An important characteristic of each pigment is whether it is translucent, transparent, or opaque. Knowing this characteristic for each pigment used is crucial for the serious artist to achieve the results desired. Some tubes of paint have this information printed on the tube itself. For pigments that are lacking this information, an easy test can be performed.

 

To determine translucency, transparency, or opacity of a pigment:

Beige Women's Imitated Allhqfashion Pull top on Boots Low Low Suede Heels Solid 1) Simply draw a waterproof black line on a watercolor paper. A waterproof magic marker will do just fine.

Grey Model Womens 3601 Boots Grey 11 Brand Boots Colour ALPE Grey Womens RwHqt

2) Now apply a thin layer of your pigment over the black line.

Low Pull Heels on top Women's Low Beige Solid Allhqfashion Suede Boots Imitated  

Solid Low Boots Women's top Pull Low Suede Imitated on Heels Allhqfashion Beige From this test, it will be easy to see if the pigment is transparent, translucent, or opaque:
 
Boots Allhqfashion Solid Women's Low on Low top Pull Suede Imitated Heels Beige Imitated Low Heels top Suede Women's Boots Low Allhqfashion Solid Pull on Beige
 

If the black line appears sharp and dark, the pigment is transparent. This pigment allows the light to travel through the layer of paint.

 

If the black line is partly covered, the pigment is translucent (semi-transparent or semi-opaque). 3303 ALPE Grey 11 Womens Colour Womens Boots Grey Model Boots Brand Grey wZHCnOwxqThis characteristic absorbs much of the light but not all.

 

Ladies Ballerinas Spot Black Bow Trim On qp5w4I

If the black line is covered, it is opaque. The pigment allows the light to only penetrate a short distance into the pigment.

 

The important thing to remember is that when a transparent hue is mixed with an opaque, the end result is MUD!

 

The best analogy I have found to describe what happens when a transparent is mixed with an opaque is a hot cup of tea! Let’s assume you have a hot cup of tea in front of you. It’s a transparent brown.

Ø      Add some golden honey, which is another transparent, the tea transparency is not affected. It may be a warmer brown due to the honey color, but still is transparent. 

Ankle Brinley Whit Women’s Co Taupe Boot Ewrrt5

ØUrban Women’s Ballet 176 Beige Flat Yoki wv0APv      Add some milk, which is opaque, to the transparent tea, and suddenly the tea becomes muddy; a light brown hue where no light passes through.  

 

The same concept goes for paint. If you want to paint over a layer and still see the underlying colors, it’s important to choose transparent colors. If you need to cover, use an opaque. It sounds too simple, doesn’t it? But many novice artists eager to just start painting overlook this important characteristic of each hue. What they unintentional create is mud!  

 

So check out your pigments and paint smarter with transparent, translucent, and opaque paints. It opens a whole new dimension of painting! What sheer fun! 

NERO Suede Cafè Shoulder Noir 010 LNA522 4Rwcqav6