What's worse?

What could be worse than a Space Marine Legion that fell to the Chaos powers and rebelled against everything they once respected? We don't know, but it was probably pretty bad.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

PAINTING: The Lazy Man's Way (drybrush & wash)

As eluded to in an earlier post, and being a little delinquent on fulfilling my promise there, I'm finally at a point where I can give a better detailed lesson on my Lazy Painting method - specifically the Drybrushing and Wash method.

Volunteering to help me demonstrate this methodology is my Forgeworld Deathguard Terminator Icon Bearer (complete with Combi-Melta and Power Axe).

Step 1. Prime Black.

OK, so this step is pretty easy. I doubt I can teach you anything with a step-by-step for priming (and if you've never primed a model, I'm sure you can find numerous tutorials elsewhere). Instead, I'll wax philosophical about what I use to prime models with.

Citadel/Games Workshop Chaos Black.

Expensive? Yes, yes it is. To expensive? Yes, yes it is... While expensive, I like the fine-grained nature of the product and the very even and smooth finish you get in the end. Being lazy, I tend to prime a little on the heavy side, so other products I've tried, like Krylon, were just a tad to "thick" for my style.

Step 2. Heavy Drybrush of Basecoat Color.

As most of us know, drybrushing is a technique where one uses a dry brush, and before applying it to a model, wipes off almost all of the paint from it. Use a textured paper towel to wipe on - you know you're good to go when all that is taking paint off the brush is the raised edges of the texture.

I like to use a larger brush, as a pointy and/or skinny one gets into the crevices to easily, and we want to avoid that.

Now, to do it "heavy" and "the Lazy Man's way", I tend to leave a tad bit more paint on the brush than a true drybrush method might.

Another difference here, compared to a normal drybrush methodology (where one only wants to slightly pick out the highest of details), is that I work the brush fairly hard (pressure) and repeatedly (re-loading paint on the brush two or three times).

As you can (hopefully) see in our Test Subject here, the drybrushed basecoat has almost completely covered the black primer (pressure element); however, going back over a few times (repeatedly element) adds more and more basecoat to the raised details to help further define them.

Voila! One Step, Two Tones!

Step 3. Medium-to-Light Drybrush of Lighter Color.

Now, get a lighter color to drybrush, which will help further define the details of the model. For the Terminator Test Subject, the basecoat in Step 2 was the Citadel Foundation color Gretchin Green (the one that is kind of olive-drab colored). For this step, I chose the Citadel (regular) paint Rotting Flesh. Its a nice contrast to the Gretchin Green, but still within the green spectrum of things.

On a side note, while I've now pointed out two Citadel paints that I use, I actually more frequently use the cheap craft acrylic paints one might find at any craft store like Michaels or A.C. Moore - Ceramcoat by Delta, Apple Barrel, Americana. I like these because (a) they are cheap and (b) they come in a range of colors, so you can easily get two or three shades of the same thing. For example, planning on jumping on the Blood Angels bandwagon in a few weeks? Then round yourself up two or three shades of red craft paint and use the Lazy Man's drybrush method basing in the darker shade and then moving through the brighter shades.

Step 4. Wash

Sheesh, again with the Citadel products... For washes, I am absolutely sold on the relatively new range of Citadel washes. Devlan Mud has got to be the best product released for my Lazy Man's painting method.

Right, so what does that matter, you ask? Simple. The next step is to wash your model. Get that large dry brush out and slap that wash all over the place. But do make sure that any places where it pools too heavily, you hit it again with the brush to "soak off" some of the excess.

Stupid me, I forgot to snap a picture of our Test Subject after this stage. But Fear Not! I have a back-up plan for you. Below, in Step 5, look closely at the shoulder pads in the picture there. While the main body of the Test Subject there has been re-drybrushed with Rotting Flesh post washing, the shoulder pads have NOT, so its a good example of what Step 4 should look like (kind of - the shoulder pads were washed with Thraka Green while the body was washed in Devlan Mud; also, I went a tad heavy on the shoulder pad wash as I wanted to really mute/obliterate that Gretchin Green/Rotting Flesh color).

Where the intent of Step 3 is to help define the details, the intent of Step 4 is to help define the recesses.


If you proceed withOUT letting that wash COMPLETELY dry, you'll be sorry... Seriously, let that wash dry completely, overnight if possible. Me - I like to get a whole bunch of miniatures to the point where they are ready to wash. That way I can spend one evening doing nothing but that, and then letting them all dry until the next painting session. You've Been Forewarned... Mwhaahaaahaaaaaa...

Step 5. Repeat Step 3.

The only thing to point out about Step 5 is that you'll definitely want to lean more towards the lighter side of drybrushing. In fact, where Step 3 is a "modified drybrush technique with more paint and more force", Step 5 should be more like a "true drybrush technique" - very little paint on the brush, and very little application of force.

Like I mentioned above, look at the shoulder pads on this Test Subject image to see what a wash looks like before Step 5.

You'll also see now that Step 5 is complete, I've moved on to Step 6.

Speaking of which...

Step 6. Detail.

All that's left to do is paint the details using the regular ol' cheapo craft paints mentioned above. At this point, I consider the vast majority of the model complete, so like to use Step 6 to add some "pop" into the color scheme. For example, with these Deathguard Terminators, I'll use a lot of bone/white and red and silver/boltgun metal and gold on the details and extra bits, to help the model "pop" on the tabletop.

There you have it. A step-by-step tutorial on Painting The Lazy Man's Way. Its kind of funny to me, having written it out, it seems SO time intensive. Trust me, its not. For a typical squad, say 10 regular infantry or 5 elites (with that extra bling), I can usually do steps 1 through 4 in a single evening and then wrap it up with steps 5 and 6 in a second evening. I'd say four to five hours of effort for the whole unit. Easy-schmeesy.

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