Introduction to Art/Painting I

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Painting can be done in a variety of media. For example, Oils, Watercolour, Acrylics, Gouache and Tempera.

Paints are made from a pigment, and a binder. Binder is relatively cheap, while pigment is much more expensive. Pigments are a colored powder, made from organic or inorganic materials. (This is different than a colorant, which dyes or stains a color.)

All paints use the same basic pigments, but the binder changes. The binder for acrylics dries quickly and the paint is more like a plastic than oils which have an oil based binder and dry slowly. Oil Paints are often built up in layers or glazes. The other paints---Watercolour, Acrylics, Gouache, and Tempera---are water-based, meaning the paint can be diluted with water and clean-up can be done with soap and water. Oil paints, on the other hand, require paint thinner to clean brushes. The number and variety of painting techniques is endless.

Besides quality of paint, factors affecting color quality include: paint opacity, glossiness of painting surface, lighting, transparency, and texture.