Painting Jam 03 - Mixed FAQ

by Roman aka jar

posted by roman, jarhead, kong

Hiho to another round of MVs PAINTING JAM.
This week i recieved a lot of mixed questions about this and that and i try to answer them in here to everyone's happiness. Let's go:

Engin from Turkey wrote: 
"How are you? I hope everything is just fine for you.
I am Engin from Turkey, a great admirer of your work. I have been playing Warhammer until two years ago, however never been a very good modeler/painter.
I must say that your work have inspired me and I decided to begin painting.
Of course, I am not hoping to get your level but maybe I can have a decent painted army.
Can you give me any newbie advices?(other than the tutorials in massivevoodoo, by the way they are great)
Also your Ultramarines are incredible, they are the pure source of my inspiration, can you put some close shots of  your Ultramarines and maybe some advices about them? "

My answer:
First thanks to you, Engin for your nice words about my work. Second, you did a great choice with starting to improve your painting, that is really a great decision and everytime i hear such a step by some others it makes me happy that the word of painting miniatures spreads.

Besides the MV Tutorials i can't give you anymore advices at the moment. We are trying to collect our ideas and thoughts there and sure it isn't complete yet - i guess it never will be, haha. It really takes it time and effort to fill the article section up with content. If you got any questions about the Tutorials please feel free to ask there in the article via comment. I don't want to look mean, when i say i have no time to give you newbie advices, it is just that i could write a book about it, when i want to help you away from the beginning and i must say sorry that i don't have the time at the moment for something like that. I have planned to start a newbie introduction for the article section, linking up the most important things for a good start in the hobby, but i have not finished it yet. Stay tuned.

A single newbie advice i can give to you is that you never should think that you can't be as good as someone else is. This joy of painting is not about these thoughts. If you start with such thoughts you will not get far in your painting as you always compare your painting to others. Your painting is your painting and there is no need to paint like Painter X does. Find your own way, do your own ideas, improve while having fun at your finished stuff no matter what the quality is in the end. If you have fun in the things you are doing you improve easily and find your own path of working with colours. I guess that is the best newbie advice i ever wrote, haha. Ahh, my brain works - here is another one: Take your time for training. It is not always needed to paint a complete model for training session. Take one arm or a sword for example to train the way you paint light on them or how you work with glazes. The way of the miniature painter isn't easy, maybe this could help also.

About the Ultramarines: Wow, now you are asking me things. Everytime i have painted one of them i have always made a testrun on how i paint blue for myself. Some advices... ay, ay, ay... it is always the same, wheter you paint blue or green or red. You have a basic colour, mix in other dark colours for the shadow areas of the model and mix in brighter tones for the lights on the model. Every colour works that way. I also did this with the Ultramarine Armoury. Here is an example of the path a colour goes while i work with it. Sorry only got green ready - in the middle you can see the basecolour i want to have for that area, but i have to go into shadows and lights.

You got to understand that every colour works that way. It is really rare that i highlight a blue tone with a brighter blue tone for example. That doesn't work for me in the end. Sure you can vary the colour range you use for the shadows and lights on your model very intresting. You can mix in cold colours or warm ones into the lights and shadows, there is really a lot to vary but first you must understand that every colour works that way. I don't want to keep this completly theoretical - so go outside and check a tree or a big rock about the colour in its lights and its shadows. Keep your eyes open... always, it is all there.

Here comes a close up of the Ultramarines standing in my cabinet. They are done as a comission and still are waiting for my muse to do a big fat dsiplay base for them, including them and some really nasty war against Tyranids, but that will be another story... click to enlarge:

I am sorry Engin that there is not much brain left for me to explain how i have worked on them. It's been a long time and everyone of them was done differently but in the end they fit together as a unit. I have no idea how i managed that, haha. When i do paint another Brother of the Ultramarines i will do a Step by Step Tutorial for you - promised. I am working on a Imperial Fist Scriptor at the moment, but i am way too far in progress that it would be good to start an article here. Hope you found some help in my blabla...


Beddim on CMON wrote via private message:

"Hi! I asked Picster some questions a little while back about how he painted his blood angels. He then posted a tutorial on and went WAY above what I was expecting to answer my questions. I also saw some of your work on the site and was very inspired.

I was looking at the tutorial you made of Dariel and I really liked how you painted your blacks on him. I also really liked how you pained your blacks on the black templar on CMON. I was just curious if you used the same method. I was also curious on how you painted the metal on his right shoulder, if you have time to explain.

I'm not expecting a tutorial or anything, but any pointers you could give ( if it is different from what you did with dariel) would be greatly appreciated.

Also, as a side note. I'd like to thank you for all of the work you guys put into massivevoodoo. After Picster introduced me to the site, I go there daily for inspiration. You guys put a lot of work into teaching people how to paint and I just wanted to let you know that I ( and many others out there) appreciate all of the help you have given, and the work that you put into the site. If you talk to Picster, give him my thanks as well. :)"
My answer:
The jungle always will take its time to bring you the answer you are asking for :) Sometimes it is good explained and sometimes bad, haha. First i want to say muchas gracias for your thankful words. We really appreciate that as this gives us power to go on.

Dariel and the Black Templar have been completly differently painted in their blacks. I was completly stupid during the work on the black templar and wanted to find out if i can go from a bright grey to black only with glazes of dark grey to black. Completly senseless idea afterwards and it took me some time, haha. I found some WIP shot of the Black Templar as he has been painted back in 2008 - here you go that has been my basic work - oh dear, sorry some are really small:

The trick when painting black is that you don't paint black. I always mix some other colour into my black when i start. Pure black looks wrong most of the time, because black is also influanced like every other area on a miniature by its sorrounding. So for example you can have a cold black, a warm black, a purple black and son on. You even can change this when you work your shadows and lights and switch the colour temperatures (cold/warm) while you do so. That is what i did at the Black Templar Space Marine. Today i would not do him this way (glazing him down, blaaahhh!! haha!)... Today i got used to paint black from dark but not as black. You can mix in grey, bleached bone, ice blue, space wolfs grey, etc. whatever you like into your nonblack to bring it up to the lights. The same colour stripe thing i have explained above in the answer to Engin. Hope that helps so far!

Danick wrote via email:
"Hi Roman... I've been following your blogs/tutorials/stuff/etc... And these days I tried to work on some sanguinary guard in TMM... I  also using the Vallejo model color metallics gold and oily silver with final highlights with Model air chrome... The chrome is very nice and does a very nice job but I am having a problem with all the other model color metallics... They are too thick... Way to thick... And the pigments look huge... So yes I dilute them a lot but still the finish is not smooth... Part of it came from a bad primer but still I see a big difference between the model color and model air series...

What do you think about this? Any idea where I could be wrong?"
My answer:

I have explained how i have painted my last Sanguinary Guard here for those who don't know what this talk will be about. From your explanation i am a bit confused too. Too thick? Mmh... important is that you got a strong basecolour from which you work your way to the highlights and shadows of the TMM.

What you could do is to mix more steps in between to get a smoother transition. I mostly use oily steel, i am sorry that i have no experience with Oily silver (maybe we mean the same?). There is for sure a big difference between model colour and model air. Model colour is thicker, yes. My experience is that i don't use it undiluted, but that is what you already did - thinning it with water. Here you have to look for the right dillution grade - if you are too shy with water, the model colours will be to thick, if you are too powerful with water then it is hard to keep the pigments in place. Make sure you find the middle way. Hard to explain in words, damn. Make sure you really take your time mixing the model colour with water. Mixing it can take a minute, maybe there is the problem. Also the Model Air colour could be a problem. I like those too but they are alreaday thinned a lot because normally they are for the use with the airbrush. If you thin them with water it is also hard to keep the pigments in place. For the last highlight in my metallics i did switch from Chrome to Model colour Silver lately. These are my thoughts on this case, maybe it helps. I have no idea though but hope dies in the end. Maybe anyone else has got an idea and can help via comment.


Daniel asks via email if i could give him some tips for further improvement on his latest Tyranid Trygon.

My answer:
I like this beast. The black skin parts look pretty nice. I also like the overall colour scheme, but i think the reds could work a better with some more highlights on the upper edges - take Dwarf Flesh for example for mixing them in your reds, as this provides your colour not too go to pink (happens when you do this with bleached bone or white). The whites could need some more contrast, maybe a bit more grey to black in the mix to go stronger with your light on the miniature. Light can only work if there is enough shadow. For example the whites on the tail look as bright as the whites on the head. Try to set your imagined light source up on top of the model - the so called zenital lightning - from which you can work your way throught the miniature with its light and shadow areas more easily. With it you also get your focus point to the head. Personnally i don't like the white eyes at all. I love how the tongue pops out in contrast to the red parts... i miss something like that on the eyes. Check this last painting jam to see what i mean with the eyes.

Sorry if some questions could not have been answered in full detail, because the word has limits. I hope i could have helped the one or the other of you. Keep on happy painting!

So far to this Painting Jam. Stay tuned for the next one and if you like what we do here and you want to say thanks in form of support check this area! Soon all Painting Jams will be easy for you to reach in the right up banner corner... soon, not yet... jungle is slow and massive...

Kong out!
Best Regards

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