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Jat

Reaper paints and Professional Painters

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22 hours ago, Jat said:

Yes climate is a huge factor. I use a humidifier in my room since I do live in Texas and the air can get quite dry at times. Fortunately I don't live in west Texas where the air is very very dry. The Vallejo seems to work better for me in my current climate so I am pleased so far. :)

 

It just seemed people got offended based off what I my perspective was. I did not possess a confrontational attitude, but I suppose from my wording and my expectations of what I feel is professional or not ruffled some feathers. People have different standards I suppose and when expressed, they can come off as intentionally rude or dismissive of others ability. I was just matter of fact in my expression, nothing personal. Yes 99% of the replies were polite but there seemed to be some that got a little heated , but that's fine, it's a forum to voice ones own opinion and I find that good. 

 

TX here too. Allen to be exact and yeah depending on the day we paint my daughter and I can have paint dry very fast or at times we feel like it has sat there for 20 min and is still not ready for another coat or to do anything else with the mini.  We use just Reaper paints at this time because they are near and I have been a fan.

 

The Vallejo I got from Madness  when we started years ago has rarely been used and the GW paints I had were given to Aaron Lovejoy a few Reapercons ago because I had not enjoyed using them.  As we have seen from this thread it is all just different strokes for different folks. I never plan on being awesome and just like to have a hobby I share with my now 9 year old (as of yesterday).

 

Hopefully we see you out at Reapercon this year!

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On 1/27/2019 at 1:56 PM, Cyradis said:

I'm finding that climate makes a bigger difference than minis paint brand for drying time, at least with what paints I have (Reaper, S75 F&G, a few Vallejo and Army Painter). If you have 0% humidity, good luck ever doing truly wet techniques. I'm saying this after transitioning from a parched climate to a moderately humid climate - the air makes an enormous difference. Change your style not only according to what paint is in your bottles, but the air you are in. There are techniques I can do here that I had a lot of trouble with in Colorado, just due to more working time with the paint. Out there, drying retardant wasn't sufficient to make wet blending practical. Here? I can work the paint a little while without retardant, and adding some gives even more play-time. That isn't always what I want though. 

I second this. 

I spent my first decade painting minis in CA as a tabletop painter. When I moved back home to CO, I didn't have anyone to game with, so I started learning how to be a better painter.  Got frustrated with all these techniques I was shown back in CA that I never bothered to practice there.  Finally gave up trying them, found techniques that worked.  After a decade and a half in CO, moved to IA, which I'm discovering is requiring me to change some of my techniques again. 

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On 1/25/2019 at 11:15 AM, Wren said:

One of the paint lines in my pending to experiment with pile is Liquitex's new 'acrylic gouache'.* Which from what I can tell is pretty much Liquitex reinventing the wheel of miniature paint - liquid formulation, non-cracking, very matte, as opaque as possible.


*In case anyone out there wants to try art store paints, don't get another product with gouache in the name. True gouache is opaque watercolour, and it will run and smudge if you apply water-based paint over it. It also not very flexible so subject to cracking, and for a dozen different reasons is not at all suitable for painting on miniatures. Though I wouldn't be surprised if someone out there proves me wrong someday. ;-> There are other acrylic gouache brands, but most of those are thicker tube paints and also subject to cracking. Liquitex 'acrylic gouache' is really acrylic paint with some of the desirable properties of gouache (the rep straight up said this in the demo I saw.) Acrylic products by Liquitex and Golden generally are suitable for use on minis. I believe it's better to use acrylic products that are formulated to be more liquid. (Golden Fluid, Liquitex Gouache or Soft Body are the ones you'll find most widely sold, but there are other brands. Liquitex Acrylic Ink, FW acrylic ink and Golden High Flow are almost TOO watery for what we do, they won't be very opaque. They will work nicely for mixing in a little more intense colour or doing glazes.) If you add a lot of water to a thick tube paint to make it the consistency we use, you're diluting the binder to paint ratio and potentially creating a weak paint film. I know people who are doing it and so far as I know they aren't having problems, but I'm in the school of use things as they're intended to be used, and both Liquitex and Golden reps at product demos I've attended have said buy paint formulated as close to the consistency you need as you can rather than trying to thin down thick paint.

 

I picked up some Liquitex gouache reds to test, since the reds I have been using dry too shiny, in my opinion, especially on Bones minis.

 

I wouldn't have normally since gouaches do not normally list the pigments and I like to know what I'm playing with. But while in the store I noticed the tiny side label on "Primary Red" actually identified the pigment! And it was a single pigment! PV19, also known as Quinacridone Rose.

 

I liked how it handled, so a little later I took a chance (since the catalogs do *not* list the pigments) and ordered a bottle of "Quinacridone Magenta" which turned out to indeed be a single-pigment paint made with PR122.

 

So I have a couple to experiment with too.

 

Just as a side note, as Wren says, do not buy anything else with the word "gouache" in its name. Gouache is normally a coarsely-ground watercolor intended for commercial designers with unidentified but often fugitive pigments. Liquitex "gouache" is clearly *not* classic gouache, but a matte acrylic. In other words, perfect for *our* purposes, if it works out.

 

DSC_0968.jpg.412300f8e8615e6fbd6bcc14b67a1ea3.jpg

 

DSC_0969.jpg.4049830e2bd833a2fbce467337db4a1a.jpg

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59 minutes ago, Pingo said:

Just as a side note, as Wren says, do not buy anything else with the word "gouache" in its name. Gouache is normally a coarsely-ground watercolor intended for commercial designers with unidentified but often fugitive pigments. Liquitex "gouache" is clearly *not* classic gouache, but a matte acrylic. In other words, perfect for *our* purposes, if it works out.

 

DSC_0968.jpg.412300f8e8615e6fbd6bcc14b67a1ea3.jpg

 

DSC_0969.jpg.4049830e2bd833a2fbce467337db4a1a.jpg



 

Just to clarify, "acrylic gouache" in the title is ok (as your Liquitex bottle shows), but just "gouache" is not?

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2 minutes ago, ManvsMini said:

 

Just to clarify, "acrylic gouache" in the title is ok (as your Liquitex bottle shows), but just "gouache" is not?

 

As far as I know, yes.

 

"Acrylic gouache" is no more "gouache" than "acrylic gesso" is "gesso". *  Gouache is not what we want, and I suspect "acrylic gouache" is not what a lot of gouache painters want, but there you go.

 

 

 

 

*(Proper gesso is a plaster - rabbitskin glue mix, although I have given up that battle as lost a long time ago).

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On 1/30/2019 at 5:40 PM, Pingo said:

 

I picked up some Liquitex gouache reds to test, since the reds I have been using dry too shiny, in my opinion, especially on Bones minis.

 

I wouldn't have normally since gouaches do not normally list the pigments and I like to know what I'm playing with. But while in the store I noticed the tiny side label on "Primary Red" actually identified the pigment! And it was a single pigment! PV19, also known as Quinacridone Rose.

 

I liked how it handled, so a little later I took a chance (since the catalogs do *not* list the pigments) and ordered a bottle of "Quinacridone Magenta" which turned out to indeed be a single-pigment paint made with PR122.

 

So I have a couple to experiment with too.

 

Just as a side note, as Wren says, do not buy anything else with the word "gouache" in its name. Gouache is normally a coarsely-ground watercolor intended for commercial designers with unidentified but often fugitive pigments. Liquitex "gouache" is clearly *not* classic gouache, but a matte acrylic. In other words, perfect for *our* purposes, if it works out.

 

DSC_0968.jpg.412300f8e8615e6fbd6bcc14b67a1ea3.jpg

 

DSC_0969.jpg.4049830e2bd833a2fbce467337db4a1a.jpg

Please post a thread with experiments. I am intrigued.

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Traditional gouache is opaque watercolour. So the binder is gum arabic. Like watercolour, the paint rewets, eternally. You can layer over it, carefully, but you can just as easily lift up a previous layer with a damp brush as lay down a new coat of paint on top of the previous. There are things you can do with this on paper to use the property to advantage, but it's not going to work well to paint minis at all. (Touch glass covered in condensation, touch mini, paint detaches, ack!!)

The one way I have heard of watercolour being used on miniature figures is some historical painters using it to do freehand, which you can easily correct with a wet brush tip. Then sealing it. I have done that once for a display mini, and might again, but wouldn't even think of it on a figure that would get handled.

Anything with acrylic in the name is an acrylic paint. Companies are just borrowing or combining the names with other things to infer that this paint has the properties of that other paint that you might like. In the case of Liquitex, the rep said they went with 'acrylic gouache' to convey the properties of the paint being matte and opaque, which are two of the prominent qualities of true gouache. (I mean mostly, it's not necessarily one coat opaque either, but that's a different story.) Liquitex and FW acrylic 'ink' is a similar thing - it's fluid enough to be used in many of the same ways as traditional inks, but it's an acrylic paint formulation.

Pingo - I think you'll find that gouache is trying to appeal more to artists than just designers these days, and the majority of quality brands now list both pigment number and lightfastness ratings. They may still use some more fugitive pigments, but they list them so you can figure that out when deciding what to buy. Not sure why the Liquitex catalogue wouldn't have the info, that seems like quite an oversight! Winsor & Newton revamped their line to carry more single pigment and fewer fugitive mixes a few years back I believe. M. Graham lists pigment numbers too, and I think da Vinci and Holbein as well. Even the relatively inexpensive internet darling Arteza art supplies lists the pigment numbers on their gouache, which I don't think you can even buy single tube replacements of.

 

On 1/27/2019 at 11:28 AM, ManvsMini said:

P.S. @Wren what are the odds we might possibly get @Vaitalla to weigh in on some of the science-y specifics of the Bones paint line? Without giving away any trade secrets? In the name of science, naturally. ::D:  Is there some sort of Bat-signal to shine in the sky?

 

I will pass the question along, but I don't know that I'd hold my breath on an answer. All of Reaper is about to be incredibly busy with KS fulfillment, and Vaitalla is always kept pretty busy trying to meet our inexhaustible thirst for paint! 

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Woohoo! If gouache is going the route of more information and more permanent pigments that's great news!

 

As for watercolor and acrylic mixing, I once painted some trump cards for a game of Amber diceless using watercolor which I then sealed with acrylic medium. It was a pain and a half. I had to daub the medium on carefully because any brush movement would smear the paint.

 

I cannot imagine doing that on a miniature. Yikes.

 

(Though, thinking about it, I am guessing you mean spray fixative. That would be a little less mad than what I did.)

 

When I paint freehand on a miniature I keep a clean wet brush in hand so I can immediately "erase" any errors. For me that works better than trying to keep the paint wet or using a different sort of paint or something.

 

To be fair, I seem to be several standard deviations away from the middle of the bell curve of miniature painting techniques, so my painting advice should probably be taken with some awareness of my idiosyncrasies.

 

 

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I did mean spray fixative. :-> Which can also be used before painting freehand to give you a more effective 'undo' function using the damp brush to erase. 

 

I have played around with activating watercolour pencils and crayons with matte medium or gesso, which will 'set' that layer so you can work over it with less lifting. (On traditional paper work, not on minis.)

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You are more likely to get an answer from Vaitalla on her patreon page. She goes by PaintingBig there, I’m not sure what level you would need to be at to get a direct question answered though.

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23 minutes ago, Heisler said:

You are more likely to get an answer from Vaitalla on her patreon page. She goes by PaintingBig there, I’m not sure what level you would need to be at to get a direct question answered though.

 

Yeah she replied quick to me after I signed up at the "AMA/Roundtable Knights!" level.

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Was that a bat-signal...? Hmm oh well, I guess I'm here.  :poke:

 

I can respond on science-y aspects of Bones paints in a new thread, might take me till tomorrow, though. I've run out of time this evening!

 

You can blame textile companies for the "acrylic ink" (not really traditional ink, which is made with dyes not pigments) fad. I did some research into it when I was playing with the Daler Rowneys. Textile manufacturers wanted to dye cloth but hated the impermanence and bleed and lack of vivid staying color with traditional dyes, even modified. So they figured out how to add chemicals to make pigments "fix" like dyes in fabric. A new line of hybrid pigment-dyes was born, and the art industry stole the idea and figured out how to monetize it.

 

--Anne

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Since I recently had the experience of trying different paints in the other direction, I thought I'd come add comments on that. Last week I took a workshop with Fernado Ruiz, the owner of FeR miniatures and an excellent painter. The workshop was set up in such a way that we would paint parts of a couple of figures as he had done in some step-by-step documents. He works with Vallejo, so uses their paints. I had tried to search out equivalent Reaper colours, but once I got there I figured I'd do as the Romans do and use the specified paints. Partly to be polite, and partly to be best able to compare my work with the instructor and other students. (Though one of the people I sat next to was another Reaper paint fan and figured out colour equivalents rather than trying to deal with another paint!)

 

The biggest problem I had was not the paint, but the fact that I was painting under an incandescent lightbulb in a hot room, so even though we were in the humid South, paints dried out very quickly.

I had fewer problems than I might have expected with the unfamiliar-to-me Vallejo paints. Certainly it went much better than my experiments with trying out P3s. I suspect a lot of that is down to having 10 more years of painting under my belt, so I have more tools to bring to bear when working in non-optimal conditions than I did then.

The Vallejo paints were goopier than I like in feel, but I was able to work around that without too much trouble. The variability in finish was more troubling. The paints we used on the skin were pretty matte. The ones we used on the beard and hair were very shiny. (Even Fernado seemed surprised by the degree of shiny, maybe his bottle was an odd mix or not shaken enough or something.) Then the cloth was in between with a kind of satin finish. (Though we did use plenty of extender with that. Fernando said this extender did not change the finish of the paint, but I'll need further testing to know for sure.) The satin finish on the cloth area did not impede my painting much, though we were aiming for a pretty matte cloth like wool, so I'm not sure it simulates the material as well as more matte paints would.

The paint on the hair and beard is shiny enough that I'm not even 100% sure if my contrast is correct. This is a big part of my preference for matte paints. I need to see if I painted with the contrast level necessary to simulate the type of material I'm trying to paint. I know there are painters who use different finishes in paint to suit the material being depicted. I've seen videos of Ben Komets and others who reach for a more satin paint to paint something with a little shine like leather. For me, I want to be 100% sure that the values and colour choices I've made are doing what they're supposed to be doing. If I want to reinforce that with the end finish, I can go in with various sealers and do so. I am probably going to work on the bust from the class a little more, and I plan to matte seal the figure so I can better judge my contrast and values.

Typically I want a matte finish for another reason. Most of my clients are buying the photographs as much as the miniature itself. Even a satin finish can cause issues in photographs with undesired and poorly placed reflections showing up. I have even occasionally had problems using reaper paints, with small areas that get rubbed or polished in some way. They don't really seem shiny until I get them under the lights and get weird reflections. I'm not a great photographer and I'd like to spend as little time as possible on that part of the process since it's very much not the fun part for me, so a matte finish is very helpful to me. Having the paints themselves be matte so I don't need to worry about perfect weather for spraying Dullcote is also a timesaver. (And I feel like sealer DOES change how what I've painted appears, so even when I do use sealer, which is rarely, I'd prefer to take my pictures first and then seal.)

We didn't do a ton of wet blending. When we did, we used extender. Fernando's method for that is to block in the highlights and shadows wet over dry, and then use the extender in such a way as to allow you to blend in a way similar to oil paints on top of that. I'm not quite sure I got the technique down, I'm going to need to practice with it.

I enjoyed the workshop very much, and recommend others take one with Fernando if they get the opportunity. I think I should have no issues integrating the techniques with the Reaper paints I continue to prefer.

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On 2/10/2019 at 6:06 PM, Wren said:



The one way I have heard of watercolour being used on miniature figures is some historical painters using it to do freehand, which you can easily correct with a wet brush tip. Then sealing it. I have done that once for a display mini, and might again, but wouldn't even think of it on a figure that would get handled.
 

 

...mind blown. I'm a 2D artist tinkering with mini work, and I've had some issues working with game colors. Whereas glazes with traditional oils or watercolor are a snap, glazing with game color acrylic has been a little frustrating for me, even with any number of different pro mediums. I'm still working at it because I've seen the awesome results folks can achieve, but still.

 

I may very well try some watercolor on my next display project. I prime well and seal them anyway; it's worth a shot! 

 

Awesome thread.

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People also use oils on miniatures. I don't have any experience with it personally, but there are people, particularly in the historical miniature painting community, who paint predominately with oils. I believe they do base coats and rough blends with acrylics, and then go over it with oils to blend and do glazing. (Maybe some do initial coats with oils, I don't have all the details by any stretch!) Some of them also 'cook' the oils in a toaster oven or crockpot once they're done with a section to be able to work faster since the main drawback of oils is dry time. I might have some concern about vapours with that though. Then there are others who use oils for weathering and glazes and stuff, particularly on things like tanks. 

 

I was at an historical miniature club show this past weekend, and at a panel one of the painters mentioned using watercolour and tempera paints on his figures along with acrylics and inks, sealing when he uses the paints that reactivate so he can work over them. This is largely on busts and large figures (like comic book style figures), but that doesn't preclude possibilities at smaller scales. 


He comes at it from a different direction, but the artist James Wappel uses both oil paints and acrylics. He's got a lot of videos up on Facebook and I think some on YouTube, too, as well as posting on his Wappelious blog. He has a Patreon, too, but plenty of videos available free of charge. He also attends ReaperCon and hangs out at a table and demonstrates his various unique methods.

All that said, it's worth persevering with the acrylics as well as experimenting. You will likely find an approach that clicks for you at some point or with a bit of practice!

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