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Cool Tools: Airbrush Medium

Cool Tools Airbrush Medium

One of the tips that nearly every Intro to Painting starts with is: thin your paints. It makes sense, the paint pots are fairly thick for one reason or another and painting straight onto your mini can create a thick coat, covering fine details. So what does everyone do? They add a drop or two of water, stir it in and make it work.

When GW introduced the Lahmian Medium technical paint it opened a whole new world for me in terms of thinning paints, without making them watery. Adding a bit of medium would dilute the pigment a bit, but wouldn’t turn the paint into a watery, uncontrollable soupy mess. After using up my first pot of the medium I released that $4 for a little little 12ml bottle would quickly kill my painting budget.

I then found a bottle of acrylic matte medium at a local painting store and thought I hit the jackpot. It only cost a few bottles of Lahmian but was way bigger. I quickly realized though that artist matte medium is very thick, and left on its own will dried into a sticky mess. This made the twist-top bottle cap almost unopenable (yes I had to resort to the wrench a few time).

Liquitex Airbrush MediumSo the next time I went to go look for an alternative, I found Liquitex’s Airbrush Medium. Not only was this in a flip-top bottle (no more wrench) but it was much thinner than the matte medium. So when I’m painting on normal layers, I just add a drop or two you my pallet and mix it in without any extra water. This thins the paints done a bit but keeps a nice paint constancy.

Obviously, from the name of the product, it is meant for airbrushing, and while I haven’t used it yet for this purpose, I could see why. I know that when thinning GW’s paints with 50-60% water to allow it to be airbrushed, it often comes out so watery that it just pools and drips (that and I am not a great airbrusher yet) but I feel that using some of this instead would not only allow it to be airbrushed, but also keep it from running a muck.

For those on the budget hobby, you can get Liquitex’s Airbrush Medium for only $14 for a 237 ml bottle on Amazon. So this while it is 3 and 1/2 times the cost of one bottle of GW’s medium, you are getting nearly 20 times as much product, meaning you will probably never run out unless you are working on some big projects.

How about you guys? Have you used the airbrush medium and found it helpful or awful? How about other medium products that have helped your paint thinning (or even thickening). Hit up the comments below.

  • Joe B.