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"Water soluble oil paints" Topic

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782 hits since 23 Nov 2011
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PETERLL23 Nov 2011 6:58 p.m. PST

Has anyone tried these for painting their miniatures?

Would think they have the advantages of stronger pigments, but with the cleanup / thinning convenience of acrylics. It appears that their drying time is much longer…….being measured in days.

Interested in anyone's experience.


ancientsgamer Inactive Member23 Nov 2011 10:45 p.m. PST

There are agents that can be added to speed the drying. Slow drying allows for controlled blending, which is a great thing in the hands of someone that knows what they are doing.

I have a bunch I got off Ebay years ago. But since I don't paint much larger than 28mm, I haven't used them.

Yes, the paint quality is better. But so are tube acrylics in relation to other hobby paints. More pigments and more colorfast.

I don't have enough experience to say the water soluble ones are better than normal oils. I don't know if they are as durable either.

My understanding is that you can use acrylics with retarders to get some of the same blending techniques that oils allow.
I have yet to try these too as again, I have moved totally to smaller scales.

Hopefully someone else will chime it. If I were starting over on buying paints, I would probably buy high quality artist acrylics and use different retarding agents to get the blending of oils.

Hobby paints are convenient and you don't have to mix colors in many cases as it is done for you. But learning to mix your own is a good thing. Tube acrylics last a very, very long time too. In the long run, they are cheaper and better, just not as convenient.

Oldenbarnevelt Inactive Member24 Nov 2011 11:40 a.m. PST

I use them to paint horses. I undercoat with different browns then paint them with the diluted enamels. A few minutes latter I take Q-tips and wipe off the the high points of the horse model. Then I set aside for 48 hrs.

ScoutII Inactive Member24 Nov 2011 12:28 p.m. PST

Water soluble oils are different.

The biggest advantages of oils, they lack IMO. For miniatures, they really lack. In order to get significant working time with them – you need to go thick…very thick. They are not particularly useful for making glazes and wet blending – the veggie oil base that they use mixes with oil, but strangely doesn't like to mix with itself.

The actual oils themselves never seem to get as hard as real oils. I have some on canvas that are over 3 years old that still feel a bit rubbery (as opposed to oils…which I could use as a rasp).

The chemistry is a bit odd as well. You can use water to mix them, but it doesn't thin them in the same way that water thins acrylics or turps thins real oils. When you thin the water soluble oils to a very thin consistancy – they paint more like water colors. If you want a thin paint consistency, you generally need to use an oil based thinner like linseed oil.

If the oils start to dry (on your palette or in the tube) – adding water doesn't help much. If they dry completely – water is absolutely useless…so it isn't much help for clean up if you make a mess or forget to clean out a brush for whatever reason.

Unlike real oils – you need to rely on additives to really make the water soluble paints work. You need to add an additive to speed up drying times, you need to add an additive to do glazes, you need to add an additive slow down drying (or go really thick), you need to add an additive to give it additional body (less important with miniatures).

Anywho, for me – I have no use for them. My wife got me a set a few years ago, since she didn't like the smell of turps. Used them a bit, didn't like them much at all. The extra work involved without many benefits over a full bodied artist's acrylic make them not worth it. If I were looking at avoiding oils – I would go with a full bodied acrylic.

For miniatures though, since we don't want to be able to see brush strokes or paint an impasto landscape, there isn't a whole lot that I like about them. I use oils on miniatures to wet blend. They don't wet blend. To make the wife happy – I switched to odorless turps when I use oils in the house.

Mitch K Inactive Member25 Nov 2011 7:34 a.m. PST

I used to use oils a lot on miniatures (down to 28mm) and larger figures. Blending is wonderfully easy, and you can take all the time in the world.

I've used artists' acrylics a lot, and there is no way that the retarders that are sold give more than a tiny fraction of the working time of oils. With oils you have literally DAYS of open time, whereas with acrylics it's a couple of minutes unless you are using thick layers or something like Liquitex super heavy body. With something like Liquitex soft body and thin layers, you have an open time of a couple of minutes, and at best the retarders add about 10-15% to this. It helps a bit, mainly (in my opinion) in keeping paint workable on the palette, rather than allowing subtle blending. If you've put the base coat on, by the time you've mixed the highlight, the base has dried beyond being blendable!

One technique I did fid worked with oil paints was to use oil colours and Humbrol matt white or matt black in mixes. This reduced the open time to about an hour or two, depending on the oil to enamel ratio, and seemed to help with the workability.

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