Tutorial - Working with colour pigments on a base

by Roman aka jar

posted by roman, jarhead, kong

This time it is about working with pigments on a base.
What exactly are Pigments?

What is really great about working with pigments is that they are dusty and bring in a dusty effect to your bases. You can even apply them as a glaze with water and they will dry out dusty again. This little article will bring you an insight on how you can work with Pigments. You can get Pigments from different manufacturers from our hobby or you can buy them in an art store in a much higher amount... You can even make your own pigments from stuff like rust or charcoal...

There are many colours of Pigments to get - pick your own choices and learn what you like by using them...  Here is a small amount of those i use regularly:

Now how you can use them? I'll give this little example on the latest painted miniature by me, Weglaf of Arnholdt's Hill by Red Box Games. The pictures shown here are out from the constant progress on the miniature so painting is nowhere at an end while you are looking on these WIP-shots. This was the base colour of the base, something really bright, no idea what it was, haha:

I then glazed the base with a lot of brown, greenish inks and washes to get some depth and direct the colour to which it'll go in the end. I've also highligheted parts which are hit be the zenithal light, also i have attached some MiniNatur grass pieces to it.

Now it was time to use the pigments. I choose to use some brigher orange ones first. To add them in a dusty look there is nothing to it. Just pick up an old big brush, bring some of them on a tissue to get them from, take care not to have too much on your brush and now simply tip them at the places you want them to have. Some kind of dustbrushing, somehow equal to drybrushing but more tippy, tippy... yeah, no one gets what i mean i guess... dabbing is the word I was searching for.

Next i choose some darker red/orange ones to bring them on - same way... to intense areas i want to intense.

I still wanted more and took a mix of the so far used pigments mixed with black pigments - yeah, you caneasily mix them. Dabby, dabby, dabby... i mean dabbing :)

I still rework some areas after such a procdure, bring out a light here and there, hit some brighter edges and so on. The final result can look like this! Here are some other examples on where pigments have been used - you can also sometimes hit the legs, cloak of a miniature if you want to show that the dust is not only at the base - less is more, i always have this problem that i not often have the control to listen to this voice in my head... already mentioned above, you can hit them at your base as a glaze, thinned with water, they will dry out dusty again. For sure your pigment work always influances the overall colour scheme, always keep this in your mind...

Final words

I often use pigments, often in the middle of the process as this is a fast way to get things done or see some progress in time. As told i do rework areas often when pigment work went out of control to get some details back. Very intresting is that you you can remove them with a high amount of water if you really did something totally wrong.

When you have an accident with pigments at your home, don't try to clean it with a wet rag. you will do scream and increase the accident even more - take your vaccuum cleaner!!

When using them on display miniatures there is not really the need to fix them as the models should only be touched on the socket. Know that they don't fall off easily, you got to use force to bring them away. If you use pigments on your gaming models i recommand to you that you use a Pigment fixer (for example the product by MIG).

Hope this article helps and was fun to read... try it to increase your fun while painting!

Keep on happy painting!


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