- Here’s some tips to apply to ensure proper use and care of your valuable expensive painting brushes:
1. Don’t Dip!
I think probably the most common mistake people make, and the easiest to remedy, is using your best painting brush to get paint from the pot: don’t dip!
The reason for this is that you are far more likely to get paint in the ferrule which pushes the fibres apart from each other, and by doing so break the point of the brush. Some professional painters use the wood end of the brush, or a cocktail stick to remove paint from the pot. I prefer to use a cheap synthetic brush, and also use it to mix paint on the palate. You can use anything really, but don’t use your best brush!
2. Water down your paint.
Acrylic paint is thick and dries out very fast. You all know this already The thicker it is, the more difficult it is to apply smoothly, but also the thicker it is inside your brush, which is harder on the fibres. Paint that has been loosened with a few drops of water is much easier on the brush, and much easier to apply.
Watering down paint is a complicated subject and there’s no one rule of thumb. It’ll be covered in a later tutorial, but for now, just a small drop of water to increase the flowing quality of the paint will help no end.
3. No Drybrushing!
This should be obvious, and yet people do it. Drybrushing is VERY hard on brushes. Use a dedicated Drybrush for this. I don’t mean a brush with the word “Drybrush” written on it- I mostly use old brushes for Drybrushing. Never use your best brush for this task. No amount of aftercare will bring it back to life.
4. No harsh chemicals
Don’t soak your brushes in harsh chemicals. Turpentine and white spirit is meant for oil paints, not the sort of fine fibres you need for miniature painting. If you wouldn’t wash your hair with it don’t wash your brush with it!
5. Don’t leave your brush sitting in water, even for a few seconds. After you’ve finished using it rinse thoroughly and put the brush down- don’t leave it sitting in water. This weakens the point and bends the bristles.
- An article speaking about Washes and Shades on HCO.
- I went back over the full list of tutorials from Massive Voodoo to have a good reading about them.
- i’ve found on the blog of NikoBanana some images of nicely painted Blood Rage miniatures.
- Great inspiring color scheme inspiration on this Cthulhu miniature from Artist Proof Studio below. See more pictures of this realisation done by John Trapley.
- Painting flesh is,always a challenge; here’s some instructions from Doctor Faust on how to do this.
- A really inspiring video from Miniac that I discovered actually through this video about how to avoid messing up and looking like a pleb. You should also watch his 6 steps to paint better.
- Speaking about Doctor Faust; I had my first class with him Monday night 25/9 where I asked him to go over basics of the airbrushing, putting a primer on some Super Mario toys figures. All went well the first hour and then eventually I got stock the last 50 minutes with dried paint in my airbrush nozzle! Impossible to continue … I had to totally dismantle and clean it inside-out to ensure it was working (which eventually it did as I managed to put several basecoats on my Yoshi). This led me after the class to search what happened and I quickly discovered on the web a lot of (negative) feedback about the Vallejo Airbrush Thinner that I was using that night along with the White Vallejo Primer. Apparently that one dries up your paint even faster than without, so I should have thinned my paint with something else – which I’ll try next time (I have for example liquidex matte fluid). Meanwhile, I went looking for tutorials on how to avoid paintbrush clogs and found this:
I’ve received my assignment for the month of October from Rémi (Salaise Figurine Studio) and this month we’re moving away from the “simple” dry-brushing exercises over to something more complex: the black (brown) lining and edge lining techniques. The amount of figures this month is also increasing and looks as follows:
- NEXU from Imperial Assault (1 normal and 1 elite version)
- Stormtroopers from Imperial Assault (6 normal and 3 elite versions): improve the black lining technique and sub-lining.
- Ignos from Aracadia Quest Inferno (Whole Lotta Lava expansion): work on the multiple washes (orange, yellow to obtain the lava effect).
- Mittens from Arcadia Quest: to practise further the dry-brushing on the fur.
- Yun from Aracadia Quest: to practise the layering and wash + lining on the cape.
We build on last month practice of multiple layers of base-coats (between 4 and 10 depending on the figurine & color), applying wash and initiation to dry-brushing. I had to work on the Royal Guards from Imperial Assault and the Wolves from Conan. After a screw-up on my Wolves (I didn’t wait for the off-white paint to dry properly and applied my brown soft tone wash too soon, resulting in the entire lower part of the body to get brown muddy color), I decided also to do the Hyenas from Conan as a catch-up exercise. Here’s a few pictures below of the final result.