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PAINTING TIPS

PAINTING PHILOSOPHY part three EDGE OF TOMORROW

PROLOGUE:

Third time’s a charm thus welcome to the third ‘Painting Philosophy’ article, where “I let you in on ‘how’ and especially ‘why’ I do some things in a certain way. In my opinion a proper approach to painting is crucial to maintain healthy and rewarding experience. Final result depends on it in the same way as on techniques, know-how and tools used. Nowadays internet is full of painting tutorials yet it takes some inner understanding of our own capabilities to find what suits us best and fully benefit from all acquired knowledge. That being said – In this series I will reveal what works best for me as a painter. I hope you will find some wisdom in it…”

PAINTING PHILOSOPHY: EDGING TECHNIQUE

In last article I wrote a lot about the edge of a base and what it represents. Do not let yourself get fooled by a similar title tho, as today I would like to take a slightly different approach. I introduce to you the ‘Edging technique’. Something that I myself am addicted to since Games Workshop lured me in with their EDGE paints series. Before that I struggled to keep my colours juicy and interresting enough. Kept to dark, murky colour schemes and avoided any type of lining, including edges. That translated into being a bit dissapointed with my own works – so a not very healthy relationship with paints and miniatures. It all changed once I got my hands on GW’s EDGE paints and that was just the first step which made me realize how important strong edges, combined with proper Lining, are.

What it actually does?

Edging, better known as ‘edge highlighting’ is a technique of applying paint to the natural edges of a surface, providing strong contrast and exposing the mentioned surface. I find Edging, combined with Lining, to be a great way to make a colour pop and literally change how an eye can perceive it. It works especially well with multi-layered surfaces of detailed miniatures but should work for you regardless of what miniatures you paint. Here’s an example of Edging being one of key factors to improove a paint job:

Why this method?

I’m not a guy that looks at miniatures through magnifier glass. I mostly paint projects related with gaming and this kind of miniatures should be able to catch an eye while being used. I like my miniatures to pop, to be sharp and  ‘edgy’. To have personality and coherent colour scheme. For me Edging provides all that and more.

How I do it?

First of all, like with most painting methods, I avoid overloading my brush with too much paint. This is very important as too much paint would run down and ruin a crisp, sharp edge. Other than that I try to:

  • Keep the tip of a brush positioned perpendicularly to the line of the edge and drive it along the edge from from one side to the other. This helps to avoid the tip moving off the edge and paint all around it.

  • Hold a brush near the tip. This gives me a lot of control over the tip and it’s movement.

  • Keep the tip of a brush positioned at about 90 degrees to the edge, which usually keeps it from going point forward and leave paint in recesses.

  • Pick a right paint for the job. This is not limited to GW’s EDGE paints only. Any paint that provides enough contrast, works well with a choosen colour and has enough pigment will do.

EXAMPLES:

EPILOGUE:

Now you know how I approach edge highlighting and with this I would like to close third Painting Philosophy article. Please take note that what works for me, might not necessarily work for you – still there are many ways to accomplish certain things – mine is just one of them. I encourage you to leave some feedback. As usual I put a lot of effort into preparing this article, but if it helps at least one painter out there – I consider it a time well spent.

This would be extremely ‘paitnful’… for you.

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Nazroth

PAINTING PHILOSOPHY part two INTO DARKNESS

PROLOGUE:

This is a second installment in the ‘Painting Philosophy’ series in which I let you in on ‘how’ and especially ‘why’ I do some things in a certain way. “In my opinion a proper approach to painting is crucial to maintain healthy and rewarding experience. Final result depends on it in the same way as on techniques, know-how and tools used. Nowadays internet is full of painting tutorials yet it takes some inner understanding of our own capabilities to find what suits us best and fully benefit from all acquired knowledge. That being said – In this series I will reveal what works best for me as a painter. I hope you will find some wisdom in it…”

PAINTING PHILOSOPHY: THE EDGE

The edge, a plastic frontier between a piece of art and the rest of the world. It divides a miniature from the surrounding chaos. It defines the paint job. It underlines the final result of your work, enchancing the visual effect. In short, a properly painted edge of a base will enclose the miniature just like a frame around a painting. Can you imagine a ‘Mona Lisa’ in a dirty styrofoam frame? Well, that’s what I see each time I look upon a picture of awesomely painted miniature on a base, with dirty, unprepared edge. No matter the quality of paint job, a piece of art turns into a kid with chocolate smeared all over it’s face. I just can’t appreciate ‘that’. But is the difference so evident? Don’t take my word for it – see for yourself…

This actually IS the exact same miniature, with the only exception of one base’s edge being covered with a dirty base edge photoshoped from a work in progress picture. But enough about ‘how I feel’ and let’s skip to ‘how I do’. For me there’s only one paint capable of fully POPing a miniature on the battlefield and it’s BLACK!

Why this colour?

In light spectrum black is not even a colour per se, being an ultimate lack of colour instead. In the world of hobby paints black is technically a colour, due to pigments used to create black paint. This particular colour will work with whatever colour scheme you choose for a miniature, enhancing the effect of what’s on the base. It is worth mentioning, that black paint usually surpases other colours when it comes to opacity, therefore it is much easier to provide a smooth, opaque layer using black than most other paints.

How I do it?

I go about it in a simple, oldschool manner – with regular medium sized brush and a good, trusted paint. After testing a lot of different black paints I chose Vallejo 74.602 Negro Surface Primer. It works great both with brush and surface. Usually one layer is all that is needed to fully cover the edge, if not – second one is always enough. This paint leaves a nice, smooth, thick layer, hiding some irregularities that might happen to cover the edge of the base. It is worth pointing out, that the base’s edge is always the last thing I paint, before finishing a project. First I thoroughly clean up my painting space of any project leftovers, then I apply varnish and just then move to painting black edges. This way both Varnish and edges are clear of any dust particles and unwanted stuff that might stick to them.

What if...?

How do I deal with a situation, when a game requires the base to be marked / split or otherwise painted so that the arc of vision or other feature is clearly visible? I preffer to either:

* Use a modelled on-base feature to clearly indicate the direction a miniature is facing,

* Use a marker instead,

When painting a project for someone else I’m sometimes asked to add an ‘arc of sight’ on the base’s edge. If possible I provide small markings to minimize the other colour’s impact on the otherwise black edge. This seems to work pretty well and keeps the initial feel of a miniature being underlined.

 

EPILOGUE:

So here we are, at an end of the second installment in the Painting Philosophy – a series that is meant to ‘infect’ you with some of my hobby ideals. Hope you found this one interresting and helpful.

As usual – I have put a lot of effort into preparing for this article, yet I am sure I missed something important. If you happen to have any questions or suggestions related to it – feel free to hit me with them. Also take note that what works for me, might not necessarily work for you – still there are many ways to accomplish certain things – mine is just one of them.

All right, sweethearts, you’re a team and there’s nothin’ to worry about. We come here, and we gonna conquer, and we gonna paint some, is that understood? That’s what we gonna do, sweethearts, we are going to go and paint some. All right, people, on the ready line! Are ya lean?

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Nazroth

PAINTING PHILOSOPHY part one PAIN(T) TRAIN

PROLOGUE:

I decided to start this new ‘Painting Philosophy’ series to let you in on ‘how’ and especially ‘why’ I do some things in a certain way. In my opinion a proper approach to painting is crucial to maintain healthy and rewarding experience. Final result depends on it in the same way as on techniques, know-how and tools used. Nowadays  internet is full of painting tutorials yet it takes some inner understanding of our own capabilities to find what suits us best and fully benefit from all acquired knowledge. That being said – In this series I will reveal what works best for me as a painter. I hope you will find some wisdom in it…

PAINTING PHILOSOPHY: PAINTING IN GROUPS

Painting in groups is a term that I use to describe painting entire groups of miniatures, usually one layer at a time. There are many different approaches to painting miniatures. Some painters preffer to paint a single miniature from start to finish, one layer at a time. Others avoid painting by layers and instead paint a single piece of a miniature, applying all the colours, before proceeding to next part. I on the other hand, feel most comfortable when painting groups of miniatures. The size of such groups migh varry between six to about fifty pieces at a time. They don’t even need to follow the exact same colour scheme as long as they share majority of layers. Off course this method is reserved for armies and collections and would not benefit a single miniature project.

Why this method?

After years of practice this method triggered somehow remotely. I love painting miniatures but get really excited once projects enter final stages. I’m really hooked up on that feeling of accomplishment. That’s why I like to plan projects so that by not undertaking unnecesary actions I save time. If I have a bunch of miniatures to get painted I’d rather prepare and undercoat them all in one go, instead of repeating this for every single miniature, one at a time. It not only quickens the process but also leaves a ‘not entirely fun’ part, of a project, behind. It is not limited to undercoat only and instead translates to all the layers. Every accomplished layer brings me a bit closer to the final steps of a project – the place where ‘choirs’ are left behind, most stuff looks pretty cool already and there’s most fun for me to have.

How do I manage not to get bored?

I maintain my motivation by making small, but important steps. My main goal is to accomplish a project, but there are many small targets to achieve between the start and the finish line. I set obtainable targets, then once accomplished I check if I have energy for another round. Never force myself to take more than one step at a time – this one is important, but all the rest is just a bonus, and as mentioned before – each step brings me closer to project’s completion. In practice it might look more or less like this:

USARIADNA lvl 4 ‘Chrome & Shiny’ COLOUR RECIPE

START

step: Black Undercoat,

MAIN STEP COMPLETE

DESERT Armour & Uniforms:

step: Airbrushed layers (main colour), Dark Earth (Vallejo),

step: Airbrushed layers (main colour), Light Brown (Vallejo),

step: Highlights on the main colour, Light Brown (Vallejo),

step: Wash, Mix Strong Tone Ink (AP) 1:1 Soft Tone Ink (AP),

MAIN STEP COMPLETE

step: Edges on the main colour, Flayed One Flesh (GW),

step: Edges on the main colour, Pallid Wych Flesh (GW),

MAIN STEP COMPLETE

BROWN elements:

step: Secondary colour layer, Olive Drab (Vallejo),

step: Secondary colour layer, Gorthor Brown (GW),

step: Secondary colour layer, Gorthor Brown (GW) + Pallid Wych Flesh (GW),

step: Secondary colour Wash, Mix Strong Tone Ink (AP) 1:1 Soft Tone Ink (AP),

MAIN STEP COMPLETE

step: Edges on the secondary colour, Karak Stone (GW),

MAIN STEP COMPLETE

BLACK/GREY outfits & weapons:

step: Secondary colour layer, Skavenblight Dinge (GW),

step: Secondary colour layer, Fenrisian Grey (GW),

step: Secondary colour layer, Pallid Wych Flesh (GW),

step: Secondary colour Wash, Dark Tone Ink (AP),

MAIN STEP COMPLETE

step: Edges on the secondary colour, Pallid Wych Flesh (GW),

step: Edges on the secondary colour, White,

MAIN STEP COMPLETE

SKIN:

step: Secondary colour layer, Bugmans Glow (GW),

step: Secondary colour layer, Dwarf Flesh (GW),

step: Secondary colour layer, Dwarf Flesh (GW) + Pale Flesh (Vallejo),

step: Secondary colour layer, Pale Flesh (Vallejo),

step: Secondary colour Wash, Mix Strong Tone Ink (AP) 1:1 Soft Tone Ink (AP),

MAIN STEP COMPLETE

step: Edges on the secondary colour, Pale Flesh (Vallejo) + Pallid Wych Flesh (GW),

MAIN STEP COMPLETE

OTHER COLOURS…

step: Tetriary colours…

etc…

MAIN STEP COMPLETE

VARNISH:

step: Applying Varnihs,

MAIN STEP COMPLETE

BASES:

step: Modelling bases,

step: Painting bases,

step: Painting base edges,

MAIN STEP COMPLETE

step: Applying tufts and additional elements to the bases…

COMPLETION

As you can see there are approximately thirty steps required to accomplish this project so if I manage to take one step every day I will finish the project in about a month. Let’s say there are just six miniatures in the entire project. Would it be so difficult to accomplish one step with six miniatures in one day? How long can it actually take? It is not some extremely difficult, time consuming task. Easy to motivate myself to do that. Now let’s say I had a free wekend and managed to accomplish a MAIN STEP instead.  This is worth between two to five regular steps. Let’s say I took out five. I just moved five days ahead of schedule. Can spend them being lazy or move to another step… and there’s that – this is how the process works for me.

Other benefits...

Coherent Colour Scheme – Painting in groups, one layer at a time, translates to a more coherent colour scheme. No need to mix paints between miniatures and try to achieve same exact tones – paint is prepared for entire group and will look exactly the same between first and last miniature. In the end this will provide a nice, coherent look of the entire project.

Understanding Through Repetition – After few miniatures of the same kind muscles get used to the detail naturally. Instead of interpretting every miniature I can follow a sort of ‘programmed muscle memory’ to paint much more efficiently, and thus faster. Quality also benefits from this, as there are no ‘uncertain’ brush strokes.

Reaching Ultimate Concentration – Repetition allows me to find myself in a state of utter concentration that won’t get disturbed by music or audio book, still lets me appreciate and take in anything that plays in the background, including videos. I know it’s not a super-power level state of mind and it is common among painters, still not being forced to reset every time and then to mix paints or plan the paint job helps to lenghten the ‘in the mood’ periods.

Purity of Purpose – With clear, obtainable targets in reach and a plan layed down before me it is easier for me to move forward, each step taken being deduced from the list. This makes my motivation thrive.

EPILOGUE:

If you read through all of this banter – I hereby deem you worthy! With wisdom I bestowed, You have possessed knowledge necessary to use the Multi-Miniature Ninja Painter technique. Use it wisely and with good intent and it will benefit you greatly. Do not fear to step in and teach other ‘Muggles’ some of that magic.

I have put a lot of effort into preparing for this article, yet I am sure I missed something important. If you happen to have any questions related to it – feel free to hit me with them. Also take note that what works for me, might not necessarily work for you – still there are many ways to accomplish certain things – mine is just one of them.

What is best in life?

Paint miniatures,

See them displayed before you,

And hear the appraisal from others,

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Nazroth
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