Mittwoch, 1. Juni 2011

Tutorial: thinning down your paint

Many people have asked me about my "way of painting". Well, in most cases I try to explain the most important things one has to take care of. However, I always point out that my tecnique is not THE technique, but one possible way you can go.
The first thing most beginners are not aware of is the importance of a good colour consistency in order to achieve a satisfying result. I painted with barely dilluted paint for many years because nobody taught me better. The result was very bad, blendings didn't work at all. Furthermore I emptied my GW pots very quickly because I used tons of paint (quite brainless - I know).

I took a picture of paint in different consistencies to show the actual difference I am talking about.

1. This paint consistency is GW - colour out of the pot. At this stage the paint is good for nothing. With nothing I mean absolutely nothing, not for painting, mixing and definitely not for basecoating with a brush. Don't do it, it will ruin your mini from the base. When you follow the brush stroke towards the right side of the picture, you can see how grainy the paint is at this stage.

2. Here you can see the same colour (Midnight Blue) thinned down 1:1 with water. The brush stroke is even and there are no grainy spots visible. The paint is thin enough to show a slight blending towards the right side. This consistency is ok to paint the basic colour on top of your basecoat. In order to not flood the mini with paint, you should always wipe your brush before touching the miniature.

3. This is the paint consistency I use most of the time (about 5:1 mix with water). It is too thin to use it as basecoat but it's just perfect for me to paint clean blendings very quickly. Note that stage 3 is not suitable for beginners as you need quite some experience to control your paint.

4. This is the consistency I recommend most beginners to get a decent blending (10:1 mix with water). It takes quite some time and many brush strokes to see any progress but you can hardly do any mistakes. Don't forget to wipe your brush before applying your paint, the tip of the brush should feel almost dry. I used this consistency for about 3 years before I went up to stage 3.

5. This consistency is not suited to paint blendings any longer. As you can hardly see the paint, it would take ages to recognize a blending. However, this is the perfect mix (about 20:1 with water) to paint glazes. By using glazes you can change the impression of the colour underneath.

Hope this helps.



  1. Interesting stuff, like you nobody had told me that it's better to dilute paint and had been painting straight from the pot for a while...

  2. Thank you so much, This article alone made me improve my painting 10 times. Great article.

  3. How do you thin the paints down?
    By this i mean, what tools do you use to determine the 5 parts water and 1 part paint.

  4. Hey Dioron Design, my advice is to use a pipette. At some point you will have the experience to "see", whether the dillution is correct or not.