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Highlander

Mixing White

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Anybody use acrylic mixing white to change the saturation of a color?  I mean tube acrylic paint that you'd have to thin/mix/condition to use with a mini paint. 

 

If you have, what have the results been?

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3 hours ago, Highlander said:


Anybody use acrylic mixing white to change the saturation of a color?  I mean tube acrylic paint that you'd have to thin/mix/condition to use with a mini paint. 

 

If you have, what have the results been?

 

Any specific reason the question is focused on tube paint, it's just zinc oxide white? I have a bottle of fluid zinc oxide around somewhere that I've used with mini paints. I never used in a lot and have no idea where it is at the moment, but as I recall it did what it was supposed to. Zinc oxide is much more transparent than titanium oxide. That makes it ideal if you want to lighten a color with white, but without making the color more opaque than it is. I'd say it's ideal if you wanted to lighten a color for glazing. If you wanted to try it out there is really no reason to buy it in a tube all you'd be doing is making extra work for yourself, just get it as a fluid acrylic

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Thank you.  I understood that titanium, zinc, and mixing white all have different opacity and intensity.  The mixing white I saw in a video desaturated the least.  I'll look for the zinc oxide in a fluid form.

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Just to make sure it was clear since I can't tell from your reply. Mixing white and zinc white are the same thing in most brands of acrylic. On the occasions when mixing white isn't just zinc white you'll find that it's just a blend of zinc white with some titanium white. There might be a brand that labels something else as mixing white, but for your purposes I'd just ignore that possibility. I think my bottle is either Golden or Utrecht. I still can't find and was thinking I should try it some more since you reminded me I have it. You can probably also get it from Vallejo in their fluid acrylic.

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Mixing anything with a paint will desaturate it to some extent or another. A single pigment intense colour is as saturated as it can be. Mixing anything in makes it less so. White lightens and desaturates, black darkens and desaturates, grey desaturates and may lighten or darken depending on the value of the original colour. Adding in the complement desaturates, but often in a more visually pleasing way than with the pure neutrals. It usually also darkens. 

 

Titanium white is a pushy, strong colour. A strong colour has a more marked effect in mixes and you tend to need less of it. If you have clear blue or the phthalocyanine blues, those are examples of strong colours. You need a bunch of yellow (typically a weak mixing colour) and a dab of one of those blues to mix up a green. Mixing or zinc white is a little more transparent, so it's easier to work with in mixes. It's still going to desaturate and lighten whatever you mix it into, but in a less aggressive way that may be easier to manipulate. 

 

Unless you want thick tube paint to build up physical texture for highlights (which is definitely a technique), I'd probably get Liquitex soft body or some other more fluid mix of zinc white to mix with miniature paints. In general it's best to use paints made as close to the consistency you need than to thin them down, especially with water. Water thinning alters both the opacity and the strength of the paint film since there are fewer of the acrylic molecules in the paint in heavily thinned paint.

Is there something specific you're trying to test? I have some Liquitex soft body mixing white and lots of Reaper paints. I don't have time to test dozens of paints, but I could do mixes of a couple if that would help you figure out what you're trying to figure out.

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