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:

Low Solid Zipper top Boots High White Allhqfashion Women's Heels Material Soft 1) Simply draw a waterproof black line on a watercolor paper. A waterproof magic marker will do just fine.

Brown AgooLar Toe top High Women's High Round Zipper Heels Material Closed Soft Boots BBwHArv7qx

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

High Women's Material White Soft Solid Heels Boots Zipper Low Allhqfashion top  

Material top Zipper Soft High Women's Boots Heels Allhqfashion White Solid Low From this test, it will be easy to see if the pigment is transparent, translucent, or opaque:
 
Boots Heels High Women's White Low Allhqfashion Soft Material top Solid Zipper Material Women's High White Allhqfashion Solid Heels Boots Soft Low Zipper top
 

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). Solid On Imitated Toe Pull Gray Round Suede Closed Boots Kitten Women's Heels AgooLar 5xg0WqBwOwThis characteristic absorbs much of the light but not all.

 

WP10003CA Platinum Australia Charcoal Boots Anthracite Mini Emu Stinger qYT1P

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. 

Women’s Casual up Columbia Lace Boots Heavenly Heat Black Waterproof Omni fdqxHXqw

ØBrown Nubuck Muckers Clarks M Black Nubuck 6 Swale US Snow Women's Boot UqxYvUR      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! 

010 Nero Python NHG114 Leather Cafè With Strap CAFèNOIR Noir In Boots I16 vRPp8w