When it comes to shading and highlighting miniatures, there are three options to consider. Layering involves choosing a colour for your base layer, a colour for your highlighting or shading and several colours that provide a transition between the two. Wet blending involves painting the base colour and highlight/shading colour onto your miniature side by side, then using a brush to blend them together. Glazing involves using one colour, which is translucent, and building up many layers to create areas of light or shadow. Each method has its positive and negative points, but glazing is often considered as the best way to achieve flawless results, despite it being time-consuming.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Plain miniature
- Paint brushes
- Paint palette
Pour a small amount of your base colour onto a paint palette. Add water and mix evenly with a paint brush to achieve your desired glaze consistency and translucency.
Paint the areas of shade onto your plain miniature with your base colour glaze. Take the time to paint smaller areas of shade such as hems and creases in clothing and shadows around muscles to create a realistic look.
Paint over the entire area you want to use your base colour for once the shadows have dried. Ensure that you cover the entire area, including the shadow layer.
Paint the area again once the previous layer has dried. Paint around any areas you want to highlight to leave them with only one layer of glaze.
Build up layers in the same way as above using the same base colour wash each time. Go over areas of shadow or light if they are too pale.
Mix your other paint colours with water on paint palettes as in Step 1 and paint the rest of your miniature using the glazes in the same way as above.
Tips and warnings
- To blend one colour into another, paint one colour onto the desired area, building up the layers of glaze, then paint the second colour onto the desired area with a slight overlap into the first. Build up the second colour, gradually moving away from the first until you are no longer painting on the overlapping section.
- Use a black glaze over areas with too much contrast to mute the tones slightly.
- Use dark coloured glazes such as browns and blacks to enhance areas of shadow and light coloured glazes such as whites and yellows to enhance areas of light.
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