Wednesday, November 13, 2013

There's just not enough people who want to oil a snake..

How To- Oil Washes
I have been mentioning making a how to for using oil washes, well it started out as making a How I paint my Dusk Wolves. But it seems to have gone more in the direction of how to use oil washes. I will make another one for painting the Dusk Wolves as I have been asked a couple of times.

This will be less of a step by step (though it may contain some) but more of all the things to think about when using them and the recommendations I have.

First off using oils take a lot longer then using water based products. It will take longer as you'll have a much longer working time as oils are slow drying. It will also take more steps to make sure your model comes out correctly. Water based paints dry quickly, sometimes too quickly. Oils are solvent/oil based and dry via oxidation not evaporation like water based products do. Different thinners can speed up or slow down the drying time but we really won't worry much about that. Just a note, don't use Linseed Oil or other oils to thin your paint unless you have a lot of time on your hands. It will make the paint smoother but could take a week to dry (or even longer in some cases).

As it's best to start in the beginning that's where I'll start. I'll get into what products I use ..
Odorless Artist Mineral Spirits - This can be picked up at any art store and is a good buy. You don't want to use standard mineral spirits from HD if possible, it's not very refined and it will get you goofy real fast from the fumes.
Oil Paint - I use Windsor Newton but any artist oils will do
Palette - to Mix, I use cheap plastic ones for mixing
QTip - These will be used to wipe away the extra paint your don't want. You can use a brush, rag or whatever you want.
Gloss Clear Coat - It's best to clear your model before going over it with oils. And that's for a couple of reasons, one the oil can craze your acrylics and that sucks unless you are going for that look. If you are going for a crazed look apply some mineral spirits over your acrylics (very lightly or you'll remove it, here is where linseed or other oils work better). But back to the point, the clear coat will also allow you to wipe away any extra oil paint, you will have extra and this will save the paint underneath. It also increases the surface tension of the model (using gloss) and will allow the paint to run into the cracks quickly and pretty easily.
Thinner - You can use the mineral spirits again if you like but I go with something a little weaker. I use the Tamiya x20 thinner, from the smell of it I think it's mostly just acetone but it won't remove layers below the oil as long as you don't go overboard with pressure.

Ok, now that we have the items listed lets get into it.

Once you have the base colors you want:
I primed them white then sprayed them with the airbrush to make it quick.
You can do it by hand as well, up to you. The AB is just a quick way of getting it done. These are the colors I used for the base painting. VJA Light Brown, Sand and ComArt White and Raw Umber. Once you have the base color where you want it clear coat the model.
Now you are ready to start with the oils, break out the color you want to use and add it to the palette.
Depending on how many models you have you won't need much. Above is actually the black portion I'm getting ready to mix. You can see it's not a lot. The look you are going for will also determine how much you need. Are you just going for an outline? Are you making him muddy? that will all matter.
Here is the black now that it's mixed, you can see it is VERY thin. This is the recess layer I wanted after applying the brown coat (got Firefly!) haha Sadly I didn't take any pictures of the brown mix. There isn't an actual ratio I can apply to this. It's more of a feel it procedure. You will be thinning it a lot, you might even think its too much but it probably isn't. I typically add the thinner to the other side of the palette and then start adding the color into the thinner a bit at a time until I'm happy with the consistency. You can use an eyedropper, brushed or what I started using lately. A baby oral syringe.
Whenever you buy a bottle of children/infant medicine you will get one of these. I seriously have a draw filled with them from the last three years. It makes it very easy to transfer to the palette, you know exactly how much you have and it doesn't leak. All awesomeness in my book.
Once you have the mixture where you think you want it, it's time to start applying it. This is another feel it type of process and again it really relies on what look your are trying to achieve.
 
Here they are all mucked up. I went very heavy with the Raw Umber Oil to make it look like they have been out in the muck for days on end. They don't care about how they look, just that they win! I brush the oil toward the recesses of the model, if you have sprayed it with gloss clear a lot of the paint will seep right into the cracks and outline it for you. If you are going heavy think about where are you putting. On studs apply beneath them, heavy on the feet and legs and places you'd imagine the grime would end up. If you go heavy it's not a biggy.
Allow the oil sometime to setup, I'd recommend at least 30 mins and even longer if a heavy application was applied. Now you break out the thinner and Qtip and start to wipe off the excess, you don't want to let the oil dry too long though. If it sits on there over night there is a strong possibility you will have a tough time getting off the excess. It shouldn't take much effort to remove the excess paint, just dip in the thinner and go over the top areas that would see wear or otherwise would just be cleaner. If you are planning on going over with another color like I did with these guys.. now using back for the shadows I let them dry over night and then clear them again. This will again protect the layers and keep the surface tension high.




Here they are again now with the black layer added. I did paint some of the other colors on there now as I was working on them. Once I get those colors finished I'll probably muck them up too. I want them to match, don't want it to be like why is his one arm so clean? haha

You also don't have to just make a mess, sometimes you might want them to look clean. Clean but shaded and if you've painted white a lot before you know how much of a pain it can be. Oil can make it quick and painless. Here are a couple of shots of my Dark Angel Termies in progress, I want it to be a clean shade so only the recess is left. All the highlight sections were cleaned off.


That is just a very thinned down coat of Raw Umber Oil. You can always layer it up if you are worried about how dark you start out, you can also just add thinner right to the model if you have a extra heavy dap of paint. It will just blend right out. The glossery the model the easier it will be for the recesses to fill. Oils are very smooth (high viscosity) and on a surface with a high sheen they will almost self shade for you. Looks nice and is quick to do if not long in the process as you will be doing the clear prep work and then cleaning and then clearing again.

It's not just for brown and black, you can do it with any color.
Sadly the terribleness that is Finecast makes it a little tougher but I used blue and black on her. I'm going to go back with blue wipe off the excess and then spray a light blend of white from above and it should really stand out.

I hope this info helps and makes sense, if there are any questions about anything let me know and I'll add them in.