Saturday, 19 July 2014

Handy Painting

After a painting session my hand will very often end up looking like this;

I hope to explain in this post, why this isn't quite as insane as it may seem, and also how a hand can be invaluable tool in any miniature painter's arsenal.

Sometimes, when you're blending two similar colours (e.g. red to purple), a cheat shortcut can be taken.
The internet will almost always suggest glazing, wet blending, or two brush blending to get a smooth gradient, whilst i too mostly use them, the sneaky thumb smudge can save ages sometimes!

The OSL on this riptide's gun on the purple, was done by applying orange paint, thumb smudging, and repeating that a couple of times to get the gradient, then just painting in solid orange, the edge closest the light source.

*Slight warning with this technique: It will only work with certain close colours and often only on small flat areas, however I use it occasionally when I can since its just so good at time saving!

Secondly, the hand is a good test for consistency, if I'm making a glaze to colour a part of a model, building up a good blend needs each paint layer to be translucent and thin enough to apply.  My surefire test I use, is to apply the thinned paint to the side of my thumb; it should flow into the lines of your hand and only lightly tint raised areas between the lines.  If it all flows into the recesses, it needs to be thicker, whilst if it produces a too solid line, i know to add more medium.
To me, tissue paper or a pallet is no comparison, they won't demonstrate the effect the glaze strength will have on raises and recesses in the same way.
Plus, this quick check will allow me to easily remove excess fluid from the bristles before applying to the model.

Some recent glazing I was quite pleased with:

I always find painting the blood effects on a miniature, can be the most satisfying part of the process. Im sure many warriors in the 41st millennium often dismember an enemy to find a spray of blood explode in all directions. Awesome gore, so how to do it on your models?  I use red and gloss varnish mix (although the GW Blood for the Blood God effects paint works too)
Chop the bristles short on an old brush, apply paint, pull back on the bristles and letting loose
splatters of gore onto the surface you aim at.

Another experiment i tried was to use my finger's texture to lightly apply an uneven soft patch of blue, to make a nebulae pattern on parts of this razor wing jet fighter:

What hand uses have you found for your own painting?
Has anyone been convinced by this post to try out any of these techniques?


  1. Looks messy haha.

    That is amazing though. Any reason a finger is better than a sponge? Or just personal preference?

  2. For testing paint consistency, I think a sponge would be too absorbent.
    For the star pattern, I think a sponge could work just a well.
    For smudging on the riptide gun, I could see a sponge being too course to get the blend smooth perhaps, although I haven't tried, I guess that's personal preference.

  3. Just spit-balling here, but I could in theory use the same method you use for blood splatter for mud or dirt being kicked up by explosions right?

  4. You certainly could, just using brown paint instead. The important thing to remember is
    to flick the brush from the point and direction it would naturally come from, so for mud it will mostly likely be at an upwards angle coming from the base.

    Although for larger mud lumps, manually applying a small amount of texture paint e.g. Stirland mud could also work.

  5. Good to know, I was planning on having my highlanders be alittle feral, and I think blood and mud will give the effect of wild fury or something. I will contrast well with the nice shiny breastplates and blue kilts. Now to decide on the color of the beret and waagh... war paint

  6. Sound good :)
    If you're going for a feral look you could have the cloth teared and armour scratched / worn, there's a few things about that in my latest post if you're interested.

  7. I saw that, but it doesn't really go into the knife work, and last time I tried to do that kinda stuff, I accidently made one of my SM Razor-backs unviable for service by drilling a hole a little too deep and wide

  8. All the weathering is painted on just to look like it's chipped or worn, so no need for any knifes, drills, or cutting plastic away :)

    1. Info that + more, in my Warzone Weathering 2 tutorial coming this Wednesday / Thursday..

    2. Next time on Equinox Painting: Stuff, and more stuff
      My main issue would have been to add a torn, ragged edge to the kilts