Wet Blending vs. Layering
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Thread: Wet Blending vs. Layering

  1. #1

    Default Wet Blending vs. Layering

    Hey guys,

    (This is my first post)

    I\'ve been wondering how layering and wet blending compare to one another. I\'ve always layered and glazed, seeing as I struggle with wet-on-wet, but I guess I\'m curious as to whether one technique was superior to the other in terms of the potential smoothness of the blend. I know wet blending is generally considered faster and more difficult, but can I get the same or better results with layering?

  2. #2


    Honestly... the only way to find out is to try. If wet blending works for you, then it is better for you. But it will take practice. Typically its application is on larger objects, and requires the use of slow-drying agents.

  3. #3


    i dont know what to say but i use this technique (somewhat and sloppier but still): http://wyrd-games.net/showthread.php?t=92

    i have to thank ericj for his wonderful knowledge and sharing of it.

  4. #4


    I use basically ALL blending and layering techniques and they all have their uses, strengths and weaknesses. As you say, wetblending is quick and you can get really smooth results in basically no time! However, I find that it\'s difficult to get good contrast in your work by using only wetblending, so I combine it with layering and feathering. I do the basic work with wetblending and then I add layers on top of that to increase the intensity of highlights.

  5. #5


    Are there any world class painters who don\'t we blend at all?

  6. #6

  7. #7


    hi guys :)

    I think J2FcM is right - use whatever works the best for you, there is no right or wrong!

    But having said that, I have never used wetblending, EVER! haha...so all of my stuff is done by layering, only.

  8. #8

    Default hehe

    and from my perspective (a much less skilled painter than the names above), for some odd reason, if though many will say layering is easier; i\'ve never been able to make it work right, but instead, the few nice blends that a couple of my model have are all due to wet (aka true) blending.

    WHat has worked though is layering a bit, and then going over it with thin layers and trying to wetblend those; so like a mix of the 2 methods.


  9. #9


    Wet blending I find much easier on flat surfaces, so a long piece of cloth or armour plate. Then go back over it to bring out some of the sharper highlights/edges. When it comes to small areas or more rough/complex parts I never go near it though.

  10. #10


    But just looking at part of an excellently painted model, (the fold of a cloak, for example) Can you tell whether it\'s been wet blended or carefully layered?

  11. #11


    I don\'t care what technique has been used! If it looks good it looks good and I would use the techniques I\'m comfortable with if I would want to do something similar. A painting technique is just a painting technique... it\'s the results that counts - not how you achieve it! What works for one painter might not be ideal for you! It depends on your painting style...

  12. #12


    Originally posted by Aeolus
    But just looking at part of an excellently painted model, (the fold of a cloak, for example) Can you tell whether it\'s been wet blended or carefully layered?
    depending on the artist... yes... its like after going to art college for five years i can pick out certain characteristics of painters.... that includes technique. for example alexi z is very blue centered and her techniques are shown in how she uses those colors... the same goes for victoria lamb who has a somewhat gritty feel to her forced lighting ... then some you have no clue. but over time we start to understand the style of different artists due to our own experience.

    hope this helps..


  13. #13


    Both techniques I think are used equally to produce pro results. It\'s all just different methods to reach the same goal. It\'s just what you like to practice that I will determin what works well for you in the end I think. If you like to move really fast while painting then wet-blending or feathering will be for you, but if you\'re like me and you like to slowly build up color to be what you like, then the layering with a little tweening should be your cup of tea.

    If it\'s fun then it\'s the \"right\" way :D

  14. #14


    Iv never wet blending just because i couldn\'t get used to it. Im a layerer.

    Just take a look at Tony Manero\'s gallery to see the effects of wet blending.

  15. #15


    I never wet blend either...unless I mess up and add paint to an area that isn\'t dried from the last layer yet :D

    Like Anders mentioned, it\'s hard to get HIGH contrast wet blending, so even if you are using that technique its probably better to top it off with a few layers of highlights.

  16. #16


    excellent point eric.. i totally agree i didnt realize it but thats what i do in the end. i wet blend and then layer the last two or three highlights. hmm. i guess we learn something new each day.

  17. #17


    well i like wetblending.

    however ive found thats its sometimes hard to get a smmoth flat finish so ill proberly do abit of normal blending at the end


  18. #18


    Any tips for wet blending on curved surfaces??

    I would like to wet blend a unit of jetbikes from dark red up to almost white though orange and yellow, but i have struggled with my early attempts.

  19. #19


    Slap on red (make sure its wet when you work with it), then slap on some orange mixed with red right next to it. Run your brush up and down through the red, into the red\\orange mixing the two together. Then let everything dry. Its important to really slowly and methodically move your brush up and down in vertical motions to the 2 layers of paint. Or in a curved surface, you might be doing a curveing motion.

    Anyways, after that layer, you slap on some orange\\red and then above that slap on some pure orange, and repeat the blending. Make sure everything dries, and dont be afriad to keep trying until that stuff looks nizzice. again, use slo dry .

  20. #20


    Make sure you have a smooth, solid red coat on first and make sure it\'s properly dry before you start wet-blending. Then I would probably make a solid yellow coat inbetween on the area where you want the yellow-to-white transition. Make sure that is dry too before continuing. Then wetblend the transition between the red and yellow. Work in small sections along the contour between red and yellow. When you are satisfied, start wetblending the yellow-to-white transition. If you want a slightly larger white area I suggest you do as with the yellow, paint a small white area first. Otherwise you can do the yellow-to-white transition directly.

    I think this would be the best approach. :)

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