Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How to Paint White Part 2: Off White

This article will be Part 2 of my series on how to paint white.  You can see Part 1: Bright White here. I shared in that article that the real secret to painting white is what you put under the actual white and most of the time, it takes many coats of white to get a full, smooth finish.  If you have ever painted a room of a house white from some other color you know what I mean.  The absolute key to painting white though, is to be patient. 

Today we are going to talk about how to paint off white or what I think of as an antique or dirty white.  This is pretty much identical to my method for painting bright white, but I add one additional step to my process.  I will be using the powerfist model from my Sanguinary Guard unit again to show us this method.  Check out the link as I have finished the unit and it looks sweet!

The key to getting an antique-y white is simply to change the base coat color.  I generally use a light brown to start off.  From there we will also change our middle tone, but then go back to white.  Check out these pictures of my powerfist model. 

I start the method off, as last time, with my basecoat.  This time I am using the GW foundation Khemri Brown.  You can also see that this is how I begin my method for painting scrolls and bones as well. 

I didn't add a picture for the next step, but after the initial basecoat, I diverge from my previous method in that I apply a wash of Devlan Mud around the edges of the areas I am painting.  On the shoulder pad above, I washed around the borders of the shoulder pad and around the circle icon in the middle.  This helps deepen the brown and makes a nice contrast.  I usually add Devlan Mud after I have done the basecoat AND my first coat of dwarf bronze on the metal portions as I use it for both processes. 
For this next step, I chose to use a bone color.  These colors usually have some brown tone in them but are quite close to white.  You will notice I am still doing the same thing for the scrollwork and the shoulder pad.  For this step I used Reaper Master Series Aged Bone.  It is a nice darker bone color. 
Here is where the departure between the two portions occurs.  On the scroll I continue with a brighter bone color, Reaper Master Series Polished Bone, while for the shoulder pad I begin to apply my white.  Just like in the previous article, the white will let some of the bone color below show through so use that as an intermediate step and slowly highlight up to pure white only at the hight points to give a good finish with good color gradient. 
And here is he is finished with the white.  Notice the slight, but noticeable difference between the shoulder pad and the powerfist, helmet, and wings. Also notice that the scrollwork still maintains a bit more brown hue to it.  Forgive my crappy camera work that makes it harder to see. 

This off white is great when you want "bone" colored armor or robes that aren't pristinely white.  As a matter of fact, I think this is what I did on my Sanguinary Priest model. 

Using these two types of white will get you pretty far, but remember, you can hightlight up to white from any basecoat with varying results.  In the case of a model that is mostly blue, you might try highlighting up from red or yellow to provide some contrast. Either way, if I haven't said it enough, be patient!  White is tough to do well, but with a little practice you can create a nice, smooth, full white finish to any model.

Some Sanguinary Guard Battle Reports for your entertainment:


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