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Another Painting Poll
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TOPIC: Another Painting Poll
Another Painting Poll 8 Years, 6 Months ago  
Over time I've stumbled across a technique that I'm starting to wish I'd used more often -- it struck me originally as a useful shortcut but now I'm starting to think it's actually far more useful than that.

I think of it as something like "working backwards" -- I start by painting a figure entirely in one color, usually a light brown. Then I inkwash with a darker brown and then drybrush with a lighter color to bring out the highlights. At this point, I typically have a very nice-looking, detailed monochromatic figure.

Then I paint the areas I want another color, leaving raised surfaces light brown -- edges, straps, etc. The painting here is mostly dry-brushing or near dry-brushing -- on large surfaces I just drybrush to get the color I want, in more tricky areas I just use a small amount of paint to bring out the color I want.

I did this on the Reaper Wood Elf King, and I was very happy with the result. More recently, I did it on a figure whose name escapes me, a sort of female pirate looking figure. She ended up in black thigh-boots, a kind of periwinkle coat, and white blouse, with light brown highlights. I'm very happy with her. I'll post pics later in the Cool Photos section.

I'm curious -- is this how most people paint? Is this common at all? I find it far more effective than painting each individual element the proper color, then going through the drybrushing and inkwashing phases at the end. It's easier, faster, and the end result tends to be sharper and more vibrant. I doubt it would work for many types of figure, but I'm gonna be looking for figures it WILL work on in the future!

Minotaur Lord
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Another Painting Poll 8 Years, 5 Months ago  
I have painted figures this way before - but it is not how I ussually paint them...then again - I'm not nearly at your level as I've seen from prior pics you have posted...and I often paint more or less assembly line as I've done a bunch of very large LoTRs setups and such...
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Another Painting Poll 8 Years, 5 Months ago  
Me and inks don't play well together. Tried using them a fews years back and couldn't get past the ink's inherent glossiness and lenghty drying time. When I started painting in my thursday night painting club at a local FLGS, I did so for one particular reason. Robert "Jesterspeed Studios" Cruse was running the club. He was less than year into painting minis as a full time job (as well as being a stay at home dad) and was cranking out showcase quality minis at the rate of 3 or 4 day. As far as I knew nobody was comming close to his volume of work as well as maintaining such a high level of quality. So I simply had pick this guys brainbox for all his secrets.

Came to find out when I asked him about inks he told me he didn't use them and said that he could get the same effects with thinned down paint and didn't need to wait the few hours it takes for ink to dry completely. That was the trick - ink needed to completely dry before starting the next highlighting step or you could end up pulling the ink and possibly lower layers of paint off the mini. Now this "pulling" could end up being the big kind where you actually see the paint come off in a small sheet but more often than not its the kind of pulling where its barely noticable at first but when it dries your once smooth area now seem somewhat rough - amost like where the primer coat was oversprayed and left the surface looking grainy.

Now don't get me wrong - inks do have thier place - in my opion they are great for getting a quick shading effect but waiting for it to dry can be a pain. The glossiness isn't so much of a problem as it is more of an annoyance -after the ink is dry a quick shot of Testors dull cote will kill the gloss easily. So how do you get around the drying time? Multiple figures. In other words.... Inks lend themselves well for shading up entire units of figs. Basecoat 20+ figs, then shade by inking, let the whole unit dry and cure for a full day, then the final highlights are a snap. For me its easiest if the unit has the same color sceme ie. all town guardsmen or all the same army. Notable individuals (PC's / BBEG's) however tend to get special treament.

Having said all that, its my belief that while inks can be a usefull tool in your painters toolbox and a neccessary one that every painter should learn,,,,, that they ultimately won't be used all that often when you reach the "next level". Simply take a look a look around at some of the best painters on the web.... (some of my personal favorites) Troy, Lamb, Haley, Schubert, Reimer, Louchard and a host of others over at Coolminiornot. Most, if not all of thier stuff is done with straight acrylics - no ink. And judging by the effects they are achieving I think they might be on to something.

In the end, its all about what looks good to you and if your happy with the end result - hey - If it looks good.... Do it. Never know, maybe we'll be picking your brainbox apart for secret ink technique #47.
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Another Painting Poll 8 Years, 5 Months ago  
One of the tricks to using inks is to thin them with a mix of about 3-4 parts water and 1 part Future No Wax Floor Finish. This mix is also what I use to thin acrylic paints.

The stuff works wonders to get the paint and the ink to go on smoothly.

Inks are good for glazes. Thinned down considerably, an ink glaze can smooth out the rough look of traditional shading and highlighting. A good example is in highlighting the cloak on a figure. Mixing in white will indeed create highlights, but the look can be a bit chalky. After you've highlighted, try a thinned down glaze of the base color. It will smooth out the highlighting nicely. You can even go in after and do a little more highlighting on the most upraised portions.
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Another Painting Poll 8 Years, 5 Months ago  
Robert "Jesterspeed Studios" Cruse was running the club. He was less than year into painting minis as a full time job (as well as being a stay at home dad) and was cranking out showcase quality minis at the rate of 3 or 4 day.
Bugger all! That's amazing. Particularly because he's a stay at home dad. I wonder how old his kid(s) is(are). I'd love to be able to do something gaming/hobby related but I work from home full time as an online teacher (8+ hours a day on the computer). I have my son for half of the day (after he gets out of day care just before noon) and even in the short time between noon and five that he's here, that makes things challenging for me to work in peace. And he's a good kid, too!

I've always wanted to be tutored by a really good mini painter. I'll bet my skills would be mad after that.

Regarding L's question, I rarely paint a whole miniature that way. Well, I guess it depends on if you mean using the same technique on the whole miniature or literally base coat the entire miniature in one color, wash, and a drybrush then add other colors later. I do use the technique though I don't use inks. Just haven't gotten around to experimenting with them yet.

I always prime my miniatures in white or black depending on what I want the final product to look like. For character and hero type figures I work in small sections, starting with the skin and exposed areas (working from the "inside out"). Base coat, wash with diluted paint, dry brush for highlights. I do that for most of the areas of the piece (depending on what the sculpt is) but will from time to time use pure color on a section or a detail to make it pop out.

I shared this with everyone before but it's worth mentioning again... I use what I've coined as the "Hit and Run Painting Technique." 5 minutes of dry brushing here, a couple minutes of washing there, pick out some details in another place... I usually work on four to five figures at a time so I can keep working when I get the painting bug. The technique has really helped not only my efficiency but it has also helped increase my production overall. I've been able to knock out about five minis a week. I couldn't DREAM of doing five in a day!
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