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🎨 Creative July Painting Thread

Mercurial Sea

Smart Went Crazy
Validated User
I'll second Drakenhof being really, really bad in this respect. Unless I want to color something dark blue, I don't use it without thinning it at least 1:1 with medium, and often as much as 4:1 medium:shade. I haven't done any pinwashing (painting into recesses exclusively) with it yet, but it would probably be good for it.

Unfortunately, while I'm generally one of the people who will call Citadel shades "liquid talent" or "skill in a bottle" (to poke fun at my own painting skill, not to deride their usage in general), they really are a bit inconsistent. At one end, Drakenhof is massively overpowering. At the other, Nuln Oil is usually pretty good at just shading recesses. The rest are a spectrum between those two, but all of them slightly color, darken, or at least dull the basecoat, even Nuln Oil. So there's a bit of a learning curve in figuring out how each color is going to behave.

All of Scutarii's suggestions are excellent, and as noted above, thinning them with Lahmian Medium has worked well for me. I know some people thin them with water instead, but I've had past bad experiences using water as a thinner for paints, so I haven't tried it with shades yet.


C. different
Staff member
RPGnet Member
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In contrast, I use Nightshade on everything.

The black bits? Slathered in Drakenhof Nightshade.

Washed with a Drakenhof Nightshade/Nuln Oil Gloss mixed 50/50.


Registered User
Validated User
Treat Nightshade as you would a pre-watered blue-black ink, and it works okay. Definitely not the best wash though, and does have a tendency to overdarken everything. If you know it's going to do that, it's fine. Just remember that it's a nighttime shade of blue-black, not a blue.

Right now I'm doing the second of my plague marines (the first one I painted last month, ended up more Dark Angels looking). Aiming for a depiction of The Purged this time, I've started with a bright yellow base, then used a series of washes and shades to get different areas to light green and black, and I'm actually really pleased with the way Nightshade has made the dark areas nice and dark without obliterating detail in the same way that black ink would.

I just got to get the face right, then I'll post it here within the next few days.


Miserable Git
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Drakenhof Nightshade is, IMO, the worst GW wash. It’s too dark for most blues and has a nasty tendency to tide mark and pool strangely in a way the others don’t.

You can do as you suggest, either layer around the flats leaving colour in corners or rebase and paint wash into the recesses only.


Dry brush the base layer back on but really heavily, essentially trying to cover the flats with the base again quickly. I do that sometimes.
Note that an over-brush like Scutarii is suggesting can often end up with a messy, unintended blending where it catches on the highest points and misses the drops into recesses. It's a catch 22 situation, because an over-brush has to go on thick.

GW's dark blue ink is indeed their worst, and needs a lot of thinning, or should just be used for edge shading/precision recess shading, or as a glaze like CrazyIvan CrazyIvan uses it.

Any GW shade used for an all over-shade will act like a glaze and the underlying layer re-coloured. The lighter the layer, the darker the shade, the heavier the glaze effect. Light layers suck in GW's shades (they seem slightly absorbant). If used very heavily, you'll get pooling as well, as others have pointed out.

You can avoid the absorbing by using a varnish before the shade. However, GW's shades will then more easily slide off a varnish.

Final edit - GW's shades as glazes is worth experimenting with. My latest Dire Avenger, I went with a much lighter blue than would seem sensible, and then glazed it with the dark blue wash. It turned out far better than starting with a darker blue layer. Never be afraid to try 'painting' with washes, if you don't mind the expense. I have had great results using washes as glazes.
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21st Century Digital Boy
Validated User

Tonight's experiment was a quickie house, basically something to give me a chance to get used to working with chipboard, getting it to stay together, etc. Went better than expected. I think tomorrow I'll try to prime it, and then it can be used as a platform to learn how to paint similar terrain pieces.

Things I learned..

1. Tacky glue is really easy to work with, sets reasonably fast, and is a lot stronger than you'd expect.
2. Cutting greeblies out of chipboard is pretty hard. You can see all the ragged spots in the picture. Even with a fresh blade it was hard to prevent. In future builds I may replace the chipboard greeblies with balsa scraps or something similar.
3. Chipboard is fast to work with. Base, 4 walls, a roof and the trim pieces were all done in about an hour, and probably dry enough to use an hour after that.

Next build will experiment with a removable roof, and be big enough to move figures about inside. Maybe a shubbery.


21st Century Digital Boy
Validated User

And here's the Tool Shed after painting. I decided to experiment with a few different paint techniques here, so it's probably a bit busier than it should be.

Things I learned!~
1. This particular board does not like spray primer. The surfaces all start to fuzz up-I think the spray solvent is dissolving the binder holding the chipboard. Next time I'm going to try and seal it with a pva primer (like a Mod Podge/Black Primer mix), or maybe gesso.
2. Dark grey with light grey sponged over the top makes pretty decent concrete. It kinda got covered up by the mud and muck, but again this was a learning project.
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