Thinning oils for a wash question. [Archive] - Artist Forum

: Thinning oils for a wash question.

11-26-2013, 11:40 PM
Hi everyone. I have a bit of an odd question in that it's a modelling question not an art one. I am asking here and not on a modelling forum because no one there seems to be able to help. It concerns oils paints and I figured the best people to ask would be artists.

Modellers use a wash of heavily diluted paint, usually oil to spread over a model to make it look dirty and weathered. The idea being the paint runs into the cracks and panel lines where dirt would naturally accumulate. It looks great when it works properly. The problem I have with this is the pigments in the paint seperate in the thinners so you can see the little particles of pigment. If I use this on a model it leaves ugly, grainy lines and blotches.

I was wondering if someone could tell me what is happening and what might help. I've used W&N, Artists Spectrum, and Maries oils, each with Artists Spectrum turpentine, Humbrol paint thinner and white spirits, all with the same result.

Is it that the paint I'm using is simply poor quality? Is it that they've gone off or something? Has the thinner gone off?

Is there a brand of oil known for being very high quality with very fine pigments?

Thank you very much everyone, I'd appreciate any feedback.

02-26-2014, 12:27 PM
Lower grade paint generally has larger individual particles. These can be seen when the paint is diluted with thinners. Windsor and Newton Student grade paint (Winton) for example has larger particles than the same color in their artist grade pair. Also, student grade, or cheaper paint has less actual paint particles and more fillers (oils, etc). So, it could be the grade of paint you are using.

It could also be the color. certain colors have larger particles than other. Browns usually have larger particles then say, Cadmiums.

You could also be using too much thinner. Try using less thinner in your wash, and thinning out on your model with a paper towel or cloth rag. That should create less blotches.

02-27-2014, 03:39 PM
A good grade of paint should hold its uniformity no matter how thin.