Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Painterly Methods: Sketch (Fast), Canvas (Slow)

John Blanche apparently has two approaches to painting miniatures - one fast, one slow. Seeing as a) the man clearly knows his way around a palette, and b) I adore his work, I'm in the process of stealing/adapting/perverting this split approach. My version will divide along two lines that I'm (pretentiously) calling 'sketch' and 'canvas'. Overall I want to develop a painterly style that predominantly works with colour over line whether I'm working swiftly or at a drawn out pace.

A bottle of Daler Rowney acrylic ink and a rather experimental Marienburg greatsword
The Sketch Method
AKA the 'fast' approach. Starting with a bone colour base coat I'm trying to develop a way of using inks and washes to quickly develop light, shade and colour. I'm restricting my palette to only a handful of colours for each project, although all will be founded on the bone base, with sepia and dark grey shading, through to bone/white mix highlights.

The Canvas Method
Although in terms of technique this will be very similar to the sketch approach, the canvas method is going to be open-ended, draw on a wider palette, and be more expressive. When using the canvas method I also plan to use thicker paints in order to develop texture through visible strokes and mounting layers  - this will particularly be a focus for larger models and characters.


  1. I'm a newer historical mini painter and I just started using DR Umber as a wash before I work up my 28mm Dark Ages figures. Looking at your DR posts, I see I've only scratched the surface. I'll grab more and keep playing with this, including starting with bone primer (not white), then ink. This is really helpful, Thanks!

    1. You're very welcome. They're great paints for minis and worth the extra initial expense and trial period. I suspect I've still only just scratched the surface of what they can do!


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