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Thread: How can I thicken acrylic paint?
July 12th, 2009 #1
How can I thicken acrylic paint?
Whenever I use acrylic, especially with flat, cel-shaded colors, I end up waiting for a long time for every layer to dry. I'm thinking of using clear Elmer's glue to thicken it. Do you know any other ways?
Hide this ad by registering as a memberJuly 12th, 2009 #2
What are you tryng to do, exactly? Do you want (a) faster drying, (b) better coverage, or (c) a thicker paint layer?
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July 13th, 2009 #3
Thickening it means it will take LONGER to dry.
Most Illustrators who use acrylic keep a blow-dryer next to their desk.
Lay a wash, blow dry, lay a wash, blow dry, etc.
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July 13th, 2009 #4
If you use Liquitex gloss impasto gell it will dry quicker. The matt gel dries slower.
From Gegarin's point of view
July 13th, 2009 #5Steph Laberis Fanboy
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July 13th, 2009 #6
I'd look at the brand of paint you are using, and the surface you are working on. Not all brands are equal. If you really want to thicken the paint buy something intended for that purpose. There are several brands that make a variety of mediums for acrylic to give it all sorts of qualities. Golden in particular I remember having a huge variety of mediums, including thick gels.
Then again, as Dan mentioned, thicker doesn't mean faster drying. A thinner layer, will tend to dry more quickly, and a good brand will still be opaque even thin (depending on color of course- some colors are just transparent by nature). Changing your support could possibly change drying time too, depending on what you are already using. A blow dryer is probably the most fool proof and direct method.
July 15th, 2009 #7
Low coverage is the problem. For example, it took dozens of coats of yellow just to cover up some pencil marks. Thanks for mentioning that some colors are transparent. I thought it was just my cheap brand.
July 15th, 2009 #8
Yellow seems to be a color who's pigments are predominantly transparent. Cheap brands of paint also have lots of inert pigment and fillers that make all of their colors more transparent. If you could allow it in your process, creating an underpainting in a neutral color plus white, it won't matter of the coverage of the yellow because the value is already under it.
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July 15th, 2009 #9Registered User
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You can get a bunch of Acrylic Mediums for different textures/results which you mix with the acrylic paint before applying it on the canvas.
July 15th, 2009 #10
I use acrylic paints for all my work projects. Liquitex is preferred but really I use all brands. So do you want your application to dry faster or get better coverage? Like DS has said a hair dryer is the tool of choice when it comes to faster drying times yet if you’re trying to create an effect ( ie the detail in rocks and boulders) I find carpenters wood filler works pretty well. Still have to paint over it though….and it may take several coats to get the desired color.
Another thing. If you are experienced in working with acrylic paints you know that the colors, when dry aren’t the same as when first applied wet. A good coat of varnish will restore the colors to the look they had when you first put them on.
Sorry if I’ve posted things that you already know. I’m just not aware of the level of experience of your art.
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July 15th, 2009 #11Registered User
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It should say on the tube whether the color is opaque or transparent.
July 15th, 2009 #12
July 16th, 2009 #13
Yeah, some colors can't really get away from being transparent, at least in artist's paints. You may be able to find a crafter's acrylic paint that is more opaque, since they are often more concerned with coverage, but it will not be as pure as an artist's paint.
Have you tried painting white (which many whites are opaque) over the area first, then yellow over that after it dries? That would still take more than one coat, but you might get away with only 2.