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Wash and Glaze ingredients/mixing, confusing!


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Hey all,

 

SO, I've been scouring the forums here, on CMON, and Dakka; looking into how to mix washes and glazes. I have come away from this a bit confused and little overwhelmed with information I must admit. 

 

I completely understand the respective uses of washes and glazes, but, specifically whats confusing me is how I would go about mixing them. Everywhere I look there's a different answer, some people use only water for glazing, others use glazing medium, some matte medium, then some say forget medium it's cheating, and to only use flow improver+water/water alone. Then conversely there are those who use flow aid + water for washes and regular thinning only, and further yet those who will make a wash using only water, or only flow improver, or even flow improver + water + medium!

 

I do understand that something like this can be highly personal and differ greatly from person to person, because of style, desired effect, etc.

 

Also, I know I might get even more differing opinions here, but, hopefully a general consensus can form.

 

So the real question comes to two things:

 

A. How would you mix a consistent and smooth glaze, without getting the sort of "dirty/uneven" effect that seems can occur from only using water

 

B. How would you mix a wash for any color, that will pool well into recesses, without really affecting the color integrity of the surrounding area, and without tide marks

 

Whew!

 

Thanks for any and all help ^.^

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I went through what you did and, yep, it's confusing. The only good news is that these additives are cheap with a coupon from Michael's, so you can experiment. For tabletop, I find a wet palette fine for painting thin layers of paint. Premade wash, such as Army Painter and Secret Weapon, already has additives so I will mix a little wash with the paint. This forces me to mix colors, as well as add some control over my painting; if I want the paint-wash in the recesses, I'll use more wash, frex.

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A. keep mixing until it is smooth. I tend to mix glaze in very small amounts on my palette. Some paints work better for this than others -- I find blues are the worst. If it's lumpy and won't smooth out, choose a different paint. 

 

B. Use ink washes, not paint. You can buy them, GW, Army Painter, Secret Weapon, etc.  

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Washing and glazing are textures, not recipes.

 

Washes are in my experience generally thinner than glazes and are laid on rather wet.

 

Glazes are still rather thin, but they are laid on surprisingly dry, in very small amounts on a merely damp brush which has been wiped off first. This give a lot of control over where the paint goes and helps keep layers and transitions smooth.

 

Take this with a grain of salt, however, since my general painting style has been referred to as "ARRRGHHHHAINTPAINTPAINTPAINT". I'm not the smoothest, is what I mean.

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I could be wrong, but I am skeptical that you're going to find a consensus on any of this. I've learned what works for me via trial and error and do any number of different things with a miniature depending on what I'm trying to accomplish at that particular moment of painting that figure. My approach to painting each figure is also very non-systematic because I oftentimes am not quite sure what my end goal/result is when I first start throwing paint down.

 

For example, the Glabrezu I just posted had an initial wash of Ghoul Skin (pale green) to help me flush out details and formulate a plan. As I added color the miniature kept wanting to go to 'hot' tones in my mind and I ended up with the flaming hot demon that I posted yesterday. 

 

I personally add water to my washes; the amount of water varies based on my experience with a particular Reaper paint and I ONLY do washes early on as I'm formulating my overall plan.

 

When I glaze, I load the brush with water and then pull straight paint into the brush tip; something I learned from Derek Schubert. I'm currently working on refining this technique so that I'm more consistent and feel like I'm achieving better results than what I previously did. 

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Washing and glazing are textures, not recipes.

 

Washes are in my experience generally thinner than glazes and are laid on rather wet.

 

Glazes are still rather thin, but they are laid on surprisingly dry, in very small amounts on a merely damp brush which has been wiped off first. This give a lot of control over where the paint goes and helps keep layers and transitions smooth.

 

Take this with a grain of salt, however, since my general painting style has been referred to as "ARRRGHHHHAINTPAINTPAINTPAINT". I'm not the smoothest, is what I mean.

 

Maybe I should rephrase then. I get that they're not recipes. What I really aim to ask is whether folks are mixing Glaze medium/flow improver into their paint to start glazing, or just glazing with straight water thinned paint, or flow improver+water+soap to thin for washes, etc. 

 

Like for example I've seen a technique described where you 'thin' with medium instead of water and paint like normal to achieve a glaze (because it suspends the pigment better?). So I was more curious about how folks go about their process for that.

Edited by Twistedhalo5
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Sorry, you are unlikely to reach a consensus on that either. I rarely use anything other than water to thin my glazes and washes. And one point I would disagree with Pingo on is that, at least for mini painters, glazes are much thinner than washes. Adding flow improver will lower the paint's viscosity so it will flow easier off the brush and resist some of the pooling effect with washes. Glaze medium is used because its thinning with acrylic medium rather than water and help keeps the pigment in suspension. In other words all you can really do is experiment until you find something that really works for you.

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I read this with ???

Hmmmm....

This is one of those areas where you learn what YOU like, what goes with YOUR style, and how you paint.

I use minimum of 50 percent water, and build up from there.

You have to experiment.  Everyone of us here has had to slog though a bit of muck

to get to where we are.  You'll do fine, just play, and see what works for you.

There are NO REAL formula's in this.

Happy Painting.!!!

Edited by Jasonator
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The reason for adding medium to glazes and washes is 1: to alter its handling characteristics and 2: to maintain the strength of the paint film. 

You can thin acrylic paints with just water if you want to, but going beyond 30% water will cause there to be insufficient polymer in your mix to bind the pigments as the wash dries. In some cases a stroke of acrylic varnish is enough to make up for that, but not reliably.

 

Acrylic medium comes in many viscocities, from buttery high-solids gel to watery airbrush medium. For washes thinner is generally better, but you can get some amazing special effects using glazes with a thicker gel.

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I learned washes and glazes on canvas, so my definitions may not apply here. Glazes I mix with medium and treat it like a transparent, tinted film which changes the color. A wash I thin with water until the pigment falls out of suspension, so that it naturely wicks away from the high areas, creating darker areas. YMMV.

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I usually use inks for both washes and glazes.

 

For an ink wash, I use a ratio of 1:7 (ink-to-distilled water). When I mix a wash from paint, I use a 1:4:10 (paint-to-matte medium-to-distilled water) ratio.

For a glaze, I use a ratio of 1:15 (ink-to distilled water). I mix my glazes VERY thin, and use many, many layers (like Ogres and onions...and parfaits).

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I've been happy with 4 parts water, 1 part future floor finish as a base 'magic wash'.

 

 

I don't recommend adding soap to paint. It tends to weaken the paint film and make it more water-soluble.

I'll second this.

 

One thing I'd recommend is take a few pre painted figures from wherever you can find them cheap, clearance bins, toys, whatever as long as the surface is paintable and has colours to work over. Clean and dry them. Then just practice with various washes and glazes to your hearts content to see the consistencies you like working with.

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There are a number of topics where if you ask 5 painters "what is the best way/tool for XXX?" you will get 3-6 answers.  ::):  You've found one of them.

 

I like to thin with an even mixture of water and matte medium for glazes and washes to keep the pigment in suspension and to help the wash "stick" in recesses.  The ratio of paint or ink to water and matte medium varies from 1:1:1 to 1:5:5 (or more) depending on the contrast between the paint or ink and the underlying color as well as what I'm trying to do.

 

Depending on what I'm doing, I may use the mixture all over one area or the mini or be much more targeted and only put the mixture in the recesses.

 

If I'm glazing, the mixture is much thinner and used to color shift an area.

 

Ron

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Yeah, this is one thing were the only answer is experiment and find out what works for you.

 

I can add that for a long time I thought consistency was the culprit of my glazes' rings, and the problem was I was loading the brush too much. When we say damp it really means almost no paint in the brush.

 

So practice, practice, practice!

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