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which paint to use Transparent / opaques and why ?

Discussion in 'General Airbrush Tutorials' started by paulcouk, Jan 30, 2017.


  1. paulcouk

    paulcouk Young Tutorling

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    Hi
    Can someone please tell me which paint to use and the reason why ?
  2. Mr.Micron

    Mr.Micron Royal pain in the air hose Admin

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    That all depends on what you are painting.
    To ask which paint to use depends on what you are trying to create , Sometime Tansparent is the way to go other time Opaques and some time both .
    Transparents over opaques give the color more life.
    But it also depends on what surface you are painting on .
  3. markjthomson

    markjthomson Very happy! Staff Member Mod

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    Check out the thread hassje did on just this subject. I'll find a link soon.
  4. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    Very basically:

    Opaques - cover up what is underneath. Even reduced, which can give the appearance of translucency, enough layers will reach solid coverage. It will also get to the point it matches the colour in the bottle, and no matter how many layers are added will not get deeper.

    Transparent - will allow the layer below to show through, and also interact with it. For example spraying yellow over blue, will become green so you can in effect mix colour directly on the surface ( a barrier coat will prevent this), giving lots of subtle blends and hues. Also the more layers you add the deeper the colours get, until eventually they would become black.

    That's the basics, if Mark finds the link that's the proper low down.

    To add my own perspective, when I paint motorcycles, I tend to do an underpainting with opaque (to cover the base) then use trans as when its cleared it pops more and looks cleaner and brighter, while opaques can tend to look almost chalky in comparison.
    HiraMahi likes this.
  5. Mr.Micron

    Mr.Micron Royal pain in the air hose Admin

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  6. markjthomson

    markjthomson Very happy! Staff Member Mod

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    He found the one from Hassje!
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  7. paulcouk

    paulcouk Young Tutorling

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    Thank you for the link and advise
    I think it must me not understanding,
    But say i going to paint a DOG Im going to paint it on paper made your a white airbrush paper
    Ive have the make of paint sorted on I going to use xxxx
    I have the xxxx paint and have transparent of xxxx
    but where do I go from here
    I don't know if im right but DO all makes have trans and opaque colors

    Thanks
  8. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    As far as I know the major paint brands have both opaque and trans - I'm sure those with more knowledge of different brands will chime in if I'm wrong lol.

    As for the rest of your question, I'm not sure what you mean. Are you unsure which paint to use, or where to start?? I'm wondering if that's the case, whether it might be better for you to try some of the free tutorials on the airbrush tutor site. The link is at the top of the page (you will need a different log in) there you will find some exercises and small projects to get you started.

    Or give us some more info on your issues, and include pics as that can make it easier to advise :)
  9. paulcouk

    paulcouk Young Tutorling

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    Its prob me What Im trying to say You have every thing ready to start.....got the paint I know what Im paint
    Do I use Trans or Opaques colors
    what makes me use trans.....
    what makes me use Opaques
  10. Phaze

    Phaze Double Actioner

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    I believe the answer you are looking for is this:

    Different combination of opaques and transparents will create different effects. The combination you will want to use is determined by your experience and skill of using those paints. That experience only comes with practice, practice, and more practice.

    Using opaques is probably the technique you have used if you have ever colored anything in the past with crayons or pencil crayons. You would probably feel quite comfortable starting out with that.

    Using transparents is like putting different filters over you paint. It will probably be a new skill to learn. But with enough study and practice you will find it a major component in your art.
    haasje dutchairbrush and JackEb like this.
  11. JackEb

    JackEb Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    what a great explanation @Phaze !! I don't have an artistic background and the most recent art experience I'd had prior to picking up an airbrush was colouring in with the grandkids......
    If I'd heard your explanation back then, things would have been a little clearer !!

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