In an earlier post (Process Post) I laid out the process I use when I paint a unit. Now what do I mean about those terms...Basecoat....Shade...Hilite?
"That's nice...but what does it MEAN?"
Ahhhhhhh...the ultimate question. And one that took me a while to figure out. I looked at all the stuff Battlefront put out in the "The Art ofWar" series of books and other sites, but the descriptions from the Vallejo pamphlet at (Vallejo Pamphlet) helped me see the light. They have a nice little breakdown that helped me start to see what everyone meant by basecoat/shade/hilite.
Note: I apologize for the quality of the graphics in advance but I think they get the point across.
You can do the same thing for a flat area....the areas farther from the center/light source the darker they are...and the closer to the center/light they are, the brighter they are. If you don't thin the paint, the recesses become.
"Well,...How do you do a basecoat?" The ultimate thickness of your basecoat REALLY depends on the depth of the color you are trying to achieve and how many layers of that color you are willing to do to get the coverage you want without obscuring detail. The post on expectations plays a HUGE role here. If I was doing a 28mm figure I would do several layers of the basecoat and build up that basecoat to the top points. For 15mm I use a 1:1 (maybe 2:1) of paint to water. I try to get good, smooth coverage over the area I am trying to paint. If there are recesses and I used a black primer, I try to go lightly in the depths of the recess. This allows me to have a little of the base color there, but by keeping the base color light I can get a deeper shadow...shade...color later.
"and Hi-liting?" The Hi-lite is just the opposite of shading....start high and going down the sides a little further each coat. Here I use a 1:5 ratio of paint to water...dab off most of the paint and then drybrush the color across the edges. Sometimes I will do a "Super Hi-lite" drybrush of a lighter color (maybe even just white) just on the top edge where the light would catch that angle. The Super hi-lite is more a 28mm process, but never say never to using it in 15mm....you never know.