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Painting Basics - Types of Paint
By Prudy Vannier

Today, there are all kinds of paint for every surface imaginable. Below are four of the most basic kinds of paint that artist’s most use.
  • Oil paint is oil-based (thus the name), comes in a tube, and is thinned and brushes cleaned with odorless turpentine. It’s thick and requires stiff brushes to move it around on a primed canvas, the most popular surface for it. Colors are laid side by side and blended between. Oil comes in many traditional basic colors that have to be mixed to get new colors. Black and white are added to make a color darker or lighter.
  • Fabric paint is water based with textile medium that allows it to be washable and color-fast. It generally is applied with a stiff brush to gently grind the paint into the fiber.
  • Watercolor comes in tubes. It is water soluble. With more water it becomes more transparent, an affect that is used to a watercolorist’s advantage. It is applied with soft brushes – large ones to apply lots of water and color (washes) and small ones to add detail.
  • Acrylic paint comes in tubes and bottles. Tube acrylics are much like oil paints but are water soluble. Bottled acrylics are smooth and creamy. They come in any color imaginable so the need to mix is minimal. Color is layered gradually (sometimes this is called glazing) by a technique called floating in order to blend, shade and highlight. With drying fast and water clean up, acrylics are very convenient.


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