Question for you clever folks who remember things.
Years ago, I read a great article about mixing your own washes up from ink, matte medium, and flow aid. And I mixed up a whole bunch of washes that I really liked, in sufficient quantities that I never had to do it again.
I need to do it again, and I don't remember how.
Moved recently, and threw out all the weird little bottles of whatever, and just kept the matte medium, flow-aid, and inks. And then realized that I no longer have any idea even roughly what proportions of what to use to make a decent wash. Nor do I have any idea where that article was. Give me a starting point please? I'm sure I can experiment back to something I like from there...
Just mixing paint with water will usually not be good enough, but it is a decent base. Then add some medium and some flow aid. I would start small scale and see that you like the result and then go big. I do not have any precise proportions for you to use though.
Anothe possibility is to check out ready made washes. The number of variants of washesh available has exploded in later years, so for example vallejo may sell the stuff you want already tinned
FYI I've tried washes with normal tap water, artist's ink, and isopropanol (rubbing alcohol) to decrease viscosity. It kind of worked, I guess, but the mix evaporates really fast. And I've since discovered that isopropanol works pretty well for stripping paint off minis, so I think I'll try something else in the future.
I recall being skeptical about how important the distilled water was - probably depends on the hardness of your local tap - but the stuff costs pennies a liter, so you almost might as well. The flow-aid and matte are pricier, but one bottle of each will pretty much kit you out forever, and the matte at least is pretty important to add opacity. I experimented with different amounts of it, and you can see the effect. (The flow-aid I'm mostly taking peoples' word for. I might try mixing a batch up without this time just to see what difference it makes.)
For future reference of myself and others; I just mixed up a batch of black using India Ink from my local art supply, rather than anything designed for minis. Works fine but the ink seems to have more pigment; 20 drops made for a medium-to-dark wash, rather than the pale that Les describes, and that I've gotten with, say P3 colored inks. So start _way_ low on that 20-60 drop range and experiment your way up, depending on the inks you're using.