What does"Body of the Paint" mean?
If you spend much time on sites with advanced techniques on painting these little plastic army guys you'll hear a lot of terms that might be a little hard to grasp when it comes to techniques, paints, concepts, ect. For me, the idea of the "Body of the Paint" was never very concrete for me. That is until you come across losing your body.
The body of the paint means it being in balance between the medium, the water, and the pigments. Once you tip the scales too far, the wheels come off and the reason losing your body is a problem is that it means you'll never get an even coat of color or texture. I love adding things to my paint so most the time my wheels come off from adding too much medium or too much water/flowaid/slowdri and the body just falls apart. This recently happen to me while I was transfering my paints to dropper bottles and I tipped the scales of my Codex Grey. Here's a few pictures to try and show you what I mean. Its hard to make out from the pictures but I'll try to explain along with it.
I the picture above is my codex grey. The reason I can tell the body has come apart is that it's granulated. This means all the pigments are all clumped up and there is way too much water. When the paint gets spread its one; too thin and two; chalky looking. Here I have spread it over my palette and against the white background it can't cover the white color and its blotchy and uneven. Also, I spread it over some black that was dried on my palette to show you how over thinned this paint really is. The surface tension is good because despite being spread on plastic it's not beading up, however I went too far with the addition of flow aid and made the body fall apart.
I try to show you guys in the next picture what I mean about it being granulated. When I droppered it out I made a little air bubble which makes the paint paper thing to see the pigments in the water of the paint. It might not be very visible in the picture but if you suspect it try to get an air bubble in there and see what the paint looks like. A lot of times, even in the GW paints when you open them there is a membrane of wet paint over the very top of the pot, take a look at it; is it a smooth color or does it look like its dust and water mixed together?
Its pretty easy to add too much water if you're trying to thin your paints. I know some people just open up their pot of GW paint and if its a little thick, just throw some water it in. Its fine to do that but your body will eventually come apart. This is why so many of the really talented mini painters push the Liquitex and other additive brands. These products do a wide variety of things all with preserving the integrity/body of your paint.
In the end I'll be throwing this grey out. There really isn't much saving to be done to this and its a relatively old pot thats seen a lot of open time since its the base color of my Imp guard army. I bought a new bottle and am starting from scratch with the flowaid/slowdri/matte medium mix I do to all my paints before doing anything else with them. If I want to do anything else like glazing or layering I'll add to this already additive-enhanced mix. GW has a lot of paint in their pots, they can really be stretched out but you just have to use the right products or they get stretched too thin and lose their body!