Oil mapping and streaking – troubleshooting

In addition to my yesterday’s post on weathering Ka-Mi and responding to Aaron’s comment I thought I might add few tips and points to help deal with any problems with this technique. Some of them are just clarification of yesterday’s post, some I might have not mentioned explicitly, so here they are:

1. The underlying paint finish should be satin, so that you can work the oil paint on the surface and “move” it as desired.

2.  Before applying moisten the surface with oil thinner – it should not flood the surface, just enable the oil paint to flow on the surface.

3. I use fine artist brushes with soft bristles, it is worth investing in them, they make a difference. I always use 4 brushes when applying this technique:

  • Larger round brush (size 3-4) to keep the surface moist
  • Small fine round brush (size 00 or similar) to apply the spots of oil paint on the model
  • Round brush (size 1) to blend the paint and create transitions
  • Large flat brush (size 8) to make streaks

4. I put the oil paint on a piece of cardboard, this will absorb the oil and leave the pigment, which is what I need.

5. I only apply tiny spots of oil paint – just dip the brush in the oil paint and then touch the surface of the model.

6. When blending, the brush should not slide on the surface – it is always to be perpendicular to the surface and I am using “dabbing” motion. Only the tip of the brush should touch the model surface. The paint on the surface should become very thin by mixing with the thinner on the surface and in the brush, its consistency is to be more like a thicker wash.

7. After each few dabs I dip the brush in the oil thinner again and carefully wipe it on a piece of kitchen napkin to clean the paint which got absorbed by the brush.

8. If you feel that there is too much paint on the surface, simply dry the brush used for blending using napkin and touch the area with excessive paint, brush will then absorb some of the oil paint and thinner from the model surface. Wipe the brush immediately with the napkin and repeat the process.

8. For streaking the process is similar as above, the difference being that I use large flat brush to create streaks – again it should be only bit moist. I apply the spot of the oil paint and then using long smooth vertical move of the brush spread this downward – it is not painting as the brush should not have any paint in it. It is merely “spreading” the spot of paint downwards. the brush movement should start above the paint spot (when making vertical streaks) and continue smoothly until the edge of the area is reached. After each single pass I clean the brush to remove the paint absorbed, otherwise this will smear the paint over the surface during the next pass.

I understand that, as with many other modeling techniques, it is not easy to explain this one using words. It would be much easier to show this technique in a  video, I might try to figure out how to do this.

Well, I hope the above tips will help, let me know…

2 replies »

  1. Dear Vlad, thanks for your great help!

    I will try putting the oil paint on cardboard so the oil is absorbed away. I will also try the perpendicular motion wen mixing the paint, and i hope i get better results! I was following Mig Jiminez’s technique from his books and DVD, but i guess there are some stuff that I can only pick up through practice. But i would love to see a video from you!! 🙂

    i think i should go invest in some good paint brushes too. So far I use “value” brushes that come 7 in a pack for $10. Maybe that’s why i have not been getting good results too…hmmm…

    • HI Aaron,
      yes, I think at that price the brushes could be a problem. Try to get few good ones and see if it helps. I usually get my brushes in sales in art stores, but they still can come at $10+ per piece. Not even talking about Winsor & Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sable…
      Investing in books and DVD is also well worth, especially the ones by Mig. His most recent FAQ 2 book is one of the really good ones recently.
      Good luck & take care…


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