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Shadowcrunch
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PostSubject: Painting tips and tricks   Sun May 05, 2013 9:39 am

I'm putting this here to save some info for future use. For now, I'm just copy/pasting, but will reorganize later.

BOB ROSS MOUNTAINS
This is just a short discussion of one of the most difficult aspects of the wet-on-wet painting technique. As anyone who has tried knows, making mountains that way that Bob Ross does is nearly impossible, at least for beginners. The problems can be broken down into two categories: the underlying layer and the highlights.
For the underlying layer, I am referring to the basic shape of the mountain that we block in using the knife and a combination of dark colors (usually blues, browns, blacks, and reds). One of the things that you will notice Bob saying is that after he blocks in the shape of the mountain, he scrapes the canvas with the knife to remove excess paint. After he scrapes, then he uses a brush to pull the paint in the direction he wants and, again, remove excess paint. The theme here is the removal of excess paint and just how much paint you need to remove all depends on the brand of oil paint you are working with.

If you are using the Bob Ross oil paints, you probably already know that the dark colors are drier and thicker than the lighter (whites) colors. What this means is that the darker colors have less oil in them and as we all know from watching Bob, a thin paint sticks to a thick paint in this technique (incidentally, this is the opposite of what occurs in traditional oil painting). If you are not using the Bob Ross oil paints, then you will find that the "wetness" of the colors varies greatly with the brand. The more expensive the paints, the more likely there is to be a difference in oil content between colors. With less expensive paints, the oil content is relatively uniform across the color spectrum.

Using the information about your specific paints, there are two methods that you can use to help improve the look of your mountains and prevent the "mud-mixing" that Bob refers to in The Joy of Painting. The first technique is to scrape away as much of the dark underlying layer as possible. If you are using Bob Ross brand paints, then his technique is probably sufficient. If, however, you are using another brand of paints then you will need to use a little more elbow grease. I have found that the following technique works well.

1. Block in the mountain and scrape it as Bob instructs. Pull the paint with a clean dry brush.

2. Go back and scrape with the knife again.

3. Clean the brush and pull the paint out again.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 several times. I find that 3 repeats is a good number, but it all depends on your paints.

What you are looking for is the canvas to show through just a small amount, indicating that you have finally removed enough paint.

Following the above steps helps to ensure that you have only the minimum amount of paint necessary on the canvas. As we have discussed, less is always more in the wet-on-wet technique.

Now the time comes for adding highlights. One of the issues that a lot of people have is the highlights come out looking streaked instead of like areas of more or less snow as in Bob's paintings. The first way to deal with this is to use the above technique to reduce the amount of underlying layer to the minimum possible. The next way to combat this problem is to change the consistency of your paints. When changing the consistency, you can take one of two routes: Thicken the under layer or thin the highlight paints. Thickening oil paint is difficult unless you are mixing the paints yourself and can control the oil content. The only real solution that I have come across is to let the paint air dry for a day or two before you use. This technique has the advantage that you won't have to thin the highlight colors as much and then they will be less prone to being picked up as you paint trees, etc. over top of them.

The second route to changing your oil paints is to thin the highlight colors. The best way to do this is to go ahead and mix the colors to create your highlights and then add linseed oil to dilute/thin the paint. Work slowly and add the oil a little bit at a time. This will take some practice to get right. The downfall to this method is that you are likely to pick up a lot of paint as you try to place trees and other objects over these colors. The only solution to this is to further thin the paints you are using to paint the trees, etc. with something like paint thinner or more linseed oil. Be careful about using too much linseed oil as your paints will start to run and mix together. You can see that this method will likely start you down the road of thinning all of your paints as your work progresses.

The answer to the mountain problem lies in practice and in combining the techniques listed above. Remember that less is always more in this technique, so the less paint you use when putting down base layers, the more successful you will be as your work progresses.

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Last edited by Shadowcrunch on Mon May 06, 2013 8:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Airbrush with cheapy craft paints   Mon May 06, 2013 7:58 pm


Airbrush with cheapy craft paints
Been getting shit set up for a return to the airbrush, and having some conversations on that topic. Something that didn't come up but was an afterthought is the idea of shoving cheapy craft paints through an airbrush. I'm talking the buck-a-bottle brands like FolkArt, AppleBarrel, ETC. What I've discovered is, YES, they can be shoved through an airbrush decently. BUT, there's so many different ideas about how to do it, I thought I would summarize quickly some of the tips I'm finding.

-If painting anything plastic, metal, ceramic, ETC, you HAVE to prime first!

-The paint MUST be thinned, and there's a few different thoughts and ratios. The main ratio I'm seeing is 50/50, but it is also stated that will change based on age of paint, color, type of airbrush, and pressure. Advice given here is to start at 50/50 and experiment until you get what you want.

--SO, first one is thinning with water (for water based acrylics). 50/50 ish. Apparently clogs easier and doesn't always leave a uniform finish. One poster mentioned when she HAS to use water, she will ONLY use distilled so there's no buildup of rust or calcium or any other water-related stuffs on her hardware.

--Thinning with rubbing alcohol. The science here is the alcohol thins the paint so it flows great, but evaporates so fast it doesn't have time to screw up how the paint is laying on the surface. Haven't tested, but I'm also thinking this would be the best smelling option. Twisted Evil

--Thinning with window cleaner. Cheapy Walmart brand windex. Same basic theory as alcohol, but apparently evaporates even faster. The question was asked (of me, and again on a forum) if blue windex will affect the color of paint, and the answer given was to use clear window cleaner, sometimes found in automotive. As an added bonus, it has been said that window cleaner is THE best solution for cleaning your airbrush internals and nozzles.

---Same idea, it was mentioned by a few that windshield wiper fluid will do the same thing as the windex.

--AND lastly (I think), is using Future floor polish. Theory here is that it is a water based acrylic sauce, so it will not break down the paint "binders" like alcohol or windex will.

-----Oh, there's also the idea of using thinner, but I'm thinking if you're using water based acrylics, there's probably a reason, and maybe it has to do with fumes or whatever. Also, I'm sure thinner would break down an acrylic just as much as anything else. I only found a few posts about using thinner, whereas I found pages of posts thumbing up the other options. Use at your own risk.

NOTE: I'm posting this list like this, instead of linking to my sources, because I gathered this from roughly 5 forums and 2 yahoo answers. On the five forums, I read at least 3 pages each. These forum threads discussed everything from airbrushing models to fabrics to styrofoams. If you want to do your own research, just google 'airbrush with folkart' or adjust the search however you want.

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PostSubject: Re: Painting tips and tricks   Mon May 06, 2013 9:30 pm

I've read using furniture polish as a cover coat for your models (most say three layers), but never as a thinner.

If it helps, a lot of my modeling magazines say that 50/50 is good for an overall spray, but most of the people using airbrush use a lower paint to thinner ratio; they do this to build up the shading effects.
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PostSubject: Re: Painting tips and tricks   Tue May 07, 2013 7:35 pm

@soothsayer wrote:
...modeling magazines say that 50/50 is good for an overall spray, but most of the people using airbrush use a lower paint to thinner ratio; they do this to build up the shading effects.

That is also what I'm reading, but to reiterate for absolute airbrush beginners (which is us), that 50/50 for a good overall spray will depend on a shitload of factors, one of which is your entire airbrushing "rig." Your rig AND paint choice might require half of the thinning agent (a 75/25 (or 3:1) ratio if I'm not mistaken), or a completely different mix. One post in my source forums, while using cheap-ass brand paints, uses 2 parts alcohol, 1 part water, and 1 part paint. Yeah, do the math on that! Crying or Very sad

These thinning tips will also vary depending on paints. Right now I'm focusing on cheap-ass brand acrylics. I already know the Testor's "pro" railroad line of paints (brand eludes me ATM) barely requires any thinning for my rig, and since they are water based, water works awesome for thinning. The Tamiya acrylics are also considered high grade paints, and apparently they spray like a dream IF you thin with windex or alcohol. I have also read there's a cheap-ass brand (TeraCote or some such) that can spray right out of the bottle with NO thinning. Must be nice... One awesome thing everyone agrees on with the cheap-ass brands is the cost makes it okay to experiment.

ANYWAY, an update! I have QUICKLY tried FolkArt 'Licorice' (black) through my rig two times with two different thinning sauces. Used black as I figure most shading and/or 'lining' will be done with a black type color, and the whole thinning affecting the opacity thing.

Rubbing Alcohol: First time, I went 50/50 with rubbing alcohol, and... a POX on isopropyl! It almost seemed like my pigments were congealing in the liquid, and when I tried to clean my first clog, the paint was stringy and gummy inside my airbrush parts. Maybe a different ratio, but not in the near future, cuz I was NOT thrilled with the congealing results.

Wal-Windex: We have some Walmart brand blue windex wannabe. I went 50/50 with the licorice, then added another splash of windex "for my homies." Shake shake shake. Stir stir stir. Pour, and WHEEEEeeeee!!!! Steady, consistent flow (as much as my beginner fingers could manage with a dual action airbrush). The color was NOT too thinned out, though I had to go over smaller lines twice to achieve actual black on white paper. VERY easy to shade. When I got done with a bowl full of black, I sprayed clean water through the brush for a couple minutes, took it apart, and my internals were clean. Water cleanup of all tools and accessories went fast and smooth. So far, the windex is pure awesome.

NOTE: at some point, I will break down and try plain old water to thin water based paints. I know... walking a razor's edge there.
UPDATE 2!!! from 5-12-13:
This was almost a week ago already, but I tried water for thinning the folkart paints. I used water to thin out wicker white and calico red, and both sprayed well. Since I was just pouring water, I didn't get any exact ratio measurement, but it was more water than a 50/50... maybe a 30/70 paint/water. I did some red spray, then wanted to darken my shade, so I added a few drops of the black/windex right into my red/water directly in the airbrush side cup and shook gently. What I got was a non-uniform dark spray that would occasionally lighten up (cuz of the incomplete mix), but the mixture of windex/black and water/red didn't seem to cause any problems at all with the spray.

I will say for science sake that the folkarts, no matter what color or thinning medium, seem to have REALLY subdued colors when sprayed. Maybe it's the fact that it's only half paint and half liquid is evaporating/drying. The black sprays a really dark gray (licorice so it's NOT actually black anyway, cuz making black would be too hard or some damn thing). The red sprays like a... um... hazy red and light gray? The White sprays very semi-transparent, and works well for highlights... just have to go over a couple times for a real white effect.


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PostSubject: Re: Painting tips and tricks   Mon May 13, 2013 1:41 am

This was supposed to be a post about spray paint art. NOT airbrushing, but actual big ass can of Krylon sproosh sprish shhhhhhhht ssshhhhhhhhhtttt TADA! Cuz people do it, and I hate them just a little. For inspiration, Vader and I were watching some spray paint artists on youtube, and got to discussing the hows and whys of the process (until that he or she that mixed spray with Bob Ross style everything else to blow the mind completely). So, one of the things brought up was modifying spray can nozzles to make different spray patterns. Could we do this? Could we make that? Don't know, but LO and behold... we can just frickin buy them... http://www.bombingscience.com/shop-tips.htm

And Vader wondered what type of paint these street artists are using. Don't know about the individuals, but, check the specs on these: http://www.bombingscience.com/spraypaint.htm?category=Ironlak Price isn't bad considering each can comes with three caps! And because we were discussing the Liquitex markers, same site has http://www.bombingscience.com/graffiti-markers.htm Look, some are empty!

Let's see, most of the street spray painters (ply their trade on the street as a live show... not actually painting the street) use poster board or an equivalent, which makes sense as the smoothness would help the paint slide and not dry too quick, which I think is part of the problem with my current practice pieces. And speaking of drying, guess what these bastards do when their paint starts to get too dry to work! Yeah! They hit it with clear coat to make it wet again!!!

Okay, now that the spray paint part of the post is done, I WAS going to include video tutorial on spray paint art techniques, but this next video was way too WOW to not share. Watch it all the way through, cuz I said so.



Oh... to everyone in the comments under this video who say it's not amazing because women do it to their fingernails all the time, I say STFU. I challenge any of you to show me a fingernail that big! Until then, this is amazing and you're a lying bastard. Razz

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PostSubject: Re: Painting tips and tricks   Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:08 pm

Is there any thinning involved with these Fine Art paints and brush painting? They seem to be similar to Testors, but I haven't really tried to apply them yet. And, with the exception of 'crunch's light colored paints on gesso, have there been any other issues with these paints and modeling?
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PostSubject: Re: Painting tips and tricks   Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:52 am

If you're talking the 99 cent folkart style bottles at walmart, I hate them for almost any application. I get them because of the color range and cost. They flow like shit, cover like shit, leave brush strokes like shit. If you try drybrushing with them, that brush will only be good for drybrushing after that. The large pigment size means you can only thin so far, and then you cross a line where you're brushing water with actual visible chunks of color. Even the ceramic/glass enamels cover glass like utter shite. They make a flow medium for those enamels, which I've only found online, but the pros say it makes the stuff cover glass smoothly and easily. I'm thinking if they know it's a problem that their paints require a flow helper, fix the paint, don't sell us a hard-to-find $8 bottle of juice. Maybe it was $6... it's the same size bottle as the rest....

That out of the way, I have used them, VERY sparingly, on some models. I normally wind up mixing them with one of my "gourmet" lines from Testors, which helps with thinning and flow. Or if I want to darken/lighten one of my good paints without using all of my good paint white/black, I'll add a drop or two of the folkart.

Oh, to answer your question, I've thinned them with water and the walmart windex (just like in airbrushing as posted previously). Same situation applies no matter what... you'll thin and get it just to the point of flow, but it'll still be thick enough the leave brush strokes and some ridges, but if you add any more liquid, you have chunks. When I say chunks, as you know many paint places grind their powder pigments down to semi-microscopic size (normally the pricier, the smaller and better quality the pigments). These 99 cent paints have chunks visible to the eye if thinned enough, which becomes sad when you start smearing them across a mini.

So that's my 2 cents. I know the price is right, but they piss me off. I would rather buy 2 or three bottles of $5 paint and mix colors I want, but in a pinch, they will work as long as you're REALLY careful.

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PostSubject: Re: Painting tips and tricks   Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:50 am

Was just curious. Last year or so (has it been that long?) I started to thin my Testors and got good results; it was just hit or miss as far as keeping the ratio. Bought a bunch of the Vallejo paints, which I haven't used yet, but right away the difference in thickness between the two was quite apparent.

With these Fine Arts (perhaps they are folk art, no idea at the moment) paints, I thought I'd give them a try. I originally wasn't going to, but after a visit to Vader's place and seeing that he uses them, I figured what did I have to lose. They are rather cheaply priced (fiddy cents to 87 cents a bottle), but reasoned that was due to the medium used; being next to the ceramic and wood projects, I figured that was what they were geared for. But Vader does say that he uses them, so...

I know I used one of those paints years ago, had the right color I was looking for in regards to the flesh tone of my Tau. That was rather gloppy, and yeah, the paint did some funky stuff to my brush.

...

Just checked reviews online of the Folk Art paint (Fine Art are those tubes of paint across the aisle). These paints actually rate pretty highly. Wonder if there's a difference between acrylic and enamel? (note: I'm using the acrylic)

Hmm... methinks this is going to boil down to individual perspectives. Vader says good, you say meh, reviews say 4 out of 5. My one time use was crap. Looks like what I am going to have to do is get a practice piece going (which is generally a good idea anyway) and see for myself.
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PostSubject: Re: Painting tips and tricks   Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:00 pm

@soothsayer wrote:
and see for myself.
Always a good method for figuring out what works with your personal tastes. For minis, I will say flat out you should avoid the enamels. They are thicker and goopier, and I'm not sure if they are thinnable/cleanable with water, where the acrylics are most definitely water-based.

I will also say I find myself using them a bit more lately, but more for a basecoat or a mix. Just because of the amount of colors and price. Also after that link vader found about thinning the gesso, I had the idea of thinning in a ratio of 50% gesso, 25% water, 25% folkart color. I then went over some of my original basecoat that was a little sketchy and it worked great! For the price, they definitely have their uses, I just much prefer a paint somebody put some quality into. Oh, and the gesso/water/paint mix seriously killed on of my brushes, but not as bad as Tamiya metallic gunmetal did! I think there's hits and misses no matter what brand....

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PostSubject: Re: Painting tips and tricks   Wed Sep 28, 2016 2:08 pm

Plasti Dip, oh why is it I have never heard of you before?

Was watching a how-to video from one of my favored cosplayers, and she started to spray a foam gauntlet she made with a can of Plasti Dip spray paint. Coming in a variety of colors, this rubbery spray coating is relatively cheap (a can is about $5.50 at Walmart) and maintains flexibility without cracking or splitting. You can also buy a "create your own color" set for $25 to $30, but I don't know how much paint you get with this.

After watching this video, I went to youtube to learn more about this wondrous new product, but it seems it's been on the market for years. Years! But these people use it to paint their cars. Can you imagine?

So anyway, when I get to the point where I make foam armor (I am still planning on making a gauntlet), I'll have to keep this in mind. I don't know if it makes for a good primer as it is rubber and paint really doesn't stick to rubber all that well. But it should be good to give whatever project a uniform appearance. **I just did a different keyword search on youtube: cosplay plasti dip, got quite a few hits, so I'll give that a try later.

And just because I made mention of it, this is Zonbi. Cosplayer on a budget in the day, police officer at night.

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