Today we’re going to be showing you guys the way we paint aged weathered bronze with blue-green patina. As with most painting techniques, there are many ways of achieving the same effect but this is the way we do it.
This is a very simple technique, mostly using drybrushing and washes.
You will need:
- Something to paint to look like bronze – Statues, armour, building parts, whatever. We’ve used this technique on lots of different things from an Empire Steam Tank to helmets, warjacks and even once on a frame for a mirror in the house.
- Black Primer
- Dark Brown (Vallejo Charred Brown / GW Scorched Brown or equivalent)
- Bronze or Brass (Vallejo Brassy Brass / Bright Bronze or equivalent)
- Turquoise (Vallejo Turquoise / GW Hawk Turqoise or equivalent)
- Bright Green (Vallejo / GW Goblin Green)
- Bone (Vallejo Bonewhite / GW Bleached Bone or Ushabti Bone)
- Gold (Vallejo Glorious Gold or similar… any gold really. This is optional)
- Light Silver (Vallejo Silver / GW Mithril Silver or equivalent)
- Matt Medium (Vallejo one works nicely, GW make their own nowadays too)
- Brushes – A large, soft brush for drybrushing and a smaller one for washes and highlights.
Get ready. You probably ain’t drybrushed this much in your life before…
After a coat of black primer, give the whole thing a very heavy drybrush with a mix of 1:1 Dark Brown and Bronze (or brass if you prefer the colour).
Drybrush again, this time a little lighter but still heavy in straight Bronze / Brass. Leave to dry completely. This won’t take long as the drybrushing dries fast… funny that.
Aging the bronze with verdigris patina
Time for some washes to add the blue-green verdigris patina which is so commonly associated with aged bronze.
Start with a mix of 2:1 Turquoise & Light Green. Only mix a small drop of this and do it in a well-type palette, not on a wet palette or flat plate. Now add a lot of water. I mean a lot. You want this mix really thin. Add a few drops of matt medium too.
Wash the mix over the whole surface. It will be pretty scary at first but it dries a lot less bright than it looks when wet.
Give it a few washes if required to reach the desired level of blue-ish-ness (nice made up word there). Don’t worry if you overdo it. We’ll be going back later to put the metallic shine back in with more drybrushing.
LEAVE THE WASH TO DRY COMPLETELY!!!
Now add a few drops of bone coloured paint to your wash mix. Add a little more water if required and wash this over the whole lot too.
Again… LEAVE THE WASH TO DRY COMPLETELY!!! I mean it. Don’t even think about the next step until it’s completely dry or you’ll ruin it. You could leave it at this point if you want a more aged, tarnished look but we’ll do a few more steps to make it look more like it’s been polished once upon a time but still a little neglected.
Making it shine
Now we’ll add some of the shine back into the metallics and do some highlights.
First up, drybrush lightly with our bronze or brass colour.
Next with 1:1 bronze and gold
Last drybrush is the same 1:1 bronze and gold mix with the tiniest drop of silver added.
All that is left to do now is to paint some final highlights. We did this with a regular thin brush and the same mix with more silver added.
And viola. We’re all done.
Here are a few pics of things we’ve painted with these techniques.
Hope you’ve enjoyed the tutorial. If you have any questions or comments.. as usual, drop them below.