Next monochrome portrait in Transparent paint - Advice needed

M

Melbee

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Hi Folks,
Now my last portrait painting (Com-art opaque grays) is finished and I've had time to recover Ha Ha Ha!! I'm ready for my next project :)

I want to try a monochrome portrait in Transparent paints using scratching and erasing techniques this time and I'm wondering which paint to choose from the ones I have at home that might be best. I bought some Schoellershammer 4G board.

I have Com-art Transparent Black and Smoke. Has anyone used these and can tell me which would might be better?
I'm thinking Smoke because it's lighter but I am worried that it might be difficult to make the very dark background coverage.

I also have Etac FX Carbon Black but NO Reduce Air so I can only thin it with Bottled Water. Would water be able to thin it enough to make it transparent? Are Etac FX paints transparent or opaque? I know they are good paints for scratching and erasing.
I have Transparent Base for Com-art, Schmincke and Trident paints, could I use one of those instead of Reduce Air with the Etac FX?
I really can't afford to buy any Reduce Air right now, it sucks but I have to be realistic.

I also have Trident Black, Trident Reducer and Transparent Base so I can thin that down to make it transparent in many ways.
Any recommendations for using Trident Black to paint transparent monochrome? Anyone done scratcing and erasing with Trident?

Any help, advice and experiences appreciated,
Cheers Mel :)
 
The ETac will be fine with water on the board. That is how I do it. I believe VR uses that combination as well.


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Etac is fine with water as a thinner, ETAC comes in both opaque and transparent , the EFX range are all transparent apart from the carbon black and white.

I have also used the ComArt transparent base with ETAC and even Daler and Rwney FW inks , no problems.
 
The Etac may be worth a go, I only ever reduce it with water personaly and the FX is a great erasing paint, can't comment on the other brands though..Though saying that it is an opaque black and it can need a lot of reduction, go to far though it can go grainy and break the binder down so in really high reductions using the reducer may help..

But either way ya sound like ya have something there that will do the job for ya, maybe try each brand with a similar higher reduction and see which one sprays the best on a few test runs..GL and enjoy the next portrait..
 
The ETac will be fine with water on the board. That is how I do it. I believe VR uses that combination as well.
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Great!! I was thinking it's time to give the Etac it's first paint job :) Thanks wmlepage

Etac is fine with water as a thinner, ETAC comes in both opaque and transparent , the EFX range are all transparent apart from the carbon black and white.
I have also used the ComArt transparent base with ETAC and even Daler and Rwney FW inks , no problems.

That's very good to know beanoleuk. I'll give the Com-art Trans Base a try as well as the water.

The Etac may be worth a go, I only ever reduce it with water personaly and the FX is a great erasing paint, can't comment on the other brands though..Though saying that it is an opaque black and it can need a lot of reduction, go to far though it can go grainy and break the binder down so in really high reductions using the reducer may help..

But either way ya sound like ya have something there that will do the job for ya, maybe try each brand with a similar higher reduction and see which one sprays the best on a few test runs..GL and enjoy the next portrait..

Hey Rebel!! I just watched your speed painting video of Batman on YouTube. Brilliant, I loved it!! Thanks :)
Your video made me think I should just pick a paint and go LOL. I am going to do some test as you suggest and try different thinning ratios.
I'm definitely leaning towards Etac FX thinned down with Com-Art or Schmincke Trans Base and Bottled Water. I don't like my paint viscosity to be too thin and the Trans Base should stop it getting too grainy.

Although I loved painting with opaques because I could correct mistakes, I also found it very faffy. I'm looking forward to just putting one paint in my cup and spraying, just taking it slow with light layers :)

Thanks alot guys. The next portrait is my choice and will be the brilliant Hollywood actress Barbara Stanwyck. Unless I get it wrong and then it will be the woman who works in the Newsagents over the road LMAO!!!
Cheers Mel
 
I think its a really good thing for the learning curve m8, once ya have a good swing of opaques, giving similar a shot with straight transparents forces you to improve you trigger control and also encourages you to improve accuracy of spray intensity and then ultimately a mixture of both will really assist with any painting...If ya miss, no later layer will save ya LOL and thats kind of the fun of it, if you succeed its a great confidence builder, but build it up slowly and little mistakes can easily be fixed, be prepared for the odd whoopsie though LOL...Have fun with it and glad you enjoyed the vid...
 
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beanpole has you covered there mel.... the white and carbon black are opaque.... however flesh is also opaque.... indeed though all the rest are trans..

opaque or trans however both will erase nicely on the 4g board ;0)
 
The last monochrome I did was with the E'tac Carbon Black thinned with water. I also used erasing and scratching on it. Here's a link to it. It was done on Bristol board.
 
I think its a really good thing for the learning curve m8, once ya have a good swing of opaques, giving similar a shot with straight transparents forces you to improve you trigger control and also encourages you to improve accuracy of spray intensity and then ultimately a mixture of both will really assist with any painting...If ya miss, no later layer will save ya LOL and thats kind of the fun of it, if you succeed its a great confidence builder, but build it up slowly and little mistakes can easily be fixed, be prepared for the odd whoopsie though LOL...Have fun with it and glad you enjoyed the vid...

Good advice Rebel, cheers :) I'm going to try the Etac FX Black reduced with water and possibly Com-Art Medium (Trans. Base) if I want more viscosity. I've got some card ready to do testing tomorrow and a picture of the eye for me to airbrush and see how it paints before I attempt the full portrait.

beanpole has you covered there mel.... the white and carbon black are opaque.... however flesh is also opaque.... indeed though all the rest are trans..
opaque or trans however both will erase nicely on the 4g board ;0)

I'm really looking forward to painting on the 4G, thanks for the tip ad fez :)

The last monochrome I did was with the E'tac Carbon Black thinned with water. I also used erasing and scratching on it. Here's a link to it. It was done on Bristol board.

Thanks for sharing Seenya :)

OK, now I've picked my paint it's time I got into action. So I'm looking forward to tomorrow and playing again :)
Cheers Mel
 
With Com-art, making opaque black transparent gives better results then transparent black. My last monochrome was done that way.
 
With Com-art, making opaque black transparent gives better results then transparent black. My last monochrome was done that way.

Aaah! Interesting AndreZA, that piece of info helps a lot. I'll add that to my tests.

Funnily enough I had been thinking of thinning 60% Gray opaque down with Com-art Medium to try because I used the gray set H in my portrait of Lauren Bacall and used 60% Gray as my darkest colour, not black. If I do the monochrome in reduced to transparent 60% Gray it will match the colour scheme for both portraits which will look nicer on my wall :)

I'll definitely give it a test now you've said about the Opaque Black reduction gives better results than the actual transparent black so I presume the 60% Gray opaque would also reduce well. I guess this will apply to the Opaque Paynes Gray too?
Thanks :)
Cheers Mel
 
I think you'll really like the 4G Mel, I am definately a convert!

I remember your thread when you tried it out Squishy and it helped me take the plunge :)

I thought I'd picked my paint with Etac Black but now I'm liking the idea of using Reduced to transparent Com-Art 60% Opaque Gray. I know Com-Art is good for erasing too but I'm also tempted with the Com-Art opaque Paynes Gray reduced down. So I'm gonna go back to testing again.

I have to say I thought the Etac FX White I tried today was quite grainy and that surprised me. I was doing some tests with White today for another idea I'm hatching :) I'm wondering if the Etac FX Black will also be grainy when I try it tomorrow. I can hear Com-Art calling me back again Ha Ha Ha!!
Cheers Mel
 
I remember your thread when you tried it out Squishy and it helped me take the plunge :)

I thought I'd picked my paint with Etac Black but now I'm liking the idea of using Reduced to transparent Com-Art 60% Opaque Gray. I know Com-Art is good for erasing too but I'm also tempted with the Com-Art opaque Paynes Gray reduced down. So I'm gonna go back to testing again.

I have to say I thought the Etac FX White I tried today was quite grainy and that surprised me. I was doing some tests with White today for another idea I'm hatching :) I'm wondering if the Etac FX Black will also be grainy when I try it tomorrow. I can hear Com-Art calling me back again Ha Ha Ha!!
Cheers Mel

I found the same issue with the etac efx white, and it was very thick. The carbon black was beautiful to use and all the other etac efxc I have tried.
 
Reduced to transparent Com-Art 60% Opaque Gray

As ya playing around by all means try it but ultimately if you use a grey you won't be doing your project in a true transparent..Even the blacks your mentioning, most I think are opaque..(Not sure on the comart)..You can't make a true transparent from an opaque paint, you can by all means thin it down as much as possible and get to say semi-opaques, thin it down too much though to get close to the realm of transparents and you'll likely start binder breakdown or may end up with a grainy look as little pigment is suspended in all that water/reducer, but as some of that pigment will still be white it will still layer to the point of covering stuff below and kinda is just a really slow way to build up an opaque painting LOL..It does seem hard at times to find true transparent blacks, when I want to do a trans painting in black I'll generally look in the realms of inks or auto paint..GL, experiment as thats what its all about and most important have fun :)
 
I found the same issue with the etac efx white, and it was very thick. The carbon black was beautiful to use and all the other etac efxc I have tried.

Good to know it's not just me with the grainy Etac White beanpoleuk. I also find my Etac Black has small lumps in it and I've just put a filter under the bottle screw cap. It's better but I might have to strain the whole bottle as well as using the filter under the cap.

After I did my tests with the Blacks today I found I didn't like the Etac FX diluted with only water, it gave off more overspray and was rougher than when diluted with Com-Art Medium which gave a much smoother and tight spray pattern. Thanks for that tip :) I used my Eclipse for the tests.

As ya playing around by all means try it but ultimately if you use a grey you won't be doing your project in a true transparent..Even the blacks your mentioning, most I think are opaque..(Not sure on the comart)..You can't make a true transparent from an opaque paint, you can by all means thin it down as much as possible and get to say semi-opaques, thin it down too much though to get close to the realm of transparents and you'll likely start binder breakdown or may end up with a grainy look as little pigment is suspended in all that water/reducer, but as some of that pigment will still be white it will still layer to the point of covering stuff below and kinda is just a really slow way to build up an opaque painting LOL..It does seem hard at times to find true transparent blacks, when I want to do a trans painting in black I'll generally look in the realms of inks or auto paint..GL, experiment as thats what its all about and most important have fun :)

Thanks for the info Rebel. To be honest I think I'm going to prefer the semi-opaques better than the true transparents. You are right that all the blacks I have are Opaque apart from the Com-Art Transparent Black and Smoke. One thing I forgot is that Com-Art Transparents get glossy when they build up and I really don't like that. They also didn't erase as well as the diluted opaques so I'm not going to use transparent paint after all. The Black ink sounds an interesting alternative :)

I did my tests today which included Com-Art Photo Black, Opaque Black, Paynes Gray, 60% Gray and Etac Black all opaque plus Transparent Black and Smoke. I liked the Paynes Gray but it is not for this project. The Photo Black sprayed better than the Opaque Black but were cooler and I liked the warmth of the 60% Gray and Etac Black. With Etac Black having lump issues, I'm going to start with diluted 60% Gray.

I thought some folks might be interested in my test results.

I have a small 13x18cm piece of Schoellershammer 4G and a picture of an eye to try out. I have to say I'm loving throwing paint again and doing something for fun :)
Cheers Mel
 
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I have some Black FW Acrylic Artists Ink, would that work diluted down to make a transparent?

Yer it shld work fine although another brand I haven't used..I like india ink and its all I've ever used in the past though there is a cple other brands like Art Spectrum that I've tried..They shldnt need much thinning down, when using this kind of trans method I usually just make a 1-1 reduction or there abouts (Pending on the ink, sometimes I wnt reduce it at all) and use that same strength throughout the job using distance or speed to reduce the intensity in my stroke, it helps over reduction and again avoiding that grainy look..Ink or transparent tends to look grainy because on a light pass it lays down pigment but still allows areas of white to come through, lay another pass and it fills in more gaps looking less grainy, so on and on..

I then just build up layers which increases the intensity/darkness, not so much because I made the paint darker, theres just more layers of it, thus making it look darker in comparison to whats next to it and thru contrast if you put a dark next to a light it makes the light look lighter..GL m8
 
Yer it shld work fine although another brand I haven't used..I like india ink

Yes I thought you might mean india ink. It's not expensive so I might get some and try it out sometime :)
Cheers Mel
 
I like india ink

Hi Rebel and Folks,
I bought some "Talens Indian Ink" and tried it out today. It's pigment based so lightfast. You have to be careful when thinning it, here's what it says on the Talens website;

"The special preparation method of the ink ensures that they do not form lumps with one another. If a large amount of water is added too quickly, however, the binder (shellac) that surrounds the particles dissolves. The particles then clot to form larger particles and sink to the bottom. When, therefore, the ink is diluted the water should be added slowly and mixed to prevent this from happening."

I found it sprayed best when diluted Ink:1 Com-Art Medium:6. I can see that it works as a transparent, it erased fine and I like it a lot better than Com-Art Transparent Black or Smoke. It was messier to clean up though and I still prefer the look, spray and feel of the paint I chose. I would put it 3rd on my list after Com-Art 60% Gray and Etac Carbon Black.

I prepped my 13x18cm 4G board ready to trace an Eye and start my first real test with the 60% Gray. Then I'll try an eye with the Etac Black which still needs filtering.
Cheers Mel
 
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