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10 watercolor mediums that will improve your technique

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What is watercolor medium ?

A watercolor medium is a type of solution designed to change the transparency, shine, or drying time of watercolor paints. Using a medium can enhance your technique by giving you more control over your watercolor paint. There are many different types of watercolor media such as gum arabic, ox gall, aquapasto, etc…

Understanding the basic features and how each type works will help you advance your technique and improve your final artwork. In this article, I will list all the watercolor mediums and how they work. Lets go !!!!

Here are 10 watercolor mediums that will improve your technique.

1. Gum Arabic

watercolor mediums

Some art manufacturers mix gum arabic with pigments during the production of watercolor paints and it acts as a binder for pigments.

Adding a little gum arabic to the painting water will increase the gloss and transparency of the color; The gum will also make the paint a little thicker and more viscous.

If adding gum arabic directly to the paint will thicken the paint, another use of it is to slow the drying of your watercolor paint.

 

Sale
Winsor & Newton Watercolor Medium, Gum Arabic, 75ml (2.5-oz) bottle
  • Gum Arabic is a pale colored solution that controls the spread of wet color
  • Reduces staining and slows drying

2. Ox Gall Liquid Watercolor Medium

watercolor mediums

Ox Gall is used to increasing moisture, making the paint flow more freely and evenly; besides, it also reduces the surface tension of water. It can be added to water used for painting or directly mixed with paint.

Sale
Winsor & Newton Watercolor Medium, Ox Gail Liquid, 75ml (2.5-oz) bottle
  • A wetting agent used to improve flow when mixed directly with watercolors
  • Can also be used on very hard sized papers to reduce surface tension

3. Watercolor Granulation Medium

This medium can enhance the effect of granulating colors or create a speckled effect for colors smooth washes. Granulation Medium can be used for all watercolor techniques, including landscape, portrait, or still life.

How to use: dilute watercolor with medium separately. The effect achieved is greatly influenced by different types of watercolor paper; rough textured surfaces give maximum effect; For less graininess, use a medium textured surface.

Sale
Winsor & Newton Watercolor Medium, Granulation Medium, 75ml (2.5-oz) bottle
  • Increases the granulation of color, giving a mottled appearance to colors which usually...
  • For maximum effect dilute colour generously with medium alone

4. Blending Medium

The main ingredient of the Blending medium is Glycerin – a humectant. It helps prolong the drying time of the paint, allowing the artists more time to blend; In addition, it helps the paint to dissolve easily in water.
It is recommended to use it when you want to extend the working time or paint outdoors in hot weather.
How to use: Apply directly or dilute with water, then sweep onto the surface of the paper. Can also be mixed with water used for painting.

Sale
Winsor & Newton Watercolor Medium, Blending Medium, 75ml (2.5-oz) bottle
  • Slows the drying of watercolors, allowing more time for blending
  • Extends working time even in hot climates

5. Watercolor Texture Medium

Texture Medium contains fine particles that can be used to give the impression of depth and structure to paintings by mixing with watercolor paint or applying directly to paper.
How to use: Shake well before use and Apply directly to paper or mix with watercolor.

Sale
Winsor & Newton Watercolor Medium, Texture Medium, 75ml (2.5-oz) bottle
  • Contains fine particles that add fine texture and can be used to give the impression of...
  • Apply directly to paper or mix with watercolor

6. Watercolor Medium, Iridescent Medium

The iridescent medium gives a unique and distinct pearlescent or glitter effect to the watercolor. Especially effective when mixed with transparent color and applied on dark background.

Sale
Winsor & Newton Watercolor Medium, Iridescent Medium, 75ml (2.5-oz) bottle
7,093 Reviews
Winsor & Newton Watercolor Medium, Iridescent Medium, 75ml (2.5-oz) bottle
  • Gives Pearlescent Or Glitter Effects To Watercolors
  • Particularly Effective When Mixed With Transparent Colors

7. Permanent Masking Medium

Permanent Masking Medium

Permanent Masking Medium is a water-repellent liquid, non-removable designed for masking specific details of paper, allowing them resistant to water and color. 

How to Use: Apply directly to the paper or mix with a small amount of watercolor, then allow to dry completely before overcoating.

Winsor & Newton Watercolor Medium, Permanent Masking Medium, 75ml (2.5-oz) bottle
7,056 Reviews
Winsor & Newton Watercolor Medium, Permanent Masking Medium, 75ml (2.5-oz) bottle
  • A non-removable, water repellant liquid wax designed for masking specific areas of paper,...
  • When dry, the medium will repel superimposed washes

8. Art Masking Fluid

This product is specially designed to create small areas of special brilliance or a linear form such as thin hairs or a tree trunk. You apply it with a brush and allow it to dry. This creates a waterproof film that you can layer and remove with your finger or a regular eraser.

However, you should not let the Masking Fluid stick to the paper for too long as it becomes difficult to remove.

There are 2 types of Masking Fluid on the market, colorless and colored, both basically have the same characteristics.

Sale
Winsor & Newton Watercolor Medium, Art Masking Fluid, Colourless, 75ml (2.5-oz) bottle
7,056 Reviews
Winsor & Newton Watercolor Medium, Art Masking Fluid, Colourless, 75ml (2.5-oz) bottle
  • Art masking fluid is a colorless, non-staining liquid composed of rubber latex
  • For masking areas of work needing protection when color is applied in broad washes
Sale
Winsor & Newton Watercolor Medium, Art Masking Fluid, Colourless, 75ml (2.5-oz) bottle
7,056 Reviews
Winsor & Newton Watercolor Medium, Art Masking Fluid, Colourless, 75ml (2.5-oz) bottle
  • Art masking fluid is a colorless, non-staining liquid composed of rubber latex
  • For masking areas of work needing protection when color is applied in broad washes

9. Watercolor Medium Aquapasto

Aquapasto is a mixture of gum arabic and silicone. It has similar properties to gel and is transparent. Aquapasto has the ability to thicken paint, allowing the creation of impastos effect effects like Oil or Acrylic paints. Unlike gum arabic, aquapasto is resistant to cracking.

Sale
Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolor Medium, Aquapasto, 60ml (2-oz) Tube
  • A translucent gel medium that reduces flow
  • Thickens watercolors and gouache to give an impasto effect

10. Lifting Preparation Medium

Lift preparation gives dry color washes and allows the staining colors lifted from paper to be more easily by using a wet brush or sponge. How to use: Apply directly to paper and allow to dry before applying paint. 

Sale
Winsor & Newton Watercolor Medium, Lifting Preparation, 75ml (2.5-oz) bottle
7,056 Reviews
Winsor & Newton Watercolor Medium, Lifting Preparation, 75ml (2.5-oz) bottle
  • Suitable for a variety of surfaces
  • Developed to provide pearlescent effects when added to color

Conclusion of watercolor mediums

Do you want your watercolor paint to become more transparent, and shiny? Smooth or textured? Or do you want it to flow smoothly? Knowledge of materials is important because it can help control, bring ideas to life, and create a good environment to enhance your watercolor skill the way you want.

Therefore, exploring watercolor mediums is a fun and inspiring experience.

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