Painting Death Guard banners with washes

With my introduction to washes a few months ago, I've been trying new things out as I get new projects. It's been a little difficult for me when it comes to integrating them into my painting "routine."

I'm so accustomed to not having them that I forget to use them. Out of necessity, I've developed other techniques to get the results I want.

A recent copy of White Dwarf had an article in there by a painter who uses them after he basecoats his models. It creates the shadowing and "darkens" them a little bit. The he goes back and will use the base color again as a highlight.

This seemed to make sense to me and so I gave it a go with the icons on top of these Death Guard banners I'm finishing.

Before, I would paint dark and then work my way through lighter shades by way of layering. Now, I can paint the middle shade, add a wash for detail and shading and then go back and add a few highlights where needed. If I stick to using just the original color, the effect is muted and dark. I can add more highlights for effect and contrast.

I really like the result I can get by going this route instead of my usual way. The image up top on the left, shows what the base colors look like after a heavy wash of Devlan Mud. On the right, I've begun to work back up some of the highlights.

My Project Link: Death Guard Banners

Additional related posts:
Banners from cardstock
Banners from cardstock (advanced)

Ron, From the WarpIf you've got any questions about something in this post, shoot me a comment and I'll be glad to answer. Make sure to share your hobby tips and thoughts in the comments below!


  1. That does look really good. The washes can definitely be an awesome tool.

  2. I've been doing that for a while now and was meaning to write up about it, it works well and it's quick, reccommended for hordes!

  3. Ron, the system of doing the basics, wash, then highlight is the system I have used for years. I find there a many advantages to this but the biggest are tone and togetherness. By doing the basics and then washing the whole model with a wash or ink it brings the models together by shading is slight but also effecting each color slightly toning them together and making the colors fit together a bit better.

    I have found Devlan mud to be an exceptional color for this (infact I used to mix something similar for several years before DMs release out of Black/Brown/Future/Water that I called Grit Coat). One of the nice things about bring the tones closer is that it brings the model together visually and allows you to highlight details you want to stand out and really make them pop.


  4. Yes I love these washes. I stopped mixing most colors for large armies (like LotR/WotR) and just base coat, wash (repeat if necessary), highlight with base coat color. The results are great for the time investment.

    Also the store is always out of Devlan Mud as its awesome.

  5. I can second Charles statement above. I have to call ahead and have my local GW hold Devlan Mud for me if they have any in. Of course, it didn't help that I was buying it all out to spray on the Reaver with an airbrush.

  6. It does seem to be the one I go to most of all. That and the Black, I use it when I really want to darken something or add shading to some details.

  7. Looks great! I'm going to have to try this in the near future, as I got my washes pretty recently. I can't wait to see your finished product!

  8. I only recently started using washes - and I still own only 1, Badab Black, but with how useful it has turned out to be (I use it to darken extreme highlights on black), I'll be appropriating myself the full set as soon as possible (payday then...).

  9. Have always always used washes. They are such time-savers. Also my recently painted goblins I basically used nothing but washes over a grey basecoat and they turned out great. Definitely pick up the wash set guys - worth every penny.

  10. Trisatn: I always heard how great they were for the longest time and never thought much of it. But once you start with them, it's easy to see the benfits.

    Once you figure out how to integrate them into your painting, you're right, they are worth every penny.

  11. The wash I like the best is Sepia. I use it for a lot of things. I've always used washes maybe too many, I usually just thin old GW washes and Inks. Some of the old ones I like better such as purple, green, and even blue to a lesser extent and of course Rust Brown Ink.


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