black or black??


Needle-chuck Ninja
Hi all im trying to understand the diff uses for opaque black and transparent black.... And can transparent be made from opaque by thinning?? This same set of questions applies to white as well.
I look forward to your answers
Clutch in very basic terms (as it's all my lonely brain cell can understand lol) opaques will give total coverage of the layer below, and will reach a maximun colour density and not get any darker. Trans paints allow the layer below to show through, and the more layers you add, the more intense the colour will get (for example a red will show as pink at first and gradually deepen to red and then darker red). It can also interact with the layer below giving different colour blends.

Thinning will give opaque paint a trans look, but when you start layering will become more and more opaque, covering everything underneath and reaching it's max colour without getting any darker. It's very easy to go too dark too soon, and throw off the whole painting. By layering you can reduce and build up slowly. Going in with an opaque even reduced you can reach maximum colour too quickly and then leave yourself nowhere to go in the rest of the painting as you then can't go any darker if needed, or have to darken up other areas to match. In fact many people avoid using true blacks for this reason (depending on the painting, and except when they need a solid base) and only come in with them at the end if needed, when they have the rest of the tones balanced out.

So an opaque black is good for giving a solid base, or giving solid coverage over detail underneath. Trans black is good for adding shading and contrast while still showing the detail beneath and adding more layers will make it darker and darker. Opaque white will again give a solid base, or a solid highlight covering anything underneath, and trans white can mist in (i.e smoke) or wash layers below, (i.e pushing them back so that adding more colour over the top give will make it seem brighter compare to the layer below) ,while still seeing them, with more layers intensifying the white.

That's a very simple description, hopefully someone with more paint tech know how, can give you more a more in depth explanation. But that's how I explain it to myself anyway.
Transparent paint is what allows us to create layers of texture in our work, along with the addition of trans base to our colours [ or blacks and whites ] .
They also give us the ability [ or in my case, the lack thereof! lol. ] to give the impressions of fades and shaded areas in our work.
As Squishy said, the more layers of trans paint you lay down, the more intense it gets - thus giving fades.
These are overlapping layers of trans paint. The edges give the subtle changes from light to dark or reverse.
Opaques, on the other hand, are the reverse. They lay down a more solid block of colour, without letting the previous layers be seen through them.
This is by no means a complete explanation, but I hope it help you understand the differences because they are important ones as far as your paint choices go