Painting techniques summary

February 13th, 2019 / Painting Techniques

After my series of posts about traditional techniques, painting and drawing, there were questions whether I could prepare a juxtaposition of all techniques. And this is how the table was created in accordance with the wish to quickly compare all media at a single glance. You can still look at the whole series, where you can learn more detailed information and curiosities about individual art materials.

Because the summary of all materials would be terribly long – we will start with painting techniques. In the following weeks I will also summarize mixed media.

oil paints Turdus Concept
Oil paints – one of the most recognized painting techniques.

Medium: Oil paints.

Type of technique: painting.

Description: These paints are based on oilPaints based on acrylic resin (synthetic polymer) – created as an alternative to oil paints.

Pros: They mix very well and create a variety of color palettes. They are creamy and it’s easy to create layers with them.

Cons:

  • The need to use special media for diluting and cleaning brushes (eg turpentine).
  • Very long drying time of the entire painting (even a few months) – it can be accelerated by a special medium, but it also takes long time
  • the necessity of priming the canvas (gesso).

Work techniques: Using oil paints we use layers. The lower layer should be less oily than the top layer, which is why we start painting with a strongly diluted paint.

You can apply impasto – thick layers of paint or glazes – thin layers.

diverse acrylic paints density Turdus Concept
Dense acrylic paints.

Medium: Acrylic paints.

Type of technique: painting.

Description: Paints based on acrylic resin (synthetic polymer) – created as an alternative to oil paints.

Pros:

  • They are cheaper than oil paints and the whole picture dries very quickly – they can be combined with oil paints and, for example, make them a background – then they act as a primer
  • We can dilute them with water (but do not overdo it so as not to disturb the polymer bond)

Cons: Drying speed can be a minus when it comes to creating a palette and blending – mixing colors already on the image, remember also to quickly brush, because they can dry and be destroyed.

Work techniques: Just like in oil painting, we paint in layers. Layers can be incredibly thick, thicker than layers of oil paints, we can play with texture by applying paint with spatulas.

Of course, we can also create glazes, we only have to be careful not to thin the paint too much.

tempera tubes Turdus Concept
Temperas – one of the oldes painting techniques.

Medium: Tempera.

Type of technique: painting.

Description: one of the oldest techniques, thick paint in which the characteristic ingredient is an emulsion (i.e. a suspension of oil in water or water in oil) and a pigment.

Pros:

  • You can make it very cheap even at home
  • the paint is similar to oil, but we can dilute it with water
  • these paints dry very quickly; After finishing applying one layer, you can proceed to the next one.
  • universality, tempera can be painted on various types of primed substrates: paper, wood, fabric or plaster
  • they do not darken or fade when exposed to sunlight.

Cons:

  • However, we will not paint with them impasto paintings – temperas will simply be too easy to crumble and flake off.
  • susceptibility to moisture; pictures made with this technique must necessarily cover with a varnish after finishing work.

Work techniques: Tempera is something on the border between watercolors and oil paint. By adjusting the density of the paint (the amount of water that we will dilute it) we can get both the effect of the glaze, i.e. the transparency of layers, characteristic for watercolors, as well as full coverage. The type of emulsion depends on what effect we can achieve. Emulsions more oily will bring the picture closer to that painted with oil paints, and more watery – to the effect of watercolors. You can do it with a sub-paint for oil paints. However, it will not fulfill the function of the gesso.

watercolors tehniques Turdus Concept
Watercolors – demanding but very versatile technique

Medium: Water paints – watercolors.

Type of technique: painting.

Description: These are water-based paints created by mixing pigment with a binder – once used only in Arabic gum, today it is often a mixture of gum arabic and synthetic binders.

Pros:

  • This technique gives beautiful results, so it’s worth trying, despite the fact that it is quite difficult
  • It is a universal technique against the mistaken belief of some novice people, we can paint it with both blurred stains and very precise brush strokes – it all depends on the amount of water we use and whether we paint using wet or wet technique for dry.

Cons:

  • this is a rather difficult technique, it’s hard to correct mistakes – the first thing you need to learn is to control the amount of water, it is quite difficult and may discourage beginners
  • we need special paper with a high weight, preferably 250 g / m2
  • Remember to not paint the places where the reflections of light appear in the picture, because by painting we do not use white color, you can cover these places with a special masking fluid, or you can apply them later with white gouache or gel-roll.

Work techniques:

  • One of most important  rules is the order in which the colors are applied: we start from the lightest to the darkest. We control the amount of water all the time.
  • We distinguish two basic techniques: wet on wet and wet on dry. The first of these is to first wet the paper with clean water in the places where you want to apply the paint, and then add the paint with a brush to this place. The second technique is applying paint with a brush on dry paper.
  • Soft brushes with high absorbency are recommended for watercolor.
  • Most of the colors have high transparency therefore the individual layers are slightly visible under the next ones. This creates an interesting effect.
quaches in tubes Turdus Concept
Guache – Middle Ages born technique.

Media: Water paints – quache.

Type of technique: painting.

Description: suspension of pigment in water with the addition of gum arabic as a thickener (binder). the element that distinguishes gouache from, for example, watercolors, is chalk or white (e.g. zinc), which makes the paint have a much greater coverage.

Pros:

  • Creamy consistency – it’s easier to apply
  • it is easier to make corrections, because unlike watercolors, the paint is activated again on the paper when we apply water on it
  • it is suitable for learning painting, mainly due to its low price and the possibility of correction.
  • ease of combining techniques; e.g. with watercolors, pastels, acrylics.

Cons:

  • When they dry out, gouaches create a lighter coating and become dull, which must also be taken into account when painting.
  • It’s worth finishing your work with varnish to avoid unwanted blurring, which is relatively easy
  • We do not apply paint directly from the tube, because the dry gouache becomes brittle or flaky. The drying time is also much shorter, so if you intend to work longer on a given image element, it is better to cover the substrate in advance – just like with watercolors.

Work techniques: The paints are not transparent, they are well covering, individual elements of the painting can be repainted for a long time. You can paint both a thicker and thinner layer, depending on the degree of dilution of paint with water.

I hope that the above table will help you choose your favorite paints after you’ve compared all the pros, cons and types of techniques 🙂 Be sure to let me know in the comment which technique you chose – or are you at the stage or like to experiment with all materials?