Today I would like to share some of my favourite paints with you. In general, I like to use a big assortment of paints, from different brands and ranges. I find that when I want to create strong and vibrant colours my preference goes out to GW paints, both the old ones and the new colours. For more earthy tones and de-saturated colours I tend to prefer Vallejo paints.
For skin, I have been changing preferences over the last years, at the moment I like to use a mixture of Reaper paints, Vallejo Model Color and Scale 75. If you are interested in reading a more in depth article / tutorial about how I paint skintones, please let me know :).
Then there are a few paint bottles that I tend to use a lot, many of these can be found on basically every model that I paint. The main reason for this is their versatility and I just really like their effects. Today I want to share my favourites with you (apart from black & white), and perhaps one of these will become a favourite of yours as well. All these colours are Vallejo Model Colors (not on purpose though).
German Camo Black Brown
Let’s start with my holy grail! I simply love this colour!
GC Black Brown is a very dark (almost black brown) – hence the name ;). I have the feeling that it is a slightly cooler-toned brown, but it can be used in combination with both cooler and warmer colours.
This is absolutely a colour that I use on all my models, mainly for:
· Blacklining: Even though it is called “blacklining” (painting the edges between two areas with a black line), I hardly ever use black for that. I prefer GC black brown as it gives a less stark result.
· Painting the eyes: Before painting the white of the eyes I always colour the whole eye and the tiniest border around it with GC black brown. A little bit watered down this paint find its way to the tiniest crevices.
· Leather: Whenever I paint leather, I usually start with a basecoat of GC black brown even though sometimes it will be completely covered by another brown colour. I find that it gives an even base to start with, and somehow painting browns is easier for me to paint from dark to light (instead of midtones to light and midtones to shadows).
· Gold NMM: This colour also works great as a basecoat for gold NMM. See more details about that HERE.
· Shading: Many colours can be shaded by adding GC black brown. However I won’t use it when a colour needs to be particularly bright (see HERE why).
Wow! Is there nothing this colour can’t do?
This is a off-white colour, with a slightl yellow / beige tone to it. It has a very smooth consistency and it reminds me of vanilla desert (without the black dots).
Pale sand is another colour that I use very often. I have the feeling that it is one of those colours that ties a model together. For example, when I highlight the majority of my colours on a model with this paint, it helps unify the parts.
· Painting the eyes: I always paint the whites of the eye with Pale Sand, as I think it looks more natural than pure white.
· Skin: This makes for such a pretty highlight on skin. It gives more warmth to the skin than white does, and I have much less problems with flakiness when I use this paint
· Gold NMM: Again as a highlight this is very effective in NMM, as there is still some warmth in this light colour.
· Highlighting: As mentioned before, when I use this colour to highlight multiple parts of the mini (mixed with the basecoats of course, not just pure Pale Sand), I feel that it unifies the model more.
Although it’s called Oxford Blue, I think it comes much closer to purple. A dark purple, with a neutral tone.
I use it for:
· Skin: To add depth to skin it is nice to shade it with a purple or blue tone. I find Oxford Blue really pretty for that. It makes smooth glazes, no streakiness which is perfect for skin.
· Steel NMM: I think it looks really pretty if you add some colour to your steel NMM (instead of just using black, greys and white) and this colour works really well for that.
This is a reddish brown colour. At Mathieu Fontaine’s workshop I learned the merits of Sanguine Base. As I did not own that paint (or any P3 paints) I soon found this paint as a replacement. I do believe it is slightly more desaturated and a little cooler toned than Sanguine Base.
· Skin: I primarily use this colour to shade skin. To give definition to skin it is nice to paint the shadows with a blue / purple tone (see above), but it also gives a bit of an unnatural dead feel to the skin. To add more warmth / life to the skin, I also add a bit of Hull red to my shadows.
· Painting red: This is also a great colour for shading red, especially if you want a red that has a more pink / brown tone, instead of an orange tone.
The last paint is this list is Field Blue. This is a very grey toned blue that I also find very versatile.
· Highlighting black: For me, highlighting black with a blue tone somehow gives a much better result than highlighting with white, as the black seems to look darker. With white, I often get problems with flakiness, but that doesn’t happen with this colour.
· Steel NMM: Great midtone for steel NMM. The hint of blue adds more reality to the NMM than a neutral grey would.
· Painting rocks: Often when I paint rocks on a base I use this colour as the basecolour. Again I prefer this over a neutral grey just because it looks more lively.
On this lovely Darksword lady I have used all 5 colours!
GC Black Brown for blacklining, for painting the eyes and as a basecolour for the dark leather parts. Pale Sand for highlighting the skin and the gold NMM. Field Blue for highlighting the black pants. Hull Red and Oxford Blue for shading the skin.
So those were my favourite paints at the moment. Of course, it depends on mood and the miniature when and where exactly I use the colours. But I do reach for them very often! I have no doubt that these preferences will change overtime, and if they do I will let you know of course!
I hope you enjoyed this post :). Do you have any colours that you tend to reach for more often than others?
A few of my favorites in your list, never used Oxford blue for skin toning, but I do use blues and reds. One of my favs is Deck Tan.
Hi Laurence, I haven’t used Deck Tan before, but I will give it a go 🙂
Just discovered your blog, this is a great page and im working through all of your tutorials. I am really trying to up my painting game at the moment, trying different paints, good brushes etc.
I have a hobby blog ‘DIary of a Wargaming Addict’ on Facebook.