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My blending is blotchy


Jay
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I'm painting flesh tones and it's coming out blotchy. Any suggestions on how to get those buttery smooth blends?

 

The specific reaper color is "Rosy Flesh."

I'm mixing the paint with water to thin it down but I get rings and blotches.

Too much water? Too little? Should I be using flow improver instead of water?

Should I paint everything the highlight color and darken it or work the reverse direction?

 

Thanks!

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Rings and blotches sounds like it's too thin, but it could also be that your brush is holding too much liquid.  When you pick up paint in the bristles, try unloading it off some paper towel or the side of the palette before using it.  Ideally you want damp paint left in the hairs, not really wet, and this should be easier to control.  It may be a combination of things, so try unloading the brush and also thinning it a bit less.  Working light to dark or dark to light probably isn't a factor here, the paint is just doing stuff you don't want it to.  

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16 minutes ago, Pochi said:

I have found that thinning some of the lighter colors causes blotching or chalkiness. Try getting some glaze medium instead of thinning with water. It helped me.

 

I have a bottle of craft paint blending gel. I'll try it and see if it helps.

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I’m still learning how to blend, and I get this problem too.  Here it is on top of this guy’s head - I was trying to layer in some of the highlight towards the front of his head and ended up with a tide line:

 

DAEC4F31-C3F4-47F5-8BA1-6835F53F0B5C.thumb.jpeg.57da754e51e9d6c930823d781382db80.jpeg

 

In this case (and this is usually my problem) I had too much thin paint in the brush.  I try to get most of it off on the palette, but then I also test on my thumbnail to make sure the brush won’t dump a puddle as soon as it touches the mini.

 

Using a smaller brush minimizes the chance of it just because it holds less liquid.

 

@Pochi I should try that too to keep the viscosity a bit higher.  I think some painters reduce opacity by adding brush-on sealer.

Edited by rubegon
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16 hours ago, Jay said:

I'm painting flesh tones and it's coming out blotchy. Any suggestions on how to get those buttery smooth blends?

I assume you are layering not blending.

If you are blending: wet, seems like the paint dries to fast, flow improver might indeed be the answer, or not water it down so much.

If you are feathering: If you use a strongly watered down paint and add more water to feather the paint dispersion might break and create splotches, thin you paint less to begin with.

Assuming layering from here on.

 

16 hours ago, Jay said:

I'm mixing the paint with water to thin it down but I get rings and blotches.

You put on too much paint, if you have a hard time controlling this then there  is  too much paint in the brush.

This will also take longer to dry and layering will be slow.

To prevent that wipe of the excess paint on something. If you use a paper towel dampen it, if it is dry it will suck out too much paint (likely) or only touch it litely.

When you do this you will likely find that you apply less paint in a single layer and  that you do not have to thin it so much, see next point.

 

16 hours ago, Jay said:

Too much water? Too little? Should I be using flow improver instead of water?

Water is fine.

If the layer covers too much .. too little water.

If you need  20 layers ... too much water.

Try the above on a newspaper and see how it covers the type, also let it dry, the opacity will increase when it dries.

Flow improver is not need here at all, if you find that you do not like the consistency of watered down paint you can thin it with medium.

 

16 hours ago, Jay said:

Should I paint everything the highlight color and darken it or work the reverse direction?

Personal preference really, you can also go from midtone and layer down and up.

I like to  start dark and layer up, this way I have the easier accessible high parts of the mini to paint.

Edited by MoebiusStrip
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Mostly what @Pochi said. Blotchiness usually means that the paint is breaking, which means that the concentration of acrylic monomers is too low for them to polymerize evenly. The result is that they polymerize in smaller areas that don't connect, which gives you that blotchy look. And as @buglips*the*goblin mentioned, too much paint can result in pooling, which means you don't have any control over where you're actually putting the paint, because there's enough paint to flow on the surface of the figure.

 

Adding medium instead of some of the water will increase the concentration of plastic monomers and allow more even polymerization, but I would recommend not using a gel medium. Instead, look for an acrylic fluid matte medium or even an airbrush medium (Golden and Liquitex are pretty easy to find in Michaels or Hobby Lobby in the US, and you can get more than you are ever likely to need for around $9 - $15 or so, depending on size and company. (If you have Reaper's Brush-On Sealer (matte), Gloss Sealer (gloss) or Wash Medium, you can use those, but if you don't already have them, I'd get the artists' versions instead.)

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I've also had issues with Rosy Skin being chunkier than other paints for me. It doesn't even base coat well imo. Rosy Shadow was fine, not Rosy Skin.

 

I agree with what others have said about using mediums though; it has helped me on pale colors in general.

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