Painting with \"juices\"
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Thread: Painting with \"juices\"

  1. #1

    Default Painting with \"juices\"

    Ok. I have been practicing painting with super dilute paint for some time now and I am still running into the same problems.

    1. No matter how dilute I make my paint it ALWAYS streaks. Painting is suppose to be done with the tips of the brushes and no matter whether I paint with the tip or the sides of my brush, once the paint starts to show up on the mini, the paint funnels to where the tip of the brush touches the models and creates nasty streaky lines!

    2. No matter how dilute I make the paint it still shows up chalky, or speckled, on the miniature. It never coats the miniatures evenly, EVER. I recently purchased the miniature mentor DVD to see what Laurent (I think I spelled that right) was doing that I was not and I am doing everything correctly but my results never show up smooth, blended or even. I always get areas on the surface where the paint just did not show up. It is as if, even though the paint dries, the paint gets stripped from where it has settled once I paint over it with another layer of paint.

    I always make sure I wipe off all excess moisture from the bristles before I paint on the mini so there is no reason why I should still be suffering from the same problem.

    It is not that I need more practice because I have been working with this technique for a LONG time and these problems should have improved but they have not.

    I use Series 7 brushes as well as Raphael 8404 brushes so I know it is not the brush quality.

    Can anyone help??? :flame:

  2. #2


    What kind of paints are you using? Vallejo really thinned down, will give you that affect of moving the paint around even if after it\'s dry. GW works really well IMO for blending really dilute.
    Not sure what you mean by streaky lines, do you mean the paint strokes are showing up after the paint dries? A picture may help so we can identify what the problem is, but it sounds like you may be painting with too much of a difference between your basecoat and your new highlights. What colors are you using? You need to go gradual and always mix your basecoat color into the new highlight color to get that smooth blending. Try 75% basecoat and only 25% highlight, and gradually work to 100% highlight. Also if your highlight is too contrasty like white, you will need to add another color in between your basecoat and highlight to smooth things out.

  3. #3


    I had this problem a lot too when I started using this method. I know that you say that you are wiping all the excess moisture off the bristles but I have a feeling that you aren\'t. Not that you aren\'t trying, just that you aren\'t going far enough.

    When you use this method, it is not enough to dab the brush on a something to soak the moisture out - you need to almost treat it like drybrushing. I use an old white t-shirt and I make strokes across the shirt until I don\'t see color anymore. 3-4 strokes usually does it.

    When you actually apply paint to the mini you should\'t really be able to see wet paint at all. What you should see is a slightly shiny trail following your brush stroke that only remains a second or two before it dries. In other words, if you\'ve done it right, the beginning of your stroke will be dry by the time you get to the end and you can actually watch the stroke dry as fast as you pull the brush.

    The goal is not to have any of those tiny little pools of paint at the end of your stroke when you lift the brush. You need to have almost no paint on your bristles at all.

    Dilution should be in the area of 10:1 or so.

    Does that help?

    One more thing: make absolutely sure that your paint is dry before adding another layer. Paint methodically from one side to the other and do not work the paint too much in each layer. This will result in a \"lifting\" of the paint in the center of your strokes as the outsides of the stroke dry the fastest. That can give you streaks like you describe.

  4. #4


    I use P3 paints, Vallejo, and GW. I get the same effect with all of them. I will try to post some pictures later today.

    What I mean by streaks/lines is this. Think of it like drawing with a pencil on paper. Now picture that same thing on a model with a paint brush. If I paint straight onto the miniature with the tip or with the side of the brush the paint somehow gets drawn to the point of the brush and makes a \"pencil line\". Again this happens even with dilute paint.

    Also I do use gradual change in color. Adding small amounts of lighter or darker colors for shading and highlighting to my base color and it does not show up smooth.

    I am currently painting a mini to sell on ebay. It is an ultramarine captain. I am having problems with the highlighting. I am using untramarines blue as the basecoat and highlighting with space wolves grey. Maybe it is the grey that is the problem, I do not know, but regardless with has happened to me with all of the colors I use. Especially when I am highlighting something. Not so much with shading if the basecoat is dark. When the basecoat is very light then shading becomes just as much of a problem as highlighting with a dark basecoat.

    In the case of the light basecoat being shaded no matter how little of a darker color I add to the light basecoat it still looks chalky, streaky, and never coats evenly.

  5. #5


    i don\'t feel sorry for you at all - i\'ve seen your last posted mini (currently at 9.1) and it\'s super smooth! you are clearly doing something right!!

    anyway, i have had problems with this in the past. are you using anything other than water to thin it?

  6. #6


    Ya I only use water unless I want to use some else. Occasionally I will use matte medium. When I use it the paint coats evenly but I still have a problem with it because once I touch the brush to the mini it leaves a silhouette of where the brush first touched the mini. This again happens no matter how dilute the paint.

    Actually this happens with water too. It is like the paint gets pushed to the sides of the bristles where there is less force pushing on the paint from the bristles. This is hard to explain. It is like the paint is being squeezed to the sides of the brush. Again I will post pics when I get a chance. I have to leave for school right now.

    By the way, thanks for the comment on the trollblood. I actually had these problems while painting it but a just kept throwing fits and yelling out obscenities and fighting my way throught it. I had problems lihglighting the skin.

  7. #7


    With your further explanation I think the problem may be the second one that I mentioned above. That you are going back over areas where a stroke has already been laid before it is completely dry. Since the outsides of the stroke dry first, it leaves that pigment, but lifts the pigment from the middle of the previous stroke. As I mentioned in the other post, try to paint methodically from one side to the other of the area you are working on, and avoid repeat strokes on the same area while working on a layer.

    By the way, I agree that your TB is beautiful. Seems like I remember some WIP shots yo posted of it? very nice work.

  8. #8


    I have exactly the same problem but after reading what Mattrock has to say and watching the intro video, I would say it is indeed a case of to much moisture. I would touch the sides of my brush on a peice of tissue and let it soak up the moisture but thinking about it all it does is leave loads of pigment on the brush readt to streek the mini. So I think its a matter of trying again and wiping the brush on the tissure several times just like Laurent does in the intro. I\'d say that is the only problem about that DVD set is the fact it does not show you what happens off camera wich to me is possible the most important aspect.

  9. #9


    Ok her are some pics.

    This first pic you can see how rough and unsmooth the highlight is. It looks chalky.

    This next pic also shows how chalky the highlight looks. It also looks thick, as if there is way too mauch paint on the mini even though the paint was diluted to around 5:1 water:paint.

    This pic shows how I started with a very light color and tried to shade but even this looks crappy and not smooth either.

    If you look at the upper portion of the helmet on this pic you can see how streaky the highlight looks. Again, the paint was dilute but it turned out looking like this. The paint also looks uneven and streaky yet again.

    I must say that I am wondering if it because I am not properly cleaning the surface of the miniature. I know that some people file the mini, then sand it with sand paper, AND rub it with steel wool or similar materials to buff the mini. I may try this on my next mini because from these pics I think that it looks chalky because the surface is not perfectly flat. But this still leaves me wondering if that will solve the streaky lines I get when I paint.

  10. #10


    5:1 dilution is not juicing. I use at least twice that dilution. 5:1 is what I\'d use for normal highlighting personally. When you use juicing you should not even be able to see a change in color until the third or so pass and even then it\'ll be very subtle at first.

  11. #11


    In that case I guess I will start diluting more. Thanks for the help! :)

  12. #12


    I think your\'e being ultra critical of your work, your blending looks pretty wicket! If you wanted to experiment though, here is my method, especially for power armour. I mix my paints at 10:1 for the basecoat, of which i apply about 5 layers, if you get streakyness, try mixing a tiny amount of GW ink into a seperate batch of the basecoat, maintaining the water:paint ratio. The ink:paint:water mixure can then be used as a wash between the the basecoats to hide any streaks or blemishes. If you now have an even basecoat, i would make a 5:1 mixture for highlights, and try to maintain that ratio as you add more white or whatever. As you now start highlighting your model, try to do the layers in tiny circular strokes across the armour panels horisontally rather than doing straight strokes. Start your next layer about half-way down the last. This method takes time and patients, but breaks up all the straight lines, you can also add more washes between highlights for better blending. Hope it helps.:beer:

  13. #13


    you can also get smoother blends by alternating the stroke direction....
    Make sure the previous layer is completely dry then think of t like points on a compass... paint first highlight N to S next layer NW to SE next W to E .. Make sense??? but I echo what the others say..thinner paints and patience between layers .. but damn man your work is lovely.....

  14. #14


    I really appreciate all of the help that you are all giving me. I am also sure that there are plenty of others who will benefit from your suggestions when reading this topic. Thanks again and I will definately try out all of the suggestions you all have given. I am not much of a space marine painter. I think this is the 4th or 5th one I have done so painting them is difficult for me. :)

  15. #15


    hi friend :)

    I know exactly the problem you are talking about...only too well. It happens to me too, regularly!

    I don\'t think there is any easy answer. I\'m not sure what causes it, and why it happens sometimes and sometimes not; in my experience, it occurs more often with certain paints and colours, and because I paint a lot, I sort of know which of my paints are more susceptible to it.

    I think it\'s important to say that when people describe painting with a technique like this, they are talking about the ideal - and if you understand the ideal, it helps with the practical. But it won\'t always work in exactly the ideal way. You need to use your own painting experience to help...sometimes you need a little finesse. Doesn\'t help I know, but I think sometimes people try to follow a certian method a bit too religiously, when I think it is more beneficial to think of different techniques as a sort of background of foundation to help you.

    A couple of suggestions though: when it happens to me, there are a few ways I try to combat it. If it\'s happening with a light colour, you can try blocking in the highlights with less dilute paint, then using glazes to blur the \'join\' between the darker and lighter parts. Or, you can try giong up and down between light and dark a few times - once you have the highlight, if it\'s grainy, then try going over it again with a different, darker colour, then lighter colour, and again, until it;s smooth. I also agree with mattrock, that it happens more when you haven\'t quite diluted enough, or haven\'t wiped off enough of the excess paint fro the brush hehe...but sometimes it does happen anyway. And in my experience, blue colours like the ones in your example are almost always a problem! One of the worst offenders haha

  16. #16


    Wow, you can\'t ask for much more than that. Corrective help from \'Mr. Juice\' himself.

    Your input is always appreciated, Seb. You\'ve probably had more influence over the way that I paint now than any other artist in this game of ours. It\'s a shame you won\'t be coming to stay with Meg in Denton. I was really looking forward to meeting you and picking your brain! ;)

    Enough brown-nosing...Let us know how it works for you Alien, and don\'t be too hard on yourself. Your work is really fantastic.

  17. #17


    Ya I know what you are talking about. I was actually a little hesitant to use space wolves grey because it \"looked\" problematic. Meaning that when I was looking at the paint in the pot it almost appeared to have a certain kind of texture to it. Then when I applied it to the mini it looked chalky. I have also experienced this with some of P3 paints I have as well as vallejo. They have a certain grainy look to them.

    Thanks for your input Automaton. I will also try working the blends with shading and highlighting to blur the rough looking areas. Also if you feel like coming to LA for Gamesday you can stay at my place so I can bug you about painting :)

    Thanks again everyone for all of the feedback. Hopefully my next mini, not the crappy marine, will be a step in the right direction :)

  18. #18
    Brushlicker Arma's Avatar
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    I\'m also learning to juice right now and having similar problems but I do feel like I\'m getting there.

    With P3, I\'ve found they work very differently to other paints; I find I can lay a wet layer then just stretch the pigment (especially across a large area) until there\'s no pigment left to stretch. I rarely get the paint dry on it\'s own it work it a lot.

    GW; as everyone said, these seem to dilute the best.

    Vallejo; I just cannot get the hang of anything but basecoating with Vallejo. I find they separate a lot too regardless of how much I shake them (especially grey and lighter colours).

    About the miniature mentor DVD. one thing I noticed. Laurent adds paint to the brush, then brush licks, then wipes the excess off... the result is sharp point, a damp brush with very little paint.

    One thing I\'ve started doing is when I wipe on a paper towel (actually I use coffee filters) I note how the paint looks in the paper.

    From this I noticed a few things:

    1) if you see grains it means I\'ve worked with an unwashed brush for too long - I do this ALL THE TIME since I\'m so lazy, the dried grains end up on the mini and it\'s all over :D

    2) it should barely stain the paper to get a smooth transition.

    I feel your pain but tbh, you\'re a way better painter than me from your WIPs :D

    Stick at it man, I think it\'s just one of those things that comes with practice practice and more practice.

    oh, I\'m painting armies to practice these techniques too since I don\'t care TOO MUCH if they look crappy :D

  19. #19


    I have tried out the 10;1 ratio and that is a pain in the butt. I tried it out on a gamesday orc, just the skin, and here is the result.

    As you can see from the pics the surface is real shiny, is that normal? Also I used extremely light colors for the highlights and extremely dark colors for the shadows and the surface barely looks tinted. Does this mean that I am not laying down enough layers.

    Plus I think that my basecoat was too light.

    Hopefully these pictures speak a thousand words to you guys / girls who use this technique and hopefully you can tell me what I am doing right or wrong. Thanks again!

  20. #20
    Brushlicker Arma's Avatar
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    I word about prep - before you prime the mini what kinda prep are doing on the mini (besides the basics like removing mould lines, cleaning in soapy water, etc).

    A lot of people (re: pro painters) do this and I\'ve been doing it too - make the mini literally SHINE. First I use a nylon brush (got it at a 100 Yen store like a big toothbrush). scrub the CRAP out of the mini. Then I apply Mr Surfacer (thinned with their thinner) to areas with pock marks, then I sand it back with 600-1000 grade sandpaper.

    The result is a very very very smooth surface. The reason (for me) is that when using thin paints if there is ANY defect in the surface the paint will choose to sit there NOT where you want it.

    About the shine; From my experience, the shine is a result of using too much water on the brush. The shine makes it harder for the paint to adhere to the surface. I\'ve fixed this before by using matte medium or applying my version (Japanese product called Mr Super Clear) of Dullcote to the mini in a light layer. This gives the surface some \'tooth\' again.

    But tbh man, your work is good and will only get better with time.

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