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spiritual_exorcist

Thinned Paints

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SO, I've started painting again after an honest to goodness hiatus of 6+ months (I havn't even picked up a brush since I moved from Canada to Australia in October).

 

With my big move I ended up leaving most of my supplies at home and have slowly been gathering a collection of paints and tools to start back up again (Although I did bring a big box of minis with me).

 

I figured since I'm essentially starting the hooby over again, I might as well get with the times and do things properly; mainly meaning I'm thinning my paints and painting on a white primer. I feel like I'm kind of stuck in a mid-90's rut, I can paint decent tabletop minis but I've long since stopped considering myself a 'good' painter.

 

I'm using a small amount of thinner, and an even smaller amout of flow improver added to a much larger portion of water (as I've seen discussed here), and right now the majority of my paints are VGC and VMC.

 

Ok, so with a few thinned paint minis under my belt I've noticed there are some huge differences in painting with such a medium. Brush control is paramount with thinner paints, and I'm having a hard time with this, as the paint often seems to run (I feel I could get away with being alot clumsier when using thicker globbier painnts). The key to this I think is simply not loading the brush so much, I'm used to having a noticably large layer of paint on my brush, and that just doesn't work anymore. Does anyone have any advice? Or is it really just a matter of playing with technique and getting used to it (I feel like a fish out of water, and like I'm learning all over again)?

 

I think I'm improving, but my minis don't have the clean look I want them to yet, but seeing as how I'm only done 2 or 3 I suppose it's asking far too much to have instant results. The best thing I have noticed is that I can achieve far smoother transitions when I want to (and to do so I don't always have to mix a new colour, I can often get 2-3 levels of transition just by layering the same tinned colour on top of itself, gradually darkening it, which is really fantastic).

 

The second thing I'd really like to improve on is understanding light, and painting directional light sources. I really love the idea of NMM, but I have a hard time grasping how it should look at various angle. I think I can paint a single plate of armour fairly well, but getting them all to look right together is something I'm really struggling at. Thankfully there is alot of advice around on this subject.

 

Oh, just a quick question for anyone in Australia. Is there anywhere I can get ahold on non-GW green stuff (Kneadatite?), and is there anywhere that you could recommend I look for basing materials (Be it in a FLGS or on the web)?

 

Anyway, I'm mainly writing to share my frustrations :) I'm willing to bet I'm just experiencing growing pains and that I just need time to practice.

 

If I can get some decent pics I'll try to post them (Maybe some before thinning and after thinning).

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Yes indeed I am in NSW, in the Sydney area.

 

Amd I concur you can get a decent batch of beer here (On par with alot of what I'd drink at home, and far superior to alot of the swill much of the world calls beer)

 

THanks for the tips on the basing materials, I've been buying paints, primer, thinner, etc, and I finally finished a mini only to realise I didn't have anything to base with.

 

Hmmm...I might have to break down and buy some GW greenstuff just to tide me over, at least that way I could get some mailed over from Canada.

 

Anyway, essentially all of this (the thinning, and such) is an attempt to better my skills so that I can do up a nice mini for the springe/summer mini exchange. The whole reason I joined was to get myself painting again, but at the same time it was to push myself to improve so that I was at a competent enough level to be proud of any mini I sent away.

 

I have a ways to go, but I have some time (I have a few minis put aside or started that may eventually by my exchange mini depending upon how they turn out).

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A helpful tip for brush control is quality brushes. If you already have quality brushes, then ignore this and just keep practicing. Without a quality brush, it can be difficult to get consistant results. With my series seven brushes, I know how much paint is going to come out of the bristles when I apply it to the mini. With a cheaper brush, the amount of paint released is not consistant enough and you can find yourself having to fix things more often.

 

Also remember to only paint with the tip of the brush. Applying pressure to the side of the brush can cause it is release a larger portion of the paint load than you may have wanted. Hope this helps, but I am tired and have an early morning meeting, so see you later!

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It hadn't occured to me that the brushes may be a problem, they arn't the cheapest things out there, but they certainly arn't high end. I was looking at the series seven brushes the other day, but I held back thinking that eventually I will invest in them, but not until I've improved enough to warrant the investment. Perhaps this is backwards thinking :)

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It's a good investment. I used to go through taklon brushes once every couple months. I just now replaced a series 7 that I've been using for almost two years. Do the math. It's a HUGE savings. Contrary to what I always thought, pure sable last longer than taklon. Just don't get a sable blend brush.

 

I suppose someone should be the company man around here, so I'll do it. You might also check out Reaper's Master Series Brushes. It's taken me a while to get used to them because the bristles are longer than the Series 7 Miniature, but now that I am, I'm very happy with them.

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Yeah. I'm a cheapskate, so my opinion counts...right? Maybe?

 

I've been using my Reaper Kolinsky 0 brush for a few months now, and it's already past the point where every other brush I've used had frayed or hooked, and it's still pointy.

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Brush control is paramount with thinner paints, and I'm having a hard time with this, as the paint often seems to run (I feel I could get away with being alot clumsier when using thicker globbier painnts).  The key to this I think is simply not loading the brush so much, I'm used to having a noticably large layer of paint on my brush, and that just doesn't work anymore.  Does anyone have any advice?

For myself, when working with thinned paints I find the loading to be less critical than the unloading/wicking as described in this article. (The Let It Flow article mentions it too.) Generally. the thinner the layer/glaze, the more I wick off. If I'm painting a basecoat, I'll just swipe the brush across the newspaper I work on to make sure it's not overfull, but for a layer I might wick, test and then need to wick again. Sometimes the test is putting brush on mini, getting too much paint coming off and taking brush back off mini for more wicking (using another brush to try to soak up the excess on the mini.)

 

You don't say whether you're using a natural or synthetic hair brush... it's been a while since I did layering and such with a synthetic. I can say with a natural hair brush you won't have a noticably large clump of paint on the brush using properly thinned paints, and to the eye it might not seem like there's any paint at all. The testing method switches over to painting lines on paper/palette/thumb what-have-you rather than visual examination. A natural hair brush can hold a lot more paint than you'd think it can.

 

One thing that sometimes gets me is after I rinse my brush there will be a drop of water on the ferrule or even further up the handle that I won't notice, and this will slide down and create a little paint bomb once I start applying brush to mini...

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Thinner the paint, the lighter the loading in the brush. Else it WILL run everywhere.

 

Also, watch for water on the ferrule as someone else mentioned.

 

I like to dry my brush by dragging across a piece of mini packing foam, no fibers for it to pick up.

 

For testing to see how much the brush is loaded, I like to draw it across my thumb, and see how 'wet' and pigmented it is.

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Thinner the paint, the lighter the loading in the brush. Else it WILL run everywhere.

 

Also, watch for water on the ferrule as someone else mentioned.

 

I like to dry my brush by dragging across a piece of mini packing foam, no fibers for it to pick up.

 

For testing to see how much the brush is loaded, I like to draw it across my thumb, and see how 'wet' and pigmented it is.

Heh I am sitting here staring at my purple thumb, yup do the same thing here. I use a newspaper to wick off alot of my paint as well as give the brush a point before I paint. I have been going the other direction as I was painting too thin. I know I was because it would take me around 10 layers just to get a basecoat on a mini. I think I was working more in the glaze area than the "layering" area when it came to how thin my paint was.

 

Definately read the article that Whiz did in "The Craft" section there is some very good info in there.

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Thanks very much for the helpful advice, and pointing me in the right direction as far as what to read and the type of brush to buy (I am using synthetic brushes right now). I'll have a good read of all the mentioned materials.

 

W & N series 7, correct? Are there different types (Meaning I know I've seen these brushes labeled W&N series 7 watercolour brushes, are these the correct ones? or are their other W&N series 7 brushes?)

 

:) My thumb is covered in green streaks as we speak.

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You'll usually find W&N series 7 (and other similiar sable brushes) listed under watercolour brushes in art supply stores/sites, so the ones you're seeing are probably just what you're looking for. W&N does in fact have two series 7 lines, the standard line and the miniature line. The miniature line contains brushes with a shorter bristle length and narrower diameter. In my experience the miniature are harder to find and less likely to go on sale than the standard. Some people prefer one, some the other. Personally, I like the miniature to do basecoats and most types of precision work, but the standard to do layering and a few other things.

 

If your hobby shop carries Reaper paints, they may also have the Reaper sable brushes in stock, if you'd like to get a sable quickly to try them out. You may need to be in a town/city of decent size to find W&N series 7 in a local art store. My local art store had some, though I had to ask as they keep them behind the counter since the non-mini painting sizes cost a mint. They were in terrible shape, though, and I've since switched to ordering online. I find www.jerrysartarama.com a good place to order, shipping is a little more than some places but they have both the miniature and standard brushes at very competitive prices, and the standard are almost always on sale (I believe they are currently). I think I also recall people recommending http://www.aswexpress.com/ and http://www.dixieart.com/ as well.

 

If you do get some sables, I recommend getting a good brush cleaner, as well. (W&N makes brush cleaner, also Old Masters and I think Pink Soap.) If you don't do that (and perhaps even if you do) you might want to use a little hair conditioner on the brush from time to time to keep the hairs soft and supple.

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you can also buy the W&N series 7 online at the Blick's webstore. The online store is considerably cheaper than retail price, and has a guarrantee.

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