Friday, April 7, 2023

F is for Feathering

For the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge this month, I'm going to be tackling topics relating to the wild world of miniature painting - by that I mean tiny models used in board games, tabletop roleplaying games and wargames. Stop by every day to learn a little about my newest hobby and obsession!


Feathering is a brush stroke where pigment is drawn out in a controlled zig-zag manner. It’s used to create nice transitions (gradients) very quickly.

In the most basic application, to feather you take a small amount of paint and place it overtop of your base colour in the area you want the new colour. Then using a zigzagging motion the paint is drawn back and forth carefully to create a transition over the colour underneath it. An alternate version is to put the paint down, then quickly use a damp but clean second brush in a zigzag pattern to pull up the paint in the area where you want your transition to appear.

It’s a pretty basic technique, though hard to master and even harder to explain, apparently. I’ve re-read the above paragraph three times and it barely makes sense to me, even though I actually UNDERSTAND the technique. 

Here's a short gif that hopefully explains it better:

Here's an example of some feathering I did, on the wings of this Ice Dragon (model designed by Goblin Art Studios, printed by me). I did a much better job on the back than the front, mostly because I went straight from white to dark grey, instead of white to blue with a different blue in between. I wanted to have a different tone on the inside of the wing than the outside, but it didn't quite work out.

For a better example, here's a screen grab from a YouTube Video:

And here's the whole video, explaining how to do feather, if you're interested:

Bonus "F": Flow Improver

Acrylic paints, the primary type of paint used in mini painting, are water-based and can be thinned with water, and many painters do just that. However, using water can interfere with the binding agents in the paint, affecting its coverage/saturation and may lead to flaking. 

Source: Amazon

A better solution for thinning is a paint-aid called a flow improver or flow enhancer. This is an additive mixed into your acrylic paint that reduces the surface tension of the liquid, thus improving the flow of the medium without a loss of colour or consistency. It also slows the drying time. These features are especially useful when using an airbrush, where your paint is being forced through a tiny needle and is prone to clogging. You need a solution that will not be too thick or dry too quickly.

Guess what tomorrow's about? It's not about contrast, light or paint! (At least not directly) See you then!

Hugs & Kisses,


Birgit said...

I thought I wrote here. I love this look and you show different ways one can paint.

Pradeep Nair said...

This is something I didn't know, until I read this.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...