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

  1. #1

    Default Layering vs. Wet Blending

    Hello, all. I\'m new around here, but I\'ll spare any lengthy introductions. I\'ve very casually painted for a few years, and I\'m just now wanting to get serious about it. So, on with the questions:

    I see a lot of discussion about layering and blending thrown around sort of liberally. Sometimes people say layering is a type of blending, and sometimes people say they are completely separate. My question is this:

    It seems to me that the most comfortable way for me to paint is very gradual, extra thin layers to eventually build up to the color gradiant that I want. Essentially, I\'m talking about the way it\'s done in the Mini Mentor videos. However, I know that wet-blending is another technique altogether. My main question is this: Which technique produces better results for the average painter? I\'m not concerned so much with time, as I don\'t plan on rushing anything, and painting is as much fun as playing for me. So, quality is really all that I care about here.

    Also, what types of layering and blending are there? The only ones I really know of are the layering I referred to above, speed layering (same thing with thicker paint or less shades), and wet blending that incorporates feathering/mixing colors while wet. Are there other techniques associated with each?

    If it helps at all, I plan on doing a cherry blossom themed wood elf army - a few tones of pink (almost white, normal pink, and a lavender/violet more rich color), a blackish/brownish/greyish bark color, and perhaps some deep green for contrast.

    Thanks ahead of time! I look forward to lurking around here some more and getting some pics of my minis up eventually (: .

  2. #2
    sg2009
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    Originally posted by Glordag
    Which technique produces better results for the average painter?
    as far as i can tell when both techniques are done good you cant really tell the difference:) well i cant.

  3. #3

  4. #4

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    If you check the article section there should be some more types. One of the ones I could never get to work, but have seen good results for is Tweening. Where you paint three basic layers then blend or layer in between layers to make then blend together.

    The best example of wet blending I have seen was in the YouTube video showing off Privateer Press\' P3 Paints. A search on YouTube for P3 should find it.

  5. #5

    Default

    Originally posted by Gilvan Blight
    If you check the article section there should be some more types. One of the ones I could never get to work, but have seen good results for is Tweening. Where you paint three basic layers then blend or layer in between layers to make then blend together.

    The best example of wet blending I have seen was in the YouTube video showing off Privateer Press\' P3 Paints. A search on YouTube for P3 should find it.
    that video showed feathering, not wet blending.
    wet blending is mixing the wet paint on the model to create super smooth transitions quickly. (can lead to low contrast tho so the highlights and shadows often need tweeking)

    a feathering article written by margo.
    http://www.coolminiornot.com/article/aid/273


  6. #6

    Default

    My bad. Thought they showed him putting down two wet paints then using a damp brush to blend the two. It\'s been a while since I watched it. Probably should have looked it up before posting.

  7. #7

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    welcome to the fun house glordag

  8. #8

    Default The Fun House

    Originally posted by darklord
    welcome to the fun house glordag
    lol, thanks! (: Thanks for the replies, as well. Looks like I\'ll have some experimentation to do.

  9. #9

    Default

    Originally posted by Gilvan Blight
    My bad. Thought they showed him putting down two wet paints then using a damp brush to blend the two. It\'s been a while since I watched it. Probably should have looked it up before posting.
    the first layer was dry, what he did was use a damp brush to drag the second layer as it was still wet to create the feathering effect.
    it\'s faster than the layering style of feathering but not as smooth.

  10. #10
    donga666
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    Originally posted by generulpoleaxe
    Originally posted by Gilvan Blight
    My bad. Thought they showed him putting down two wet paints then using a damp brush to blend the two. It\'s been a while since I watched it. Probably should have looked it up before posting.
    the first layer was dry, what he did was use a damp brush to drag the second layer as it was still wet to create the feathering effect.
    it\'s faster than the layering style of feathering but not as smooth.
    No! It\'s Post-Modern-Neoclassical-Punk-Rock-Disco!

    Sorry wrong thread. lol

    There is little differance between wetblending/layering in the end, they both look good if well done. Wetblending can be tricky but can be very effective, Layering is easier to learn. Personnally, I find alot of crossover, especially when blending/layering wet on wet.

    If that makes sense???

  11. #11

  12. #12

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    what donga means is that if you layer quick enough, the paint acts as tho you were wet blending whilst retaining the control of layering.

    you have to be damn fast and have the paint a little bit thinner than what most use when layering to achieve this. (you can also get get two to three transitions out of each stage without having to add in extra paint for each layer as well)

  13. #13

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    Originally posted by donga666
    Personnally, I find alot of crossover, especially when blending/layering wet on wet.

    If that makes sense???
    I\'d be lying if I said I completely understood, but I guess it makes a little sense :P. I actually just discovered that I STILL wasn\'t thinning my paints as much as I thought. I was dabbing my brush into the water and then into the pile of paint, counting that as a \"drop\" of water. Turns out, that\'s nowhere near a drop :|. When I got my actual dropper out and examined the consistency of 5:1 and 10:1, I figured out that I probably only had about 2:1 or 3:1 going :| . As a result, some of my shading was showing up instantly, as opposed to after several coats of a layer.

    On another note, how does one do layering on really small surfaces? For example, I\'m trying to layer the face, belt, small leaf, etc. of my glade guard right now, and finding it extremely difficult :| .

  14. #14
    Superfreak!!! Dragonsreach's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Glordag
    On another note, how does one do layering on really small surfaces? For example, I\'m trying to layer the face, belt, small leaf, etc. of my glade guard right now, and finding it extremely difficult :| .
    Small layers is the simple answer. If needs be utilise smaller brushes for each layer of the face ie..1,0,00 as needed.
    As a general rule of thumb I recommend people to consider that each successive layer should be about 80% of the previous layer.

    But your question is making me think about how you are seeing the mini, Do you wear glasses and/or are you struggling to see the detail clearly?

  15. #15

  16. #16

    Default

    Originally posted by generulpoleaxe
    what donga means is that if you layer quick enough, the paint acts as tho you were wet blending whilst retaining the control of layering.

    you have to be damn fast and have the paint a little bit thinner than what most use when layering to achieve this. (you can also get get two to three transitions out of each stage without having to add in extra paint for each layer as well)
    why thank you sir. i was being partly sarcastic, but only kinda got what eh was on about

  17. #17

    Default

    Originally posted by Dragonsreach
    Small layers is the simple answer. If needs be utilise smaller brushes for each layer of the face ie..1,0,00 as needed.
    As a general rule of thumb I recommend people to consider that each successive layer should be about 80% of the previous layer.

    But your question is making me think about how you are seeing the mini, Do you wear glasses and/or are you struggling to see the detail clearly?
    I wear contacts, but I\'m near sighted. As far as I can tell, I have no issues with actually SEEING the details. The difficult part is more about the fact that it\'s REALLY hard to get thinned down and wiped off paint to stick to the smallest of details. I know one solution is to tilt the brush so that I try to hit it with the side instead of the top, but that causes problems sometimes if I\'m trying to get in a recess or if I can\'t hit it at that angle without hitting something else, as well. Basically, it\'s easy for me to get the pigment off of my brush on a larger surface, but difficult on a very small surface. If I can get the paint off, it feels like I have to exaggerate the stroke and get paint on more places than I wanted.

    The different sized brushes might help some, but I suspect that a large part of it is just gathering experience and brush control. Also, I heard that grabbing some reading glasses can really help for things like that. I\'m guessing that if I REALLY thin down my paints to the point that I really can\'t discern the difference from one application to the next, then I might get some results there, as well. Thanks again for the help!

  18. #18
    donga666
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    Refering to my previous post, I add drying retarder to my thinning mix. 1/3 flow improver (W&N), 2/3 water and a good squirt of drying retarder (in a 200ml dropper bottle). It makes smooth layering ALOT easier and it slows the drying so you get a bit of \'wet-on-wet\' layering/blending.

    Thats just me, we all have our ways.

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