Reply To: Painting tutorials, tips, tricks…

MMP Mithril in Middle-Earth The Art Gallery of Mayor Samwise Painting tutorials, tips, tricks… Reply To: Painting tutorials, tips, tricks…


    I figured I’d share some of the stuff I’ve found helpful when it comes to painting. I only paint with acrylics, so some of these may not be too useful to oils painters, but bear with me. :)

    I plan to post links to tutorials and SBS’s (step by steps) as well. Some of them are geared more for larger scales, but the basic idea and color mixes still work.

    Feel free to post anything you’ve found helpful as well.

    First, some tips and tricks:

    Red hardly ever covers well. Adding a touch of burnt umber helps a lot. Adding burnt umber to white helps too. Never start with pure white. Save it for only the highest of highlights. (One of the links I’ll post will have a tutorial for painting white.)

    Adding white to red for a highlight makes the color too pink (unless you want pink). Adding flesh instead of white isn’t so pink. Another way to shade red is to have the red be the highest of highlights and start darker.

    Be sure to dilute the paint enough. Give or take, the paint should roughly be the texture of whole milk. Lots and lots of thin layers is better than one thick layer. (As a note, I use Vallejo and some artist acrylics, so I have those specifically in mind when I say that.) If the paint is properly diluted, you will need to touch the brush to a paper towel or piece of cotton cloth to remove excess paint or it will flow all over the place. Just a quick touch will do and give much more control over where the paint goes.

    According to color theory, to make a shadow color, add the complementary color (red-green, blue-orange, violet-yellow). This also works to tone down a color a bit and make it look more natural. (Just a note though, to make a shadow for, say, violet, black or another dark shade is needed to go with the yellow.) More on color theory to come.

    Trying experimenting with colors and shades.

    Keep a log of favorite color mixes or if you’re working on a fig record the mixes so when you come back to it, you don’t have to guess or start all over again.

    If you’re painting something black don’t start with black as a base color (unless, of course you prime black, then you’re working up from black on every color). Make it a dark, dark gray.

    If you want to know what the color bias is, add white to it. (For the brown and gray shades, mostly. The purpose is finding shades that work well together.)

    There is a TON of information out there on the internet, but nothing quite replaces face to face interaction. If there is any kind of painting club in your area and/or painting competition (they usually go hand in hand), find it. You can pick up a lot of things up from other people, especially when the work is in the flesh. Plus, it’s fun to see other people’s work. Even if it’s a historical type club, they are on the whole, nice guys and happy to share.