Thursday, June 13, 2019

Contrast Paints: Initial Thoughts Part 2

Now that I've had more time with the new Contrast Paints, including the base paints in pots and the all important Contrast Medium, I've been able to push and explore what makes this new range so cool and unique! If you painted with Shades in the past, or are familiar with water colors then you'll really like what can be done.

Two of the most important things in this range for me are the Contrast Medium and the primer colors, Grey Seer and Wraithbone, in pots. These really open up what you can do with the colors. The Skaven I painted at the Painters Weekend made use of both of these. Last week I showed off several models I used the new Contrast paints on straight out of the bottle, this week I can show you what you can do when you add in a bit more finesse. This Sylvaneth Tree-Revenant made liberal use of the Contrast Medium. This thins your paints down while maintaining the unique properties of them. You don't want to mix water into the Contrast paints since then it won't behave in the same way anymore. Almost every color on this model had some amount of the Medium mixed into it. I also used the Grey Seer paint to go back between colors and clean up areas. For example, I painted the bark first, and got a bit of the brown on the skin, so I went back with Grey Seer and tidied the skin up before painting the blue color on top of it. You always want to aim to be neat and tidy when painting with these, but there will be mistakes, and being able to go back and fix them is key. It would have been really hard to paint all of the leaves and flowers for example without the ability to re-basecoat some of them with Grey Seer.

I have done zero highlights on this guy except for picking out his eye and a bit on his hair only because I accidentally went to dark on it. It's just Contrast Paint, Medium, and Grey Seer. I think it has a really cool watercolor feel to it, and would look awesome across an entire army. My wife, who has never painted a mini in her life, now wants to paint up one of the Sylvaneth with the new paints after seeing me do it. This style of painting works best for lighter color models, but it can be used for anything. If you want to go darker just do a few coats of the thinned down Contrast paint, this way you'll have more control over it. I have gotten a lot of requests for a painting tutorial for this guy, and don't worry, it's coming! I'll be painting up a second one so I can take the step by step pictures of it and it will be up on the Warhammer Community site sometime soon!

The next model I decided to test out the paint on was a little more "on brand" for me, a Crypt Flayer! I planned on adding this into my existing Death collection, so matching the style and some of the colors was important for me. I really like the scheme that the Army Painters used, with the pale, pinkish look, however I wanted to tie it into the purple scheme I use to tie together all of my Death models (my Nighthaunt have a tiny bit of purple on theme where there's a good spot for it).

I knew I wanted to keep him very pale though, and luckily Grey Seer is the perfect color for this. In fact, the majority of his skin is just Grey Seer! Since I wanted to keep that base color showing I was a lot more controlled with the Contrast paints on him. After diluting them with Medium I painted them directly into where I wanted them to go instead of all over. I then built this color up over several coats where I wanted it to be darker.

These new paints are also amazing for blending. I did some fades to purple on his shoulders, feet, and back. While it looks like it might take awhile it was actually pretty quick and easy. For example, let's look at one of his feet. The area where it fades from the purple/pink color to the Grey Seer is about half way up his leg. I mixed my Contrast paint and Medium together on my palette, and then took some Contrast Medium straight from the pot and painted it onto the area where the fade was going to happen, so half way up the leg. While the Medium was still wet on the leg (they dry a bit slower too, so it's easier to do) I painted the color mix onto the lower half. I then rinsed my brush off so it was clean and then used it to pull the color mix up into the Medium at the half way point and feathered it out. It may sound complex, but it's really pretty easy. Give it a try on something. The Medium makes it super easy to fade one color into another. 

The wings and the black areas were the only areas where I used Contrast straight from the pot. I knew I wanted the wings to be a pretty deep purple, so the main color is two coats of straight Contrast. I ended up using Shades on the bone and exposed muscles so that it would match the colors for those textures I've used on the rest of my Death collection.

I'm super happy with how he turned out, and of course now I'm tempted to do a Flesh-eaters force. For the moment I think I will stick to a Mercenary add-on to the rest of my Death army, but who knows. I think the use of Contrast paints, Shades, and regular paints work together really well. Due to the way I painted this guy it didn't save me a ton of time, but I definitely cut the time on the wing membranes in half, and I love the vibrancy I got with the Contrast paint and how easy it was to blend.

I definitely recommend picking up the Medium and the Grey Seer and Wraithbone paints with whatever other Contrast paints you're getting. They really open up what you're able to do with them. Like I said, keep an eye out for the tutorial on the Sylvaneth on the Warhammer Community site sometime in the near future, and I plan on putting together a few more tutorials for them as well. 

Happy painting!

Tyler M.

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