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How Do I Use Regular Paints As A Wash?

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#1 Girthbeard


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Posted 21 February 2010 - 08:44 AM

Ive been reading some paint guides that have steps that use normal GW paints as a wash I.E bleached bone.
is there a specific mixture/ratio of water to paint to make it considered a wash? any help is appreciated

thanks for reading everybeardie

sincerely Jacob A.K.A Girthbeard

#2 Bonecrusher



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Posted 21 February 2010 - 11:30 AM

I don't know if there is an exact measure but if you mix a little washing up liquid in with the water it'll spread it more rather than just clump together. Also some ranges supply something you mix instead of water to create a wash, but haven't tried it though.

#3 Perv


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Posted 21 February 2010 - 12:25 PM

Have a read of this page mate.


Its quite technical but shows just how in depth this hobby can be. I've read most of it and it seems rather than go for a glaze medium or matt medium, some people prefer to just use flow enhancer with paint. Heres a particular section from the page but its from a book made for artists and not mini painters but acrylic paint is acrylic paint so I dont see why it doesnt apply to us too.



* Mix Professional Grade Medium Viscosity Artists Color into Gloss Medium & Varnish for standard glazes or any transparent or translucent Liquitex Medium for specialty glazes.
* Professional Grade High Viscosity Artists Color may also be used but will take slightly longer to evenly mix into medium.
* Transparent Glazes: 7 -10 parts medium to 1 part color.
* Translucent Glazes: 4 - 6 parts medium to 1 part color.
* The amount of medium added will vary depending upon desired effect and color chosen (colors vary in pigment load and opacity)
* Transparent and translucent colors produce the brightest and clearest colored glazes.


Glazes may be thinned up to 25% with water or Flow-Aid Water (1 part Flow-Aid Flow Enhancer, 20 parts water), without affecting clarity or adhesion.

Flow-Aid Flow Enhancer

* Mix Flow-Aid Water with Gloss Medium & Varnish and Medium Viscosity Concentrated Artist Color to achieve glazes and varnishes that are less sticky and can be brushed on easier with less evident brush marks and more open time for blending.
* Achieve deeper saturation of color in watercolor technique and blending of colors.
* Thins High Viscosity Artist' Color, so that it flows more readily and acts more like Medium Viscosity Concentrated Artist Color. The resulting thinned mixture will have a lower pigment load and therefore lower tinting strength than the Medium Viscosity Concentrated Artist Color.


Flow Enhancer breaks surface tension like washing up liquid does so theres no need to add that to the mix, just paint and flow enhancer should work. Add a glaze\matt medium if you want the paint to stay higher on the model as it keeps the pigments in suspension and stops them all falling to the bottom of the wash so to speak.

Sorry just got up mate so no idea if any of this makes any sense. Will read back through it when I've had a cuppa ;)

Just read through it and I bet you are about to say "I'm asking about washes and not glazes" but they're basically the same thing just used differently and mixed at differnt ratios. Read here and it explains it a bit better than I can.

http://www.bolterand...2&hl=ink washes

Edited by Perv, 21 February 2010 - 01:45 PM.

#4 Baradrin


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Posted 21 February 2010 - 04:54 PM

Whether using a flow medium or not, it can be a bit of a hit or miss affair - trying to get the right ratio of water to paint.

Some paints have more pigment in them and may need more water. I have some that need 50/1 ratio before I am satisfied with it.

Also, it depends upon how heavy/strong you want the wash to be - in some cases it might only be a 10/1 ratio.

I tend to go for a little extra water, giving a thinner wash as it is eaier to go over the model with a second coat of the wash than to try and remove excess if it is too strong!

If possible, until you get used to the process, have a test/spare model ready painted with the colour/s to be washed and practice on it. Run it under the tap shortly after trying it, and dab it dry, if you want to try a different ratio!. A little wash will have dried on, but not enough to make much difference if you have washed it off quickly enough.

The addition of the flow medium, or washing up liquid (only a tiny amount!) does allow the wash to spread more evenly, and not pool in slight indentations, but occasionally, you want it to pool to give a deeper colouration in crevices so you may want to omit the medium/washing up liquid in that case.

As with most techniques used by us modellers, it is often practice, and trial and error, that allow us to find what suits us individually, with some preferring very subtle, thin washes that can always be deepened with a second (or third!) coat, whilst others prefer a thicker wash that does the job quickly, but not nessecarily as tidily.

An example of the latter is the use of some of the GW washes as a one-off wash over models that have simply had all base colours added with no shading/highlighting, using the one wash to provide this (possibly redoing the base coat on raised areas as a highlight afterwards if you wish). Devlan Mud is a good one for this.

If you have any of the GW washes, you could start by trying to get your wash to the same consistency, try it, and then water down/thicken to taste.

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