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  1. This was a technique people asked about after I posted these: I'm not terribly comfortable with basing; handling glues and sand and tiny tufts of fake grass leaves me cold and worried about things holding together for games. But I do have a lot of painting experience. I have found I prefer to paint illusionistic bases rather than try to sculpt and assemble them. The above bases grew out of a bit of advice I had gotten to paint the base green before gluing down some fake grass. I started ... and it just kind of developed. I never did get to gluing down grass. And here, step-by-step, is how I did it. I started with this figure, Reaper 03019, Lathula, female barbarian. She's all painted and glued to a one-inch fender washer for stability (because she's a big girl and her base is kind of narrow). Her original broccoli base shows my priming method, paint white and wash with burnt umber. The base coat is a mix of yellow ochre (center left in the photo) and phthalocyanine green (the dark blob at the right). The green mixed between them looks brilliant because the lightweight phthalo floats to the top and the heavy yellow ochre sinks, but the actual color, a sort of olive, is more obvious on the mini. If using Reaper paints, yellow ochre is Palomino Gold and phthalo green is Clear Viridian (Clear Green can be substituted). After the initial coat, which is put on with a normal sable brush, I use small hog's bristle brushes to apply the paint. Any brush that has gone frazzled and rather stiff will do. On the left is the small flat brush I use for initial layers. It's a little bigger for better coverage. On the right is the round hog's bristle brush I use for later, more precise painting. Note that I have deliberately splayed out the hairs on this brush; this is the effect one needs. Any frazzed brush will do. If you have a sable or synthetic brush that has gone wild (especially if it is splaying sideways, very useful), it will produce a gentler blend than these brushes did, more like the ones at the top. The technique is to take a barely damp brush, touch it almost horizontally to the paint, blot most of the paint out, and touch it horizontally to the base with just a touch-and-lift action. This leaves impressions of the bristles on the base which in layers will look like grass. The colors are mixes of phthalo green. I try to alternate a few dark, transparent greens with pale or yellowed opaque greens. Dark transparent greens include mixes of phthalo green with burnt sienna (Chestnut Brown in Reaper paints), ultramarine blue (no equivalent, but Clear Blue is okay), burnt umber (not sure what that is in Reaper), and a touch of black. Light greens include mixes of phthalo with yellow ochre (Palomino Gold) and white, mostly, with the odd touch of hansa yellow (a really bright yellow). The first two layers were a little wet; I could have blotted the brush more. I didn't mind because I was laying on irregular color, but the more fastidious may prefer drier paint and grassy effects right from the start. By now I was using the smaller bristle brush. It's a little out of focus, but you can see how the texture is developing. I decided I didn't like how the broccoli base was going. It looked too much like broccoli. So I changed it to a rock, thinly painting a gray mixed from ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, and white right over the green. Letting the green show through a little makes the rock look more realistic. You can also see how pale grey-green and ivory-colored layers of grass look over the green. I put some more layers of brighter, transparent green on, and another shade of light yellow-green, and this is the result:
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