Some other important factors to know about acrylic paints: they typically dry a darker hue than the pigment they exhibit when wet, they do not spread (like watercolors or gouache), they dry very quickly (which has its perks but can make blending tricky), they’re water-soluble when wet, and they are water-resistant when dry which means that once dry, they cannot be altered. Dilute your acrylic paint with a little water to make splattering easier. You can paint with acrylics on watercolor paper, and you don't need to gesso or prime it first. I have explained each difference below. I'll usually thin the paint with some acrylic medium, or add just enough water to thin the paint without making it runny. You would just require one coat or so to varnish your MDF canvas. Normally, gum arabic comes as a binder along with watercolors. You can lighten acrylic paint with water, but you lose its thickness. Unlike acrylics, watercolor paint remains water-soluble when dry, so you can always "reactivate" it with a wet brush. Then, while the paper is still wet, you simply add your paints on top of this layer of water. Add a few grains of rice while your paint wash is still wet. Dilute the acrylic paint with tap water by adding half as much water as you added paint. Although both watercolor and acrylic paints are water-soluble there are several differences between acrylic and watercolor paints. Acrylic paint is water-based meaning it dissolves in water. In his art video, Improve Your Water Painting Techniques in Watercolor, Gordon MacKenzie demonstrates three approaches to the subject and shows that learning how to paint water can be fun, with achievable results right away. With this medium, you can get a glossy effect or make your paints have more transparency. Acrylic paints can be diluted with water, but are water-resistant when dry. You can add some extra water if the paint is water-based to thin out the paint a little. Knowing something about your paint will help you recognize good paint from bad, and help you choose the best watercolors to suit your preferences. Typically in acrylic and oil painting, mix different paints together to lighten them. For example, although you cannot apply actual watercolor paints onto ceramic clay pottery, you can apply ceramic glazes onto the unfinished pottery work to look like it was painted with watercolor paint. Some, like the muller and pans, are optional. Here are five reasons that I love using acrylic paint as watercolor! Not only does an acrylic wash make your painting look like watercolor, it also somewhat mimics the behavior of watercolor if the paint-to-water ratio is right. When you do add water, try not to add more than 25%. The exciting part of watercolor paints is you can control intensity of paints, add more water to reduce saturation, add primary colors to increase saturation. What can I use instead of gum arabic? Step 3 Dip the sponge into the paint and then completely coat the wood to be stained with the acrylic color. Paint can even dry on your brush before you ever reach the canvas. Liquid starch is a much more dense liquid and will often allow for the paint to sit at the top, allowing for you to dip an item into it for marbling. If the paint has thickened but can still be coaxed out of the tube, squeeze or scrape it onto a palette. Because it isn’t as popular as other styles of paint, gouache is often described as an “opaque watercolor,” a children’s poster paint, or a supplementary medium to be used alongside better-known techniques. Gum Arabic is a paste-like solution which you can mix directly with the paints or add it to the mixing water. You can use Poly Varnish to waterproof your acrylic work on the MDF surface. Just before painting you can add a few drops of water into each well. You can thin the acrylics to be as fluid as watercolor and therefore transparent. You’ll need a few things to make handmade watercolor paint. Now it’s time to make this daisy pop off of your white rock. But the gum Arabic is essential unless you’ve harvested gum from cherry, peach, or plum trees. The binder is what holds on to the pigment, so if you add more dry material like marble dust it could become water sensitive meaning if you went on top of that layer with another coat of a water based paint, medium or varnish the color could lift. If you do want to try and use watercolors on spare canvas that you would normally use oil or acrylic paints on, you need to take extra steps to prepare it. These differences include, color, surface, and usability and the way they are made, etc. They have pigments emulsified in water (waterborne paints), after all, and are not solvent-based. Make sure if you ware making the watercolor version that you let the paint dry out before capping so it won’t mold. The paint dissolves when you add water allowing the pigment to spread with a brush. Water Protecting Acrylic on Plastic; And did we also mention that you can efficiently paint plastic with acrylics? How do you make acrylics look like oils? And, unlike watercolor, adding water does not make more acrylic paint. Create a beautiful and simple watercolor effect using paint pens or regular acrylics. Acrylic painting outdoors can be more challenging. Remember to use distilled water if you’re planning on storing unused diluted paint for an extended period. The results may not be the best, but it is possible and you will still need to make many of the changes discussed for watercolor canvas. Saturate the color completely into the wood, but work quickly so that the acrylic color does not yet begin to dry. Absorbent surfaces will allow you to go beyond the recommended 25%. You can grab the Posca pens that I used on this painted rock here. 4. You can do this one color at a time, but it usually works best if you mix all the colors you plan to use before you start painting. The smooth blending that you can achieve with oils is the result of their slow drying time. Some you may be able to find substitutes for, like the pantyhose and palette knives. Because, yes you can! This will give your splatter depth and visual excitement. The more water you add to the paint, the lighter your color will become, so mix with less water for darker, more vibrant colors and more water … Experiment mixing color and water to create shades on a spare paper, have a wide range of shades. You can also add mediums to make your acrylics crackle, shimmer, or dry even faster. Add honey. And in that case you’re not likely to need this primer, ha. You could technically use watercolor paper for an oil paint color mixing chart as well. If you want to make a paint a large layer with the same color you can use a sponge as well. The joy of painting is to explore different mediums or to choose one that you can fall in love with. You only need a small amount of paint mixed with water and you instantly have converted the acrylic paint into watercolor! Dip the String . If you are thinning with a lot of water, it reduces the amount o acrylic binder in your paint film. Gouache paint, like both watercolor and acrylic paint, is a watermedia: a pigment that has to be mixed with water in order to be spread across a surface. Acrylic and oil paints are different. Before you can add water to reactivate the paints, you have to get it out of the tube. I've done it a few times while I was goofing around. Step 1: Make the Watercolor Base: Mix 1 cup hot water with ½ cup Gum Arabic Powder; Add in 1/5 cup honey (a little less than ¼ cup) Add two drops of clove or thyme essential oil to help preserve it; Preservative Note: If you want a stronger preservative you can use sodium benzoate – a food grade preservative - 1/2 - 1 tsp. As I made this color chart with watercolor paints. Water cannot be added to oil paints, but paint thinner can be used. I achieve this by adding little bits of water at a time with a brush. Color Harmony – Plan the color scheme of your painting at the start. You get a texture a bit similar to salt, but a bit softer. You can also use watercolor paper if you are painting color charts with acrylic or gouache paint. For example, if you add an acrylic retarder with your paint, it will decelerate the drying time so that it acts more like an oil-based paint. This makes the actual colors easier to see than the dried paint, and prevents paint from developing a skin during your painting session. If you use an acrylic paint that has the consistency you prefer, then you may not have to dilute the paint with water. Think of it like an accent color on your painting, and be deliberate when you use it. When you make your own hand-thrown pottery, you can apply ceramics glazes in different ways to customize your work. No need to mix the paint in the wells, just leave the dot of concentrated paint for when you want to mix a higher saturated color. 2. Splatter last. Acrylic paint is actually a type of plastic and the sun and temperatures tend to make it dry faster. You can add rain to any type of painting, an acrylic street scene or watercolor landscape, for instance. Feel free to use multiple colors! If you want to lighten the hue or color of a specific watercolor paint, you add more water to it. If you’re serious about pursuing a hobby as a watercolor artist you need to know what watercolor is. This is fun to use this technique, because the paint will go wherever the water is. To blend acrylics like oils, use slow drying acrylics or add a retarder to your favorite brand of acrylic paint. You’ll need the bowl to have at least 1/4 inch of paint in the bottom of it. If you’re using a regular acrylic paint, you will want two brushes. You can also switch out the water and use the liquid starch instead. You can even revive dried watercolor paint by adding water, depending on what pigments you use. However, you can also get it as an individual product if you wish. Acrylic and watercolor paint will never, ever behave the same way, but a wash can do wonders make acrylic paint more watercolor-like. You can make acrylics as thick and as glossy as oils by mixing acrylic gel into the paint. “Artists’ colors” are the highest quality watercolor paints. As long as your painting is dry before you add streaks of rain, the paint won't blend or blur your scene. Choose your color palette. If you want it to be water-soluble you can try clear washable glue (the kind for kids) or equal parts white glue and vinegar. Though it would not be archival. Adding honey into the mixture at this stage will make the paint more fluid and easy to work with later. Next time you want to paint stars in the sky, splatter them!