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Wet on Try technique

Discussion in 'Oils' started by TERRYSOMME1916, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. grasshopper A Fixture

    Ron is the man..more knowledge and generosity than any ten combined..his point re the paint film is consistent with Painting Best Practices, for those interested there is a FB group dedicated to same, and loads of info on the Natural Pigments site..it’s 1/1 stuff..but much to learn of interested in pigments, longevity...
  2. Babelfish A Fixture

    I use that as well, and find that it works like a charm. Not cheap, but it does what it's supposed to do.

    Some guys swear by drying boxes, so I had one made. For some reason though I've never been able to achieve the results I want to with it and it's been a bit of a disappointment. I tend not to bother with it now.

    - Steve
  3. TERRYSOMME1916 A Fixture

    Hi Steve it might have been you who told me about the Matting agent many moons ago and although I got some then I am only getting down experimenting with it now and getting OK results that I am still trying to improve on, but I am getting a matter finish that I can live with on this particular WW1 BUST.
    Wet on dry blending is the issue that we are trying to overcome and get tips on and when using slow drying oils this can be tricky and go badly wrong if the drying base coat gets attacked by the new top coat of oils and this is maybe were using different types of thinning agents could possibly create problems, I used the matting agent on the tunic shadows and highlights and got away with it so I will move on to the ammo pouches next, fingers crossed.
    Dolf likes this.
  4. Dolf Well-Known Member

    "Hi Dolf lots of good advice landing in from the guys, since I put out my cry for help I have been trying out some of the suggestions and although I am not there yet I am getting some results and learning along the way so here are some pointers that may be of help."

    Thank you very much Terry, really appreciate your help and opinions (y)

    "The Matting Agent is Abteilung 502 Matt Effect Thinner"

    Thanks a lot. If I can find it I'll give it a try.

    "I have attached some pics of what I am getting based on the above system"

    Your bust is coming up very nicely, so you're obviously getting good results with the technique you're using.
    I like that matt finish better than uniforms and other cloth looking shinny (which doesn't seem realistic to me).

    I'll have to work harder and practice more, so one day I may get the results I wish ;)


  5. Dolf Well-Known Member

    "Key to avoiding 'shine' is to apply a very thin layer of paint....this refers to the actual thickness of the layer....and not the need to add thinners itself."

    Which is the main fault I've been doing often :(

    "Another point to consider is this...it is of great benefit to use a clean dry brush to take off some of the paint after application...to keep the layer as thin as possible....which aids drying times...and avoids the shine...but the trick is to wait a little while before doing this....this is to allow the pigment to stain/grip on to the undercoat....which in turn aids the perceived coverage/density of colour."

    Thanks. I guess that is easy, intuitive, for people who have a deep/good knowledge about paints (oil or others), but can be a real issue for folks who know nothing about paints.

    I've tried your "thin down" method, with a dry ladies' brush over some parts of oil paints. But there is a big problem for a total ignorant on oils as myself, which is not knowing some basic stuff, as for instance, how long to wait before "thinning down" the paint with a dry ladies' brush. If waiting too long, the result may be catastrophic, as the paint won't uniformely be removed/thinned down, as some parts may be a little dryer than others. If not waiting long enough, well, all the original paint may come out with the dry ladies's brush...
    Guess it needs a lot of practice for achieving the best results. And above all understanding oils, pigments, and all that, which... I don't...


  6. grasshopper A Fixture

    Just do it...asking endless questions is confusing you...just get with the program and put down some paint, explore for yourself...as funds permit get a few more colours...
    Nap and Dolf like this.
  7. kagemusha A Fixture

    Ok....I am calling you out on your remarks to my earlier post (above)
    You and I both know that I spent a lot of time explaining both my technique....and the normal application of oils through PM's and e-mails.
    I went to great lengths to give you a lot of useful information on just about every applicable scenario to do with tools (brushes)....pigments....drying times....and as many tips and tricks as I possibly could....and explaining each individual step along the way to the finished result....including colours....brands....and also what to avoid and why.
    This also included comprehensive notes and links to pieces to illustrate what I tried to get across to you....even going as far as to send you a considerable number of different types of brushes from my stock.
    Everyone knows that to achieve any kind of worthwhile result takes time....practice...and patience....the understanding comes from putting the time and effort into these very things.
    Quite why you chose to respond to my post in that manner confuses me....but so be it...I have made my position clear now...and will no longer comment further.
    Nap, DEL and grasshopper like this.
  8. Dolf Well-Known Member

    "Quite why you chose to respond to my post in that manner confuses me...."

    Ron, would you please let me know what actually confuses you on my previous reply? I also feel a bit confused here...

    As for the rest of your post, yes, you're right.
    I believe I thanked you for every piece of advice (and the brushes) you offered.


  9. Dolf Well-Known Member


    I don't think I'm the kind of getting confused for questioning more, I think this is enlightening when people with different opinions, all of them valuable, share their ways of doing the same things, and getting, with different techniques, so good and even great results.
    It's IMHO part of the reasons for Forums like this one to exist, sharing knowledge. This allows others to grow, on their own path. And it keeps the flame alive and well.

    And you're absolutely right, while reading & getting hints and evolving on my own learning process, I also put down some paint, and just mix it to see the results, and test it, and explore my learning process at the same time.
    Theory without practice doesn't work, or it's lost, or it's just there not being useful, so better use it ;)


  10. grasshopper A Fixture

    Dolf, don’t wear out your welcome with others generosity of their experience. Maybe show what you are working on and how your may be incorporating these ideas
  11. DEL A Fixture

    ...... and here was me thinking I was doing just fine:eek: . Thoroughly mixing the oil paint....painting it on thinly ...... wiping off excess ........ and as they say Bob's your aunties husband.
    kagemusha likes this.
  12. Dolf Well-Known Member


    Can you please define "wear out"? Thanks.

    I've done just that, yesterday or so:


    As a novice, having my ever 1st experience of painting an entire 120mm figure with only oils, I fully know I'm doing errors (I can see other people's work) so I'm fully open to suggestions, critiques, as long as everything remains civil and constructive.

    Not one comment so far.


  13. Wayneb A Fixture

    It just amazes me how many of you guys have to be spoon fed...……...Trial and error...That's how you learn......It's just Feck'n amazing...…...

    grasshopper, kagemusha and Nap like this.
  14. grasshopper A Fixture

    Dolf I just offered some thoughts on your piece..now get on with it..people are fed up
  15. Dolf Well-Known Member

    "Dolf I just offered some thoughts on your piece..now get on with it.."

    I saw that. Even though I don't really understand what you mean, thanks anyway.

    I didn't stop working on it while asking questions here, one does not block the other...

    "people are fed up"

    Well, if people (what people btw?...) "are fed up" then what's the goal of places like this Forum, where you'll always have beginners, posting beginners questions, and you'll always have advanced masters, and even pros painters, who have mastered the art of painting figurines, it's inevitable.
    IMHO (and based on what I master), feeling "fed up" with beginners questions doesn't say much in favor of those who may feel "fed up"... but that's just my 2 cents worthy...


  16. grasshopper A Fixture

    Enough I quit ..
    yellowcat and kagemusha like this.
  17. Ronaldo A Fixture

    "but the trick is to wait a little while before doing this....this is to allow the pigment to stain/grip on to the undercoat....which in turn aids the perceived coverage/density of colour." That is very sound advice, also it allows some evaporation which helps.

    Truth is oils to the beginner can be a total minefield as different pigments have different drying times and all sorts of qualities.

    My experience with using a card to soak out the oil causes the paint to drag .

    What I am noticing these days is that some of the top painters are using very subdued highlights on the dark colours Esp Blues and Greens ; giving a very clean finish .
    kagemusha and grasshopper like this.
  18. Steve Edwards Active Member

    I agree with all the advice here, the best way to improve your painting is to paint!

    But love reading these discussions as you can learn so much from your fellows. When I first started painting miniatures in the late 1970's I had to learn everything by experimenting. I used to paint Historex with Humbrol enamels and then I mixed Winton (remember them?) oil paint, white or black into the Humbrol to light and shade. Paint the highlight and then, working quickly with a fresh brush, feather the highlight colour into the body colour. Repeat for a second highlight and then do the shading. Quite nice results but a bit prone to matt and shiny spots. Later I turned to oils exclusively, often on a Humbrol base coat.

    Inspired by the wonderful displays in the "Under Two Flags" shop in London (what a great shop!) I changed to painting white metal miniatures, mainly Chota Sahib. And my paints changed. Flesh, horses and washes for rifle stocks etc. were still oils but all else were water-based Rose Miniatures colours and Pelikan Plaka. Rose gold powders and Humbrol steel for metals. Humbrol Grey 34 as a primer. Black leather was painted with Dylon Black shoe dye. This was a amazing discovery; water based shoe dye that would shrink and dry rapidly to a satin finish perfect for shading and weathering. Life was simpler in those days as we did not have much choice in our media.

    Fast forward to today and there are so many different paints to choose from that you don't know what to use. Look at what we have: traditional oils, water based oils, artist's acrylics, acrylic gouache, modeller's acrylics, blah, blah, blah. The list is endless. I have acquired more paints than you can shake a stick at but my painting is becoming increasingly crap as my eyesight is shot and my stupid hands shake. Painting seems to take forever and I am seriously considering assembling all my models and spraying them in grey primer. Then straight into the display cabinet, like Biscuit Porcelain. L'Armee Gris. I weep when I contrast the beautiful detail of an MM when it is in the grey to how it looks after I have finished smearing paint all over it. But we must not give in to these dark thoughts, keep trying. The next one will be better.

    Here's a few thoughts that I would like to share about paint. Sorry if I'm repeating things you already know:

    I have not found the perfect paint. I enjoy using acrylics but then I miss the smell of linseed oil and turpentine. Mainly though I miss the handling and blending qualities of oils. Oil paint is so addictive, solvent abuse is another story but oil paint on the palette just feels good. What is the perfect paint?

    Blending acrylics. I find that acrylics dry too quickly for blending. If you like using acrylics, buy some retarder to keep the paint open for longer and try blending wet on wet. Buy some matt or glaze medium so that you can paint your lights, mids and darks and then glaze thin coats of the base colour over to soften the transitions. I can recommend both the Vallejo and Liquitex products.

    Matt finish for acrylics. This is an ongoing discussion that never ends. Acrylic paint sometimes dries to a satin finish. If you have any issues with satin or glossy finish with your acrylics then invest in a pot of Tamiya X-21 Flat Base. A little dab in the mix gives you a dead matt finish and a little goes a long way. Which is good news because you only get 10ml in the pot. I have had the same pot for ages and there's loads left but I would prefer that the paint dried to a matt finish without my having to do anything. Vallejo Model Color is prone to separation and must be throughly shaken or stirred or you will get a shiny finish. Life Color dries matt and does not separate easily. Same for Andrea. When painting Napoleonics, I have the colours I need in both Andrea and Vallejo but I always pick up the Andrea because it's more convenient. I am currently experimenting with Liquitex Artists Gouache and will let you know the results. I think I spend more time buggering about with paint than painting.

    Matt finish for oils. This is another forever discussion and everything in this thread is of interest. Oils usually dry to a glossy finish which may matt with time but it depends on the colour, the manufacturer, the time of the year and quarter of the moon and whether or not you put it in your special drying box. As many contributors advise, leaching out the oil on cardboard is not always a good idea as it makes the paint too dry and hard to work. But I find that new tubes (especially Winsor & Newton) do seem excessively oily and then it is a good idea to use the cardboard but only for about 30 minutes or so. Should you want a guaranteed matt finish for oils then you need to use a medium. I have used Spectrum Matt Spectragel several times and it consistently gives a dead flat matt finish. It's a thixotropic gel, which means its a horrid gloopy substance which you mix into your paint. It softens into a liquid as you mix and it improves the flow qualities of the paint making it easy to brush into a thin coat. A little bit goes a long way, however the smallest pot is 250ml which is enough for a lifetime. It's available from Ken Bromley in the UK.

    Mixed media. Recently I started painting a Tommy's War figure and wondered whether I could repeat the old Humbrol and Winton method. I can't bring myself to paint WW1 khaki in oils; oil paint is for the Imperial Guard. Khaki has to be in utilitarian acrylic. I painted the base coat with a few layers of Andrea khaki and let it dry throughly. Then I mixed Andrea khaki with Winsor & Newton Artisan Oils Naples Yellow, a water soluble oil paint. I was expecting it to turn lumpy and useless but no, it mixed perfectly. I dipped my brush into Liquitex retarder and mixed it all in. Then, working quickly, painted the highlights and feathered the paint using another brush. Let it dry and then did the lighter lights. When it was all dry, I mixed the Khaki with Vallejo glaze medium and painted a light coat over the top. The result was a matt finish and nicely blended transitions. I never thought that it would work but it did. Amazing.
    Dolf and billyturnip like this.
  19. Ronaldo A Fixture

    can't bring myself to paint WW1 khaki in oils; oil paint is for the Imperial Guard. Khaki has to be in utilitarian acrylic. (y)
  20. Jeff T A Fixture

    Brilliant post Ron!

    I haven't painted with oils for a long time, but after reading your post, I can see where I was going wrong a lot with dealing with the shine.A lot of good points here to remember if I pick them up again, which I sometines do with model aircraft seats and belts etc.

    Great info!

    kagemusha likes this.

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