Pirate Monkey Basics – Wet blending

Hey there everyone welcome back! This weeks edition gets us one step closer to our first more technical brush stroke the Loaded brush! If you’ve never done wet blending before it uses a similar brushstroke as both feathering  and layering  this technique as well as all the others is meant to help you define your Light and Shape.

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Magic smoke and green cloth wet blended

Wet blending is exactly what you think it is! Blending paint while the paint on your figure is still wet. This sounds tricky but is actually much less difficult to accomplish then you would think!

WIP. Skin tones blended under the instruction of John Keys

The basic premise goes something like this, paint is applied and then more paint is applied on that wet paint. At this point some type of transition is affected. Now there are some general rules to keep in mind!

      The first being a concept that is heard of more in oil painting then acrylic “Lean Vs. Fat” this meaning that the “wet” paint should generally be thinner than the paint that is being applied. This thin paints color is usually the same as the same color as the base coat.

If you don’t want to deal with any color reactions messing up your previous work you can wet blend into straight water.

We can paint thick paint into thick paint but we will usually end up with a goopy but  colorful mess.

Beard and wood planks wet blended

So now that we’ve talked about the basics let’s jump into some specific methods! Please remember these are general guidelines not rules feel free to wield this info any way you please!

Feathering into a wet surface

-For this one we have to tap into all that knowledge that we learned in the previous lesson here. So the first step is of course to put down a wet glaze or layer onto the surface you are working on. Next grab the next color and place it into the wet surface and then feather it into the wet area to create your transition! See below for an example.


As you can see it’s not as tricky as it sounds and with just a little practice you’ll get the hang of it. Just a quick note this is one of Ben Komets prefered methods. Before really getting into loaded brush this was one of his go to’s

Layering into a wet surface

-This is something a little different than the first method as the brush stroke is much more similar to layering brushstroke. Meaning that is it very directional and straight. Once the wet surface is created paint is applied with a straight brushstroke, the paint is then helped to diffuse throughout the surface with the same motion.

layer wow

This method was first brought to my attention by the Masterful John Keys

General wet blending.

Some Painters will begin a figure in a very interesting way. They will wet blend all over the figure. I’ve seen some to this just to find the volumes in an interesting way, others do this to try to find interesting colors,  And finally some do this to find atmosphere. There is not a right or wrong way to do this but a general guideline is to keep the paint thin enough that it will not obscure to much of the detail. It is very well suited to models with large volumes or not many tiny details.

chaos ww

As a final note this can be as careful or chaotic as you please. Artist that have used this to great success a that come to mind are Roman Lappat of Massive voodoo and Jérémie Bonamant Teboul of Figone

That brings us to the end of this article! I hope you have enjoyed it as I enjoyed writing about this interesting topic! Next on the chopping block are

-Loaded bush blending



After that I’m looking for some kind of direction so let me know what you would like to see!

Cheers and happy painting!


12 thoughts on “Pirate Monkey Basics – Wet blending

  1. Good stuff, but Fat over Lean in oil paints is an issue with drying times. Leaner paints dry faster. If you paint very fat as a base and then glaze with lean paint the lean will dry faster and then crack as the under surface dries. Not that it changes how useful the main bit of your post is.

    One style of wet blending is the dirty brush method. This is where you don’t clean the brush between layers so that the paint blends in the brush.


    1. Hey there Tyler! This is meant as a guide for Miniature painters using acrylics. If we are talking about oils though you are spot on! Dirty brush blending is also much more useful with oils then miniatures because of the small surface area. Cheers!


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