Mixing Madness

Mixing Paint

Our hobby can be very expensive, and as nice as it is to have large collections of paint, it is usually easier and more financially doable to mix paints together to get the colors that you want. Here are some tips and tricks when it comes to mixing paints.


Glazes Vs. Washes

     Both Glazes and Washes are paints that have been mixed with an amount of water or paint medium. I would consider both of these paints types of paint you would use for detail work on a miniature.  

    Glazes are a paint that I say you “Paint with a purpose.” You will  use a glaze to highlight areas and where you paint the glaze with the brush is where it will stay. These are usually my highlight or “light source” layer of paint. The glaze is more saturated with paint pigment than the washes. You can use glazes for tinting things or small work areas. Glaze can change the hue of paint already on the layers. I tend to make glazes using colors that I have dry brushed on to give that color a little more brightness in specific spots, or make a glaze combining dry brush colors to blend everything together.  

    Washes are a paint diluted with water and the water will take the paint into the creases, cracks, dimples into your miniature. Usually washes are a darker color to add shadow or a  “skin tone” wash to mellow out paints to make it look more realistic/alive. I use the skin tone washes on wings or bags to give it a more leather based look. I also Like using black washes on bases to bring out the definition of stones and use it on hair/fur/feathers to get the natural shadow look that comes with those types of textures. Washes flow more and will not necessarily stay where you paint it.  The wash is very much for shading and used usually in larger areas. You can add wash into smaller areas, but you will need to be careful that the wash doesn’t run as it is more water based.  Some people also use the runny ink options as a wash paint layer.  

Making Glazes

I have had the best luck making glazes that are a 1 to 1 ratio of paint to water. This means if you are mixing paint colors for a glaze you will match the total number of drops of water  to the total number drops of paint used.  Example: 1 drop of red +1 drop of yellow would be mixed with 2 drops of water.

Making Washes

Washes are mostly water. It is a 1 to 10 ratio of drops of paint to water.  Example: 1 drop black + 1 drop dark grey would get mixed with 20 drops of water.  Washes take a while to dry as they are mostly water.