Translucent v. Opaque Paints

G

GraphMan

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I see a lot of mention of translucent and opaque paints used in airbrushing. Being new, I wasn't quite sure how it affected the art. So I found a basic you tube video giving a brief description of the two.
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I think that it would be great, especially for the new airbrushers to understand the difference. Does anyone have a more in-depth link explaining the differences as it applies to airbrushing?

Thanks,
GMan
 
The verry simple explenation:

In airbrushing you will roughly find 3 types of paint:
-Opaques
-Transparants
-Candies

Opaques behave as you expect paint to behave. Put a yellow line on red and you'll see a yellow line. It will just cover up anything beneath it.

Transparants remain translucent so they will always have any color beneath it shine through. Put a yellow line on red and you won't have a yellow line on red but an orange line (red+yellow=orange)

Candies are mostly used in custom paint but variants of it are avaliable in waterbased paints. A candy will not show on anything that is darker than it is. So a yellow candy on red will not show as red is darker. A yellow candy on white wil turn the white yellow. Candies are used for instance when you have a black and white motive that you want to color. If you were to use a blue candy the whites would become blue without "damaging" the intensity of the blacks.

Using a transparant in the above example would turn your blacks "blueish" and with an opauqe you'd just paint it blue.


This is just a verry basic explenation and as the video shows there is a lot more to using transparants as how they react to colors underneath it all has an effect on how your color comes out (but thats just down to knowing your color theory/wheel and experience/experimenting)
 
Everything that haasje said :)

In my simple way I explain opaques as solid colours, that cover up the layer below, and no matter how many layers you add, the colour reaches it's maximum density and that's it. Tranparents allow a gradual build up of colour density, they allow the layer below to show through, and interact with it. So for example a trans red over white paper will show as pink because its interacting with the white below - the more layers you add the more red it becomes. If you add red over blue in a painting it will look purple, the more you add the deeper the colour gets. Candies allow light to shine through and reflect back which is why they look so cool over metallic silver and gold etc, as the light reflacts back from the metal flake underneath.

It's way more complicated than that, but I only have one lonely brain cell, so thats how I remember it anyway. :)
 
Great explanations! So if I want an orange as is I would mix red and yellow opaque and spray. If I wanted it to be more reflective, like an orange glow in a sunset scene, I could spray a red translucent and then gradually shade a bit with yellow translucent. I really need to find my color wheel...LOL
Thanks,
GMan
 
Great explanations! So if I want an orange as is I would mix red and yellow opaque and spray. If I wanted it to be more reflective, like an orange glow in a sunset scene, I could spray a red translucent and then gradually shade a bit with yellow translucent. I really need to find my color wheel...LOL
Thanks,
GMan

You got the general drift of it, although when working in transparants its easier to work light to dark.

Its easier to make something light darker and sometimes its just impossible to make a dark lighter with a transparant as you reached the maximum opacity of the lighter transparant you are using. So in the above example I'd paint the sunset scene yellow and gradualy adjust the values with red till I got the shade I wanted.
 
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