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Painting light effects - Miniature painting guide

I've collected the resources on painting light effects on miniatures.

Painting light effects - Basics

When light shines on an area, if that light is stronger than the surrounding light, the colour of the area will become lighter hue, and unless the light is white, it will also change colour.

For miniature painting, it means that you need to mix the colour of your paint to accomodate this.

Painting light effects - Step by step

Step #1: Choose the basic colours

Choose the colours that you'll paint on the model.

By brush or by airbrush: If you prefer additive painting, you can paint these colours on the model.

Step #2: Choose the colour of the light

Choose the colour that will become the colour of the light source. Most of the time it's white or yellow.

By brush with highlights: After choosing the colour of the light, you can mix it with your basic colour to get the colour you will paint on the model.

Step #3: Choose the direction of the light

The direction will show you where to apply the paint.

Step #4: Apply the colour of light

By brush with edge highlights: I recommend to use photo references or a bright lamp to show you where to paint the highlights on the model. You paint the mixed paint on the chosen edges.

By brush with drybrushing: You drybrush with the mixed paint. You draw the brush from the direction of the source away from it, through the raised parts of the model. The further away you get, the lighter you should push the brush towards the model.

By brush with glazing: You use the original colour of the light, without mixing it with the basic colours. If you use multiple shades of the basic colour on the model, it's easier to achieve the different hues using this method. You can either use edge highlights or pulling the brush with the glaze, like you would when you drybrush a model.

By airbrush: Spray the mixed colour on the model from the direction of the source of light.

By airbrush with glazing: Spray the original colour of the light in glaze consistency, from the direction of the source of light.

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Resources - Painting light effects

Raffa aka Picster (for Massive Voodoo): Tutorial - Light and Shadow: Tutorial article about natural light on miniatures.

Roman aka jar (for Massive Voodoo): Tutorial - Zenithal Lightning / Work Order: Tutorial article about natural light on miniatures.

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Do you have further ideas about painting light sources for miniatures? Do you have your own methods? Do you have any questions about them? Tell us in the comments!


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