If you are new to painting with acrylics, then there is form of white paint that you need to try and you might well have heard of it. What is liquid white for acrylic painting, anyways? Liquid white is simply a white paint that has a smooth, creamy consistency to it, that makes it easier to paint and mix for ‘wet on wet’ painting.
It’s a pleasure to work with, really, and you are going to love it. Today I’ll tell you a little more about this ‘magic’ white paint so that have some specifics on what it is, how to make it, and what serves as a good substitute for it when you don’t have any on hand.
Let’s discuss the wonders of liquid white for acrylic painting!
What is liquid white when painting?
You know how a standard tube of white acrylic paint kind of goes on like slightly-melted butter? It paints on easily, but it does feel like you have to push at it a bit, and that’s where ‘liquid white’ or ‘magic white’ comes in.
To get an idea of what it’s like, imagine if that butter-pat white that you are currently could be applied with the consistency of smooth, liquid cream. If you watch the classic Bob Ross painting tutorials, then liquid white is what he uses as a base coat for his ‘wet on wet’ painting and it let’s you do a lot of interesting things.
When you use it as the first layer, you can dot in all kinds of details and do blending on the fly that you simply couldn’t do with a standard white. This is definitely something that you want to try if you’ve always wondered how Bob whips up those trees and other details with seemingly little effort.
You’ll have a good time playing with this stuff – I promise!
How do you make acrylic liquid white?
Now that you’re excited about the prospect of playing with this new paint and you’ve got your Bob Ross videos loaded up on YouTube, how do you make the stuff? Well, it’s actually quite easy and all that you are going to need is some standard Titanium White acrylic, linseed oil, and turpentine.
You’ll want to make a 50/50 mixture of the linseed oil and the turpentine and add your mixture in slowly to your Titanium white, stirring as you go, until the consistency becomes super soft and creamy. Also, have a notebook handy and don’t try ‘eyeballing’ the measurements. Use a measuring cup or another medium so that you can track the exact amounts used – you’ll want this in order to be able to reproduce your recipe later and trust me, you don’t want to spend a day mixing and cursing trying to get that perfect liquid white that you found on your first go.
Write down your recipe and after that you can experiment to your heart’s content when you are making more. Now that you’ve got some of your own, you can go ahead with those videos and learn some ‘wet on wet’ painting techniques that should keep you happily occupied for well into the immediate future.
If you don’t feel like mixing it, you’re not getting good results, or you simply don’t have the extra time, then you can always buy it commercially. You can find Bob Ross Liquid white by clicking the provided link and then you can simply order it and try it out pre-mixed.
What can I use instead of liquid white?
Instead of liquid white, you can use ‘liquid clear’, although you want to make sure that you do not apply it as heavily as you would with your liquid white. So, what exactly is liquid clear? Liquid clear is simply an oil-based primer that has a slow drying time.
As far as what it’s made of, it’s actually not very complicated. You need to mix regular old linseed oil along with Sansador, which should make up 10% – 20% of your mixture. Once you’ve got these thoroughly mixed up, then you can apply it to your canvas to use this medium for ‘wet on wet’ painting.
If you aren’t familiar with Sansador, it’s a solvent with a very mild scent to it and you can order it online through the link I’ve provided or check for it at your local art supply. Just click on the name and stock some up for a rainy day, because liquid clear is a lot of fun to play with!
Some closing comments on the wonders of liquid white
If you were wondering ‘what is liquid white for acrylic painting’, you now know all about what it is, what it does, how to mix it, and how to substitute it with liquid clear. Liquid white is a great first layer for doing all those tricks that you see the famous Bob Ross doing, just give your canvas a preliminary coat and you can get to work. If you are using the liquid clear instead, just use a thinner coat because a little really goes a long way.
For a little more information on the Bob Ross variety of liquid white, check out this 3rd party link here. It goes into a little more detail on this fun little product that I think you might enjoy.
Until next time, have fun enjoy the wonders of liquid white… you’ll be playing with this stuff for years!