Friday, February 15, 2019

Massive Metals 2

Here's a massive example of a figure painted with oil paints, especially the Mig Ammo Oilbrushers.  To give you an idea of size and scale, that base is 60mm!  To work on such large surfaces, using oil paints makes creating subtle blends much easier, as that paint has a much longer working time.

I was even able to "glaze" the rust effects onto the weapons while the other layers were still wet!  Yes, you can do that with oil paint.  You can wait for layers to dry if you want first, but the key principle I mention over and over and over is the idea that thick paint will always stick to thinner paint, and vice versa.

I learned that when I was 11 or 12 years old watching Bill Alexander doing his oil paintings.  He must have said that same phrase a hundred times... just in his thick German accent.

As most of you already know, I LOVE to get a huge variety of shades and tones in my metals... turquoise, purple, reds, blues, etc.  Since puple and green mixed together make gray, it makes sense that placing those colors next to each other here and there will trick the eye into believing it is all gray.

This video shows the Mig Ammo Oilbrushers in action!

There are already several Non Metallic Metal videos on the Patreon Page, covering several miniature ranges, and even entire units!

I will also be doing more videos on large creatures for the Patreon Page.  The $15 Army Painter pledge level will provide access to all videos made over the course of the month, which is usually 12-20 hours of content!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Shining the Light!

Here are some scenes from Episode 10 of my Painting Dark Sword series on the Patreon Page.  I wanted to feature some Object Source Lighting in this video, but also how to get more variety in shades of blue.

I used the Reaper Clear paints quite a bit, in conjunction with the Vallejo Fluorescent paints, as they really go well together.  The Clear paints are very richly pigmented, and can also be thinned down into wonderful glazes.

I even got a chance to utilize some of my home made flower tufts!

Each tutorial is usually 100-120 minutes long, and takes you through every brush stroke, and every concept along the way.  The idea is to present you with as many options and tools as possible, instead of "rules".

I will discuss certain basics, and how using those in your favor can make your life a lot easier, and let you get some very nice looking figures in a drastically reduced time frame.  We have precious little time to work on our own figures, and there seem to be many instances where they never get painted.

That is due as much to the fear of not making them look as good as you would like, especially if they are a more expensive/elaborate figure.  Figures sitting in blisters and boxes don't do us any good, so best to get those painted and on the table/display case!

I try to show how I used the varieties in my blueish tones to set off the greenish glow.  It is pretty apparent that the main focus was making the blue more reddish, if not a blue/purple.  This difference with the greens meant that I could have even more contrast without having to go a lot darker with the blue... or even lighter with the green glow.

I really love the detail on Dark Sword figures, which is why I created the $10 pledge level that features a number of new lessons each month.  You also have access to other tutorials created that month on skin tones, color theory, etc., as all of those are designed to tie into this series!

The Dark Sword series is a real favorite of mine, and Episode 12 is already under way!  You can join in on the tutorials at the $10 level here on the Patreon Page:

Monday, February 11, 2019


The Tannenburg Fusiliers series progresses... on to Episode 2, and the next phase in completing the unit.  This involves a lot of intensive work in those middle tones, where most of the interest can be generated for the viewer.

This is more than just making things lighter.  At this point, you are also trying to work in some color twists, where things are tinted slightly different from the "main" color.  As an example, in the dark blue of the coats, some shadow areas might be a little more green, or even a shade of purple.

When the person looks at it from a distance, it will appear as dark blue.  But when they look closer, that is when they might see those extra tones that were included.

It is very surprising how little it takes to tint one color in a different direction along that color wheel!  Blues have a huge range... from nearly green to almost purple.  Most focus is on how light or dark a color is, but that range of warm to cool, saturated to less saturated plays a huge part in how it is perceived.

Even in this example, the coats are not just darker than the pants... there is a lot more green involved, and there is some brown tossed in as well to make it more muted.  In contrast, the pants have a bit more red in them, and the color is much more saturated.

These are all concepts that are discussed in every episode that I film.  I am nearly finished with Series 6 on the Patreon page, which really dives into this notion of saturated vs unsaturated colors, and how warm or cool a color might be.  Here's a link to the page, where you can check it out:

Here's a link to Episode 2, where I tackle that "middle phase" of working in the mid tones:

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Mushroom Horde!

Who would have thought that sculpting mushrooms could be so much fun?  I sculpted a LOT of little mushrooms for these goblins, and discovered a new material that creates and interesting moss effect.

That new material is the Vallejo Moss and Lichen paint, which is very thin, but dries ultra matte.  You can mix it with regular paint colors to create other effects as well.

The mushrooms were painted with this mix, and the surrounding rocky surfaces too.

I think it is possible to see how each set of mushrooms was done in a "triangle", with one of the mushrooms being the largest, and two smaller ones placed around it.  This is important for composition, as you don't want to have matching sizes placed right next to each other.

Having this variation in sizes and placement makes things look more interesting and natural.

I captured some of this process on film, and it will be a part of my basing series on the Patreon Page!  This will be included with the Basing pledge on the page:

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Always keep it Shiny!

This latest version of Painting Dark Sword had a few things which were very new, and some things that go back several years to the original Painting Pyramid video series!  

For those of you familiar with the way I have been "Primer Painting" the figures in pre shaded fashion, this will look quite different.  I simply brushed on some Badger Stynlrez primer, using the reddish brown color.

From there, I would work in a more 'classic' Shaded Basecoat fashion.

You can also see the reference images of armor in the corners, which were a very helpful guide through the process.

And here it is... that old traditional Shaded Basecoat!  This  means that instead of doing the initial dark glazes over the pre shaded primer, I brush in some middle and lighter tone values.  These will be hit with the glazes in the next phase...

You can see the image on the left which has those glazes, which are meant to shade and add more tones to that Shaded Basecoat.  The image on the right shows how it has progressed further, with the midtones and other lights added.

From there it was time to have some fun with the basing, and I brought out the Green stuff World leaf cutters! I also used a few of my home made flower tufts.

The finished result!  This was a typical episode of Painting Dark Sword... roughly 2 hours long and chock full of tips and techniques.  I try to do more than show you what I am doing.  The goal is to explain WHY I am doing a certain action or using a certain material.

This episode allowed me to show how to get as many colors as possible into your metals, working in glazes that were not only shading and tinting existing colors, but also lightening them.  Yes, glazes are not always darker.  It is possible to add lighter, softer tones in transparent fashion to smooth out certain areas that are rougher.

Again, many of the principles that are discussed in this video harken back to the original Painting Pyramid series of videos, which featured 53 titles covering dozens of painting techniques, specialty effects, 12 basing videos and even 5 terrain videos!  Several of these are now part of my Patreon Page, and I am building off these once again.

You can see those with the $10 Dark Sword pledge, along with tutorial videos on the Black Heart Models busts.

It is hard to believe, but this is already Episode 11 of the Dark Sword series!  I have covered a host of different painting and basing techniques, color theory, OSL, NMM, and more.  As I mentioned before, the Dark Sword pledge level is just $10 per month, and that means hours of tutorials, since you also are provided with other tutorials during the month which feature very specific techniques or concepts.  Here is a link to the page:

Friday, February 8, 2019

Taking the Green

Last week I did a few YouTube Live painting sessions to demonstrate the use of oils on the Song of Ice and Fire miniatures.  In this case, it was a slightly different "alternate" theme for the Night's Watch.  While the overall color set was still meant to be dark, I also had to incorporate a variety of greens, blue greens and grayish greens onto the cloaks and clothes.

Even the bases were treated differently, using my new home made grass and shrub tufts!

In addition to standard oil paints, I also used the Mig Ammo Oilbrushers.  These are very handy, as the containers cannot be damaged or punctured like regular oil paint tubes!  Makes it easier to store and take on the road with you.

I also spend a lot of time showing how to use white spirits, which are very gentle on brushes, paints, and your sense of smell. That is very important... more than you might think.

Over and over again I emphasize the idea that thinner paint will stick to thicker paint, and in reverse too.  The ideal use of the oil paints is discussed... in particular for army painting.

While they can make that process much faster, the key aspect of oil paints is that they don't dry so rapidly, which gives you so much more time to make incredible wet blends across an entire unit all at once!  This would be impossible with standard acrylics.  You might be able to wet blend one... perhaps 2 at a time, but not a dozen, or 2 dozen!

I did my first few live sessions to get a better handle on how that works on YouTube.  Things constantly change in the way you have to set them up, so I started out by using those oils, where I could relax a bit, and not be as frenzied as the usual acrylic lessons :-)

Here's a link to the first live YouTube Session:

This is the follow up session a few days later:

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Feeling Hexed?

I don't do dark color schemes very often, and I paint heavily weathered dark color schemes even less!  This is one of those rare times, and it is for the Hexenheim Stormtroopers  made by Victoria Miniatures.

Here's a link to the store where you can see how the various parts work together:

It can be challenging enough to keep a "compressed" color scheme interesting, but when it is this dark you have to find those variations wherever possible.  That might mean putting a touch of dark green in the shadows of something which seems reddish, or putting some blueish tints in coats that are supposed to be a warm gray.

That can be even more important when you are going to add weathering effects like mud spatter.

On these figures, the mud spatter had to be a warm tan color, so the coats had to be a 'neutral' tone.  Ideally that would be slightly cooler, because the warm mud tones would contrast with that a little more.

Of course, having very bright and saturated elements like the glowing eye pieces and the targeting lights help to make a good place for the eye to focus on.  

Normally I work in much brighter and saturated color ranges.  However, it is possible to get far more color into a so called limited palette.

Here's a link to the Broolian Beastmen video, which also involved a "compressed" color range: