with Inks and Washes
of the painting techniques that generates alot of questions in
recent years on various message boards is the use of inks and
washes. One common responce is someone responding stating that
inks are 'just thinned down paint', which they are definitely
NOT . Most acrylic paint cannot be used with writing pens, technical
pens or air brushes - ink can. Ink washes use pure pigments,
no other additives are mixed with them.
Using different media, such as inks and washes, is an area of painting miniatures
have heard about. Most people do not have an understanding of
how to achieve a desired result. When most people think of washing
or inking they think of how 'inking' produces fantastic miniatures
article will discuss five techniques that I use on a regular
basis and the principles behind them. The accompanying photographs
are examples of the effects achieved by each technique.
doesn't dry as fast as model paint. This is considered and an advantage
for certain techniques when more working time is needed.
Thinning paints - mixing the same color ink with a paint gives
a much more fluid material to work with than paint alone, making
it much more fluid. The advantage of this is pigment density remains
close to the same. When applying thin coats, the colors are much
more vibrant. This technique is very useful when you don't want
to obscure detail on the model but get a good even coverage of
color without using tons of coats (base coating).
- using "dip" washes so that the ink creates a 'natural'
shadow is a relatively simple technique. When the ink wash is applied
generously, it flows into the recesses and; detail on the model to
create a general shading effect over the figure.
application is necessary to avoid leaving part of an area uncovered
that can result in
marks'. Washes are forgiving, and can be clean up with a cotton tipped
of washing depends on the effect required. With a little practice,
you will soon get a feel for the level of application needed. Application
also depends on the color being used. For example, an yellow ink
wash over white is usually thinner than a maroon wash over a red.
In general, darker colors need a more aggressive ink wash or multiple
washes for the desired effect.
- similar to a wash, pigment of a lighter tone than the base color.
Applied to blend between successive highlights to reduce chalky look
and smooth out color difference between layers. Glazes can also be
used to alter the tone of underlying colors. Glazes are painted onto
a model carefully to apply the color in a specific area. Note that
transparent ink is best for glazes.
- toning is altering the color of paint. This technique is useful
for tinting base colors. This technique is useful for light colors
such as yellow, grey and white.
can be an ideal base for metallic paints as well. Heavily applied
metallic paints can look horrible. It's much better to have an appropriate
base color showing through, especially with gold. Black under coating
for gold metallic makes it look dull , a brown under coating gives
it a more realistic feel.
The example shows a blue/black ink as a base for silver to simulate metal. The
other example showing the colors of metallic paint uses a skin ink as an under
coating for gold.
Acrylic silver and gold metallic paints are the best. Bronze is a dull color.
The shine should be preserved by using a satin varnish, as gloss varnish tends
to be to shiny.
The weapon on the miniature shown to the right was painted with silver over a
5. Painting with inks - This technique is used by many professional painters
because ink does not have the covering power of opaque paint. Inks dry more
slowly than paints, this allows time to use blending to make special effects.
Although it is not practical to paint a whole model using ink, specific effects
such as skin flesh tones, marbling and lightning can be done very effectively
picture shows how ink washes settle in the cracks and recesses
of a model.
Ink colors allow painted detail and underlying color to show through. Inks
tend to dry with a satin finish
a matting medium is used. Both these properties of ink allow
interesting possibilities. With a little imagination and time
to experiment the possibilities are endless.