Discover Oil & Watercolour Mediums

July 6, 2017

Did you know that the beautifully formulated paint you love can offer your work even more? Pair your tube colours with mediums and extend the possibilities!

Mediums change the working properties of paint in a multitude of ways. They allow you to create thick texture or thin glazes, add variation in visual texture or sheen, improve the flow while working, and add ease to the clean up. We’ve picked some of our favourites from Winsor & Newton’s Oil and Water Colour lines to share how a little medium can have big effect!

Bonus: Try them for yourself! Enter for a chance to win a mediums prize pack from Winsor & Newton or Liquitex! Draw closes August 16, 2017

Oil Mediums

Uncover the full range oil paint has to offer with traditional and modern mediums!

Oil paint straight from the tube has a high viscosity, which can be thinned to increase the flow. A popular medium for this is Linseed Oil, which also improves brightness, transparency, and slows drying time.

Oil Mediums

Adding alcohol and acid to linseed oil results in an alkyd medium. One of our favourites in the Winsor & Newton line is Liquin Fine Detail, formulated with similar properties to a traditional copal resin. This quick-drying, very fluid, gloss medium is ideal for smooth glazing, blending, and details, leveling out beautifully to leave no brush marks.

If you’re looking for the opposite – crisp textures and brush marks without any visible leveling – Liquin Impasto is ideal. Mediums can be used with both tube oil paints and Oilbars, artists’ quality oil colours in stick form for painting and drawing directly onto surfaces. To use with mediums, stroke the Oilbar directly onto your palette, blend in your selected medium, and apply with a brush or painting knife.

Watercolour Mediums

Go beyond colour and water! Though often overlooked in the paint aisle, adding mediums to your kit will make you reconsider what is possible with watercolours.

The addition of water to naturally granulating colours results in the pigments settling into the texture of the paper. With Granulation Medium, this mottled effect can be induced with colours that normally produce a smooth wash. Try using the medium with naturally granulating colours to enhance this characteristic separation of pigments, or mix two colours plus the medium for beautiful dual-tone effects.

Watercolour Mediums

Take a shine to one of the hottest trends in art – shimmer! Iridescent Medium adds sparkle to your work, offering a pearlescent effect when mixed with watercolour paint or applied on its own. Imagine adding this glittery touch to a work with feathers or fish scales!

Impasto effects aren’t just for oils and acrylics, watercolours and gouache can be laid on thick, too. Mix a bit of Aquapasto into your watermedia paints – this translucent gel medium reduces flow, adding body and dimension to your paints, allowing you to break out of the traditional applications of watercolour.

More to Know!

• Oil paints are slow to dry in contrast to most paints as they are water-free – they don’t harden due to evaporation but from the oxidization of the oil, a natural process that takes time.
• Don’t mistake Oilbars for oil pastels! These highly-pigmented, buttery sticks are specially formulated of linseed or safflower oil and wax and produce a dry film. They are great for working on a tight deadline as they are usually touch-dry in 2 – 7 days.
• For maximum effect with Granulation Medium, dilute watercolours with the medium alone and apply to rough paper.

These few examples only touch upon the vast world of mediums – there is still much to explore! Transform your work with some of those we’ve mentioned here, or visit us in-store or online to learn more about the mediums available.