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Re: Paint Washes

Alan Buckingham
Washes can be a great way of shading, they can also spoil a great paint job, experiment with a single figure first. I have loads, some get more use than others, reds and blue`s you are better off using a dark,med and light paint to shade, browns shade well with an umber wash , flesh wash works well on...flesh but like I said experiment, black is not the solution to all shading and the wash I use least of all these days.
All good advice.

As Mr B suggests, try washes on single figures and see what works. We have all been in the position of over-doing washes: I remember covering a 'Waterloo' French infantry regiment back in the days of oil-based enamels, with my own home-made 'black wash' which made them look as if they'd emerged from a coal mine. Disappointing!

Shading of colours is a good technique if you wish to do this; personally I use this technique with more limited washes to specific parts of the figure. And I tend to use a 'dark to light' painting technique, meaning that - for instance - a unit of Bavarians would start with a dark blue wash on their coats, then a first 'highlighting shade' (a medium/light blue) to provide the main coat colour base and a then a light shade (light blue) to provide highlights and a very light blue dry brush to finish the highlighting. I would then not put a wash on the coats at all since the remaining indigo base wash is now providing the deep shadowing.

An obvious extra point: It is easy to make small figures look too dark, so careful with the washes.

Re: Paint Washes

I'm no artist and lazy so I tend to wash everything in Winsor and Newton nut brown ink. I think it works most of the time and you can always highlight a bit if the figure is too dark overall.

Re: Paint Washes

Simplified explanation would be something like this: for warm colours go into brown direction with washes, for cold colours into black one.

A word of advice: experiment with intensity of washes and their application... many times a controlled one ends with more satisfying results.

Re: Paint Washes

Hmm lots of food for thought there.
Thanks for all the advice guys. Very much appreciated.

I will buy a few more shades and have a play around.

Ive got some spare Hat limber/caisson horses I can test on plus some of the riders who will become guinea pigs!
I will give them a basic paint job rather than go whole hog of doing all the details. Have a try on that and then if im happy, have a go on a soldier or 2 of ones ive properly done.

With all the mud, smoke and powder burns during Waterloo, im not wanting figures looking too much like they just came out of a parade ground!

Many thanks again guys, stay safe in these troubled times.