Wet Blending Starter - Help!
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Thread: Wet Blending Starter - Help!

  1. #1

    Default Wet Blending Starter - Help!

    Hey guys,

    It's official, the rediculous quality of painting on this site has inspired me to lift my own game, and I thought a reasonable place to start would be getting a grip on wet blending. To that end, I've read through all the tutorials and articles in the sticky thread and on the site (though the links to the discussions are all broken - is that just me?), and put in some preliminary time experimenting with the technique, which has raised some questions.

    First of all, what is the smallest sort of distance over which you'd attempt to acheive a smooth blend? From what I've been doing I can only get relatively clean transitions over a long distance (maybe 1.5 inches). The tutorials (such as brushthralls white painting one) seem able to get the transitions down to an edge

    Secondly - should I expect this technique to work over any change in colours? Taking it to the extreme, could you reasonably wet blend from black to white?

    Third - How 'wet' are your wet blends? When you're putting down the paints to be blended, is there a large quantity of watered down paint such that it pools, or is it only a fine layer? The issue I had here is if there's not enough paint, you don't get any coverage and the hard line between colours doesn't blend away. Perhaps I'm watering the paints down too much?

    Finally - how do guys decide between which situations to use layering (ie, 'juicing') and which times to wet blend? Is it a geometry thing, or more based on desired effect?

    Apologies about the wall of text - and if you think there's somewhere else I should look first, give me a shout. Regardless, any help would be most appreciated.

  2. #2

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    i find juicing to be the best way to do everything if you want the best blends, mostly because you get the most control this way.
    "If you've got what it takes...
    Its gonna take everything you've got."

  3. #3

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    I agree with crazyboyae that first it is better to learn some of the other blending techniques. Layering, feathering and juicing are much more versatile than wet blending as they can be applied to smaller areas and also very big ones. Although this is probably because I'm quite bad at wet blending!

    Try getting your hands on a tutorial DVD or video: Hot Lead DVD by Laszlo Jakusovszky; Miniature Painting by Jeremie Bonamant Teboul (his nickname is bragon in CMON) DVD; Miniature Mentor subscription; Rune Kappel DVD.

    These all have blending techniques in them, both wet blending and others. I just didn't get it until I watched someone else doing it, and I'm still learning.

  4. #4

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    Fair enough guys, I'll look at having a crack at the juicing first, it seems it will be more useful for the long run! Out of interest though, it would be good if someone could give me an idea on the questions from the original post, so I can make the comparison.

    If I am looking to juice, what I would like to know is whether people will commonly apply this sort of painting across an army, or whether it is prohibitive in terms of time. At the moment I'd average 4-7 shades of paint on most colours of a model - should I expect juicing to take significantly longer - what with not having to worry about mixing colours and such?

    Also, the final question that I should have asked originally. When I view the top 10 minis etc on CMON - are the shadows that I see generally enhanced in depth by the external light source (ie, desk lights used for the photo, etc), or are they genuinely painted on and something to be aimed for?

    Thanks in advance again for any responses

  5. #5

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    Overall the single most important technique with acrylic/vinyl paints to get to grips with is layering. Wet blending has its place, particularly if you're good at it, but you can paint entirely without it so it's definitely not an essential.

    Quote Originally Posted by woodenanteater
    (though the links to the discussions are all broken - is that just me?)
    No, not just you. The index of prior threads has changed with the new version of vBulletin because thread names have changed (I assume permanently).

    For example, the link for sticky thread itself went from this:
    http://www.coolminiornot.com/forums/....php?tid=34306
    to this:
    http://www.coolminiornot.com/forums/...eads-Tutorials.
    Same thread ID number but with the thread title tacked on at the end.

    Quote Originally Posted by woodenanteater
    First of all, what is the smallest sort of distance over which you'd attempt to acheive a smooth blend? From what I've been doing I can only get relatively clean transitions over a long distance (maybe 1.5 inches). The tutorials (such as brushthralls white painting one) seem able to get the transitions down to an edge
    This is something you just need to work on I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by woodenanteater
    Secondly - should I expect this technique to work over any change in colours? Taking it to the extreme, could you reasonably wet blend from black to white?
    In theory, absolutely. In practice there are some variables. One is simply the area over which you hope to blend, the size of the brush you're using, the paint (some dry slower than others) as well as the temperature and humidity where you are. The basics of the technique are pretty simple, doing it practically is more tricky and requires the right 'touch', which will develop with practice and experience.

    FWIW juicing is a silly coined term for something there was already a name for! So, uh, don't use it

    Einion

  6. #6

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    probably the most important note om smooth transitions (and about the only one i haven't heard) is to try things out.

    i know about 3 theoretical ways to achieve a smooth blend:
    * wet blending
    * washing
    * feathering
    i've tried them all seperately but none worked the way i wanted.
    the key turned out to be a combination

    this is how i blend (i've been meaning to do a tut for this sometime)
    i'll use a brown to white transition:
    1) a basecoat wich is just lighter than the intended shadow (vermin brown)
    2) a rough blend with (practically) undiluted paint, use your hightlight color for this (bleached bone)
    3) wet blending to smooth the initial transition, work back and forth between base and highlight (vermin brown <-> bleached bone)
    4) wash to deepen the shadows (chaos black vs 90% water)
    5) blend the highlight color into the wash (aply the chaos black wash and blend bleached bone into it)
    repeat step 5 until you get a pretty smooth blend, you'll probably have some rough spots
    6) use heavily diluted paint, (shade and highlight color, 1:9 paint:water) and feathering to clean up any rough spots
    7) if desired, aply a final edge highlight (e.g. skull white, this edge highlight is not blended)

    using black to shade might give a black/grey tint, a dark brown would suffice as a shade as well

    hope this helps, as for scale, you'll probably have to figure that out for yourself...
    I draw the line at about 2x2 mm on a raised surface, and 4x4 on a sunken surface.
    ofcourse, on a smaller scale, the steps above would be simplified.

    hope this helps :P

  7. #7

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    Hey!

    Check out my tutorials on youtube. youtube.com/obsidianpainting. See what you think. They may give you a helping hand. i'm not sure:P

    Cheers, Gary.

  8. #8

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    http://www.mainlymedieval.com/ozpain...c.php?f=7&t=49 this is the best juicing article you can find. i just took a look at this did some experimenting and now i paint like this all the time, and because the paint drys so fast i can do 100 layers in 8 minutes of working with an area.
    hope this points you in the right direction to become a master blender hahahaha
    "If you've got what it takes...
    Its gonna take everything you've got."

  9. #9

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    @ Obsidian - Fantastic vid tutes in there mate, I'd already checked out the wet blending one, which was good but I struggled a little with the camera quality, but I just watched the master blending tute, and that cleared things up for me distinctly. Cheers, but I'm hanging out for the second part now! One question though, it seems that when you're applying the shade coats, that you are going over the same area each time. Would you normally be attempting to cover less model with each coat, or is this deliberate?

    @ boyae - That's the article that actually inspired me to have a crack at getting into better painting - and I'm constantly referring back to it, it is fantastic.

    Many thanks to everyone for their input, I've already gotten a lot from this thread. I'm sure its been said before, but its brilliant to have such a large collection of knowledge in one place, with top quality painters who are willing to share their experience. I'll keep working on these techniques, and no doubt be back with more questions!

  10. #10

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    Hey,

    yah i'm going over each area over and over again. I'm not really decreasing the area no. I only decrease the area when i want to concentrate the pigment, or when i change to a new colour. Otherwise i try to keep goign over the same area. i do however, stray away from the outer edge. that is the point that NEEDS to be smooth. So once i've established a slit tint there, i decrease the area to make the pigment stronger elsewhere.

    I hope that makes sense:P part two and three up later today!

    I'll eventually be redoing the wetblending tutorial.

    Thanks for the kind words!

  11. #11

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    glad to see i could point you in the right direction i find for this that its actually better to do it over black undercoat because your layering dark to light. but i guess white would work too, you just need a good solid rich base coat. its easier to get that with black. I feel.
    "If you've got what it takes...
    Its gonna take everything you've got."

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