Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What I've Learned about Painting - Part 2

...continued from Part 1

As I mentioned in the first post, these are based on my own learnings and experience.  The list goes on...

People like bullet points.  Here they are:
  • Matte medium is my friend - Adding matte medium allows you to maintain the same tone, but with increased transparency or less (but still smooth!) coverage.  Water will also make the paints more transparent, but the pigment becomes really splotchy.  I use it for washes to add transparency, but still encourage the paint to settle in the cracks. 
  • Keep a damp brush handy for cleaning up mistakes when they happen.  A little more water in the paint may make the difference between having time to clean up and not.
  • Planning makes a big difference in efficiency.  Figure out ahead of time what's getting dry-brushed and do that first.  Lately I'm putting down the first base coat on the whole model, then doing the areas that need dry-brushing.  
  • Glazing is used when you want to put down a thin layer of paint, but in thinning it, you don't want it running all over the place and settling in the cracks.  Matte Medium can be used to make glazes, but I've also tried Glazing Medium.  I'm too newbish to tell the difference.
  • I'm still trying to speed up my painting so I'm doing a lot of work in batches.  Build some models, prime some models, paint some models.  My speed with the brush isn't getting better, but the overall workflow is. The airbrush helps with that...
  • Airbrushes are sweet!  I'm finding the biggest benefit is speed and consistency.  Currently, I use it mostly for undercoating and base-coating.  You can get much, much better coverage than a spray can of paint while never having to worry about applying too much paint and filling in detail.  The downside is that they require some setup and maintenance time and additional equipment.  I could probably write a whole post about things I learned about air-brushing.
  • I'm still thinning my paints with a 20-1 water-flow enhancer mix.  I think my brushes are beginning to suffer for it.  The paint wicks up into the ferrule much easier when using the flow enhancer and it's getting harder to remove.  Still, I love the flow enhancer, especially when painting details.  I can use a really light touch and don't have to worry about surface tension sucking a glob of paint off of the brush. 

And because everyone likes pictures:
Rupert Carvolo - WIP

April Circle

I'm a bit late putting these up, but April was a slow painting month.  I'm making up for it in May.  I'm steadily painting models for a Baldur theme list.  To date, I only had two Circle casters painted and table-ready - Kaya and Grayle.  This month I added eKaya and Baldur.  I'm getting a lot of practice painting sticks and stones, which are commonly used in Circle to break them bones. 

Otherwise known as  "Kaya the Moonblood" due to her red pants.  Thank my wife for that one.
Kaya, the Moonhunter

I really like painting solos.  Baldur's model is clean and well-defined.  That's something that makes painting easier for me.  I don't enjoy painting models when I can't tell what a thing is.  Is that part of the coat, or is it his undershirt?  Is that surface pants or boot?  I struggle.  Perhaps I should not worry about it and just do what looks sweet.  On second thought, I'm too OCD to go that route.

Baldur, the Stonecleaver

Spoiler:  In May I finish the rest of Baldur's theme force.