Learn Grimdark

Learn the basic techniques and products used in the Grimdark Painting Style. These techniques will forever change your hobby life and open doors to creative expressive you’ve never tapped into before. This course is perfect for the beginner painter, those wanting to explore the Grimdark Style, and who want a refresher to the basics; as it goes over the Grimdark Compendium’s Basic Reductive Technique of basing out your miniature, applying an enamel or oil wash, and removing the wash.

What is the Grimdark Style? To put it simply, the Grimdark Style takes the settings from which it is derived from seriously. The Warhammer universes are either dark-dystopian or dark-fantasy. Many artist painting miniatures from these settings strive to accurately depict the look and feel of these worlds through our work. So close your eyes, try your best to imagine a dark and dystopian world that sees only war, and get ready to learn how to paint that image.


1. Introduction – Thinners and Solvents

2. Washes and the Reductive Technique

3. Basic Applications

4. Textures and Pigment Powders Applications

5. Heavy Rust Applications

6. Chipping Techniques

7. Intro to Oils

8. Mottling

9. Oil Filtering

10. Oil Review


Click on the headers below to find the recommended materials used in this course.

Some items may be a bit difficult to find, but a little internet searching usually finds you everything you’ll need.

Acrylic Paint

I would recommend that you build up a collection of paints from the various manufacturers over time. I tend to use a little bit of everything from all the popular paint makers, including Citadel, Vallejo, and AK Interactive. However, I will note that the paints I personally use the most are from Citadel, Vallejo, or my own Mixes.

Acrylic Inks and Washes

I recommend the full range of Citadel Shade Washes. I will list the ones I use the most often below, as well as a few Vallejo Inks.

  • Coelia Greenshade
  • Carroburg Crimson
  • Reikland Fleshshade
  • Nuln Oil
  • Agrax Earth Shade
  • Vallejo Black Ink
  • Vallejo Red Ink

Weathering Enamels and Washes

  • Streaking Grime AK7001 (From the Locomotive and Carriage Set AK7000)
  • Streaking Grime AK012
  • Rust Streaks AK013
  • Rust Streaks AK7002 (From the Locomotive and Carriage Set AK7000)
  • Dark Brown Wash AK045
  • Light Rust Wash AK046
  • Crusted Rust Deposits AK4110
  • Decay and Abandoned Weathering Set AK4180
  • Slimy Grime Light AK026
  • Slimy Grime Dark AK027
  • Dust Effects AK015

Pigment Powders

Any brand will do. I prefer Abteilung502 and Vallejo Pigments

  • Light Rust
  • Dark Rust/Dark Ochre
  • Light Yellow Ochre or Bone Dust
  • Black Soot
  • Medium Earth Or Medium Brown
  • Faded Green
  • Rubble Dust

Abteilung502 Oils

  • Smoke
  • Neutral Grey
  • Dark Mud
  • Industrial Earth
  • Buff
  • Light Flesh Tone
  • Basic Flesh Tone
  • Faded Flesh Tone
  • Shadow Flesh Tone
  • Red Primer
  • Warm Red
  • Dark Rust
  • Light Rust
  • Turquoise Lights
  • Blue Green
  • Copper Patina Oxide
  • Magenta
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Blood
  • Starship Filth
  • Dead Flesh
  • Magic Potion For Brushes
  • Magic Gel for Brushes

True Metals by Ak Interactive

  • Copper
  • Brass
  • Gold
  • Old Bronze
  • Steel
  • Silver
  • Gun Metal


  • Windsor Newton Series 7 sizes 0-4 Traditional
  • Windsor Newton Series 7 sizes 1-6 Miniature
  • Royal and Langnickel Golden Talkon Set
  • Royal and Langnickel Camel Hair Set
  • Various cheap brush bundles from local hobby stores

Various Tools and Solvents

  • Wool Dobbers
  • Various Palette Knifes
  • Mold Line Removers
  • Iwata HPCS Eclipse Airbrush
  • Paasche H-3as Single Action Airbrush
  • Iwata Smart Jet Pro Studio Compressor
  • Isopropyl Alcohol 99%
  • Klean Strip Odorless Mineral Spirits or White Spirits
  • Klean Strip Lacquer Thinner
  • Distilled Water
  • Bulk Two-Part Modeling Compound for Basing. I use Aves Apoxie Sculpt
  • Green Stuff
  • 1/4 inch Cork Board
  • Plasticard Sheets


  1. Scott canty

    Hey mate – when you suggest using a clear coat lacquer with oils, is that the kean strip lacquer thinner?

  2. George

    Lacquer varnish/coat is separate from the thinner. Here’s one… https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0006O55ZK (they also make a matte version). Lacquer thinner will do the same thing as if you sprayed mineral spirits on the model.

    • Scott canty

      Thanks for the help guys! X

  3. Carl Hellicar

    Great tutorial nd oils are where I need to up my game.

  4. Cam Clarke

    Hey man – just wanted to say thanks for the time and effort you put into these videos.

    • Zatcaskagoon Miniatures

      I appreciate it! Thinking of remaking the series!

  5. dancran5454

    Awesome videos

    • Zatcaskagoon Miniatures

      Thanks! I appreciate it!

  6. Thijmen Sietsma

    Thanks for the great series! I have made some good progression with enamels and oils but really struggle to clean up acrylic washes (and enamels and oils) with isopropyl alcohol. I often just remove back to the primer. I try to be very gentile not rubbing the model, but so far no luck. Do you have any further tips than being very gentile with the q-tip?


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