Most kinds of paint we use everyday, such as Oil color , Water color , Acrylic color , etc. mainly consist of pigments and binders ( Pigments are fine powder that have thier own colour. Binders are adhesive for attaching pigment on the canvas. Binders are called Vehicle ,too ) . For example , oil paints in tube are made of pigments grinded with drying oils. Acrylic paints are mixture of pigments and acrylic emulsion. These kinds of paint are generally made of common pigments . Therefore , the difference of kinds of paint is decided by the difference of binder.
Though I wrote that all kinds of paint use common pigments, there are some exceptions. E.g. if Chalk ( calcium carbonate ) that is typical white for Japanese painting are grinded with drying oil , it will be almost transparent. Therefore it can be used as only body pigment in case of oil paint. Silver white that is most common white in oil paint is vulnerable to alkalinity, so it can not be mixed with Acrylic resins . And some pigments have quite defferent color tone in each different binders. Terre Verte is light green as water paint or tempera method, but it become dark green in oil films.
Binder contains some Additives , such as Dryers , Preservatives , Package stabilities. In case of oil paint , some makers include Forming agent among their products in order that paints can be rised on the canvas like paintings of impressionists. And almost makers include Inert pigments into tube paints due to save the manufacturing cost.
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