Friday, January 2, 2009

Friday Tip



And we're back on schedule! :-D Today I have some tips on eliminating - or at least minimizing - pattern creep. Let's get right to it, shall we?
  • First and foremost, use the right tool for the job! For filling in, you can use larger brushes and stay away from the edges. For detailing and getting right up to the edges of your markings you need a very small brush that can create sharp points. The brush's tip should be pointed without any stray hairs. If it gets too wet from prolonged painting sessions the hairs will expand and no longer hold their point. Give the brush (and yourself) a rest at that point.
  • Apply paint near the edge of the marking, and then push it closer. This eliminates excess paint right at the edge of the marking that either causes raised lines or tempts painters to smooth it out "outside of the lines."
  • Color in the lines! I know that sounds silly to say, but really, take your time and stay inside the markings. It's harder than it sounds, but it's the only surefire way to prevent the dreaded creep.
  • Fix mistakes ASAP. If you get even just a smidgen of paint where it doesn't belong, wipe it clean before it dries. If you don't fix it when it's wet, you either have to deal with the pattern creep, or fix it when it's dry, and that causes a lot of problems.
  • Fill in the large white areas first, then detail. Get as close to the edge of the markings as you can with a larger brush, but leave room for precise detailing. That way when you go back to finish the edges, you know just how far out you have to paint. This saves time and extends the life of your good paint brushes.
  • And lastly, a trap that is hard to avoid - pattern modification. If you are having major problems with pattern creep, try to do a few paint jobs where you do NOT modify the pattern at all after you have placed it on the horse. Try a portrait and don't let your whims extend the pattern as you are painting. A little restraint can go a long way. Then, when you have learned how to hold back, try tweaking a pattern on the fly again. As you can see from the photos above, I started out with a slightly different pattern, and decided I wanted to fill in a bit more on the barrel. A little intentional pattern creep is ok, but notice how most of the pattern is exactly the same. The photos also demonstrate why I made the cat track marks large on the basecoat - you can see how tiny they get once the mapping is done! Keep this in mind if you are planning on mapping your pattern since it causes pattern creep too!

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