Help with wet blending
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Thread: Help with wet blending

  1. #1

    Question Help with wet blending

    Hi Guys, hopefully someone can help. I'm after a bit of advise on wet blending as I'm never happy with my results.

    I use an Airbrush a lot in my painting and use brushes to add in the extra details which is working good and I can produce decent results with it but I want to up my game and improve my brush skills as I'm finding my brush skills are letting my models down.

    I've started using a wet pallet, which I have to say is amazing, but how do you achieve the super sublet gradients from one colour to another with a brush that I've seen on peoples models. I know a lot is down to practice but I could do with some tips to point my in the right direction.

    Here is couple of attempts of doing blends with a wet pallet, I haven't tried to intentionally capture light, it was just to practice and the models I painted had a previous paint job on them. am I chucking myself in the deep end a bit quickly but trying to blend colours which are so far apart.

    The pieces were kept wet as I went from light to work but I had issues with too much liquid on the pieces which was causing the colours to bleed into one another. I also found if the paint wasn't thin enough it would dry too fast creating horrible results.

    Any help would be great.


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  2. #2


    could you write down how you wet-blend? I think you have 3 problems with it:
    - paint consistency (too thin/too thick)
    - wrong technique (doing it wrong)
    - you want too much from it. After the majority of the transition is done with wet blending you'd have to correct mistakes/deepen shadows/make highlights lighter with a few (quite a few) glazes. Simple wet blending won't give you the smooth results you want.

    + to be honest based on the 'brushstrokes' (well more like directions) on the pics it looks like you are doing something different, most likely layering --> that's why it would be good to know how you applied the paint. (describe the movements)

  3. #3


    oK, so for the metal sword.

    I put a drop of each colour in order Black, Grey, Blue, White and mixed them so they created a smooth transition on my wet pallet.

    I base coated the sword in grey to start and waited for it to dry.

    I put a small amount of grey paint on the sword to roughly where I wanted to the next colour to start. Whilst the grey was still wet I applied the next colour adjacent to it and feathered it into the grey using a clean damp brush. and continued in that fashsion untill all the colours were down. At that point I did the same with shadows and put a diluted black wash over the sword.

    I've always been a little be guilty of wanting too much but I've spend many years learning that that is not reality. I fully understand that what I want to achieve wont be anywhere near as good as a lot of ppl can do on here, but I would like to know that I'm heading in the the right direction.

    The other scythe was painted in a similar fashion and finished with a purple glaze


    Last edited by EpicMiniArt; 01-22-2015 at 11:54 AM.

  4. #4


    that explains the stripes of colors on it.
    But the tech looks ok, at least it's very similar to what MattSterbenz used here for good effect. (for example on this necron: )

  5. #5


    MattSterbenz necron is stunning and that is the kind of result I would like. I gave it another go with a lot less water in the paints and got a much better result. I also used less colours. I think its going to be a long process of trial and error to get it right, gotta walk before you can run right?

    my old tomb king models I've had for ages are proving good candidates to practice small techs


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    Last edited by EpicMiniArt; 01-22-2015 at 04:03 PM.

  6. #6
    I paint my thumb. GreenOne's Avatar
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    Blurry pictures are cheating! No, seriously, these transitions seem pretty smooth to me, keep practicing.
    CMON painter born and raised, soft seven and proud
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  7. #7


    st me see if I can give you some ideas on how I've been wet blending for the last 3 months.first off I'm going to say it takes time as its a game of going back and fourth meaning dark blend into the light by thinning it at the shades edge and then blending back the light into the dark by thinning it out at the lights edge..this goes back and fourth until you reach a very smooth transition in the gradiant..another way of doing this is as follows let's say I'm painting something (a sword for ex) let's say I have 2 colors white and black (I'm picking these for arguments sake) first I'm going to "block in colors" meaning the top half of the sword gets a white coat,where the middle to bottom get this point there is no blending it's a sword with a black bottom and a white here's where the Magick happens take 2 drops of paint one black and one white and dilute them a bit with a bit of drying retardent.take some white on the tip of the brush and draw it across the very edge where very edge where the white meets the back now while it's still wet take a black drop on your brush and while this is wet also draw it right on top over where youse just laid the white and with a light hand go back and fourth the white and the black because both are still wet should start to thin out at each edge and form a mid tone color of grey .this is the basic bare bones of 2 brush blending. Another thing I want you to look at cause it's easier to see is on the "studio mcvey" website tutorials on blending. Read what o wrote watch the tutorial at that point alot of practice REM also-when 2 brush blending use a light pressure hand when you get to the actual blending part (laying one wet color over another wet color while both are still wet and drawing your brush back and fourth to merge the wet colors together as you thin them out at the edge).

  8. #8


    thanks for the tips BloodAsmedium, I'm normally lazy and just brake out my AB and do smooth grads by masking sections off but there is always times where a brush has more control hence I'm doing to discipline myself actually practice.

  9. #9


    hey epic these are a few of examples of the effects I've achieved with the above technique I've described ,now mind you these are from my current technique and took many hours a day for 3 months ,I practiced practiced and practiced everyday on everymodel (space marines are the best for this as they have alot of diff shaped including orbular and square and many other broad flat panel shaped pieces to their armor) but once mastered it's a very fast uncontested technique that gives very smoother finishes to the gradiants. If you need any further help or have questions look at the studio mcvey video on helped me immensly...but the skeleton sword looks very good just keep practicing if swords are a good way for you to practice than keep using swords and try all diff colors for each practice (ex a red sword a green sword a blue sword a nmm sword etc etc...great work so far.keep on practicing.
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  10. #10


    BaM didn't realuze what smooth gradients u were achieving til I saw it here. Wowzers...
    ​You are ranked 1 out of 9149 artists.
    BloodFather's Axis of Chaos

  11. #11


    Thanks for help guys, amazing help to get me on the right direction

  12. #12


    I'd you get that book on the color theory. These shots from my w I p above red uses green to shade the Marines shoulder pad.and the blue ultramarine uses a brown mixed with blue .now on the blue marine and the shoulderpad as well as the blood angels I'll use black as a shade at the very recesses or the very bottom on the shoulderpad...I'll mix black with let's say the colors compliment and that will help you as a mixed color I have to agree is so much more aesthetically pleasing to the viewers eye.remeber if you look at my examples from my w I p logs you'll see its a matter of going back and fourth liget blended into dark and dark blended into light the way I two brush blend this is how I do it it takes a few tries of back and fourth epic. REM always use complimentary colors when you shade ,when you highlight use analogous colors (these are colors next or adjacent to one another on the 12 color wheel) so shade complementary colors highlight analogous colrs (in the case of green ,lighter greens,yellows ,yellow greens.) . When you get the book read through it and learn you 12 colors their complements and their analogous colors.this is going to help you utilize your blending and make colors used make a better appearance to a model..we also call it tone variation (for example look at the face on my terminator'll see the 3 diff colors in the face .I break it up into 3rd top third is yellow glazes the middle 3rd of the face has red glazes and the bottom 3rd is blue glazez.
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    Last edited by BloodASmedium; 01-26-2015 at 03:38 PM.

  13. #13


    No I saw his blending bfok. Blending isn't his problem tone variation . the proper color selection based on color theory is the direction I'm trying to push him to go in.this means also a deeper contrast's very easy to have nice blends when colors are very close together.but now you start introduce complimentary colors in then the contrast gradiant gets increased now to 2 brush blend that takes a fair amount of practice.again refer to my blood angels shoulder pad above...analogous colors of red (oranges and yellow oranges all the way down through reds to greens to browns and then green browns with black in it) tjis takes a fair amount of practice.also like tools for the job there are specific tools for 2 brush blending I use Raphael Karrill synthetics sizes 2 and size 3 (is for dropping a dot of thinned paint and 3 is to feather it out in a cross hatch fashion) now the reason I use these synthetic brushes is because the hold wet paint and do not dissipate and do not dry as quick as a Sable haired brush. Perfect for wet on wet blending..take my word for it epic when I was taught I didn't want to get new brushes and didn't want to do this I proffered layering but after 3 months and many hours a day my painting skills have increased 10 me on this m8 make the changes now and read Betty Edwards book and your whole life will change I'll help you out anyway I can to have you see this through.if you want to get better at mini painting this is the direction...learn all this stuff before modeling and anything'll see my models do very well on both here and Putty and paint...and I really don't do any impressive basing or anything like that I score well based on technique alone,that's because I knew the technical aspect is what's important .trust me on this you already know how to blend we just gotta get you to blend the proper colors based not on recipes but picking colors from what I call "on the fly" I do not use recipes most of the time I now paint just by looking by certain tones and colors and my paintjng has been better than it has in years..this is how you want to go.and ITL get easier the more you change your thinking.I'll but my life on it.lay some deeper maroon as glazes in the above orks skin maybe the right arm today the left tomorrow take your time if it takes 3 steps of glazes on his arms make sure the rest of the skin gets 3 glzes...when he's done your gonna thank me,this is how you get leveled up.
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    Last edited by BloodASmedium; 01-26-2015 at 04:02 PM.

  14. #14


    I've seen your work on Putty and paint and your pieces are truly unique and after that explanation I can see why your artwork appears different from the norm of what people would paint, well not what people would paint, i mean by the tones you achieve from your pallet which you apply to your miniatures. I've only started to read this book and have glaced through it, there is such a big technical side to colors, the topic is huge. That face picture is very useful, I'd never though of looking at a face in terms of color value and temp, but it makes perfect sense. That Terminator librarian is a beautiful piece of work and hopefully with your guidance I'll get to a standard where my miniatures will capture peoples eyes, not just blend into the background.

    I've got Calas Typhon, First captin of the Deathguard from Forge world to paint, and I haven't even put a brush to him because I want to do him justice, beautiful model, so I will read that book and practice on a bunch of other models. I always considered myself a good painter within my local but the internet makes the world seem a lot bigger and when you see true masters at work with there miniatures it just inspires me to paint better and I know that most of that is practice and experience but the only way I found you really improve is by people picking apart your work

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