Is it safe to use say a flat black acrylic for a wash? Currently
building an Italeri UH 1C and was wondering if I could wash it using
say Tamiya flat black and X20 thinner? What ratio to paint and thinner
is best to use? 9:1? Wouldnt the thinner effect the paint already on
I would like to say yes, but in general I've had bad results trying it
for two reasons. First and foremost it dries WAY too quickly.
I like puting a thinned burnt umber/black wash in panel lines etc,
and then being able to wipe the excess away.
Second, most acrylics, at least those over several years old,
do not have the pigments ground fine enough.
For a while I did use Badger acrylic Instrument Black as
it was very finely ground, and very very thin.
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Depends on what you're washing over. If it's enamel, sure, but not if it's an
acrylic coat because the wash coat can, and probably will dissolve it. Use the
opposite of whatevr you're washing over, ie acrylic over enamel and vice versa.
Since the thinners aren't compatible, you won't dissolve the underlying paint.
I don't know what you're trying to do a wash on, but bear a couple things in
1. A wash over gloss will run and/or puddle, but you use this to your advantage
to get it into panel lines, and it makes the excess easier to remove.
2. A wash over flat will lay out over the entire surface because of the surface
roughness. Use this to your advantage for overall weathering and darkening.
When using acrylics as a wash, put a couple drops of dish washing soap in the
mix. It helps it flow out and settle.
There is no specific ratio. Generally, start with a full paint bottle full of
clean thinner (I use windshild solvent for acrylics, mineral spirits for
enamels), then lightly dip the brush in your wash color, then rinse it out in
the thinner. It may not look like much is in there, but it's easy to do
multiple washes; trying to remove overkill is another matter.
An added note--while lacquer thinner works well to thin enamel paint for
airbrushing, DO NOT, DO NOT use it as a wash thinner! That's one lesson I
learned the hard way that should have been blatantly obvious. Anything that
might touch bare plastic will melt it. Dammitol!
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Artists watercolors can be used for weathering. The pigment is very finely
ground in the better brands, like Windsor and Newton. They come in tubes, thin
with water, and can be washed off if you aren't happy with an effect. Add a
tiny amount of dish soap to make the wash flow evenly. If you do get a ring
where a bead has dried, it can be gently scrubbed out with a slightly damp
brush. When you are satisfied, just overspray with clear flat to make it
In my experience, acrylics make poor washes. By their very nature,
they tend to dry too quickly. They also have a tendency to dry
"flaky", and/or "hard-edged" (i.e. leaving a "ring").
The best medium to use is artists' oils. Get yourself a few browns
and blacks, of the Winsor Newton artist line (avoid the cheaper, Winton
student line). Thin them with cheap old mineral spirits. Even if
you have painted in enamels, if you let the colors coats set up for a few
days, you should not have any problems with the wash lifting them.
For many of the same reasons, artists oils are the best medium for
dry-brushing as well (only do *not* thin them, at all, in this case).
You bet, although they are different than oils/enamals. A technique making
the rounds is to use a "sludge" wash. Thin your acrylic paint with water,
then mix some dishwashing detergent in it. Brush it on and let set up. Then
wipe away the excess with a damp rag. Seen it done and it looks great.
Plus it will not affect enamal paints underneath.
I've never had good results trying washes with acrylics. It always
dries too quickly and has a very unnatural and uneven look to it. I
use oil-based paints for washes using a mild solvent and it works fine
no matter what kind of base paint I use.
in article email@example.com, AcornMan at
firstname.lastname@example.org wrote on 12/7/04 5:23 PM:
I use acrylics on enamels and oil-based paints on acrylics. I thin my
acrylic with water and a little detergent and that seems to slow the drying.
I could always add a bit of retarder (Goldens) if I need it. For a barrier
on the acrylic base coat, I use Future. It's tough stuff (Hey, you can even
walk on it!)
I thin my oil paints with lighter fluid (naptha) or mineral spirits
although I prefer naptha. I prefer painting my models with acrylics and
weathering with oils and pastels but I'll use whatever is necessary.