Blending, also known as "layering" is the technique of fading from one color to another with many gradations of hue or lightness of a color or of applying successive layers of the same color in thin coats of paint, such that the areas painted with fewer layers are less colored, allowing the paint beneath it to show through more than the areas with fewer layers applied.
In the first technique, most commonly one would take some of the initial color and some of the final color to blend to and place some of each on your pallette (preferrably a flat one). For more effective blending, you may want to add some "extender" to your paint, which will increase the drying time of your paint (assuming that you are using acrylic paint rather than enamels or oil paints).
Paint the initial part of the blended area with the initial color. Apply some of the initial color in the area just beside the initial color on your pallette. Add some paint from the target color to it in a small amount. Apply this mixed color on the miniature next to the original color. You may either blend this color with the preceeding one by painting slightly over the edge of the paint you previously applied with your loaded brush or you my clean your brush and, with the tip either damp with water or extender, stroke over the area where the two colors meet.
Without waiting for the paint to dry, clean you brush (many just leave the brush loaded with paint, but I prefer to start clean with each new mixed color). Load your brush with the initial color and mix in a larger amount of the target color. Paint the next area adjacent to the one that you just painted with this color and blend as mentioned above. Continue to mix colors that closer and closer approach the target color until you paint with the target color itself.
Blending allows for more smooth trasitions between colors than can be achieved in other ways. This can even be used in place of the paint-wash-drybrush technique for a lower contrast look. Blending is especially useful when painting large areas. For larger areas, drybrushing often can look unnatural because the contrast is too high on the raised areas. Drybrushing large areas can sometimes give a chalky look to a miniature, though this is often lessened when fixant/sealer is applied.
Using the blending technique can give the appearance of painting with oil paints. It takes some practice to get the desired effect, but it is worth it to learn well.
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