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Shading *not* drybrushing


Morgramen
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OK, I know this has been covered a hundred times, but after the last 4 attempts at shading, I still haven't managed anything more than spending hours and hours effectively painting water, only to end up with the usual drybrush layers.

 

Is there some simple teechnique that I am totally overlooking?  (I'm starting to think I'll have to use that Paint Extender to start off with.)

 

I paint the base coat, then give it a wash with a darker shade.  Then I race in, paint on a light shade on the high spots, and try to blend this lighter colour into the darker before it dries.

 

So far, it hasn't worked very well.  I have managed a respectable shade effect from a flesh to a dark brown on the latest ranger-type figure though.  I originally intended to shade the flesh, but it came out looking like he hasn't shaved in a month.  (That's actually ok, since now he sort of has that Aragorn 5 day growth thing on the go.)  

 

Do you use lots of water on the highlight colour, or is it more "dry"?  I can't get this to work no how, and the multiple dry brush look is getting a bit.... old.  (Mostly I'm tired of the "dirty" look it tends to give.  I want clean and crisp minis, not dark and splotchy.

 

Help!

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Try an extender. Sometimes I have the same problems with the paint drying way too fast. I also have two small metal pallets I use for mixing paint and to hold the paint while I work, and I keep a jar of clean water, two of water to use when rinsing the brush, a couple of towels, a roll of paper towels (you never know when you're going to spill something), and a jar with some Future poured in it. I have eyedroppers assigned to various jars and I'm constantly mixing, adding water, Future, and/or extender as I'm painting and trying to keep it wet sometimes so I can get that blending in.

 

Doesn't always work, but I'm getting better.

 

Also, I use those square, plastic cases that you can buy dice in to mount the minis one while I'm painting them. When I run out of those, I use some really old wooden spools. I just use some Elmers white glue to glue them onto the spool or container. It holds well, but will release the mini whenever you want it to.

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Paint your basecoat ( itermediate color between your final shade and hilight color ).

 

Then, block in your base coat, and your hilights, Don't worry about blending, just rough them in. Do any cleanup that's needed.

 

Then, thin your basecoat color (skim milk ), and mix with some of your hilight or shade, And use this to blend the transitions on the hilights/shades as appropiate. Use thin paint, and just keep doing this step.

 

-Daniel

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You might also try to use a dark but thin (mostly water) wash just before your last highlight.  This will soften most of the hard lines depending of course on how hard the lines are.  

The trick with layering is that you want to reduce the size of the previous area painted.  Like you are painting a square and each layer of the square gets smaller and smaller until you have a pin point left to paint on.

Hope this helps.

Steve

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Hmm.. ok.  Extender keeps the paint wet longer, and Floor Wax breaks the surface tension, which keeps the mix flowing into the low spots?  (Currently, it's a hit and miss with washes - most times the pigment tends to run off the mini, leaving the colour in random spots -both high and low).

 

The 'block in' analogy is helpful.  I thought shading was progressive with each region you paitned.  Will try this technique next time.  Also, I used my base coat as the intended colou, then darkened with a wash.  Picking a base coat that is midrange might help substantially.

 

So do I understand correctly that dry brushing isn't even on the list of steps?  I've never noticed before, but after looking over some various "paid paint services", that most don't even dry bursh at all.

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Drybrush is OK but it doesn't get a smooth effect and tends to be less controlled than blending. Me, I only use wet-blending on largish areas where I can keep it wet, and I work real fast. A little detergent such as one uses to wash dishes will also break surface tension on washes. And as people have pointed out, using a layer of transparent-thin colour can blend two adjacent tones smoothly.
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Drybrushing has it's uses for hair, and other rough surfaces...

 

The Future acrylic floorwax doesn't break surface tension, so much as add acrylic emulsion back in to the paint. When you dilute paint, you dilute the binder. Future is acrylic binder, add that to paint, and no more bad washes... :)

 

-Daniel

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