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Magic White – Make Your Own

Magic White – make your own

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Magic white or liquid white is oil paint that has been thinned to make it flow off the brush.
You can thin all your colors.
When painting wet-on-wet it is best to have plenty of paint of different colors ready to pick up with the brush or knife
Thin oil paint is often called Magic White or Liquid White.

Here is a simple method to make your own Magic White or Liquid White oil paint

For more than 40 years I have made my own mixture and kept my oil paint in plastic bags sealed in an airtight, light proof tin (light will make your paint go hard!).
I now days find some of my students struggling with thick oil paint.
View the short VIDEO

If your oil paint is too thick and will not flow off the brush than you should take a little time to prepare your common colors (About 5 of them) by putting them into little plastic bags (About 150×150 mm or 6″ square), adding a thinning medium and keeping them in a sealed container ready for when you need them. (All colors can go together in the one sealed container)
…. NOTE :- With wet-on-wet you do need to have all your paints at the same viscosity (Runny- ness) for if you try to paint a thick color over a thin color the brush will pick up paint rather than put paint down.
I do like my oil and acrylic paints to be like a thick cream or you might say like toothpaste in consistency.
Acrylic paint is most often ready to use without thinning, except you might need to add a drop of water to paint fine lines.
Oil paint often needs thinning, possibly 90% of the time for it to flow like a liquid.
This short video will show you how to make Magic White or Liquid White – whatever you want to call it. Len’s White? or Blue? or Purple?
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by Len Hend

Updated: March 1, 2015 — 3:24 am


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  1. I am having a devil of a time getting my skies blended. Is it okay to start by adding a bit of water to both the white and blue (or whatever color I’m painting my sky)paints ahead of time to make blending easier. Then should I do the same thing with the other colors I plan to put into the sky as well-the crimson, sienna, etc.? And do they all need to be the same looseness? Thanks Len.
    Prayers were sent your way for the tests and hope your ‘sick’ went away. You are just such a wonderful gentleman,I feel like you are my friend. Just trying to Facebook friend you today.
    Take care-you will see me referred to as ‘Oma’ quite a bit on Facebook, FYI.
    Cheers, Doris aka OMA

    1. Hi Doris
      Yes try adding water to your acrylics but not too much. It is important to have your paint to the same ‘looseness’ especially when painting wet on wet – if the paint on the canvas is too sloppy, the brush will pick paint up rather than put paint down.
      Thanks for your concern about my health – I seem fine now.

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