Medium Monday 6-17-13


Medium Monday

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.:: Definition: A colored substaince that is spread over a surface and tries to leave a thin decorative or protective coating. ::.


Of course there is the kind of paint you use on walls, this is usually a thicker paint. The kind you use inside a building, or home, is called interior paint, and what you use on the outside is called exterior paint. There are several different kinds of wall paint, including anti-climb paint that is usually used for ledges and drain pipes. Looking normal, it’s actually slippery to keep possible burglers away.

Now, you can use wall paint for art, but the most common places to use paint in an artistic way are paper and stretched canvas.

Watercolor paints are usually used on paper and are sort of “activated” by dabbing a wet paintbrush into the paint as they are water based. It’s super easy to clean up and to use. The colors are translucent, and leave a beautiful colored water effect on the paper. To make the colors deeper, you can go back over it several times, and to make it lighter, you can add a little more water or dab it with a soft cloth to pull some of the color from the paper. This is usually a good paint for beginners and children, though a lot of artists use this for fun. Some artists use watercolor to paint over ink drawings.

Oil paints are typically used on stretched canvas, and they bring rich, deep coloring when painting. It is a thicker paint, but can be thinned, and layered. Because of the thickness, it can take weeks to dry,  and you can go back and work on it later. It is sealed with a varnish after a few months. This is usually a paint for people who are serious about their paintings, and take good care of them. Terpentine is used to clean oil paints off of brushes and surfaces. There are also water based oil paints that are easier to clean up.


Acrylic paint is water based paint that dries quickly, which makes it a popular choice when painting. It is easy to use, and can be thinned with water. Drying fast does make it hard to go back and work with it, unlike oil paint, but sometimes this helps if you need to completely cover an area up, or add small details with a different color that you don’t want to mix. Being water based it is easliy cleaned up when wet, but becomes difficult to clean once it’s dried.

In some art classes for children, they use Tempora which is usually mixed with egg yolk. It can also be mixed with white glue. The colors used for this paint tend to run bright, which gives it makes it more popular with the children. During the Renaissance and Midieval eras egg tempora was the most commonly used paint.

Fingerpaints are a non-toxic paint that you use your hands for (obviously!). This is another paint intended for children, though adults find it to be a release as well. Though you don’t need to use just your fingers, most adults use their entire hand, arms, and maybe even their feet or entire body. It can also be used with sponges and other items to get patterns or texture.

(There are others.)

Using Paint:

When painting, most people use a paint brush. There are several variations to paint brushes; there are both hard and soft brushes, as well as many different sizes.


Applying watercolor paint is usually done with a soft brush because it holds the water and the color easily. This isn’t usually an even paint, which gives it character, and a water feel. Not every stroke will be exactly how you want it to be, but that adds some fun. Sometimes it’s best to start off with the darker colors, and then add the lighter ones.

Painting with oil paints tends to be a mess, so you want to wear clothing that can be stained, and put a tarp, or towel down so that your paints don’t drip on the floor. It’s important to take extreme care when using oil paints, and paint in a well ventilated room. Since oil paint is easy to work and rework, you can always come back to it later if need be. Micheal Thompson can give you a few pointers on oil painting.

Remember that acrylic paint dries fast, so it’s best to practice with it before starting a painting. You want to put background colors first, painting the objects further back in the painting, since acrylic is easily layered. When getting shadows, it’s usually best not to use true black, but a mixed color that is dark and looks close to black.

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My View:

Using paints is something I do when I have plenty of time on my hands. I haven’t been able to really sit and paint since my daughter was born, but I do finger painting with her every now and then. In high school I used a lot of watercolor paints because I loved the stained glass effects I could get. I often used watercolors as a background and then layered acrylic paint on top of that. Now, my favorite thing to paint on is cardboard. I love to take a flap off of an old box and paint on it, it gives the painting a fun texture that I’ve become attached to. You should try it!



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ALSO! Speaking of paint! Starting this friday, I’ll be doing “Figerpaint Fridays” with my daughter. Those will be posted every friday so you can see her art too! :)

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Thanks for reading! ♥

Photo Credit:

First Image (Daenerys)

Horse painting

Paint Brushes

Last two are mine – painted on cardboard with acrylic.


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