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  1. #1
    Senior Member Broadside_Pilot's Avatar
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    Need Highlighting help

    Once again, I'm appealing for help with my painting. I've finally 'finished' the first unit of my new and improved Mech Tau army, a Stealthsuit. However, while he does look quite nice, I think I can still do better. Namely, with the highlights.



    Anyways, what can I do to make the highlights better. I've tried a few different things, like multiple highlight layers, but they haven't come out very well. But I'm probably doing it wrong.
    So, point out where I need to improve and how to do it. Any help would be much appreciated!

    Burn the land and boil the sea. You can't take the sky from me.

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    Mech Tau Cadre: 2000 points, needs paint and magnets.
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  3. #2
    Thread Killer! slorak's Avatar
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    First off - I just wanted to say that your highlights don't look bad. I think a big issue for you is you are tackling one of the harder colors to highlight - black.

    When highlighting the way I do it is this:

    1. base layer
    2. Ink wash (usually) to darken recesses
    3. going back over the area with the base color leaving some of the ink in the recesses
    4. first highlight leaving a bit of the base color showing
    5. 2nd highlight area leaving some of the previous layer showing
    6. 3rd highlight area leaving some of the previous layer showing

    etc. etc. etc.

    Basically you want to highlight each layer slightly thinner than the layer before. This will help build up the transition from light to dark. You can use as many layers as you like. The more color transition the better the overal effect will be.

    Keep in mind that thin layers work best as well because they are slightly transparent allowing for the previous layer to peek through. Ultimately you will end up doing more layers but the overall effect will be even smoother.

    If you are looking for sharp contrast highlights you might try to use the side of your brush rather than the tip and drag it along the raised surface you are adding the sharp contrast to. This will help you create a smaller line which tends to look better.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers,

    -Mike

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  4. #3
    Senior Member Broadside_Pilot's Avatar
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    I'm kinda lost over the first highlight-does that mean I paint the whole piece that I'm highlighting, but with a thin enough layer that the bottom colour still shows through, or just the small piece that's being highlighted?
    Burn the land and boil the sea. You can't take the sky from me.

    Member of the Canadian Clan, eh.
    Mech Tau Cadre: 2000 points, needs paint and magnets.
    Paladins of Avalon (SW):-1500 points, needs paint.

  5. #4
    Thread Killer! slorak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Broadside_Pilot
    I'm kinda lost over the first highlight-does that mean I paint the whole piece that I'm highlighting, but with a thin enough layer that the bottom colour still shows through, or just the small piece that's being highlighted?

    Think of highlighting the same way a contour map looks. Think of each "ring" as a new layer of paint. The rings get smaller and smaller the higher up you go.

    The only layer that should fully cover the entire area you are painting is the base layer. Each other layer is slightly smaller than the layer below it.

    If you thin your paints enough to become semi transparent you will get smoother transitions from darker to light as it will blend together better. However the cost of doing it this way is additional layers. So if you are painting for speed this isn't the best solution. You can still get good transition by taking half blends of color - for example a base of dark green, followed by a dark green/medium green 50/50 mix, followed by medium green, followed by medium green/light green 50/50 mix, and so on.

    Hope this is a bit clearer.

    cheers,

    -Mike

    Now offering an affordable Tournament Legal Quality Commission pricing. Find out more here!

  6. #5
    The Voice of Reason RJSuperfreaky's Avatar
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    I agree with Mike. The only thing that I'd add is that personally, I find that shadow grey highlights black better than codex grey. I know a lot of people use codex to highlight black (including most GW pics), but I find that with shadow grey, you get a smoother highlight, and it creates a more appealing highlight and effect. Just a thought.
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  7. #6
    Senior Member gundamfan's Avatar
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    I like the paint job you have on the stealth suits, nice and clean. The highlights are nice and straight too, so I think they're fine. If you're going for contests and pictures instead of gaming, you should either layer or blend. (Sorry if I'm being repetitive, no time to read previous posts)

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