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Problem highlighting with pure white...

Discussion in 'Acrylics' started by Jeff T, Jan 27, 2018.

  1. Jeff T Well-Known Member

    Country:
    Australia
    Hi everyone,

    One big problem I have struck since switching to painting with acrylics a couple of years ago, is doing extreme highlights with pure white.It just seems to always want to move around, and not go down as a layer, and I end up with a water mark that I have to try and rectify.

    Sometimes I just want to add a very tight extreme highlight with pure white, but find it impossible to keep it in bounds of the area I want it.

    How does everyone else handle this, any tips or tricks that I haven’t come across?

    Any help or info will be much appreciated.

    Cheer’s,
    Jeff.
  2. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Hi Jeff

    What I use for my pure highs is water soluable Oils from Cobra , as they say mixable with water .

    Have a look at Marquismini's V VBench stuff he is great at whites

    Hope this might help

    Nap
    Wings5797 and Jeff T like this.
  3. Jeff T Well-Known Member

    Country:
    Australia
    Thanks for the info Nap!

    Cheer’s,
    Jeff.
  4. DaddyO A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Hi Jeff - the way I do it is to thin the paint down a lot.
    At first it appears that you haven't applied any colour, but if you leave it for a few seconds and re-apply it once or twice I've found you can control it better. As Kev says the other option is to use water soluble oils (or even just use something like a Flake White oil paint which is nice and opaque and can be applied in small amounts to give a top highlight)
    Cheers
    Paul
    Jeff T and napoleonpeart like this.
  5. valiant A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Ive used acrylic gloss white for highlights, then a smear of matt varnish to tie it in -seems to work for me!(y)
    Jeff T likes this.
  6. Jeff T Well-Known Member

    Country:
    Australia
    Thanks for the tips Paul and Valiant!


    Thanks Paul, yes, that is what I was thinking of trying for a small pure white highlight/catch light, getting some old white oil paint out and dabbing and blending it in.

    Thanks guy’s,
    Jeff.
  7. gforceman Well-Known Member

    Country:
    Belgium
    I use Schmincke Titanium white acrylic paint and never had the problem you talk about. Make sure to use the artist quality though.

    Cheers,

    Gino
    Jeff T likes this.
  8. Jeff T Well-Known Member

    Country:
    Australia
    Thanks Gino, I’ll try and get some of that paint.....I am using Vallejo, but it does the same for me with other brands too.

    Cheer’s,
    Jeff.
  9. YellaMoon Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Try a drop of Windex into your mix. The mild detergent in it helps to reduce any watermarks.
    RWD
    Jeff T likes this.
  10. Jeff T Well-Known Member

    Country:
    Australia
    Thanks Yellamoon, I'll give it a go.

    Cheer's,
    Jeff.
  11. Eugene D. New Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Don't thin the white. Put it on pure from the bottle. The contrast may be extreme. if so, then you should try applying lighter tones to match whatever tone it's transitioning into. Glazing helps soften the transition as well.
    Jeff T likes this.
  12. Jeff T Well-Known Member

    Country:
    Australia
    Thanks for the advice Eugene!

    Cheer's,
    Jeff.
  13. Eugene D. New Member

    Country:
    United-States
    I been having the same issue with watermarks. I haven't really tried using thinner. I'll be trying that today. It's possible that my water is just not good. may need to get distilled water rather than tap. I tried using retarder but that still separates the paint just like the water. I do find that painting the white straight from the pot to the area works when you start to use glazes by mixing the tone with a little white. I try to make rough transitions first. Then I try to soften it later with more glazes. It seems to work, but I would really like to be able to do the wet blending all in one go instead of this multiple layer stuff.
  14. Jeff T Well-Known Member

    Country:
    Australia
    Good points Eugene, and I have to get some distilled water as well, because I am just using tap water too.

    Thanks agai,
    Jeff.
  15. MCPWilk A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    I tend to use oils over acrylic for white as well.

    Mike
    Jeff T likes this.
  16. Eugene D. New Member

    Country:
    United-States
    I read somewhere how the pigments are heavier than water. So when you add water, what happens is that the pigments tend to float towards the edges of the surface covered (away from the center). This is because water doesn't have the same properties as the paint. Now when using thinners or mediums, they basically contain the same bindings as the paint and therefore do not separate. So I think the ultimate answer to your question would be to use Mediums. I have them, I just never really used them because I have water which is much more convenient. I will be doing some experiments over some "dummy" figures to see how thinners, glazes, retarders and water affect the paint.
    I think in the end, I will probably be using glaze mediums in all my paints to thin them out properly. All I know is, once I find that right combination, I will get my minis looking awesome.
    Jeff T likes this.

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