Archive for Oktober 2012

Theory Tutorial: Making REALLY smooth blendings!

Hey there ladies and gentlemen, dear painters!

Today i want to show you how you get really smooth blendings on mid-to-large areas such as armor, cloaks, horses and so on. As always in miniature painting, i did not invented this technique, just fund it really useful for myself and wanted to share it with you.

So let´s start with a graphical image, showing you the painting steps. I use this process with glazing technique (buildung up a gradient with many thinned down layers). But it should also work with wet-blending and layering as well.

click on the image to zoom.

Step 1: Paint the surface with your basecolor. Easy step, no magic here.

Step 2: Build up your highlights. Also, nothing special here. Just paint your highlights as you always do.

Step 3: Now here comes the important part! Blend the colors back from your highlights to your basecolor. Wait, why am i doing this? I do it because maybe i made some mistakes in the gradient or it is chalky or it is just not smooth. By blending back, i am smoothing the transitions between the colors. I am using more diluted paint than in the second step.

 The main reason on blending the whole gradient again but reverse is caused by the simple fact, that it is easier to blend a dark color on an existing lighter color than vice versa. ;)

Step 4: Build up your shadows as usual.

Step 5: Repeating the magic. Again you blend back this gradient to your basecolor. But here you have to be careful, using more diluted than in step 4.

Step 6: Now, when your blending is smooth, you can "unify" the colors with a really really diluted layer of basecolor (more colored wather than thinned paint). After that you can place the final highlights.

And with this process, making blendings on large surfaces smoother is a bit easier now. :)

I hope you found this Tutorial useful, even when it was´nt a practical one.

New Project uprising!

Hey there ladies and gentlemen, dear painters!

There is a new project on the horizon. It will be a unit of Vampire Counts Black Knights!

Following my internal checklist of minimizing failure due to bad planning, i will paint the bases first! Here you see the build bases primed.

The painting of the bases and of course the minis themselves will be also a good possibility of making some more tutorials and step by step articles! :)

Something really different!

Hey there ladies and gentlemen, dear painters.

Today i´m coming to you guys with a scale model of an 2010 Camaro SS my wife has built. I painted this model with the Brush (as i still don´t have an airbrush^^). Scale is 1:24.

I hope you like it!

Brush comparison

Hey there ladies and gentlemen, dear painters!

Today i´m coming to you guys with a comparison of two brush-ranges that are often used in miniature painting. I will tell you something about the differences in general and a subjective description about the different characteristics while painting.

Let us start with the Windsor and Newton Series 7:

This brush is tought to be the world´s best and finest watercolor brushes. One point i have to state immediately: These brushes are killer! They are absolutely awesome for miniature painting. When i bought some of these, i had just used Games Workshop brushes before and obviously there are whole universes between those ranges.

The W&N Series 7 comes in two versions: standard and miniature. The miniature version just have shorter bristles. I´ll talk about this later.

The Series 7 is made of finest kolinsky hair, which is known to be the best hair for miniature painting purposes. They have a round shape, a big belly and long hair so they can load much thinned paint or water. There are two points abut the series 7 brushes, that make them so great:

- Point: These brushes hold their points absolutely well! They don´t spread up their bristles under normal painting circumstances. Even with a big brush of size 3 or even bigger, it is possible to paint smallest details!

- Snap: A Snap is the ability of the bristles to bend into one direction and after lifting the brush from the surface, the bristles "snap" back to their previous position. The Series 7 performs this Snap absolutely brilliant!

This about Series 7, now let´s talk about the Rapael Series 8404: 

I bought these brushes one week ago, after getting back to painting and i had a strange feeling about the Series 7: i suddenly felt no longer as great as before with my brushes. So i ordered some Raphael brushes, which i alwasy wanted to test.

What meets the eye first are the longer hairs of the Raphael brushes. Due to the length the snap is not as "hard" as the Series 7 ones, but still VERY good. While not having such a distinct belly than the W&N, the Series 8404 still load as much paint/water as the W&N.

I have to admit: these are my new favourites! It is subjective, but i was able to control the colur better! I made better blendings with these brushes. I still love my Series 7 and use them a lot, but the Raphaels definetely charmed me. A new love. :)

What is important about brushes? What to remember?

- Brushes are a tool! Better (and more expesive) brushes don´t make you a better painter. But they help you, controlling paint better and achieving better results. But every new brush from a different range needs a small time of practice because of different characteristics.

- You have to experiment! You have to treat brushes the same way like paints and techniques: experiment. you won´t find the perfect brush for your painting style, if you don´t test around. :)

- Take care of them, love them! Clean your brushes after every session, handle them gently, look after them. These are too good servants (and by the way too expensive) to mess around with them.

I hope you found this little comparison useful. Feel free to aks some questions if you miss some information. :)


Wight King finished!

Hey there ladies and gentlemen, dear painters!

Today i´ll bring you my finished Wight King. I painted this miniature to get back to hobby after a 2 months break (these 2 months felt like 2 jears!). I am very pleased with the final result.

I hope you like him :)

Here you can vote: Wight King on CMON

Greetings, Solmar

Step by step: NMM Steel sword

Hey there ladies and gentlemen, dear painters!

Today i´ll bring you the step by step article, how i painted the sword of my Wight King. :)

Let´s get started right away:

First, i basecoated the blade with a mixture of codex grey and a tip of VMC Dark Sea Blue.

Next, i worked into the shadows on both sides of the blade. Here i started the shading with the basecoat and a bit more Dark Sea Blue.

Further shadows with more Dark Sea Blue and a tip of black.

And at final shading step, nearly pure black was used in the deepest shadows.

Now it´s time to highlight! Basecoat color plus a tip of VMC Pale Blue, this and the previous used Dark Sea Blue will help to get a steel-color-feeling on the blade.

Slowly building up highlights with some VMC Ivory into the previous mix.

And final highlights with pure Ivory and White.

Final step! Draw a thin line in the middle of the blade by using the side of the brush (was not easy on this sword, as the edge in the middle was not sharp). Also i glazed some dark brown into the mid-to-shadow tones to get more color into the steel. Added tiny light reflections also. These are not necessary but i wanted to give them a try this time.

Again, i hope you´ll find this useful and like it. :)

Cheers, Solmar

Battle of the Brushes!

Hey there ladies and gentlemen, dear painters!

Some brush-comparison is coming. As some of you might have heard, im currently painting with Windsor & Newton Series 7 brushes (long version). These are really great, no doubt! But after my brake i had the feeling that my brushes don´t exactly fit my painting habits and style to a 100% degree.

So i ordered a range of new Brushes! This time i will have a try on the Raphael Series 8404.

I ordered them last week and they are about to arrive today. So i will post some quick "first impressions" after the first painting session. And a more detailed comparison after some time ;)

So stay tuned. Also, the Wight King gets nearer to the finish, as just the sword has to be painted. :)

Regards, Solmar

Step by step: Painting a freehand design

Hey there ladies and gentlemen, dear painters!

Today i´m coming to you with a step by step article about the question "How do i paint a freehand design?". As this is not a tutorial, but a step by step, i don´t say you HAVE to do it the same way. I`m just showing you how i achieved my result. Maybe it is useful for you.

Let´s get started!

First, i try to imagine, what the freehand should look in the end. Is it a tribal/floral design (like in this case) or is it a whole picture? I drew my design on paper before starting on the mini.

A a next step, i tried to paint the same design onto my Wight Kings cloak. I did this with a softlead pencil, as in my case it is easier to get the lines in place for the first time, without the bending bristles of a brush. ;)

Next comes the (for me) most difficult step. I have to paint the lines with the basecolor (i wanted to achieve a golden Ornament) of the design. Take your time, but don´t be afraid, if it does not look perfect. You can correct any mistakes later.

Basecolor in this case was snakebite leather with a little tip of bestial brown.

From now on the absolut fun begins, as it is not dificult from this stage on. ;) Simply paint the first highlight on the lines. Place the highlights near the prominent parts of the cloak. First highlight here was snakebite leather with a tip of bleached bone.

Next step: enhance highlights. Here with more bleached bone into the previous mix.

Again: MOAR highlights, even MOAR bleached bone ;) I also shaded the lines in the cloaks recesses with a mixture of snakebite leather and dark flesh. Not too dark, just to define the lines more.

We come close to the end, now i corrected and sharpened the ornament by painting thinned chaos black as an (barely visibly) outline. This is the step where you can correct any errors, if your underground is not too complicated or irregular in color.

And as a final step: some extreme highlights with pure skull white. And this is it, the ornament is ready. :)