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If the dress and hat are the brown, they'll need a lot of highlighting. 

 

Glazing takes practice; it is layering with super thinned paint. Super thinning makes it easy to slop or use water marks. It is goid for applying very delicate layers to build a smooth transition. 

 

I would suggest moving to generic layering for a while for your highlights on the brown. It is reading as black right now. Instead of using glazes of light brown, pick your highlight color. Place it at the peaks. On your palette, mix the highlight and that dark base color. Build a spectrum between the two colors on the palette. 

 

Thin them slightly so that they aren't textured and chunky. You want them to come off the brush smoothly but not gush. 

 

Just place the layers from light to dark, or dark to light, from palette to the figure. You can glaze after to smooth the transitions too, but sometimes simple layers get the job done too.

 

It may be worth playing with the colors on paper to see how they work together. 

 

I hope that helps. 

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A couple of notes -

I know someone already mentioned it, but you need to attach the figure to a holder. You’re only going to frustrate yourself when paint rubs off from touching the figure so much. This is less of a problem with Bones figures but will happen with metal figures even if you’re being careful about how you’re touching the figure.

People generally use wine corks for figures that have pins in the bottom of them to jam the pin into the cork. You can put a pin in the bottom of a figure that’s large and flat like this one to do the same thing, but think about how you’re then going to put the figure on the base. You will either need to drill a hole in your base in the same spot or remove the pin after you’re done painting. 

A lot of people use poster tack to attach the figure to the holder. I prefer Scotch 3M Mounting Tape, but that will not stick to cork. 

Hot glue works very well and it is relatively easy to pop the figure off of the holder when you’re done painting. 

Alternatively, you can buy some latex or nitrile gloves at the pharmacy and wear those to handle the figure if a holder absolutely won’t work for you. 

 

You didnt use enough primer on the metal. You don’t need a solid coat of opaque white and really should avoid that so you don’t cover details, but you also don’t want to have any shiny metal showing through. I can see a lot of shiny metal on the figure. You’re going to have trouble getting paint to stay in those spots, especially with handling the figure with your bare hands. 

 

If your paint is running into areas that you didn’t intend, then either your paint is way too thin or you have far too much of it on your brush. The only time you want your paint to run is if you’re intending for it to be a wash where the intention is for it to pool in the crevices. Even with a glaze, where the paint is thinned very aggressively to the point that it is just coloured water, you still don’t want it to be runny. With a glaze, you would thin the paint, but then dab the moisture off onto a paper towel so that you’re just left with pigment on the brush. Glazes are used to tint the pre-existing colour or smooth out pre-existing blends. Layering with glazing is going to be a long and frustrating process and will be especially frustrating starting out from such a dark colour. 

 

So I did a mock up for thinning paint for you. 

37F3A1AA-E34E-4161-8907-4A1E1B71F70E.thumb.jpeg.acc289ff1e14d712dcf7773490eda7c0.jpeg

2180B023-DB9C-43F1-A3E5-4D969DD2FD91.thumb.jpeg.366335eefa42d5cd234b4e81051471c5.jpeg

Starting from the left, that’s straight out of the bottle. Reaper’s paints have flow improver mixed into them from the start so they don’t generally need to be thinned for your basecoat, although some paints may be thicker than others. It still has plenty of body to it, but if I pull it out from itself with my brush, it will start to slowly retract into itself. That corresponds with the left swatch on my hand. It’s very opaque and I have complete control with my brush. 

If your paint has more body to it straight out of the bottle, then you absolutely need to thin it a little even just for basecoating. 

 

The second swatch has had just a little bit of water added to it from the back end of my brush. It still has some body to it but pulls back into itself a little bit faster. This is kind of an inbetween stage. You could use this both for basecoating if you’re wanting to build up coats slowly to get a solid, smooth coat. This is typically what I do for my basecoats. At this stage however, you could also start layering with that paint. It’s a little bit less opaque, but I still have plenty of control. 

 

The third swatch has another drop of water added to it. It still has some body to it, but it’s going to pull back into itself much faster. This is your more traditional consistency for layering. You can see there in the third swatch from the left on my hand that it has lost a lot of its opacity, but I still have complete control over the paint. It isn’t runny, but it flows well from the brush. If at this point you find that it’s runny once applied to the figure, then you likely have overloaded your brush and need to wipe some off. A lot of people use a paper towel to gently wipe their brush onto, I generally will do this directly on my palette or on the back of my hand. 

 

The fourth swatch has yet another drop of water added to it and this is where you’re going to start to lose control of the paint. It’s very fluid and when pulled away, it immediately forms separate little beads of paint. This is the 4th from the left swatch on my hand. It’s more blobby and you can see it starting to run into the lines on my hand. This is wash territory, although if you were careful, you could still use this to layer with, but wicking away moisture onto a paper towel would be an absolute necessity. 

 

The 5th swatch is so watered down that it is just coloured water. If I try to pull it away with my brush it immediately retracts back into itself. It corresponds with the 5th from the left swatch on my hand. I have very little control over this paint. It’s running into the lines in my hand and on a figure, with all of the curves and little crevices, this would just run all over the place. Straight from palette to figure, that’s going to end up as a wash, as it will mostly run into the crevices, but also tint the raised surfaces. 

 

However, you’ll notice that I have a 6th very faint swatch on my hand all the way there on the right. That is the same paint from the 5th swatch, but this time I touched it to a paper towel to wick away the excess moisture so that all that was left on my brush was the pigment. This makes for a very translucent tint of colour that I can control the placement of. That’s what you want for a glaze. 

 

I hope that’s of some help to you. Paint consistency can be frustrating and it’s hard to explain what you’re looking for when thinning your paints and how to know that you have too much on your brush. It’s also difficult to show through pictures. But once you get a feel for it, it makes painting much easier because you have so much more control and know how the paint’s going to act when you put it on the figure. 

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@Cyradis, thanks, I'll try the transitions.

 

@Guindyloo thanks for the thinning paints lesson. I was struggling based on the layer up kits material with how thin my layers should be; your explanation is great. 

 

I do struggle with primer still; I try not to glom it on, then very little goes on. I've reprimed several spots on her now. 

 

I also have trouble with "wicking" the thinned paint off my brush; I keep being worried I'm losing too much of the pigment when I touch it to the towel, so perhaps I'm holding it there too long. 

 

The color on the dress I've trying to highlight is ebony flesh; I like the darkness of it, but I can't seem to even it out.

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Try this process. 

1. Load the paint on your brush 

2. Wick away excess water on the towel

3. Paint a quick stripe on your thumb to test how the paint flows off.

4. Evaluate that test application before you move on to the figure.

5. If it flows well and you get the coverage you were hoping for on your thumb, paint your figure.

6. If not, make a judgment call as to what needs adjusting. Paint too thin? Not thick enough? Right consistancy, but brush belly swollen with water? Return to step one making adjustments as needed.

 

If you watch any of the professional painters, you'll see some variant of this process EVERY TIME they put paint to a figure. The pro's get familiar with the properties of their paints. And they test before they apply paint.

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On ‎11‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 11:57 AM, Paradoxical Mouse said:

@Cyradis, thanks, I'll try the transitions.

 

@Guindyloo thanks for the thinning paints lesson. I was struggling based on the layer up kits material with how thin my layers should be; your explanation is great. 

 

I do struggle with primer still; I try not to glom it on, then very little goes on. I've reprimed several spots on her now. 

 

I also have trouble with "wicking" the thinned paint off my brush; I keep being worried I'm losing too much of the pigment when I touch it to the towel, so perhaps I'm holding it there too long. 

 

The color on the dress I've trying to highlight is ebony flesh; I like the darkness of it, but I can't seem to even it out.

You're welcome!

If you're wicking the paint off of your brush and it seems like there's nothing left, then the paint is likely too thin. Either way, just a tap on the paper towel will generally be long enough to wick away moisture. But I definitely agree with @DixonGrfx that if you're struggling with your paint consistency, test it on your hand before you put it on the figure. My hand typically ends up completely coated in colourful little stripes.

 

I'm a little confused about what's going awry with your dress highlighting. The basecoat looks solid, what's not getting evened out? Do you mean you're having trouble blending from your basecoat up to a highlight? If that's the case, then you're increasing the lightness of the colour too quickly.

 

I'm not at home to give you actual paint examples, but here's a quick mock-up in MS Paint.

 

example1.png.61707286e90982703f53b59652e8bd73.png

So if I start from a very dark base and I go up to my highlight colour too abruptly, it's going to look very jarring and uneven.

 

example2.png.df4c29f4867c02a074ca1fde02b28070.png

But if I take the same dark base and I very slowly lighten it a layer at a time, I can still go all the way up to the same highlight, without it appearing so jarring. That's what we want to accomplish with layering, to slowly build the colour from dark to light.

 

Is that what you meant? Or are you having a different problem?

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Just now, Guindyloo said:

You're welcome!

If you're wicking the paint off of your brush and it seems like there's nothing left, then the paint is likely too thin. Either way, just a tap on the paper towel will generally be long enough to wick away moisture. But I definitely agree with @DixonGrfx that if you're struggling with your paint consistency, test it on your hand before you put it on the figure. My hand typically ends up completely coated in colourful little stripes.

 

I'm a little confused about what's going awry with your dress highlighting. The basecoat looks solid, what's not getting evened out? Do you mean you're having trouble blending from your basecoat up to a highlight? If that's the case, then you're increasing the lightness of the colour too quickly.

 

I'm not at home to give you actual paint examples, but here's a quick mock-up in MS Paint.

 

example1.png.61707286e90982703f53b59652e8bd73.png

So if I start from a very dark base and I go up to my highlight colour too abruptly, it's going to look very jarring and uneven.

 

example2.png.df4c29f4867c02a074ca1fde02b28070.png

But if I take the same dark base and I very slowly lighten it a layer at a time, I can still go all the way up to the same highlight, without it appearing so jarring. That's what we want to accomplish with layering, to slowly build the colour from dark to light.

 

Is that what you meant? Or are you having a different problem?

That is exactly my issue! I was trying to use a light brown for the highest highlight, but it felt too abrupt, compared to what I saw in the Layer Up. How can I get a similar effect to that with my paints? I'm not sure how to do the spectrum like I've seen others do, drawing the paints out on the wet pallet. I'd really like to, just to get that smooth transition. And I think the brim of her hat would make a perfect practice point.

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1 minute ago, Paradoxical Mouse said:

That is exactly my issue! I was trying to use a light brown for the highest highlight, but it felt too abrupt, compared to what I saw in the Layer Up. How can I get a similar effect to that with my paints? I'm not sure how to do the spectrum like I've seen others do, drawing the paints out on the wet pallet. I'd really like to, just to get that smooth transition. And I think the brim of her hat would make a perfect practice point.

It's probably my spectrums on the wet palette you've seen.

Honestly, I waste a lot of paint on my palette by mixing paint the way that I do. I also often use too many layers and end up adding a lot of steps to my painting that aren't always necessary. There are many different ways to mix paints that use less paint and less steps. The spectrum is just the way that I typically go about it and isn't the right way for everyone. I'm very comfortable with mixing paints and playing around with them to see what happens. There are some paints that I've become very familiar with, so I know how they're going to act when they're mixed and some are just a complete experiment.

 

For someone who's newer to painting, I actually would not recommend my way of mixing paints. Rather, I would recommend working with Reaper's triads. The triads are made to go together and they work really well. You can get where you need to go using a triad. If you don't have a triad, that's ok, you just want to pick your midtone (the medium colour of the triad,) a darker colour (the base colour of the triad) and a lighter colour (the lightest colour of the triad) that are in the same family. 

The next step up from that, would be to take a triad and mix half steps between them for your layers. So you'd paint your darkest colour, then a half darkest/half midtone mix, then midtone, then a half midtone/half lightest mix, then lightest mix.

The next step up from that, is adding an even darker colour (black or close to it) and even lighter colour, white or close to it and adding half steps between those to your layers.

 

I would highly recommend that you watch Kuro's video tutorial on blending through layering:

 

Kuro's an awesome teacher and explains things better than I will.

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28 minutes ago, Guindyloo said:

For someone who's newer to painting, I actually would not recommend my way of mixing paints. Rather, I would recommend working with Reaper's triads. The triads are made to go together and they work really well. You can get where you need to go using a triad. If you don't have a triad, that's ok, you just want to pick your midtone (the medium colour of the triad,) a darker colour (the base colour of the triad) and a lighter colour (the lightest colour of the triad) that are in the same family. 

 

I don't think I have any triads...and the particular color I'd like for my basecoat is the shadow of a triad (from what I saw). Is there a good way to make my own darker shadow? I'd like this dress to read as a very dark brown, like this:

axalta-ral-8022-black-brown-polyester-30

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1 minute ago, Paradoxical Mouse said:

 

I don't think I have any triads...and the particular color I'd like for my basecoat is the shadow of a triad (from what I saw). Is there a good way to make my own darker shadow? I'd like this dress to read as a very dark brown, like this:

axalta-ral-8022-black-brown-polyester-30

That's a super dark brown and it's so close to black that you're probably not going to be able to make a darker shadow. I'm not really sure what advice I can give for it - painting black and near black colours can be really difficult. But if I wanted a colour to read that dark, I would want to try treating it like painting black, so you don't want to bring your highlight up too bright or it's going to look jarring no matter how many layers you use. You probably also want to adhere to the same rule as black, wherein you want to make sure that a good 75% of the area is your very dark brown and no more than 25% is taken up by the highlighting layers.

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5 minutes ago, Guindyloo said:

That's a super dark brown and it's so close to black that you're probably not going to be able to make a darker shadow. I'm not really sure what advice I can give for it - painting black and near black colours can be really difficult. But if I wanted a colour to read that dark, I would want to try treating it like painting black, so you don't want to bring your highlight up too bright or it's going to look jarring no matter how many layers you use. You probably also want to adhere to the same rule as black, wherein you want to make sure that a good 75% of the area is your very dark brown and no more than 25% is taken up by the highlighting layers.

Alright. Thanks. I might bring the color a little lighter, I just want the dress and hat to read dark, not leathery

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On 11/11/2017 at 7:30 PM, Paradoxical Mouse said:

I've been using a wine cork, but I haven't figured out the best way to stick them to it. Thankfully, I have tiny hands myself.

 

In addition to the other suggestions that people have given (all of which I've tried), Elmer's glue actually works very well for attaching metal miniatures to wood or cork. It will typically keep the figure in place until you're ready to remove it, even if you have to lay your holder down on its side between sessions (which poster tack and double-sided tape won't do reliably) and can be popped loose from the bottom of the figure when you're done painting without too much trouble. Just make sure to let it dry before you start painting the figure.

 

I agree with @Guindyloo that your priming is probably too thin. I live in a climate where spray primers work very well pretty much year round, but if you're brush priming, you'll want at least one more coat. And note that paint is not primer, even though some people will try to convince you that it is. If it doesn't say "Primer" on the label, it's not a primer. (I suspect you already know this, but lurkers might need the information that you already have.)

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25 minutes ago, Doug Sundseth said:

 

In addition to the other suggestions that people have given (all of which I've tried), Elmer's glue actually works very well for attaching metal miniatures to wood or cork. It will typically keep the figure in place until you're ready to remove it, even if you have to lay your holder down on its side between sessions (which poster tack and double-sided tape won't do reliably) and can be popped loose from the bottom of the figure when you're done painting without too much trouble. Just make sure to let it dry before you start painting the figure.

 

I agree with @Guindyloo that your priming is probably too thin. I live in a climate where spray primers work very well pretty much year round, but if you're brush priming, you'll want at least one more coat. And note that paint is not primer, even though some people will try to convince you that it is. If it doesn't say "Primer" on the label, it's not a primer. (I suspect you already know this, but lurkers might need the information that you already have.)

I don't use spray primer because I couldn't get full coverage without losing a ton of detail. I may try Elmer's glue, but it isn't something I have immediately available, much like simple green. I'd have to actually remember to get it at the store.

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