What is aqueous dispersion?

Aqueous Dispersion

Aqueous dispersion is colour pigment suspended in water. Before it can be used as paint it must be mixed in with emulsion. PVA can be used, but acrylic emulsion is more appropriate.

The emulsions come in matt, gloss, gel matt, and gel gloss. Two different types of thickener can be mixed in, polymeric thickener, and colloid. The colloid gives a consistency more like the acrylic you buy in shops, while the polymeric thickener adds body. Too much polymeric thickener can make the acrylic more like plaster. Without going overboard with it, it can be thinned down again to create a lumpy paint which is good for texture.

As they stand, the emulsions, depending on the pigment used, are usually translucent. To counter the translucency a base can be added to the emulsion, before the pigment, in varying degrees.


Despite having around twenty different pigment colours, I do not often use colours straight out of the jar. I place appropriate amounts of aqueous dispersion pigment of the colours I want to mix, onto a palette, and use a palette knife to mix them together. Once I am satisified the pigments are thoroughly mixed it is time to add the emulsion mix and thoroughly mix together.

The finished paint is then transferred to a jar for storage to be used when needed.


"What is aqueous dispersion?"

Description of aqueous dispersion acrylic medium.

A description of the process of using acrylic aqueous dispersion medium.

DISCLAIMER: The opinions and attitudes of James W. Morris as expressed here in the past may or may not accurately reflect the opinions and attitudes of James W. Morris at present, moreover, they may never have.


# Jim Dunkley on 10:07 Monday 22 July 2013:

Dear James , I am an artist desperate to find another source to obtain aqueous dispersion paints after the company I used for many years went out of business, can you help, I'd be very grateful. Jim

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