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Subject: New one for expert painters: about washing and drybrushing rss

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Jeff Smith
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Well, after reading a lot about the topic on here and elsewhere, I have decided, as a couple of other fools like me on here have, to begin painting some minis.

Heh, kidding about the fool thing. I think it's a great hobby. It's just not for the faint-hearted, I think.

Well, anyway. There's something I haven't yet really grasped and I'd like some advice.

What color to choose when washing and also drybrushing? I understand the effects behind the techniques but I am not sure how to adapt to various situations depending on the base color of the painted miniature.

Any pointers?

Thanks for your help!
 
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JC Connors
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The most straightforward way is to use a darker color for washing, and a lighter color for drybrushing.

So, for example, if you're painting someone's skin, paint it a medium flesh tone first. Then wash it with a darker version (a flesh wash ink usually works well). Finally, dry brush it with a slightly lighter version of the original flesh.

You can also experiment with adding different color tones to the drybrush for things like grass stains, lighting effects (from, say, a magic sword), or fur (start with a nice brown, then drybrush a gray on top of it for a good pelt look), but the rules above will cover most situations.

Good luck!

-J.C.

 
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Paul DeStefano
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Drybrush red with yellow for a strong effect.

Blues only work with lighter blues, although greens can also go yellow.

 
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Re: New one for expert painters: about washing and drybrushi
For weapons and armour, drybrush a bright metallic paint over matt black. It picks up textured stuff like chainmail really well. Darker metallic paint is harder to use well, and if you want dark metal it might be best to paint (rather than drybrush) a light colour over a blank undercoat, then tarnish the metal with an ink wash.

Actually the GW painting guides are really good for this sort of thing.
 
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Neil Carr
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Re: New one for expert painters: about washing and drybrushi
Over the years I've built up a lot of tricks to try and pull off an effective paintjob without too much effort.

I tend to use more drybrushing than washing because washes add more time to the job of painting the figure as you have to wait for the wash to dry to move onto the next step. However washing does tend to give better results.

One thing to think about in a paintjob is what you are trying to get out of it. You can spend a lot of time working on one figure and layering it with a lot of detail, however if you are going to be playing with that figure then normally you'll be seeing it from several feet away, rather than up close. Because of that it makes sense sometimes to do a paintjob that stresses the contrasts in the figure so that when you look at it from afar the figure stands out and doesn't look flat against it's backdrop.

With that in mind I've often done work where the basecoat is black. From there I will do a lot of drybrushing, very little washing, and use the black to help outline and define the details of the figure. If you use this route then up close yo probably won't win any awards, but if you want something that is effective for playing then it's simple and easy.

The big drawback for a black undercoat is that certain colors require more work to look good. Yellows and reds tend to show too much dark paint through them and so you either need to put several layers on or to first drybrush white onto the area and then the color you want. Other colors, such as blue, green and brown look great with a black undercoat. As someone else mentioned, metal that is drybrushed looks great on a black undercoat.

Another quick and easy effect is to go in the opposite route with washes. Here you first paint up the figure in what I call a "paint by numbers" fashion. That is, you just paint all of the various details of the figure in the basic color that you want to achieve with them. Once finished the figure might look quite detailed if you have a steady hand, however it will look pretty flat as nothing is highlighted, nor recesses outlined.

The next step is to liberally coat the figure in a wash. You can use inks that are designed for it, but I've found just a watered down dark paint, such as black or dark brown can be just as effective. You have to get the right mix, even when using ink and you also have to anticipate the effect the wash is going to have on the base colors yo painted. But once you get the right balance you can dump the wash all over the figure, then let it dry, then go back and bring out any highlights you want through strait painting them or drybrushing and then you're done.

I could probably ramble on forever with painting. I've been painting for almost twenty years now and for me it's just been an accumulation of all sorts of tricks and learned mistakes. If you are just getting started then the best thing is to grab some cheap figures and experiment with them so that you can stumble across the "happy accidents" that take you to the next level.
 
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Jesper A
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If have a lot of miniatures i made a quick guide when i painted my War of the Ring minis.

They are by no means perfect, but when i picked up speed i could paint 10 minis in about 1½ hours.

http://files.boardgamegeek.com/viewfile.php3?fileid=7537

If you want to go for detail i recomend any Citadel Painting Guide by Games Workshop.... and a lot of patience.
 
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Jeff Smith
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Thank you guys for the replies.

Experimenting is a good idea. I hadn't thought of that, silly me! I have some spare minis, or ones I absolutely never use with one particular boardgame (which I can also buy individually later anyway if I need them), so I will experiment.

To be honest, for my first tries I did not plan to go down the lots-of detail road. Especially because I don't want (yet) to paint my minis for display, but simply for easier reference on the gameboard. Following Carr's remarks, this "macro" approach is what I'm interested in at the moment.

Given this, the basecoat strategy is interesting. It's the first thing I was going to try in fact. Not necessarily with black paint, though. Is it really, really impossible to paint some details white over such basecoats? Depends on the base color I guess?

Btw, Jesper, I had done my homework. I already knew about your article.

 
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Jeff Smith
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*Bump!*
 
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