When painting with acrylics, one of the most important things is mixing your paint properly. There are two main types of mixes used in every artist’s repertoire: oil mixed with medium (oil paints) or water mixed with gel (watercolor). Both work well, but which one you use depends on the look you want for your paintings!
Acrylic paints contain large molecules that stick together very easily, making it difficult to mix them correctly. When using oils as a mixer, there are several types of quality glues that can be added into the mixture to help this occur. These include polymers, solvents, and alcohols.
The type of polymer needed to mix with acrylics changes depending on what effect you desire. A common way to achieve some depth in painted layers is by adding small particles to the surface, creating an interesting texture. This cannot be done without the right kind of glue in the mix!
A solvent such as acetone or ethanol can be dripped onto the top layer of paint to break up the surface slightly, helping create more depth. An adequate amount of time must be spent while letting these dry so they do not run down the side of the canvas!
Alcohols such as vodka can also be added to the paint to lower the viscosity, allowing for different textures and flowy washes.
Types of oil paints
A kind of paint that is typically painted onto another surface or mixed into a liquid form is considered an oil painting. Oil paintings are characterized by their rich color and texture, as well as how long they can last before fading.
Oil was one of the most common mediums used for creating art in the Renaissance era. Artists still use oils today! Oils will always be our favorite medium due to how it blends with other materials, how easy they are to work with, and how many beautiful colors there are available.
Acrylic paints are similar to oils in that they are both classified as liquids, but they lack alcohol, which makes them more neutral-feeling than oils. Because acrylics do not contain alcohol, they mix better and tend to set faster, making them good for quickly completed works.
A very important part of painting is mixing your colors! You will spend a lot of time doing this, so it’s best to do it properly. Luckily, creating mixed paint isn’t too difficult.
Acrylic mixers often use a ratio called a color match or parallel. This means that they compare two similar colors next to each other and calculate how much more one can add to the other by subtracting the percent values. For example, say they wanted to make a red box with a gray top. They would take solid white and dilute it in proportion to their already-prepared red.
This article will show you some easy ways to mix acrylic paint.
Mixing paints with oil
A very popular way to mix paint is called wet-into-dry painting. This technique does not have a specific name because it was done long before artists had access to dry acrylic paintings!
Wet-into-dry mixing works because of two properties of oils: they are thick and they absorb other liquids. When you add water to an olive oil mixture, for example, the thickness of the olive oil helps make the paint thicker and take shape more easily.
When using this method with a liquid that doesn’t contain much alcohol (like water), the alcohol in the top layer of the oil removes some of the thinner part of the new paint film. The leftover thin layer of oil takes longer to evaporate, so it becomes the primer coat for the painted surface.
This article will show how to do a wet-into-dry mixed color experiment using red, orange, yellow, and green colors.
Mixing with water
The second most important thing to know when mixing acrylic paint is where you can mix it! You have two main options here, either use an oil or alcohol as a liquid medium for your mixed paints, or powder up the surface and add the paint onto that.
With both of these methods, make sure to mix them properly! If there are lumps in the mixture then try washing the brush more times or switching brands, it may just not blend well with the paint already on the canvas.
Acrylics will also develop thick spots if left untouched for too long, so be careful about how much time you have before painting! There are ways to work around this by using a thinner fluid but we will talk about that later.
Mixing with alcohol
The second way to mix your acrylic paint is by adding alcohol into it! Alcohol content can be anything from 100% vodka to totally mixed-up water or ethanol (alcoholic drink) used as a solvent.
Acrylic paints typically contain large, thin crystals of titanium dioxide which help give depth and shape to painted designs. This powder requires an alcoholic liquid to blend in and spread across the surface of the paint when it is mixed in.
Many people use 95% alcohol (also known as pure alcohol) to do this because it is expensive cost-wise but does not require any special equipment to use. You can also make your own alcohol gel using just water and sugar!
Note: Do not use 99% alcohol since it will burn in the air for a while before completely evaporating. This could leave you with a very thick layer of paint that may take hours to properly dry.
Use caution when mixing acrylics and epoxy
When working with liquid epoxies, you must be careful not to get any water in the mixture. This could cause your paint to seep or even see what was referred to as “bleed-through” of the gel onto other surfaces.
Acrylic paints are typically thicker than most gels and liquids, so they can be mixed into an epoxy surface more easily. However, it is important to use care when doing this to make sure there are no bubbles present. If there are, then these may evaporate, leaving empty spaces in the gel where moisture might infiltrate.
This could potentially lead to poor adhesion or even loss of the gel layer completely. It also could create wet areas that will attract dirt and dust which could damage or wear down the material being painted onto.
When working with acrylic paint, it is important to mix your colors properly. If you have three puddles of bright red paint, for example, they will not blend together correctly.
Acrylic paints are mixed in a container called a mixing cup or palette. This has slits in the top that help excess liquid drain off.
Some brands suggest using a plastic brush to add more fluid to the painting, but I find this unnecessary since you can use a dry hand tool or a chopstick to do the same thing.
After all the fluids are added, close the top and shake the bottle to combine the layers.
Trial and error methods
There are many ways to mix acrylic paint with epoxy, depending on what effect you want to achieve. Some people suggest mixing them in a ratio of 1 part acrylic paint to 2 parts epoxy, but this can result in thinned out paints that do not adhere properly.
Instead, test one drop of each material at a time and see how it mixes together. Once you find a combination that works, increase the amount for the next batch or use it as is!
Acrylic will take longer to dry than most other mediums so, when painting, make sure your hand does not get too wet. Let it dry for several minutes before moving onto the next color layer.