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  1. #1
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    White watercolor

    I recently bought my self a Winsor & Newton watercolor set, I was wondering what was the point of having white as a color in a watercolor set?
    What could it be used for?

    -Thanks


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  3. #2
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    It makes anything you mix it with opaque.

    Of course, it also dulls them.

  4. #3
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    traditionally in water colour the whites are "reserved". that is you use the white of the paper for your whites.
    This of course can be difficult to plan or maintain so some people may use white at the end (on top).

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig D
    traditionally in water colour the whites are "reserved". that is you use the white of the paper for your whites.
    This of course can be difficult to plan or maintain so some people may use white at the end (on top).
    precisely.
    it acts almost like guoache.
    just use it to pick out a few highlights.

    the really posh "american watercolor society" members frown upon the use of any opaque medium.
    its considered un-traditional.
    but memebers of "dan's society of non-lame artists" say: "whatever."

    another method for achieving great whites is to use a piece of wax.
    draw in the spots you want to remain white with the wax,
    and they will repel all color.
    you can usually get it off later on with a blade,
    or you can use specially designed waxes that peel off.
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  6. #5
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    OR Dan, you could use a newspaper and Iron, lay the newspaper over the peice, and use the tip of the iron to let the newspaper "suck" up the melting wax. Havent tried it, but it should work.
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  7. #6
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    White paint is also nice to have because you can do wet-on-wet color blends that you can't do using just the white of the paper.

  8. #7
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    masking fluid anyone?

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSillustration
    the really posh "american watercolor society" members frown upon the use of any opaque medium.
    its considered un-traditional.
    but memebers of "dan's society of non-lame artists" say: "whatever."
    That's what both my watercolor teachers said LOL. Learn not to use white when in painting class...then everything goes when you're not in (their) painting class.

    But as with what CraigD says, I still tend to reserve my whites. Only unless I made some disastrous mistakes will I use the tube of white paint.
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  10. #9
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    Take a look at watercolors by Turner, Moran, and Homer. They all made good use of opaque whites.

  11. #10
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    who says that watercolor is always on a white background? i find it a wonderful thing!
    ?

  12. #11
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    another method for achieving great whites is to use a piece of wax.
    draw in the spots you want to remain white with the wax,
    and they will repel all color.
    you can also mix some straight gum arabic into your puddles of color and it will make them less permanent, so you can later lift out color with water on a brush. Alternately, mix some matte medium in to make them more permanent
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    i tend to use white to make colors more pastelly when needed. and sometimes for a few highlights here and there. The beauty of watercolor is that it's transparent, so if you let the white of the paper reflect light it will be richer. The opaque white tends to flatten the color and suck away that richness. I try not to use it. But anyone that gets religious about not using it tends to come off crazy. Play around with it and see waht you like for yourself.

  14. #13
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    WOW Thanks every one for all the help. One more thing I was wondering if it would be better to use the watercolor paint in tubes, or is it the same thing?
    Thanks again.

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    its a personal choice. I like pans better becasue they are more condenced with color and you have more control of the amount of pigment you have on your brush. I've been buying tubes to refill the pans. the pigment is not as concentrated but it does end up being cheeper.

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  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSillustration
    precisely.

    its considered un-traditional.
    but memebers of "dan's society of non-lame artists" say: "whatever."
    What are the dues like for this society? And where/how do I sign up?

  18. #17
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    The advice on opaque white has been covered pretty well... you can also try liquid frisket to reserve whites... personally I'm more into the "just don't paint there" method, but frisket is easier to remove than wax - you rub it off with an eraser.

    Tubes or pan is personal preference... depends on the quality of the pigment. I don't find good tube paint to be less concentrated, but again it's preference. I'd rather work with tubes because I find them easier to keep clean (I'm always getting the pans muddy with other colors, coz I mix color a lot and I'm also a bit sloppy with my brush habits). On the other hand, if you like to work fast you may go for the pans coz they're more convenient... all laid out for you already.
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  19. #18
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    I've always hated pans. I find tubes allow you to get a richer, more vibrant color down without crazy amounts of layering/drying because you can use them and add little to no water. I do have pans that I use as part of my "travel" kit, but I never get results that are nearly as nice.

    My $0.02.

  20. #19
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    CCThrom - what brand of paint do you use? I use Schmincke. the pigments are really rich. the halfpans pack a lot more pigment than the tubes i use to refil them. for some reason i have less of a problem with these muddying up when i'm mixing colors. used to be a pain when using Yarkas or WinsorNewton.

    bdfoster - i usually flod the pans with water and let them sit a few minutes while i'm laying in the sketch. then i dig in with the brush to grab a hwole bunch of pigment, and dilute it with water in the mixing areas as needed. works wonders for me.

  21. #20
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    AmishCommy - I've heard that Schminke is really good paint but I've never used it. I'll have to try your method for getting concentrated color out of the pans, thanks for the tip.

    I'm using a pretty motley assortment of paints collected over time... some Winsor Newton (they're pretty old - I've heard folks say WN is slipping of late), some Aquarelle (not as good but they were on sale), some Sennelier, and some Rembrandt, which I like. My "travel" set of halfpans is Mars Staedtler or Grumbacher... rats I forget now.

    I sometimes use dilute casein as well. The only brand I can find anywhere is Shiva... ok but not great... I'd love to know if anyone has a contact for better quality casein?
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  22. #21
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    I sometimes use dilute casein as well. The only brand I can find anywhere is Shiva... ok but not great... I'd love to know if anyone has a contact for better quality casein?
    As far as I know, Shiva is the only company that still makes casein. Back when there were several brands available Shiva was supposed to be the best, but the company has been sold several times and I have no idea how today's quality compares to that of the past. I do know that their oil paints are awful.

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  23. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmishCommy
    i usually flod the pans with water and let them sit a few minutes while i'm laying in the sketch. then i dig in with the brush to grab a hwole bunch of pigment, and dilute it with water in the mixing areas as needed.
    You actually managed to make painting with watercolor sound damn aggressive!
    Those poor pans never knew what hit them...
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