|An impressive array, but further patching is needed because of the white undercoat and inconsistent mixing and application of the brown paint.|
The brown needs to be solid as it will be the finished colour of at least 50% of the figure blocks. This brown functions as the base colour of the ground, the shadow between the ranks of figures and any and all parts of the figures which I don't subsequently paint with any other colour.
The blocks may be only 60mm x 30mm but given the indentations represented by the figures and the sand on the bases, they have a very large surface area and positively drink paint. Getting 100% coverage is vital. I don't want any white spots in the middle of an area which is supposed to be deep shadow. The blocks therefore have to be touched up in good light.
It was at this point that I realised I should have undercoated in black gesso according to the original ‘recipe’. Had I done so, covering the undercoat completely wouldn’t be so important. As it was it took quite a lot of time to eliminate any white spots and I still have to go over the blocks again as the brown is a bit thin in places. I am currently awaiting a new supply of Charred Brown!
I know some people may think that basing before painting is a little eccentric, but had I painted the figures first I would not have been able to get at the ground between them given the way in which they are so packed together.