Wise Russian Painter
Hey, Pirate Monkey Crew! The quote above is from one of my favorite artists Kirill ” The Yellow One” Kanaev.
It’s been a bit since I’ve written, combined with the commissions and editing video It was decided to take a month-long break from the blog to zero in some other processes that contribute to the Patreon as well as speed painting. But I’m incredibly excited to be back and bursting with ideas!
As you may have guessed the article today is on stippling which is, in all honesty, one of the most incredibly versatile painting techniques for miniature painters. It is also similar to many things in life where it takes moments to learn but a lifetime to master. It allows us to create the most spectacular effects and textures though if practiced with dedication. With that being said let’s jump in!
Stippling is, in essence, the practice of creating small dots with the paint on our brush. It is a very old technique and has its own branch of full art called pointillism where the artist would paint a full painting with either these small dots of very small squares or rectangles.
What are some of the benefits of learning this technique you may think?
Well, the first one that comes to my mind is the variety of textures. From glistening eyes to matte course fibers on a worn shirt there are really very few limits here. Also, it’s just indispensable tool when painting faces as they tend to have many small areas that can be smoothed, adjusted, or nuanced with stippling
Secondly, it’s incredibly nifty when trying to smooth blends out. Stippling acts sort of like a camouflage pattern that confuses the viewer’s eye into seeing something smooth when in fact it is tiny little dots. Sort of like pixels on a tv screen
So now that I’ve teased you with the potential of the technique lets jump into the actual thing itself.
The first thing to really practice is to get lots of small dots that are approximately the same size and in rows and lines. This is the most academic way to practice but after 5 or so minutes of this your ability to replicate the action later on a figure will be much better
As you can tell by the Gif my ability to create consistent dots that are the same size is a little lacking. Mastering this takes time and practice. This method is great for clothing, hair, and eyes.
The next method seen here is one that is less reliant on consistent dots and more reliant on creating noise and texture. You still need to keep each dot separated from the next but the size and shape matter less.
Try this when painting Leathers or other course materials that need randomness but still a degree of control so that an effect does not get out of hand
Here’s another example of the first method where stippling is being used to assist in blending an area.
As you can see its really subtle.
Most of they eyes that I paint are done almost solely with stippling.
So on that final note hopefully a nice spectrum of the techniques wide range of possibilities has been shown. Give it a try your efforts will be rewarded!
So with all of this being said go forth and,
Please check out more of Kirill’s work here, if you happen to hear about one of his classes definitely check it out!
Take a look at more of his incredible work HERE. Take the time to look really closely at the textures
Also, Check out
He is pretty great at it too.
Coming up next is Sketching!
If you enjoyed this article and would like to support Pirate Monkey Painting you can do that on my Patreon
$5 gets you a load of great video tutorials where I put techniques like this one into practice