The following is a glossary of common terms used here on BrushThralls.com:
Blending is a technique used to blend two colors or tones together. The smoothness of a blend refers to the seamlessness of the transition between one color and the next.
Colour/Clay Shapers :
Colour Shapers and Clay Shapers are tools, shaped like a paint brush, with rubber tips. They are commonly used in the miniatures hobby for sculpting and are good with epoxy putties, like green stuff, because they do not typically leave tool marks and do not stick to putty.
A modification of a miniature from its original physical state to another. This can range from a simple weapon swap - that is, changing what weapon a model is holding - to using base components of a model to create a new and unique model.
Drybrushing is a technique used to highlight a model. When drybrushing, load a stiff brush with paint and then wipe most of the paint off. Draw the brush across the raised surface to be highlighted. The trace amounts of paint remaining on the brush will adhere to the raised surface without flowing down into the crevices, and with a softer edge than a standard brushstroke. Drybrushing tends to leave a powdery finish on smooth surfaces, so it works best on highly textured surfaces like dirt or fur.
Flow Release :
An additive used to reduce surface tension of the water in the acrylic emulsion, therefore increasing the slickness and flow of the paint while reducing its viscosity.
A transparent coating applied over a painted surface to modify the color tones underneath.
A slang term attached to the original sculpture that all production miniatures are created from. The term is derived from the color of the “Green Stuff” that sculptors often use.
Highlighting makes the model lighter in certain areas in order to reinforce natural light. Models can be actively highlighted by drybrushing them, or by blending a lighter color with the base color. Models can be passively highlighted by starting with a light basecoat and shading it appropriately.
Inking is simply washing with ink, as opposed to washing with paint.
Commonly referred to as ‘GreenStuff’, Kneadatite is a room-temperature curing epoxy/polyamide sealant in two-part tape form. It is stable in its packaged form consisting of base and curing agent side by side on release film. The base and curing agent are of contrasting colors so that when kneaded together, complete mixing is easily observed.
Layering and wet-on-dry blending are two terms for the same blending technique. To layer, thin one color to translucency and paint it on top of the other color.
Once the translucent paint is dry, paint another layer on, but leave an edge of the first layer showing. By building up many thin layers in this way, the transition appears smooth to the eye. Layering is a more laborious process than wet-blending but gives potentially smoother results.
Line Highlighting :
Line highlighting is another technique used to highlight a model. The name says it all. Paint a thin line in a light color along a contour or edge that would naturally catch light and reflect it. This works best for simulating glossy surfaces, highlighting edges and corners, or highlighting fine detail like straps and trim.
How well a paint covers in a single pass. High opacity paints are good base coats while low opacity paints are good for washes.
An additive used to increase the open (drying) time of acrylic paints. Useful for “wet in wet” techniques and reducing skinning on the palette.
Shading makes the model darker in certain areas in order to reinforce natural shadow. Models can be actively shaded by washing them with ink or paint, or by blending a darker color with the base color. Models can be passively shaded by building up colors from a very dark basecoat.
A thin layer of color or ink spread over a painted area.
Washing is a technique used to shade or give definition to a model. I’ll cover this distinction later, once we get to painting. A wash is a liberally applied, very thin coat of ink or paint. With its low surface tension, the wash naturally flows into recessed areas of the model and dries there. When the wash is dry, the washed areas appear darker than the raised areas around them.
Wet Blending :
Wet blending and wet-on-wet blending are two terms for the same blending technique. This technique is similar to one used in traditional oil painting. To wet-blend, lay down one color on the model. While this color is wet, take a second color on the brush and lay it next to the first color, working the two together in the middle where they meet. This method is useful on large areas like cloaks and warjack plates, but can easily build up unwanted texture if you’re not careful.