Wednesday, October 12, 2011

[40K] Show Me How

I am starting a new project soon, but before I get to it, I want some advice. You know me, I am always willing to give it out, so now I am going to ask for some.

I want a "clean, shiny" look for my next project; but I generally paint in a overwashed, muddy, dirty sort of way.
I personally love the look. I enjoy the over or undersaturated aesthetic a lot, as seen here:

This Maurader is one I personally painted, and is pretty representative of my ability and "groove".

There is also this guy (Mihalis and Back40K, This is for you...)

I really don't like yellow, but this guy is stellar. I love his washed out, grungy look.

So, if your paint style is a little messy,  how do you get results like this?

I'd love to have clean, crisp, sharp lines and colors. I would love to have the colors be "just right", rather than "too much" or "not enough". I have no idea how to do it.

Can any of you show me demos, videos, tutorials or other resources for a CLEAN paint job?


  1. White or gray base coats will help lighter colors stand out. Liquid mask can help with straight lines.

    Thinning your paints and using multiple thinned coats can also make your colors more solid without getting mucky by showing brush strokes.

  2. So if I'm understanding right, you're looking to move from a realistic paint job to a cartoon style? Brighter colors, clean lines, and little to none in the way of wear and weathering?

  3. well, from the pictures, it looks like you're just giving the whole model a wash of devlan mud for shading.

    step one of a clean paintjob is: DONT DO THAT.

    Which is not to say it isn't a totally fine and acceptable practice. It's just that you need to get away from browness and muddyness.

    So you'll need to directly paint on your shading and you wont't be using brown.

  4. Marshall: I guess that's a way to put it.

    Lauby: I'm totally not, but I see how you could think that.

  5. wellp, good to know. I guess shorten it down to: Don't use brown as a shade for everything then.

  6. So you want to paint the love child of a Grav Tank and a Rubiks cube?
    My interpretation of that style of painting would almost have me looking at cell shading for reference material. Colour selection holds as much weight as the painting technique.

  7. I'm just trying to get a feel for the style you're going for, as the two are very different. I could be entirely off and you simply just want a clean paint job, which would be different entirely as well. :)

    There is a name for the cartoon style, but I'm not fluent enough in the art department to know it.

  8. It doesn't have to be considered cartoonish, what's important is contrast. Rather than a uniform colour scheme, experiment with stronger shadows and highlights - these actually exist in real life. (Or, go cartoonish.. look at my Eldar pics in my DA gallery - those models really POP when they're on the battlefield.)

    Good article here:

    And there's of course my previous talks on different styles.

    You can start a few ways.

    Use a white base, different colours, and very importantly, different coloured washes. You can then emphasize with some stronger highlights and shadows followed by another wash.


    prime the model black and don't be afraid to use brighter colours when you're painting. DO NOT paint the crevices and other shadows - leave them contrasting strong and black.

  9. also a few interesting photos to look at here

  10. Actually, with those yellow marines, you could really make him pop by taking a dark brown and washing it into the cracks and crevices.. then (if you wanted to experiment more) a wash with a mix of the yellow/brown under arms, between legs, etc, to add some realistic shadows.