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Question for all you experienced painters: How, exactly, do you go about mixing colors to certain levels?
Example: I was looking around the 'net and found a guy who did a real nice job of layering/highlights, and he said that he used an 80/20 mix, then 60/40, then 20/80. Do you guys just eyeball this each time, or do you measure amounts out with a small spoon/scoop, or what?
Follow-up: When I've done mixing myself, I've eyeballed the amounts/colors on a small ceramic tile I've got, then painted onto the model. But if I don't work quickly, the paint tends to dry up/solidify REAL quick. And suggestions on how to prevent this?
I'm just starting, but I've found thus far that I do most of my mixing by eye. Since I haven't done any production line style painting, I can mix in small doses, and I don't have to worry about every fig looking the same.
As for your follow up question though, look around for acrylic paint retarder. You add retarder to the paint and depending on how much you use, the paint dries slower. It's great stuff. Too bad it's so freaking hard to find around me.
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well when im painting i dont bother with all that ratio stuff , i just go by visuals . it works good and it is less painfull to work out in my eyes ^_^
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If I ever mix anything, which I don't on my rank and file minis, I just go by eye. I paint on newspaper and just mix straight on it. If you were to paint a large number of models the same colour and needed a custom mix you could buy mixing pots (just empty pots) and mix more colour in. Or you could buy as many colours as you need, mix them together and re-use the same pots. For example: if you need a 1:3 mix of black and yellow to make the basecoat for your new guard army you could buy one black and three yellow bottles, mix them together in a plastic cup and then pour them back into the pots.
To get paint to stay wet longer you could either use a retardant or you could get a wet-palette. There is a description of those on this page, as well as some tips to make you own. I haven't tried it myself. As I said, I don't mix much :)
I put all my paint in different bottles, plastic ones made by Plaid. They are larger, allowing me to put up to three GW pots into each bottle, completely airtight, and have a dropper spout. So when mixing I just do it by drops, ie, 7 drops with 3 drops is 70/30%. Best of all they are cheap, about 20 cents each. I can also make batches of custom colors and write on the label what the mix is.
OK that sort of information and indeed that level of mixing tends to be done by pros who tend to use valejo paints rather than GW, these come in handy bottles rather like the one in wolf raiders picci whose tops allow you to pour one drop at a time.
Personnaly the way i mix is using a pallet, normal or wet pallet. For many years I eschewed this but nowerdays it is invaluable.
I use an old brush to get paint to the pallet, starting with one colour, I water it, then add a little of the other colour, do the first bit of blending and then add a little more, etc, you can add a little at a time and do loads of coats (my current project - death wing - have between 20 and 30 coats on their armour colour taking them from snakebite brown through bleached bone and into a bleached bone/skull white blend) or use a lot of colour and get a rounghter blend with fewer coats.
This technique removes any eye judgement which is essentialy impaired if you try and do a lot of blending due to colours drying a different hue from that when they are wet, plus the effect of discolouration due to base coats.
This is best done using a wet pallet.
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