert, and the nature of pigments.

 

For instance, let's say you painted yellow, and wanted to mix your black ink or black paint into your yellow to make a shadow. You won't get a darker yellow, you'll get a green color. It's just the way the pigments work in that special case. You are better off mixing in some form of darker orange/red to get, possibly a shade of brown to get a better shade for yellow.

 

This is the color theory coming into play, and it can take a lifetime to truly master, but not nearly that long to gain proficiency. A few lessons and a few applications and you'll have a good start at it. There are better people on these forums than I to instruct you on color theory.

 

1 hour ago, Rignes said:

I did make a black wash with it once but didn't like the results and went back to Nuln Oil.

 

On the specific subjects of inks, they are different from paints in that they are superfine pigments, they are already thin/flowy, and very intense in color while also having transparency. You have to be careful with thinning them, as they don't seem to tolerate excessive thinning with straight water (breaks up the pigments too much). I thin my inks with an acrylic floor polish (a brand of Pledge that has undergone so many names changes that I don't know what it's called these days). It used to be called "Pledge with Future Shine" 10 years ago.

 

The last bit about inks are that some people report they can be reactivated if you paint over them, thus ruining what you've done. I have never had this problem, but I use mainly the Vallejo inks, and always give it plenty of time to dry. If mixed with acrylic paint to increase/change the vibrancy, I haven't heard of this problem.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To add further confusion... what kind of inks? There are traditional inks that are often made with shellac and I dunno what all else, but many products sold these days are 'acrylic inks'. FW inks, Liquitex inks, I think there are a few other big brands as well. I don't know for sure (will try to remember to ask Anne but my memory is very sad), but it's possible that Reaper inks are in fact acrylic inks and wouldn't surprise me if the same were true for Vallejo.

 

So what is acrylic ink in comparison to traditional ink? Acrylic paint, pretty much. Liquitex ink is just a formulation that uses a more liquid/thinner binder mix. Golden has a similar product but they call it High Flow acrylic paint instead of ink. Acrylic paints can be made with binders that give them anything from a thick paste consistency, to a super runny consistency, but they're all made with plastic binders and pigments. One of the ways that acrylic inks are not like traditional inks is that they have pigment particles and often should not be used in pens* as they'll likely cause clogging.

 

How this is relevant is that these products are basically just a different consistency of acrylic paint, so you can use them in the same ways as acrylic paints, and they should intermix with acrylic paint products no problem. FW and Liquitex even list the pigments they use. I _think_ that Winsor & Newton ink is still a more traditional ink.

 

15 years ago when I started painting and people talked about using inks for particular effects or washes or whatever, most of the time I think they were talking about traditional inks. They are typically shiny, and may not behave the same as paint. (And if made with dyes instead of pigments, may not be as lightfast as products made with pigments.) I recall threads of people being concerned that inks they had used were reactivating or seeping up through upper layers with subsequent applications of paint. I also saw plenty of threads from people that liked them, so I'm not trying to put anyone off using ink. Just mentioning so that if you're reading articles or watching videos or whatever, the specific type of ink product someone is using may be relevant if trying to duplicate or understand their results.

*I mean they could clog pens like fountain pens. These super thin paints are designed for fill it yourself markers/brush pens and dip pens and things like that I think.

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had some issues with ink reactivating - or at least I think that's what the problem was. It didn't reactivate with everything, but the Reaper Brush-On Sealer yanked S75 yellow ink right out of the work and to the top. It was bizarre.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, ManvsMini said:

 

I wish it were that simple, but sometimes it just doesn't work that way. As Doug pointed out, this will desaturate your colors. It can also yield disastrous results, as that what you think will happen in your head doesn't necessarily happen in the paint world. This is all due to color theory, of which I am no expert, and the nature of pigments.

 

For instance, let's say you painted yellow, and wanted to mix your black ink or black paint into your yellow to make a shadow. You won't get a darker yellow, you'll get a green color. It's just the way the pigments work in that special case. You are better off mixing in some form of darker orange/red to get, possibly a shade of brown to get a better shade for yellow.

 

This is the color theory coming into play, and it can take a lifetime to truly master, but not nearly that long to gain proficiency. A few lessons and a few applications and you'll have a good start at it. There are better people on these forums than I to instruct you on color theory.

 

 

On the specific subjects of inks, they are different from paints in that they are superfine pigments, they are already thin/flowy, and very intense in color while also having transparency. You have to be careful with thinning them, as they don't seem to tolerate excessive thinning with straight water (breaks up the pigments too much). I thin my inks with an acrylic floor polish (a brand of Pledge that has undergone so many names changes that I don't know what it's called these days). It used to be called "Pledge with Future Shine" 10 years ago.

 

The last bit about inks are that some people report they can be reactivated if you paint over them, thus ruining what you've done. I have never had this problem, but I use mainly the Vallejo inks, and always give it plenty of time to dry. If mixed with acrylic paint to increase/change the vibrancy, I haven't heard of this problem.

 

Thanks everyone for the comments.  Like most topics in this hobby this seems like a deep one.  I think I need to perhaps step back a bit and actually get better at color theory.

 

That being said, Would you guys have any recommendations for a book (or ebook) to get?  I'm looking for the equivalent of "Color Theory for Dummies". 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Rignes said:

 

Thanks everyone for the comments.  Like most topics in this hobby this seems like a deep one.  I think I need to perhaps step back a bit and actually get better at color theory.

 

That being said, Would you guys have any recommendations for a book (or ebook) to get?  I'm looking for the equivalent of "Color Theory for Dummies". 

 

The book that everyone seems to recommend is "Blue and Yellow Don't Make Green", which is pretty specific to the issues of artists (at least as far as I've seen; it's still on my wishlist, not in my library).

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Rignes said:

Like most topics in this hobby this seems like a deep one.

 

Welcome down the rabbit hole. Mwhahahaha. The Mad Hatter's tea party is at 4pm, bring cookies.

 

24 minutes ago, Rignes said:

I think I need to perhaps step back a bit and actually get better at color theory.

 

There's nothing wrong with learning as you go, color theory is something everyone struggles with at the beginning. You can always paint over it. :winkthumbs:

  • Like 2
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, ManvsMini said:

 

Welcome down the rabbit hole. Mwhahahaha. The Mad Hatter's tea party is at 4pm, bring cookies.

 

 

There's nothing wrong with learning as you go, color theory is something everyone struggles with at the beginning. You can always paint over it. :winkthumbs:

 

I'd recommend trying it if you're interested. Vallejo inks are pretty prevalent in US game stores with the other minis paints. Can snag a few colors to see what you think.

 

This is to say - I support experimenting and learning as you go.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×