Oil Washes: Trials, Tribulations, Results

In my quest to better my painting, I have been watching a lot of painting videos online to glean whatever nuggets of knowledge I can.  My quest for 2013 is to attempt many of these techniques that I guess could be considered “intermediate” or “advanced”.

First up: Oil Washes

The video above is courtesy of Andrew AKA Schnauzerface who has one of my favorite youtube channels.  In it he gives a great rundown of how oil washes work and how to use them.  Looked pretty simple I thought, “I can definitely do that” I said.

Now I should preface this by telling you, I’m not much of a wash user.  I use some of the P3 washes on metals and faces and that’s it.  I’m not really one to slather it all over a model as I tried that when I first began and didn’t like the way it came out.  Oil washes seem to solve what my chief complaints are with that method, naming the splotchey-ness of it and the covered in dirty water look.

The materials were easy to get at Home Depot and Michael’s and were cheap enough (clocking in around $12 total) that if I didn’t like the results or technique, I wouldn’t be too upset.

My two test victims would be a pair from my “Skittle Marines”, a set of GW Space Marines that I use to test airbrush stuff on.  They are great for this due to the relatively flat, open surfaces they enjoy.  These guys have been painted over, stripped and repainted again so many times!  I sprayed one exactly how I sprayed some Deathwing Terminators that is a side project I’ll soon be working on (more to come about them), the other I just sprayed a single solid bright-ish color over black primer.  I like to try things in pairs and different colors so I can be sure how things react/end up.  If something looks terrible on one, but great on the other, I know I did something wrong and will look at my process.  If both are consistent with each other, then something is right (or both are wrong)…You get the idea.

Post Gloss Varnish, pre wash
Post Gloss Varnish, pre wash

I then spray my Marines with Vallejo Gloss Varnish as described in the video.  Mixing the oil wash is easy enough as it’s almost the same thing I do when making the brown ink wash I use on my golds.  I slather it all over the marines and give it a few minutes to dry as I was worried that going in immediately with a Q-Tip would soak back up more of the wash than I wanted, leaving my back at square one. For the clean up part, I kinda wish that was shown in real time in the video rather than the sped up version, because I feel that I am a little off.  I get the idea, but I guess I just need to see it live to make sure I am doing it right.

Post Gloss Varnish, pre wash
Post Gloss Varnish, post wash

Above is what they looked like after the wash, after clean up, and after sitting to dry for a few days.  That last part was not by choice, I have just been busy IRL and haven’t been able to get back to them or painting in general.  I think they look pretty good, especially the orange-ish one.  I really don’t like the gloss coat however, so the next step is to dial that down a bit.  I use Vallejo Satin Varnish as I read it’s a step up from Matte Varnish in regards to protection and the sheen is negligible.  I have Krylon and Testor’s Dullcotes, but spraying aerosol in Virginia weather I have found is a recipe for frosting (and RAAAAAAAAGE).

So here are the final products after a healthy spraying down of Satin Varnish.  I say final product as in final test product.  They obviously aren’t 100%  painted.  It’ll more than likely be back into the drink for these two in order to try out some other technique one day.  Although I may keep one of them as is for the time being and take him to 100% just to see how a final final product will look like, with and after all the varnishes and washing.

What do you all think?  Nailed it or still needs work?  Any and all comments and criticisms are as always, appreciated!

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5 thoughts on “Oil Washes: Trials, Tribulations, Results”

  1. Thanks for the tutorial! I think the result is great! Especially the orange-ish one.

    Do you have any experience on combining this technique with zenithal highlighting?

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