What’s the role of paint consistency?
Using right paint consistency is one of the most critical issues. I’m guessing that is one of the biggest problems that new painters struggle with. Consistency is important, because creating smooth color gradient requires applying lots of paint layers with different translucency. You can achieve different states of translucency by adding more water to the paint. Using different color tones is one aspect of highlighting, but within that you’ll need to operate with layers of translucent paint. In theory you could highlight the model just by applying paint of the same consistency just going with brighter tone. Unfortunately, result won’t be pretty and it’s very time consuming. Paint’s color tone is destination and paint’s consistency is the way.
How to test paint consistency?
Correct paint consistency is achieved by mixing paint with water, but determining the right proportions can be difficult. The most scientific way to determine it would be just stating the proportions of paint in relation to water. Unfortunately this method have two issues. First of all it isn’t very practical, painting workshop isn’t the laboratory and we have nor time nor equipment to make it useful. Second problem is the paint itself. Different paints have different consistencies, it varies between brands and also depends on how old is the paint. However to make this guide useful, we need to determine the right paint consistency. We’re doing that by testing thinness of the paint. We divide the possible results into three states: high, medium and low. We just adding some water to the paint and visibly compare it with desired result. This approach isn’t very time consuming and fairly accurate. You should pay attention to paint translucency and ability to control brush strokes.
Thinness: Low or “Thick Paint”
Just for the sake of practicality we call this consistency “thick paint”. This can be paint straight from the pot. However, after you open new paint, it will start loosing water content by evaporation. If the paint spend a lot of time on a self it may need some water just to reach this state. This this least thinned paint you should ever use, if paint has less water in it you shouldn’t paint with it. This consistency isn’t very translucent, you can make brush strokes fairly easy, but shortly they start to dry out leaving brush marks.
Thinness: Medium or “Medium Paint”
I’ll call it “medium paint”. You should add a little bit of water, which gives you a just a bit more translucent paint. Brush strokes are easy to control and lasting much longer than in previous example.
Thinness: High or “Thin Paint”
This is “thin paint”, which is almost self explanatory. You’ll need to add more water than in previous example, which give you paint that is very translucent but hard to control.