login   |    register
Painting: Painting with Acrylic
Discuss Acrylic painting techniques.
Blending with Vallejo Model Color
Ukraine / Україна
Joined: July 04, 2011
KitMaker: 9 posts
Historicus Forma: 1 posts
Posted: Tuesday, July 05, 2011 - 03:55 AM UTC
Hi there, guys. actually, I`m a starter and I have some problems with painting figures with acrylics. I can`t realize highlits and shadows. as I understood, blending can`t be used with acrylic colors. Instead, glazing or blending is used.
I was trying to master these techniques, but the result disappointed me. I got sharp borders between the highlight and the basecoat. I heard about Vallejo paint retarder, that gives more time to blend colours. is it necessary to use retarder or I just do something wrong? I`d be glad to hear your advices or recieve some links for helpful videos, articles, etc. I`m sorry for my English, I`m a bit confuse with the times.
United States
Joined: September 22, 2010
KitMaker: 102 posts
Historicus Forma: 100 posts
Posted: Tuesday, July 05, 2011 - 05:02 AM UTC
Take your time and KEEP PAINTING...DON'T STOP because you become discouraged...it takes TIME and the experience you get that comes with painting...I had similar problems with the early (before your time, most likely - the mid 70s) Imrie/Risley (I/R) paints...they were similar to the Vallejo & Andrea paints today - I say 'similar' because they had the quick-drying quality, which can be frusatrating...however, both Vallejo & Andrea are, by far, better paints - you might try a retarder and/or more thinner...with acrylics you also have to paint more quickly than you would in oils (my preferred medium)...remember to use thin coats and as you build up the colors to make each layer a bit thinner than the previous one...use GOOD brushes and take care of them...with each figure, you'll improve - make sure you keep one of your first attempts safely in storage somewhere so you can compare your recent work to that...doing that should build your confidence...also get into any competitions that you can!!! Competing not only brings out the best in competitors, but the exchange of information between them improves their techniques.

CB in FL
Spain / España
Joined: November 18, 2004
KitMaker: 456 posts
Historicus Forma: 15 posts
Posted: Tuesday, July 05, 2011 - 03:28 PM UTC
Hi Ihor,

The trick with acrylics is painting with a very thinned mixture.

Firstly you paint your base coat and then you prepare your highlight thinned mixture.

The trick with the very thinned mixture is that you have to touch a paper or towel to get rid of most of it from the brush. In that way you can paint the figure with no problem.

When you paint the highlights you should not see any difference with the first coat but only when you paint many layers. You have to try to get each layer to be more highlighted and not ending where the precedent one ended.

On a more graphical way:
Base layer: ------------------------------------------------------------
1st highlight: ----------------------------------------------------
2nd highlight: --------------------------------------------
3rd highlight: ------------------------------------
4th highlight: ----------------------------
and so on

Once you are done with the highlights you start painting your shadows and the process is the same as with the highlights but in the areas you want to shadow. You also should not try to have any area where highlights get in touch directly with shadows but having at least a minimun of base color in the middle.

It is also important when you prepare your base color to have in the mixture the colors you are going to use for the highlights and for the shadows so get a nice transition from base color to highlights and to shadows.

Hope this helps you.

There are many articles or tutorial on figure painting in armorama or links to them. Also there are many good books on painting figures. I like the most Osprey's books. You have one by Jaume Ortiz and another one by Calvin Tan .

Good luck with your painting,