Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Your palette and you... being best buddies

I bet you all thought you were going to see another Bilbo's bash battle report, didn't you?  Well, you will be seeing one soon, but before that, I thought you might have some fun with this.

We start with a basic sort of base, using cork, some textured plasticard, oxide paste, and even some junk resin sprues.  The base size  is 80mm, by the way.

Many people ask about what my palette is like.  I try to show that more and more in my "how to" posts, such as the Great Eagle from CMON.

This is very typical of how I lay out my colors.  I don't think in terms of "space Wolves Grey" or "Blood Red", etc.  I am just interested in setting up a typical set of colors that I can mix and match where needed.

That means covering the essentials, yellow red and blue.  I will sometimes include other colors, but you can see how they are arranged from the warmest to the coolest.  I also like to have a dark to light set up as well.

Putting the colors in that semi circle, lets me pull from each one and mix in the open area.

Since I am using a bigger brush, as usual, it allows me to mix more efficiently.

Sometimes I like to 'pre mix' a set of dark to light colors, as you see with the blueish grey strip on the palette,  Note, it is very helpful to mix in glaze medium and/or cover your palette to keep colors wet.  I am not doing that here for obvious reasons.

You can see how I used that strip of color to paint the deck plating.

I am trying to get some contrasting warmer colors around the deck plating, so the blueish greys are more unique, hopefully emphasizing the metallic nature of that material.

I use the yellowish colors to further lighten the rocks and the concrete chunks.  I also add some rust at this point.

I continue to develop the lighter colors, but now I spread a little green/grey color onto the rocks on the back sections of the base.

More highlights on the deck plating, and I try to spread out the rust stains on other surfaces.

As I lighten the concrete chunks, I try to maintain some dark stains on the pieces, but I continue to lighten it on other places.

This view shows you that back section of the base, with the highlights.

I went back in with a small brush to pick out more highlights in various areas, such as the deck plating.

I go back into this with a few darker glazes, and it is just about ready to go!

And here it is.  I hope this demonstrates clearly the way I use my palette!


  1. How long it took you to paint that base?

  2. Agreed. What is the TPT (Total Paint Time) on that sucker? It's wet blending so I'm betting 20-30 min tops? Probably less given your background and level of experience, though. I would actually love to see how you work in person, in real time (Sorry if that sounds creepy, but sometimes watching is the best way to learn).

    1. Hello!

      Well, wish us luck! We are doing a Kickstarter to create a whole series of painting and basing DVDs! I will talk all about that here for the future...

  3. Lovely bases...

    I love the way you work.

    I've recently just pared down my paints to to just a select few at my workspace to stop myself from using "standard" shades that are shelf bought.

    It's been many years since I did colour mixing as I worked and I believe that probably goes a long way to explain why I haven't enjoyed my painting as much recently too.

    It doesn't feel as natural...

    1. There were many reasons why I use the palette the way I do. Obviously working in 2D art for so many years is a big part of it, but there is an element of "self defense". Paint colors seem to come and go, so not relying on those to always be around is handy :-)

    2. You make a very good point, one that I shall keep in mind.

      Thank you.

    3. It has happened so many times over the years!