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Opacity/transparency
Tips & Techniques

Opacity/transparency

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

These properties of pigments are only visible if a paint does not contain any opaque extender. The degree of opacity or transparency varies from pigment to pigment.

The difference in opacity and transparency of coloured paint can be measured with a constant layer thickness. The illustration shows the classification as indicated on the Royal Talens products.

No indication on:

  • Water colours, as water colour painting is a transparent painting technique. Despite the fact that every colour of water colour paint is produced to be as transparent as possible, the transparency of the colour is influenced by this pigment property. In the Rembrandt water colours brochure the less transparent colours are indicated with 
  • Gouache, as an opaque extender forms part of the ingredients. This makes all of the colours opaque, although the degree of opacity is partly influenced by the type of pigment.

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