The Holy Trifecta of Painting

The Triple Threat, the three amigos, call them what you want, these three colors are a game changer when it comes to painting.

Picture this:

You are painting a brand new model, from your brand new army.  This amazing machine of destruction will shape how you paint the rest of your force.

You base coat your warrior in Olive Green.  You’ve never painted green before.  Nothing in the Codex prepared you for green when you painted your previous army, Ultramar’s finest.  Curse you Roboute, and your lack of green marines!

What to do next?

Start over, paint your model blue?  ‘Cause this you know how.

Put your new model back on the shelf? Unfinished and abandoned, like your dreams of playing that fully painted new army?

The clouds part.  Trumpets blare from the skies as three angels descent, each carrying a single pot of paint.

The three pots of paint that might just save your life.  Or at the very least, your hopes and your painting ambitions.*


Seraphim Sepia, Agrax Earthshade, Nuln Oil.

I think I’ve talked about that every single time I streamed my painting.

They are also three colors I recommend every painter get when they are starting out.  You got this base coat and you’re not sure what it goes with or how to approach it, chances are that one of these 3 amigos will do the job.

These three shades offer a wide range of color, and are neutral enough to work on every color.  While it may not always be perfect, they work every time.

I’ve been using these since forever, but really, it dawned on me when I got one these paint pot puck from GW.  I just snapped all three shades on there, and bam, carry them everywhere!**

Seraphim Sepia has a yellow tint.  It’s best suited for lighter colors.  Because of the yellow-ish hue, avoid using it on blues.  It works really well on silver to turn in into a light gold/brass color.

Agrax Earthshade is a brown tint.  It’s the best all around of the trifecta – if you can only get one, get Agrax.  It works on every single color to some extent.  It looks amazing on gold, but also works on other metallics.

Nuln Oil is black, like my soul. It’s best reserved for metallics and really dark colors – off blacks, dark  browns, sea blues and deep greens.  It’s also a great color to put over black that you’ve highlighted a too much.

For the Gee Dub Hating Reader

While I’ve been preaching this for years, I am by no means alone in knowing the awesomeness that is this trio of paints, as they are also the ground work of The Army Painter’s Quickshade technique.

Soft, Strong and Dark tone are a pretty close version of Sepia, Brown and Black shades, respectively.

While the idea is the same, the bottled washes from The Army painter don’t have the same finish as their GW counterpart.

The washes from The Army Painter are quite potent when used straight from the pot.  You really want to buy the Quickshade Mixing Medium if you intend to use them over your models like the GW ones.

* This is, obviously, satire and slightly exaggerated.  All done for dramatic effect.

** Real Pro Painters wine and dine their washes like they’re princesses.  Fact.

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