Over the past few months, I’ve been experimenting with various mediums, recording drying times and noting the handling of water-mixable oils – all in the process of creating a new course.
Amongst the copious footage, I wanted to share this introductory lesson where I compare the dilution of acrylics to water-mixable oils.
Simple but fundamental observations.
You may find there are times when acrylics dry off too quickly or are difficult to blend especially when you’re painting in thin layers. Using water-mixable oils can be fantastic because they give you that extra working time. Painting wet-into-wet is one of the significant advantages you’ll notice because you gain a lot more time for smoking together colours.
But how do they both compare when diluting with water?
So in this video, I paint a graduated sky, blending really thin applications using water, then a medium.
Downloading the reference photograph
The photo above can be ‘clicked’ and ‘Save image as’, so you can use it as a reference image, print it out and follow along with the video.
Materials you will need:
- Filbert – Rosemary & Co – Shiraz Size 8
- Canvas Board 18 x 13 cm (7 x 5 inch)
I demonstrate on cotton canvas board but you could also use a canvas.
- RGM Classic Line, Medium size 45, Diamond-shaped, cranked (angled) handle. I use an RGM 45 for mixing the paint.
- Montana Acrylic Paint Maker (Iron Curtain 0.7mm)
- Gesso (Golden)
Watery layers are best used onto an absorbent ground, so the paint ‘grabs on’. The more water you use the quicker the paint dries and it dries very matte. Because of the inclusion of water, you’ll find the pigments tend to temporarily lighten in colour and then dry matte as the water evaporates.
- Kitchen roll/paper towel
- Clean water
- Metal double dipper (you could use two small pots)
- Tear-off palette or stay-wet palette (In this tutorial I demonstrate on an A3 size Grey Pad from New Wave tear-off palette)
Acrylic Paints – The Colour Palette
- Titanium White (Golden)
- Yellow Ochre (Golden)
- Phthalo Blue – Red Shade (Golden)
- Hansa Yellow Light (Golden)
- Raw Sienna (Winsor & Newton)
- Ultramarine Blue (Golden)
- Cobalt Blue Hue (Golden)
Water-Mixable Oil Paints – The Colour Palette
- Titanium White (Cobra)
- Yellow Ochre (Cobra)
- Ultramarine Blue (Cobra)
- Cobalt Blue Hue (Duo Aqua)
- Airbrush Medium (Golden Paints)
Pro tip: I use a mix of airbrush medium and water when applying the gesso in this video. Some canvas boards can resist and repel water more easily so this can help with adhesion. If your board is particularly water repellent and you haven’t got airbrush medium a drop of acrylic flow release would also work. If you’re using canvas you’ll be absolutely fine diluting just with water.
- Acrylic Glazing Liquid Gloss (Golden Paints)
- Artisan Low Odour Thinner (Winsor & Newton)
A whole range of water-mixable mediums are available to achieve a good flow and desired consistency but I’m going to use water-mixable low solvent thinner. This will dilute the paint and extend the drying time in comparison to water.
Have a great week and you can learn about the beginners guide to water-mixable oils here