With this year's diorama I had planned to avoid any new painting techniques and concentrate on honing brush control and continuing to practice my two-brush blends. All of this went out the window with the arrival of my new washes, and I just had to use them to add some depth to the rather drab brown colour scheme I had chosen. Above you can see the impact of the brown "sewer water" wash being using on the stones to the right of the crashed drone. I balanced this with the use of some dark blues in the shadows, and a lighter ruby wash to tint parts of the scene to match some of the reds I will be using on the minitatures.
Once the two brush blended shading is added to the crashed drone I began adding some highlights and battle damage. I can really feel a sense of accomplishment at this stage, and also see how the various techniques I have been learning are coming together to make my own "style". A little glazing here, wash there, two brush blend, edge highlight... I really feel myself enjoying painting a lot more than the base/wash/highlight I was doing only a few years ago.
As with all new technqiues the temptation to fall back into old habits is strong, and I found myself doing this once I started on the models themselves. With only two weeks remaining for the competition deadline I have deliberately rushed the Tau and Gretchin models as I hope to have another model ready in time, but it has certainly been good to paint again after a long summer break. I hope to keep the enthusiasm going for a few more "must finish" projects!