Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Oil and Steam


Well, I don't have all the images from the oil glazing stage, but that's because I had no idea this would turn into a step by step when I was painting it!  

This is more about another concept, and that is painting with 'regular' acrylic paint over oil washes.  Some people were very quizzical when I told them that I was using oil and acrylic at the same time on figures.  I thought this might clear things up a little.

In a sense, oil and water can indeed mix...


When I did the oil glazes, I had the usual Shaded Basecoat setup, with the lights and darks already laid out on the figure.  All I was doing with the oil washes was shading and tinting.  This was done with a mixture of filters, panel line washes, and darker washes.

These glazes were done exactly the same way as I normally execute my acrylic glazes, but with a key advantage.  With oils, the drying time is quite extended, and this allows me to remove any amount of that wash that I please, thus revealing the lighter Shaded Basecoat beneath.

Now for the nifty part... when I began using the standard acrylic colors over these oil washes, those washes were still quite fresh, and definitely not dry!

You can see that it is possible to paint right over those washes.  I discovered that I gained a major advantage in the ability to push around the acrylic paints once they had been applied, because they were "sliding around" on a film of oil. :-)


Yes, I know this sounds crazy, but it was something I had discovered by accident when I was working on the Bolt Action vehicles.

I was able to keep right on adding layers of the acrylic paint, and I was also able to maintain the darker, more worn feel.


As I started adding more lights to the metal surfaces, I had my oil washes still wet on the palette, which meant that I could always go back in an glaze over the top of the subsequent acrylic layers.


I did that in this image, using that splotch of greenish brown wash that is to the right of the figure.


As more lights are added, things begin to take shape.  I only used 4 acrylic colors to paint the rest of the figure, as the previously applied oil washes had provided most of the tinting!


In areas where I wanted a more distinct color flavor, I introduced some very opaque acrylics.


I continued to take the still wet oil washes and use those to continuously tint my lighter acrylic applications.  This is very evident in the greens of the cloth.  The oil glaze was a great shade of warm, dark green (normally meant for tanks) which really worked well.


Here he is, nearly complete!  I continued to add more spectral highlights, along with a few darker shades in the deepest shadows.


Purples and pinks were introduced around the face and certain parts of the musculature to provide a little extra interest, and act as a compliment to all those greens.  By the way, purple and green mixed together is my favorite way to create interesting grays!

By combining those two prevalent colors to make a gray, more color harmony was gained, as opposed to simple grabbing a jar of gray paint.  A major advantage in mixing your own colors!


I used a few tall grass tufts from Green Stuff Word for a little texture, and add some warmer, lighter colors to the rocky base.


I hope you enjoyed this very unusual article.  You can see the very simple means used to create what seems like very complex effects.  Some craft brushes, a makeup applicator to remove the oil washes, and so on.

Stay tuned for much more mixing of oil and water!!


7 comments:

  1. Great stuff. Love accidental discoveries. Reminds me of my favorite saying:

    Creativity is letting yourself make mistakes, art is knowing which ones to keep!

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    1. Thanks! There is just one brand new test after another these days! :-)

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  2. Wow.....just wow! Outstanding work my friend!...truly off the scale talent...I'm more than a little bit envious!

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  3. Not at all....tremendously talented...thank goodness I only paint 15mm wargames figs...I would love to be able to do what you do.....but I think you have to have an inate talent that you merely polish and perfect...not sure I could ever be tought to do that!...or could I?

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    1. I guess the biggest advantage I have is that I painted 2D art for so many years before I ever touched a miniature. Those principles are the key of all my techniques. I treat all the minis as if they were a three dimensional watercolor or pastel :-) Using the oil paints on figures is going to be very fun... like coming home!!!

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  4. Ah....which kind of supports my theory...you are already a talented artist and you simply "shifted" your skill to another medium...where as I am sombody with no artistic skills at all but I'm a fairly competent dauber of figs!....never the less I can admire your work all day long!!

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