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Painting Light Coloured Clothing

Mark Bannerman

Painting clothing which is light in colour and is weathered, sun-beaten and faded needs to be addressed slightly different than the normal approach on darker clothing. The difference in my approach lies in applying three shadows and two highlights  - as opposed two shadows and two highlights on darker clothing.

Here was my approach on painting a British Desert tanker.

1) Prime the figure (Hornet with modified head) in Tamiya Grey Primer

2) Before applying paint, one thing which is really crucial for me is to jab the piant on to the figure rather than actually stroking paint. Stroking leaves nasty streaks. Jabbing gives it a neutral look which is desirable. I applied (jabbed) Humbrol 93 straight from the tin to the entire clothing area being careful not to paint too much into the flesh areas. I did use a little turps to loosen the paint. Flesh areas had not been painted at this point.

3) When dry, apply a small wash of pure turps and immediately apply a saturated wash of   Rembrant Sepia with thinner along all edges and into creases. Wipe excess off where needed.

4) Once dry, I applied Humbrol 93 mixed with Humbrol 155 (Khaki) at a ratio of 3:1 and jabbed  in a small layer into all the shadow areas making certain all inner creases and depressions took this treatment. Shine a light over the figure's head to guide you with the shadows. This was the mid-shadow tone.

5) About 30 minutes later, I did the very same procedure as above but this time used a 50/50 of Humbrol 93 with Brunt Umber oils. When applying the paint with a number 2 brush (00), try to apply a thin line in the  very middle of the shadow depression area. It would be easier to stroke this one rather than jabbing.  In fact, just laying your brush in without moving it while on the surface would do the trick.

6) Once dry, I did same but this time used a 1:3:2 Humbrol 93 to Humbrol 155 to Burnt Umber mixed 50/50 with turps. When applying the paint, only put this dark colour where the shadows are the deepest. In other words, not all shadow areas will take this treatment - only those that are very deep and are completely out of the light, as it were. Again, try to apply a thin line in the  very middle of the shadow depression area. Let it all dry and proceed with highlight

7) I applied (jabbing) highlights by applying two cotes. The first is Humbrol 93 mixed with Humbrol Flesh at a ratio of 1:1 and jabbed onto all the areas which are facing upwards. This includes the upside crease, edges of collar, along seams of shirt, pocket etc... Again, shine a light over the figure to guide you with the highlights. If your light is relatively bright, all the edges should shine - these are the areas you need to apply your mid highlights.

8) Before this completely dries (1 hour), apply Humbrol 93 mixed with Titanium white ratio of 1:3 and lay your brush on the highlights point - no jabs, no stroking. Look down directly over the figures head on to your figure and you will see what areas need to have a thin line applied. Apply your brush to the area by touching the area and "depositing" paint from your paint brush.

9 ) Once this has completely dried, dip a wide dry brush into a mix of 10% Humbrol 93 with 90% Humbrol Flat white, scrub off any excess onto a card and lightly flicker your figure downwards. Your essentially dry brushing your figure but very lightly with hardly any paint. Repeat this until you see an almost subtle off-white effect. This will bring out the high highlights of your figure. Let dry for a few days.

Apply a good dose of matt varnish to the entire clothing area to dull down the oils paint if you feel it necessary. And that completes the process for this figure. It seems like alot of tedious work ...and it is to some degree...but the results can be quite satisfactory with a little time and patience

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