Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hobby: Lining

Let’s discuss an important aspect of figure painting. Lining is the act of taking a dark color and painting a dark line in areas where colors meet, and it makes painted figures look more neatly painted. It is an especially handy technique to define the outline of an object on plastic figures where the limitations of casting may cause items to blend into each other. It is commonly seen where clothes meet skin, seams in cloth, and flaps on bags, which is to say where colors change.

Early in the history of BoLS, Bigred wrote an article on painting Heresy Era Death Guard. In his article he gave us a simple technique for lining that utilized fine point technical pens, i.e. Micron Pens. For marines and other armor plated figures this is a useful technique. The drawback is Micron Pens have a limited color selection and can end up looking very stark against surrounding colors, which is why it looks good on marines and armor plates. Also Micron Pens have difficulty reaching into cracks and crevices on a figure.

Another way people line their figures is by priming black, and not painting the areas where one would line. This is also useful for achieving the lined look, but it has the drawback of a single color and looking stark against the colors that it is separating. Black has one major drawback that is making painting light and transparent colors over black a difficult and time consuming task. Also priming in black isn’t always appropriate. Sometimes you want the natural subdued tones that grey primer will provide or the vibrant colors you see when you prime in white.

Both of the aforementioned techniques have their place, and will improve the look of your figures. However, I have found taking the time and lining each figure will improve your brush control and will help you redo lining that got botched when you applied your paint job. If you happen to prime in black knowing about lining will help you be cognizant of what to leave black.

When you are lining you will want to obtain a couple of things to be successful. You will want to obtain a high quality natural fiber paint brush. I’m talking about Kolinsky Sable paint brushes. This is one hobby tool that you must not cheap out on. I cannot stress that enough. I liken it to buying cheap running shoes. The shoes won’t necessarily improve performance, but they will help you perform to your best ability. You will also want to select paint colors that are dark enough. GW doesn’t have colors dark enough for lining so you will have to mix them 50/50 with black. (As a note on paint: Reaper has paint specifically formulated for lining which I absolutely enjoy.)

The best way to line is to figure out where your sharp creases and seams are and, with your liner brush, draw your liner color through every crease, seam, and place where two colors will meet. I also line between fingers, in the eye socket, and in open mouths. You will find pro painters divided on lining fingers and mouths.  It is not important to make the lines clean and sharp because you will be painting up to those lines so you can clean up sloppiness when you apply your base coats. If you accidentally paint over your line you can always go back and reline, but remember relining requires you to be neat and clean.

That wraps up this installment. Next time we’ll look at painting one of the more difficult colors in the army scheme of Ostermark: the dreaded Yellow. As always post your  comments and questions here.



Tactical Rock Copyright © 2009 WoodMag is Designed by Ipietoon for Free Blogger Template