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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-16-09, 04:24 AM Thread Starter
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Default Wash or Ink

I was wondering what your guys opinions are on this. I am painting up some Khorne Berserkers to be tabletop to tabletop+ and have gotten the red down and needed something to make the red pop and smooth it out so I did a test run on 2 models. One I did with undiluted Red Ink from GW and the other with undiluted Baal Red wash. The ink seemed to stick a lot to the pronounced edges and made the whole area pretty shiny whereas the wash seemed a lot more subtle and flowed largely around to the edges of each area and wasn't nearly as shiny. I was wondering what the pros and cons of each are and if there is any reason to use wash over ink or vice versa (besides personal taste). And also, should I be diluting these washes/inks?

Oh, one other thing. If I decide to highlight the models, not sure if I am going to yet, but I was thinking of using like a 50/50 mix of blood red & blazing orange. From what I can gather about painting techniques would the best route be to highlight the red first and then go over the whole thing with a thinned out baal red wash? If so how much thinned out, I've seen lots of different dilution ratios all the way up to about 10:1 water to wash. Or go over the highlights with a thinned out ink? and how thinned out?

I know its a lot of questions but I'm still pretty new to mini-painting and have a lot of ways to go

Last edited by Vampboi; 02-16-09 at 04:28 AM.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-16-09, 05:56 AM
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Washes are for shading. Inks are for coloring.

That said, if you are looking to smooth out highlights with a final coat of thin paint, go for a wash. If you want to retain more of your bright highlights, water down the wash. It depends on how much you want your colors blended. A full wash will blend and sometimes almost remove your shading. The more you water it down, the more it will retain the individual layers of color.

Inks are not really good for shading. Like you said, they tend not to sink into the cracks as much as washes. Inks are extremely good for creating bright vibrant colors. For instance you could spray a mini white, and use inks to color the whole thing (aside form some details of course). This would create a very bright and colorful mini (harlequins look amazing like this).

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-16-09, 08:30 AM
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Inks are shiney as Pherion has said, and I still use them for certain techniques, but I will generally now use washes if I ant to do and shading with them. Washes help blend different levels of shading together so are also useful for this.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-16-09, 08:59 AM
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The difference between inks and washes is as follows.

Inks are made using a different medium than standard acrylic paint-- they use a gloss medium with a much lower pigment count, so you have a lot of control with them. They're not meant to be used straight from the pot-- diluting them about 1:1 with water is about what you're after. Inks are for making certain parts of a model shine-- things that have a slight natural sheen to them, such as metals, some hair, and laquered armor. If you wash an area of Boltgun Metal with Badab Black, you'll notice that the area has a matte finish now, rather than a shiny metallic one. If you wash the area using dilute ink, you'll find that the area retains its metallic tone. Similarly, if you wash a black haired model using Badab Black, you'll define the hairline more but will lose any natural shine if you've painted it using a drop of gloss medium (which a lot of painters tend to do with hair.) If you use an ink, you'll keep the natural shine.

Washes are essentially watered down paint. GW washes are pre-watered down to a consistency where you can use 'em straight out of the pot. They're convenient, but ultimately, you can make them by thinning whatever you've got on hand by about 8:1 water to paint. Washes are for shading without any precision work, involved, and washing tends to be one of the first techniques painters learn since it's outrageously easy. The technique described above with the white primer followed by an ink is actually washing-- you're letting the pigment, which is heavier than the water, settle in the recesses and shade the model. In simple terms, you wash a darker color over the entire area that you want to have a shade, and it naturally flows into the recesses.

With red, I've found that Baal Red is not the way to go. It's not sufficiently dark to provide much in the way of a shade unless the base color is orange or pink. Instead, I'd use Ogryn Flesh, which is a red-brown. You'll get more definition from that in the recesses, and it'll bring the orange highlights in more with the red base. If it needs more shading after that, then I'd use the Baal Red, as it'll be much more subtle.

Ultimately, there's no right or wrong way to use either product-- it's all personal preference. Do what you think looks good, and technique will follow.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-16-09, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, this was really helpful and I'll give the ogryn flesh a try thanks horus!
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-17-09, 10:36 AM
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Some people (myself included) add PVA or washing up liquid to inks to take some of the glossy sheen away. It also helps it settle more evenly over surfaces. I find the new washes are similar to when I do this with inks, but they seem to require slightly more coats in order to get the depth of colour SoH mentioned.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-27-09, 11:53 AM
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Inks are great for glossy surfaces and pretty good for anything else if you water them down to take the shine off them. Windsor and Newton do an excellent range that is available in most art shops. The W&N peat brown ink is incredibly useful stuff.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-27-09, 08:13 PM
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I may be a noob but I have always used "ink" and "wash" interchangeably.
I "wash" things WITH "ink" usually. I am a HUGE fan of the "magic wash" trick. I have a bottle of Future floor polish and tap water on hand and use that to water down whatever inks or paints I want to use, it works great.
I however "dull coat" EVERYTHING so the gloss part is a moot point for me. I will be hitting some areas on my current CSM with some gloss coat AFTER dull coating to similate pattent leather or latex so we'll will see how that works.
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