Artist Resources: Watercolor Mediums

There are numerous mediums for each type of paint out there, too many to list in a single post combining them.  Each manufacturer of a paint also has their own versions of mediums, opening the door even wider to experimentation.  However, for the most part, paint is designed to work seamlessly with it's own brand's mediums.  Below, I've started the "Mediums" series with some popular watercolor mediums.  

Masking Fluid/Liquid Frisket -- There a variations on masking fluid, that are either colored or cloudy and even some that are not removable.  Masking fluid allows the painter to keep paint from covering an area of the paper, to either remain white or lighter.  It can be painted over and then removed with a rubber cement eraser to reveal the layers beneath.

Ox Gall -- There are plenty of synthetic Ox Gall Mediums on the market, but originally this was made from an Ox's gallbladder.  It is used as a wetting agent in watercolor; it increases the flow of watercolor helping create smoother washes.  

Gum Arabic or Gum Acacia -- This gum is from the Acacia tree, the sap is heated in boiling water and used as the binder for watercolor.  Gum Arabic adds transparency and gloss to watercolors.

Glycerin -- Glycerin is an alcohol of syrupy consistency that is used as a plasticizer to enhance the binder capabilities of watercolor and reduce brittleness.  It is not usually sold as a medium, but rather for those wanting to make their own watercolors.

Iridescent Medium -- This medium adds briliance and a pearlescent quality to the watercolor pigments.

Texture Medium -- Texture medium creates a textured finish, and can be painted directly on paper or added to the watercolors.

Lifting Aid -- Lifting aids are meant to be painted over plain paper or washes and create a surface where future layers can be removed more easily.

Granulation Medium -- This enhances the effects of granulating pigments and creates a mottled effect with pigments that are normally smooth.

These "Artist Resources" posts are designed to be thorough, although they are brief.  If there are notes missing, please let me know in the comments.  Or, feel free to let me know your preferred mediums and brands.

Keep Painting,

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