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Wash now or wash later?

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OK. So I was working on the Reaper Halfling Ranger (can't remember the name now; I never do anyway), and decided to try something different: rather than highlighting last (which is the way I've always done it, and in fact is how I first learned), I did it BEFORE the wash. The result: really subtle highlights. I was wondering if anyone else did this, or do most follow the conventional style that I've used?



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Guest zbyshko

i too have "inverted" the order or wash and highlight. it depens on the effect i'm after as to which order i choose. it happened quite accidentally for the first application.


i was painting a GW Space Marine Chaplain in Terminator armour - lots of large black areas. i tried highliting with shades of greys. it didn't look right, too stark and grey. as a lark i put one more layer of grey on the edges - almost white actually. then i washed the model with two, perhaps three washes of blue ink. just a regular blue - not light not dark. it tinted the greys down, blending the layers and added some blue to the black.


the end result was a highlighed black i was after - "a black so deep, its almost blue." it's definetly how i intend to do larger areas of black from here forward. perhaps the same could be done with other larger areas - ie vehicles, constructs etc.


i haven't quite mastered the brush control to try this on smaller areas. and i have only doen it with black/blue. it may work for flesh area or natural wood with brown and "beige". let me know what results others may get, thanks

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I am not sure if this is truly the proper terminology, but I usually call this glazing and I do it with very little of the thinned mixture on my brush. This allows me to get a thin coat over the areas I want and also more control than a true wash. I find it helps to smooth out transitions and also, as mentioned, to tone down highlights.

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I am not sure if this is truly the proper terminology, but I usually call this glazing and I do it with very little of the thinned mixture on my brush.

Eh, you could either way here in regards to terminology depending on your intent.


Here's how I define these terms...


A wash generally is less transparent than a glaze and is used to shade recesses -- This is the key element -- the intent to shade or else stain locally (ala mud, blood, etc.). A glaze, on the other hand, is very, very transparent and is used to tint existing coats of paint -- be they shades, base coats, or highlights -- to shift the color, tone transitions, or brighten highlights (in the case of white ink glazes). Tinting and toning are the keys here. While a wash will be allowed to pool in recesses, a glaze is applied uniformly over the entire surface -- no pooling.


The way you've described your use of the technique, I'd say you're glazing. However, it's fair to say that Lars washed his mini, depending on a) the opacity of the paint -and- b) his intent to shade. Using a wash in this manner will glaze your highlights, naturally, unless you only wash the recesses -- easier to do on some surfaces than others -- cloth as opposed to chainmail.


At any rate, this is how I and I believe many other painters define washes and glazes.


Both may be used at any time during your layering process to achieve whatever affect you're after.


Be creative. That's the key.

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Typically it depends on what model is being painted. However, I've found that to get a great leathery effect, I will go ahead and do all the highlights with browns and light brown (various hues) and then wash the entire area with the "flesh wash" ink from Games Workshop. IMO it is lousy for using on flesh but great for that leather effect.

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