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New painted confused about washes/weathering

Discussion in 'Oils' started by Jack10, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. Jack10 Active Member

    The figures I paint look very plain and basic compared to most people's I see on here abs other forums, YouTube etc

    I've been told I need to use washes on my figures and highlight them....but I'm very inexperienced.

    What do I need to do to my figure before applying a wash? What washes are the best quality? What parts of the model should I use the was on?

    The figures I'm painting are some dragon panzergrenadiers here is a pic of my figures half way through painting ... IMG_1543.JPG


    Hope somebody can help a newbie out
  2. Helm A Fixture

    Can't help with that particular figure and camo, but I've found a wash of the base colour helps "tie" in the overall look of camo material and calm down the colours to look more authentic. Other uses for washes are to give depth to things like fur etc and for worn leather etc. Here's an excellent article on using them for leather http://www.planetfigure.com/threads/leather-boots-sbs-any-leather.58613/
    Jack10 likes this.
  3. Landrotten Highlander Well-Known Member

    I consider myself by no means an expert, but I think I understand where the advise you were given is coming from.

    One thing I was told is that you have to 'scale down' the light to whatever scale your figure is. Whet is meant is the following: if you use natural (or artificial) light to give you the shadows and highlights on your figure then you will always find that the light does not give them - in other words, it looks rather 'flat' and 'plain/basic' because the lightwaves are too large relative to your figure.

    So when you have finished your painting (as in your pictures) you then have to start thinking of 'adding' the shadows and highlights to your figure. Adding shadows means you need to have a significantly darker paint where the shadows would fall, while adding highlights means you put a significantly lighter colour on the points where the light would fall if it were on scale 1:1.

    Washes can help you by diluting a darker base colour and applying it only where you want the shadows to be - other techniques are using complementary colours (see art textbooks re colour theory). To help you identifying these areas here is a tip I was given: use a bright desk light, hold the figure upside down, and paint those areas that are hit by this light in your darker (i.e. shadow) paints.
    Adding highlights means you use a much whiter/paler version of your colour (again as a wash applied only on those areas). Same tip as above, but this time you hold the figure right-way-up.

    If you done things right, you will see the shape of the figure emerge when you look at it under normal light while squinting your eyes.

    Hope this helps, if not - give a shout.
    KenBoyle likes this.
  4. arj A Fixture

  5. winfield Active Member

    "Wash" is a dangerous term to a new painter. A wash is a lot of liquid with a little paint in it splashed on a figure to apply shadows rather than apply them properly with a brush. It cannot be controlled properly. I think what is intend is the term "glaze" or "filter". These use a little water with the color and dry almost as quickly as applied. This helps with a number of things, not the least of which is tying together the different elements like highlight and shadow to the base color. That wash business is used too often.
  6. Helm A Fixture

    A wash can be controlled quite easily, by careful use of the brush or even by the positioning of the figure, I personally think it's just as "proper" a way of shadowing as brushing each individual shadow
    valiant likes this.
  7. BESPJL Active Member

    Hi Jack10,

    take a look at the videos from MJ miniatures (and others) on Youtube

  8. Steve Ski A Fixture

    Howdy Jack,

    You got some great advise from all the guys, so give er a go and post your results, we'll help you as best as we can. We all started out the same way, so don't be shy if you need another assist.

    I would like to add something that may be useful to you. One useful tool for your bench would be a can of "oven cleaner", like Easy Off. Why? Well, if you feel you've gone too far down the wrong path and would like to recover that figure, just give it a blast of oven cleaner and scrub off the old paint with a tooth brush. If you haven't already sealed the figure with Dullcote or a gloss coat the old paint will come right off. Then just start over and work it again. Whatever you do, don't give up, and make sure you have fun. This is a hobby, not a job. It keeps most of us sane in thata way. Hope that lil bit helps Jack.

    Like I always say, "Let's have some fun sniffin paint and gluin our fingers together!"

    Cheers, Ski.
    Jack10 and Helm like this.

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