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To Pre-Shade or Not To Pre-Shade?

To pre-shade or not to pre-shade, that is the question.

What is pre-shading?

Pre-shading is a method of darkening areas, such as panel lines, shadow areas around detail and control surfaces, prior to the main color coats. By its very nature it lends itself best if used under light colors. However I wanted to use the technique under all colors.

Why pre-shade?

I can't answer that; it depends on what you are trying to achieve. For me I'm trying to break up the monotone affect of a straight color. For some I think that pre-shading is a substitute for panel line accentuation and therefore the need for a wash. I could achieve color shading by varying the strength of the color coat, but that would entail at least 3 color changes, per color, and a great deal more time and energy. My technique achieves the aim without any variation in the color. Combined with washes, based on artists oil colors, gives the final weathered affect. So I don't know why others pre-shade and I don't know why you might want to pre-shade, I will simply describe what I do, and why. Then like me you can have a look at the basic technique and alter it to suit your style.

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About Mal Mayfield (Holdfast)

Hi, my name is Mal Mayfield and I have been modelling seriously for about 25 years. My main interest is 1/48 scale second world war. I build all types and all combatants. I have built 1/35 scale "targets" and 1/72 scale modern aircraft, plus a couple of cars. I have also dabbled with figure painting...