If you have the right tools, mixing colors to create custom shades is a breeze. In fact, it’s so straightforward that most artists can do it in just a few steps. In theory, at least. When you’re working with diluted paint and mixing multiple formulas at once, things get a bit more complicated.
Whether you’re trying to mix a new hue or dilute an existing one, everything has to be done precisely and accurately to avoid ending up with muddy results. To help you achieve your color-mixing goals more efficiently, we’ve compiled some insider insight from the experts at Shades EQ on how best to dilute their paints without using additional additives like water or solvent mediums.
One way is to add an equal amount of water to each color. This will make the colors more transparent and lighten the shade. Another method is to add white paint to the colors. This will also lighten the shade, but it may also affect the color’s hue. Finally, you can add a small amount of clear paint to the colors. This will make them more translucent
What Is Diluted Paint?
A diluted paint is one that has been mixed with either water or solvent mediums. When working with water-based paints, artists often dilute a specific hue to create a custom shade. For example, if you decide to mix red and white paint to create a new red-orange hue, you’ll have to dilute each of these pigments with water to create a paint mixture that is neither too glossy nor too matte. Diluted paints are also used to adjust the consistency of paint. For example, you may have to thin acrylic paint with water if it has too much body or add water to gel paint if it’s too thick. While any amount of mixing will change the consistency of the paint, doing so with a goal in mind (like creating a custom shade) has less of an impact than just randomly adding water.
How To Dilute Paints Without Clear
If you’re working with pigments that contain no white in their formula, you can dilute any given shade by adding solvent mediums to it. The solvent will create a more transparent paint with a lower viscosity, which is useful if you want to extend the paint with a different diluent or add it to another medium. You can extend acrylic paint with water, but you can’t extend oil paint with water. Because acrylic paint is water-based, it mixes up nicely with water and other diluents. If you have a paint that contains no white in its formula and you want to lower its opacity and consistency, you can add solvent to it without diluting its color. This is a great option if you want to extend the amount of paint you have without sacrificing opacity or adding a different hue.
Rule 1: Understand Which Pigments Are Where
Before you start mixing, make sure you know the recipe of each pigment in your palette. To do this, take a look at the label and make note of which pigments are present and in what amounts: White: How much white pigment is in the formula. If pigments are labeled “tinted,” they contain no white; otherwise, they do. Black: How much black pigment is in the formula. Black pigments usually contain both iron oxide and carbon black. Blue: How much blue pigment is in the formula. Blue pigments are usually a combination of cobalt blue, ultramarine blue, and ferrous ferrocyanide. Red: How much red pigment is in the formula. Red pigments are usually a combination of alizarin crimson, ferrous ferrocyanide, and carthamin. Yellow: How much yellow pigment is in the formula. Yellow pigments are usually a combination of barium yellow, cadmium yellow, and zinc yellow. Green: How much green pigment is in the formula. Green pigments are usually a combination of chromium oxide, ferrous ferrocyanide, and viridian.
Rule 2: Mix Your Dyes Together First
If you’re working with pigments that contain white, you’ll need to mix the dyes together before you start diluting. While pigments are completely insoluble in water and can be easily mixed, dyes have a tendency to separate from the medium that binds them to their pigment. To avoid this, mix the dyes together in a separate container before adding them to your fluid medium.
Rule 3: Only Add The Right Amount Of Solvent
Once you’ve made sure your dyes have been properly mixed, it’s time to add the solvent. As a general rule, use as little solvent as possible: Too much solvent will cloud the paint, reduce its opacity, and make it smell like paint thinner. If you want to lower the viscosity of a paint and make it easier to mix with other paints, add just enough solvent to make it the consistency you want. If you want to extend your paint with a different diluent, use a solvent with a different viscosity than your paint. For example, if your acrylic paint is too thick and you want to extend it with water, add solvent to make it easier to mix.
Rule 4: Always Use A Scaling Guide
Even if you’ve done everything correctly up to this point, you might still end up with a paint that is either too light or too dark. To avoid this problem, use a scaling guide instead of just adding paint to water and hoping for the best. A scaling guide provides you with a specific ratio for diluting paint, so you can dilute it to the specific color you’re going for. A scaling guide will tell you how much paint to add to water to achieve a specific color, as well as how much water to add to paint to achieve a specific color as well. For example, if you want to mix one part blue paint with 2 parts water to create a shade of green, a scaling guide will tell you to add 1 part blue paint with 1 part water and 1 part more blue paint.
Diluting paint is an easy way to create custom shades and adjust its consistency. When you dilute paint, though, it’s important to understand how pigments and dyes react with water. When you dilute paint, you’re adding water to it. While this is great for extending the amount of paint you have available, it can cause some pigments to lose their color strength. To keep this from happening, make sure you mix your dyes together before adding water to the paint and only add enough solvent to achieve the consistency you want. It’s always a good idea to use a scaling guide to help you avoid over- or under-diluting your paints.