Till now I was using light gray Mr. Hobby spray (Mr. Surfacer 1200) all over the mini and then white from the top to simulate zenital lightning. Thanks to that I had a general idea how I should place lights on my mini. Well that is nothing new and almost everyone is using this technique. But recently someone pointed out that I can use black (or dark gray) colour from the bottom, to simulate, and place deepest shadows. Thanks to that you have full range of 'light' on your mini, from white to black. Quite easy trick, that should help you a lot with placing highlights and shadows in the right places, and with achieving better contrast. I tried this method on my Ghoul bust and even if that's not the right kind of mini to do that (basically because it's widest at the bottom and it was hard to work precisely with aerograph), I can see use of this method in my work flow. Especially now, when I'm trying to do all my lights and shadows in black and white, adding colours at the end.
As you can see I was pretty delicate with the dark gray paint, but even now some shades are visible (especially on his cheeks and collarbones).
Colours I used so far:
Base: Mr. Surfacer 1200 (thin layer over a light green resin, so you can still see delicate greenish tint)
Lights: Morrow White - P3
Shadows: Adeptus Battlegrey - Citadel Foundation
2. Acrylic paints
I have no idea why I never thought of painting minis with acrylic paint used by 'mainstream' painters. Probably I just assumed, that they' re not good for miniature painting. But as it turned out, I was wrong. Folks from Knight Models use them and achieve astonishing results. Here you can see few of their works:
(c) Knight Models
As far I understand those paints have few advantages over acrylics dedicated for miniatures:
- stronger pigment,
- allow to achieve better contrast,
- mat finish
Well in that case I need to give them a try;] I even have one particular set from W&N in my mind:) I'm just not sure how about their durability, but anyway, I paint only display minis, so it shouldn't be a problem for me.
Here are some pictures I took in the competition room. As you can see they're historical pieces, mostly busts. But who said that fantasy painters can't learn from our 'older' friends?
Check out the contrast, the richness of midtones, all the different colours painters used to paint the face... We should definitelly try to achieve similar results. Of course it's impossible to get exactly the same results with 28mm minis, but the general idea is the same: contrast, contrast and contrast once more, with a lot of different colours in between. And when it comes to the larger scale... there is even more room to experiment.