Advanced Painting Techniques

Video demonstrations will accompany this article soon but for now, I hope the descriptions are helpful.

Pushing/Pulling
Wet-blending
Stippling
Wet-in-Wet Blending
Two Brush Blending/Spit Blending


Wet-blending

This requires fewer transition colours but more work and usually some retarder, even with a wet palette, unless the area to be blended is very small. You can simply lay down two lines of paint and merge them together with your brush and then repeat for each successive transition colour. Alternatively, you can paint with lots of tiny strokes and add the transition colours as you go, however, this second method doesn’t always give the best results and may require you to work backwards and forwards making corrections and over a large area you run the risk of not keeping the transition even. It is easier to control the transition if you work from light to dark as dark colours tend to have stronger pigments making it harder to work from dark to light.


Stippling

This is usually used to add texture and can be applied in two ways but either way, it’s best applied over a blended base layer. With a stiff haired brush with very little paint on, as for dry-brushing, just touch the surface of the miniature with the tips of the bristles and you will get a dotted effect. Use a darker colour in the shadows and a lighter colour over the highlights. This method is better used for adding mud using dry pigments mixed with a little matt acrylic medium. You will get a random pattern of mud and you can build up some areas to be lumpier as you see fit.

The second method is to use a sable brush, though not a new one as this can be a brush killer but one that still has a point, to paint lots of tiny dots all over the area to be textured. Again, the blending underneath should be used as a guide to your choice of colour but overlapping the tones will add to the feeling of texture being picked out by tiny highlights.


Wet-in-Wet Blending

This is similar to wet-blending but instead of blending two coloured areas of paint, you blend one area of paint with a transparent film of water. Wet the whole area with a fairly generous, but not too generous, coat of water, acrylic medium or a dilute/retarded paint. You want enough so that it doesn’t dry immediately but not so much that it swamps the surface of the miniature. Next, add less dilute paint or a heavy wash into the places you want it. This will bleed into the wet surface creating a transition and can be smoothed out and controlled with the tip of a clean brush. This is a good substitute for lining.


Two Brush Blending/Spit Blending

You can apply a similar technique to the above but the other way by applying paint roughly where you want it and then with a moist brush, or a little acrylic medium, make passes along the edge to thin the paint there. The opaque paint will give you the shadow or highlight you want and the translucent edge will show the layer underneath creating the blend.