The opacity of artists’ colours

The opacity of a painting colour describes their ability to cover any underground.Generally you differ between these four categories: 

Colour application with PRIMAcryl® - Finest Artists´Acrylic

13437 Oriental blue,  13205 lemon yellow, 13325 quinacridone red, 13674 translucent gold yellow


The knowledge about these characteristics is really important for definite painting techniques. It is recom-mendable to use especially transparent painting colours for glaze painting. If you want to cover nether layers, you should use preferentially opaque products.

Whether a colour is transparent or opaque depends on several factors. An essential point is e.g. its composi-tions, which means the type and amount of used pig-ments and binders.   

It is not rarely seen, that one and the same pigment grin-ded as an oil colour seems to be much more transparent than an equal gouache-variation.


Pigment Ultramarine blue deep 18499 in various binders

Oil-Binder "Ready-to-use" (50810) und Gouache-Binder "Ready-to-use" (50830)

A sparingly dozed opaque pigment is certainly more transparent and a transparent pigment in large doses more opaque. Moreover the thickness of the colour application is crucial.

Concerning this matter: The thicker the painting layer, the more opaque their impact.


By the way: To change the opacity of an artists ? colour you will find several products in the Schmincke assort-ment for painting mediums!