So, I've been working on a 40k army (my first), and I was attempting to do a quick "base coat -> wash -> highlight" paint job (because I don't really feel like having a half-painted army). Base coating went fine, but when I got to my wash, I overdid it -- pooling everywhere, tide lines, the works. I tried to clean it up while it was still wet, but even then I didn't get everything. Unfortunately, I ended up repainting mostly everything on my 4 test models. (Yeah, at least I did THAT right).
Oh, I was using Citadel foundation black with distilled water(with a drop of dish soap in my 50ml bottle).
So, after cleaning them up I spent a few more hours going around CMON and Dakka, and figured I knew what I had done wrong -- too much wash, too little water. So, I made a thinner wash (I read somewhere it should be the consistency of skim milk when brushed out flat, and this wash was), and applied it only to the areas that I wanted shaded... and, BAM, tide lines, but not nearly as bad (and, now that I'm looking at them again, a few days later, I'm thinking I might have been too critical of my second attempt).
Anyway, I've read that washes are a crutch, and I'm enjoying the hobby side of WH40K more than the game side (which is a lot of fun, I just REALLY like the hobby side), so I want to get away from cheater methods and do it right.
So, what are my wash alternatives? Inks (any way to avoid the shine?)? Dry pigment (I'm coming from a ceramics world where I once was taught to use pastels in a similar fashion)? Pre-mixed washes?
And, are washes really a crutch, or are they a viable technique that I can/should get better at?