Painting tutorials, tips, tricks…

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

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  • #271
    Wendy
    Participant

    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.

    #2269
    Wendy
    Participant

    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.

    #2270
    Wendy
    Participant

    Here’s a tutorial for metallics that I’ve found very useful. It’s pretty advanced, but anyone can give it a try. Now, there isn’t much full on armor in the Mithril range, but the idea is still useful for scale and mail also. I had read that you should never mix water with metallics. Well, now I do after reading this tutorial. (I use mostly artist acrylics for my metallics too, which are thicker. I don’t like Vallejo – when I drybrush with Vallejo metallics, the sparkles go everywhere and don’t come off. It’s a pain in the butt if you’ve painted anything before that or are just doing touch ups. I do really like the Vallejo Metal Medium though. It’s great for toning down sparkliness of other metallic paints and use on highlights and things like that. Of course you can use it to make other colors metallic too.)

    http://www.mainlymedieval.com/ozpainters/viewtopic.php?t=878

    To give proper credit, I found this link posted by PrawnPower at The Basement (http://www.tbforum.co.uk/index.php), a Brit forum with a nice mix of minis and larger scales.

    #2271
    Wendy
    Participant

    Another tutorial section that I’ve found helpful is over at the El Greco site. My friend Stephen Mallia put them together. (I met him at a show, but first “met” him over at PlanetFigure.com.) Not everything applies to Mithril’s, but there’s some useful stuff that does. I really like his white mixes that can be found under his “Painting Tutorial”.

    The link is:

    http://www.elgrecominiatures.co.uk/

    Click on TUTORIALS on the left hand side. Because of the design of page, I can’t link directly to the tutorials.

    #2310
    Wendy
    Participant

    Here’s the technique for basic drybrushing for metals (mail, swords, etc.):

    Paint area black (be sure to dilute the paint enough, otherwise it might cover some detail like mail). Multiple light coats are better than one heavy coat. The brush to use is a very dry brush (not a good one – this technique ruins brushes – so use an old worn out one, the more worn out, the better). Dip the brush a bit in the paint (not too much paint – you’ll see why). Now, wipe most of the paint off on a paper towel, a piece of cotton fabric (it’s the ideal for the serious painter – no fuzz or anything comes off it), or the like. Now that most of the paint has been wiped off the brush, lightly run the brush over the parts you want metallic. Again, it’s way easier to add more paint than remove it, so go light. It may take a little practice, but it’s one of the easier technique that gives really dramatic results. The effect is to have the black show through the mail which acts as a shadow and the metallics are the highlight rather than painting it all straight metallic and relying on the figure itself for shadows. It’s the same idea with helms and swords – any recesses are darker than higher points giving much more depth. If you want to go fancier, try out some of the stuff from the metallics tutorial I posted above or you can mix and match and experiment with all the methods, like putting a few washes on something you’ve dry brushed or add some highlights with a lighter metallic color. It’s all up to you.

    I mentioned earlier what I use for my metallics and why, but it’s really a matter of taste. Just figure out what works for you. :)

    #2314
    Gavin
    Participant

    My tip for skins for Mithril:

    I start with a basecoat mix of
    Game Colour Pale Flesh
    Model Colour Light Flesh (av928)
    and
    Model Colour Cork Brown (av 843). Add a tad more cork to the mix to get a darker fleshy colour. Now dilute it so the paint it runny.

    Carefully paint the flesh mix onto the figure’s skin. You want it good and dilute so you don’t lose any of the soft Mithril facial features.

    Wash the skin with Cork Brown (AV 843).

    Now highlight the face with a 1:1:1 mix of the flesh tones above.
    Highlight that with a little Ivory. Add extra ivory as desired. (I used GW “Bleached Bone” on occassion too).

    Also: get a good brush (which is what I am doing tommorrow!)

    Gavin

    #2317
    ddaines
    Participant

    That’s an excellent series of tips there Wendy and Gavin – I love the end result of the painted figure! When I get some time I will look further into the links you posted ;).

    Dave.

    #2325
    Wendy
    Participant

    :(:/ Sigh :/:( Every once in a while Vallejo bottles will clog, especially as it gets older. Don’t just squeeze it harder as the whole top can (and probably will :mad::rolleyes:) pop off, spewing a whole lot of paint. To avert disaster, keep a paper clip close by when painting and use it to poke a hole through the clog. Yes, it is the voice of experience talking.

    #2326
    Gavin
    Participant

    Yes.

    This is wisdom.

    #2330
    ddaines
    Participant
    Wendy wrote:
    :(:/ Sigh :/:( Every once in a while Vallejo bottles will clog, especially as it gets older. Don’t just squeeze it harder as the whole top can (and probably will :mad::rolleyes:) pop off, spewing a whole lot of paint. To avert disaster, keep a paper clip close by when painting and use it to poke a hold through the clog. Yes, it is the voice of experience talking.

    Been there!!!! :/

    #2333
    Wendy
    Participant

    Here’s a link to a Vallejo color combination chart that show suggestions for base, shadow, and highlight. In the tutorial on Vallejo’s site, they list them, but here they are pictured with the corresponding number. Seeing the combinations is nice because it’s useful even if you don’t have the particular color.

    http://www.timelinesforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6497

    #2621
    Wendy
    Participant

    Here’s something. This is a color guide for non-metallic metals (NMM). NMM is painting a metal object like swords and armor without using metallic paints. I’ve been wanting to try this, but haven’t gotten up the guts to yet.

    http://homepage.mac.com/thminiatures/Sites/anglais/html/astuces/couleursnmm.html

    #13416
    durga
    Participant

    Of course you can! That would be great! Thanx!!

    #13425
    hsf62
    Participant

    Very interesting link Master durga. Thank you for this, even if it has not much to do with miniature painting! 😎

    #13724
    Arthadan
    Participant

    Hows to paint marble:

    http://hot-lead.org/advance/texturing_marble.htm

    Wouldn’t be nice a white marble floor for the White Council? :rolleyes:

    And a bunch of tutorials for the Spanish-speaking people: http://spanish-team.blogspot.com/search/label/tutorial

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