Water tutorial

There are some people that have asked about how I have done the base on my fishermen’s. Here is a short kind step by step on it from the few pictures that I have.

I decided to have a base with rocks and water, to create the rocks I have used cork and two layers to create a bit more interest in them. For the bases I have made one water bit from toilet paper and waterdown glue and the other two bases I did sculpt from miliput

The focus on bases and figures where that they should go fast to finish and therefore there are better example on how to make rock looking terrain. (Use coal, or do some real sculpting of rock, see orc tutorial at the end.)

The first base above is made from toilet paper and the last two water structure is made from milliput.

When it comes to painting the water I have used Golden airbrush colour Turquois (Phatalo) with some Titanium White Golden Heavy body, Also used P3 Sanguine for shadows and a Emerald green colour that I don’t remember which one it was 🙂

Step by step of the painting of bases below.

  1. Prime the bases in black
  2. Start painting the water area in a white colour
  3. Adding the turquois to the water area. The whole area
  4. Then starting to add white while the turquois is wet, white added to the top parts of the waves to give the impression of foam. Some white is also dabbed onto other areas to give more of a structure. Since the white mixes with the turquois you get a light blue colour from it.
  5. I then add darker areas by adding the red sangunie colour too the blue mix, and put into the deepest shadow. In some small areas a light glaze of emerald green to give some more life to the water. (not so visible)
  6. I then go over the water with more white to get the final highlight of the whiter areas.
  7. I then look at the result and go a bit forward and back where I think more work is needed.
  8. Last step that I do that is not on the pictures is that I add some Vallejo water effects. (You can use gloss varnish for a similar effect since we have sculpted the waveforms.


Below is a picture of the bases from step 7

If you look the bases above the one made from paper is a bit lower and not so much foam but still i like it a lot, I am unsure which version I like the most.

Below is a close-up on one of the bases to see that it is not so important to be neat in your painting doing this. Do fast and “sloppy” painting.

One last pointer is the rock made base is quickly coloured and the main thing that I do is that I make the front lighter than the backside. I painted the whole base in black and while wet i added white to the front and mixed in and made a gradation. I used wet on wet technique for this step.

Adding two more pictures, one with the almost finished figures and a close up of the bases with some water effect gel from Vallejo on them.


Since this is a small article about making water bases I will add information and a short step by step that I did before and that I originally had on coolminiornot on my WIP page there. It is a Shaman orc on a rock base with water. Was part of a friendly competition between some of the painters at coolminiornot forums.

Below pasted information from forum post:


During the friendly competition that Andy G and Ten Ball arranged earlier this year with the orc shaman piece I got questions regarding how I did the water. I have finally gotten around making a tutorial for that, the summer have been a painting free time and a lot of other stuff to do. Now on to the tutorial …


Will add one piece of information here, the rock is sculpted out of Firm sculpy and heated up to dry.

the water I have done I have been using vallejo water effects. Its not floating and you don’t get an flat surface and I have not succeeded to do thicker layers with it. That said when I start a base with water I do paint the water first in the colours that I want to use. I have used turquoise, blue and green to create different depths in the water. In this example I tried to create ledges in the water also, that didnt work out and I will come back to why later in the tutorial.


After that I started to apply one layer at the time to build up some thickness, you have to make sure that it gets enough time in between so that it dries before you apply the next layer. I have used approximately 3 to 4 layers to reach the following stage.

I then proceeded to paint very carefully with some white (thin layers) to make the water that are higher stick out some more and see the beginning of foaming water. In the picture above there are some grey areas that is water effect that is not yet dry. (wait for around 24 hours for it to dry)

After this I added even higher parts of water effect closer to the shore and also to make some of the waves bigger that is in the middle of the water area, I then proceeded to paint them with more white to get the effect of foam and create some more life to the water.

Also the different ledges that I painted before have disappeared, this since the water effects is not flat and therefore just the colours are visible through the “structured” water area. So mainly for the first painting you just need to paint the colours from light to dark and you don’t need to be to pick about the result since it will be “blended” by the usage of the water effects. Just to create lighter areas for more shallow water and darker areas for deeper water.

Below is the finished result of the water:

If something is unclear or you have any question please let me know and I will try to answer them.


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