Paint Thickness

I thought I had a good consistency of my black paint using stand oil and a little linseed.  But when I put it on my canvas it was really thin.  I had my brush loaded with paint.  Any suggestions?


  • edited April 2017
    @carol ,Is there any chance that you scrape it off, or wipe it off and start over?
  • dencaldencal -
    edited April 2017

    Run a series of test painted strokes, starting with tube paint and progressively add medium until you optimise coverage and fluid consistency. Use clean, dry brushes for each paint sample.


  • Was it a black pigment, or a mix of transparent colours (i.e. burnt umber and ultramarine)?
  • Carol

    What brand of oil paint are you using?


  • Hi All, thanks for all the comments.  Richard_P, it was a mixture of burnt umber and ultramarine.  I tried to get it to the consistency of ketchup as what Mark said in his video.
    dencal, I'm using Winsor & Newton Winton paints.
  • Winton is a student grade paint and burnt umber and ultramarine are transparent pigments, so you probably have a low pigment paint with transparent pigments there.

    If it's just pure black you could try a black pigment like Ivory Black, or you could try an artist quality range of paints?
  • Hi Richard_P
    Thanks for responding to my dilemma about paint thickness.  Do you use Geneva paints?  I'm thinking about purchasing the 6 tubes for $180.  However I'm just getting back into painting after a long time so I feel I'm just practicing again.  I hate to invest that much money into 'practice' but I'm really not happy with fiddling around with getting the right consistency of paint.
    May I ask what your thoughts are about this other dilemma of mine please.
  • edited April 2017
    Hi Carol,

    Yes I do use Geneva paints, but it's very expensive if you are only just getting back into painting and feel like you are practising.

    The Geneva paints are very highly pigmented, but it's still a fluid paint so it's more transparent than a thicker artist quality paint would be. That's why it helps a lot if you use a toned background and a canvas like texture so more paint gets built up in the weave. I use a smooth board so it appears more transparent on there. It's not terrible, just not as opaque as I expected.

    If you are still getting back into painting and practising then I would buy something like W&N Titanium White and Ivory Black, both are cheap pigments, but opaque and you can practise with a fluid paint (through adding medium) and see if you like it.

    If you do then you can buy other colours, or buy Geneva. It is very good, but like all paints it has different sets of advantages and disadvantages. :) 
  • Richard_P
    Thanks very much for your input.
    Have a great day!!
  • @Carol, Richard is right. Winton are student grade and you are not going to get the covering power available in good quality professional artist grade paints. I tried using student paints (Daler-Rowney  Georgian) and had similar problems to those you mention. In the end I think it's cheaper to invest in the best quality paints you can afford because they have a high pigment load and can be diluted with medium to get the right consistency without compromising covering power and so they'll go a lot further which means you'll have to buy them less often. And you'll get better results. With the more expensive colours such as the cadmiums you'll find you only need them in very small amounts so they last for ages. I buy big tubes of white,burnt umber, ultramarine and much smaller tubes of the other more expensive colours because I need less of them.

    Hope this helps.

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