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Couple of newbie painting questions.

Discussion in 'General Figure Talk' started by James Zilvitis, Feb 2, 2024.

  1. James Zilvitis New Member

    Hey guys it's me again. I have a pair of questions.

    How do you all feel about pointillism vs wet blending when it comes to acrylics? I have some AK retarder and am thinking of trying that as opposed to the pointillism ides.

    Secondly if your doing a bust of a shirtless fella like a Viking warrior or other Barbarian or something do you paint the body the same time as the face or do you do the face and body separately? Thanks.
  2. Ferris A Fixture

    One of the things I learnt after I started painting figures is that I shouldn’t think so much and experiment more. So I’d suggest to simply try it out. Paint is just a medium, and we all have our preferences in how we use it.

    Acrylics dry very quickly. That is why transitions are made wet on dry, applying successive layers, changing colour or value in steps. Many demos on Youtube are available. Jaume Ortiz very nicely explains how the basics work.

    It is possible to wet-blend acrylics. Either by working very quickly wet in wet, or by using retarder. The first is only for the more experienced I’d say, as you really need to know what you’re going for and colour values change while drying. Danilo Cartacci does this on flags for example.

    Retarder makes the paint dry slower, allowing some wet blending at normal pace. However, if you like wet blending I’d suggest painting with oils, because these are way superior in this domain. And wet blending acrylics can give an ugly semi-gloss or gloss finish after drying, although this can be killed with some matt varnish.

    But best to try it out and experiment! ;-)

    About the Viking. Face and skin can take considerable work, so it’s common to do a ground layer overall, but to finish the face first, then the rest of the skin, perhaps even in sections.

  3. Nap Moderator

    Hi Jim

    Adrian has pretty much answered your questions , I wet blend with a medium ( Windsor & Newton ) , just add a tiny bit , I find I don’t fully see the results till the blending medium is fully dried back so if your wet on wet without a medium blending then you will see result quicker

    I use Acrylics not oils

    As Adrian says don’t think so much , give it a go , you’ll find your own level and build up from that

  4. fogie A Fixture

    Pointilism, Stipling, Sfumato, Verdaccio, Glazing, and other traditional
    techniques some of us were required to master, have a place somewhere in
    our hobby. They mostly apply to oils of course, but at the scale in which we
    work are often impractical and assuredly difficult. Personally I blend the paint
    with a dry brush technique and reserve miniscule Stipling / Pointilism when
    simulating texture.

  5. Larsen E. Whipsnade Moderator

    As everyone has said, experiment until to find the technique that works for you. And don't expect perfection the first time out. What's the old aphorism, "you learn from your mistakes"... and I made and make plenty of 'em. Speaking for myself I work in acrylics and use the dry brush technique, dry brushing light shades over dark until I get the look I want.
    theBaron and Billy Dickinson like this.
  6. Billy Dickinson PlanetFigure Supporter

    Plenty of good advice. Pointilism, Sfumato, Verdaccio ??? Never heard of those techniques until now … Got by with 50 odd years of painting without them.
  7. fogie A Fixture

    You've had the best end of the deal, Billy. Art school back in the dark ages was
    a tough business.....even after a lifetime it can still blinker a painter.:)

    Billy Dickinson likes this.
  8. David Spencer A Fixture

    Enamels dry much more slowly.
  9. Billy Dickinson PlanetFigure Supporter

    Must admit Mike I had zero artistic talent at school. Got into painting miniatures as a result of an interest in military history and bluffed my way through it ever since ! o_O
  10. NigelR A Fixture

    The "pointillistic" style is well suited to larger scales where you want to show textures. Some very skilful people can use this is smaller scales but it's beyond me. IMO Mike Butler is the master of the "texture" technique (it's not really pointillism as he uses a variety of techniques), if you are interested in understanding this approach then get his book Modelling and Painting World War I Allied Figures, which explains his techniques in depth.

    I agree with Adrian on wet blending. If you want to use wet blending you should really use oils. Like Kev said, you can do a bit of wet blending with acrylics if you use a blending medium and I also found a good wet palette helps. I have also started using the Scale 75 Artists' acrylics in tubes and these dry more slowly than most acrylics, so you get a bit more working time.

    Personally I have found understanding how to use glazes has been key to improving my acrylic painting style. Just Google "using glazes in painting miniatures" and you will get lots of helpful videos. Mostly for painting Warhammer, but the techniques apply just as well to other figures.
    Nap likes this.
  11. James Zilvitis New Member

    Nap what medium do you use?
  12. fogie A Fixture

    James, you mentioned in another thread that you are a Graphic/Visual
    Artist. As such you will already have an understanding and experience
    of colour. I don't know which medium you favour, of course (my own
    specialisms back in the pre-digital days were oils and gouache) but you
    can allow your knowledge to come to your aid here.........imagine that
    painting a figure is just another gig - only one that doesn't have a client
    breathing down your neck - and follow your attuned instincts. See how it

  13. Nap Moderator

    This one


    Many similar fluids on the market

  14. James Zilvitis New Member

    Ok great thanks.

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