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What am I doing wrong?!?

Discussion in 'Painting Techniques' started by CDNTanker25, Nov 18, 2007.

  1. CDNTanker25 New Member

    Hey guys, I know I haven't been around. That's partly because of the figure I'm painting currently. I have stripped this figure about 10 times... and the frustration level is driving me nuts... almost to the point of giving up. The face is the issue here. I have a variety of paints to use, citadel, vallejo, model master flesh tones... With the model masters I get a chalky appearance with the flesh, with the citadel paints I don't get the correct coverage, and with vallejo I can see every brush stroke and it bubbles up.

    I can't use oils because my wife is pregnant and I prefer to use safer materials in our apartment... sooooo... now that I have the vallejos and I have heard nothing but rave reviews, I really want to use them...

    I dilute them a little with water, and add the colour in several thin layers of paint, every layer shows more and more strokes... I try to blend them and then I get tiny chunks of the paint mixed in with the newer blended paint, which not only shows the strokes, but contributes to a chalky look to the flesh... Can someone PLEASE tell me what I'm doing wrong with this, is it my brushes, my paints, or what?!? I am at my wits end with this thing and am going crazy.. LOL
  2. renarts Active Member

    Let each layer dry before proceeding to the next. If you are rushing it, before the paint is dried or cured enough, application of subsequent layers will only serve to soften the paint and lift it, hence the tiny chunks.

    With vallejos the trick is to thoroughly mix to get a good distribution of the pigment. Shake it up, then when you think you've shaken it up enough, shake it some more. Then...shake it for good measure. Once you lay it out on your pallette material or mixing cup, add your water a bit at a time. Again, be sure to mix this so that there is even mixing of water and paint. You want even distribution of paint and water as the water becomes a carrier for the pigment as it mixes with the paints own carrier.
    2 maybe 3 layers should do the trick depending on your mixing.

    The chalkiness you are getting from the MM I've seen with Tamiyas and my conclusion was that it was a combination of two things. Insufficinet mixing of the paint and the chlorine and or mineral content of the water. Distilled water fixed this along with a very thorough mixing of the Tamiya paint. When using the Tamiyas I use one of those little mixers that you insert it into the paint and flip the switch. One of the best tools I've aquired for painting in my opinion. It will even successfully mix and reconstitute enamels that have gone thick.

    Acrylics can be blended if you are fast and add some retarders but that rarely works and for me its too many variables. They are best "blended" via layering and playing with the opacity of the paint and number of layers.
  3. tonydawe A Fixture


    From what you're saying it could be your brushes. What brand do you use?

    Usually brush strokes should disappear as you build up the acrylics over several washes. It you keep it mixed at a consistent paint/ water ratio 1:1 it will fill the surface with an even coat, and build up in the shadow areas, while being slightly thinner on the natural highlight areas.

    When it comes to highlights and shadows, blend the areas where they meet the base colour. I use very thin washes and build them up to create a smooth transition, hope fully having blended any remaining brushstrokes away.

    If your paint is gloopy try mixing it thoroughly on a palette with a few drops of distilled water.

    Apart from that, remember to shake the bottle vigourously before pouring it out.

    I hope this helps and you see some improvement soon. My best advice is to stick at it.


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