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Mannerheim27

Moderator
True Blood
Sep 29, 2009
981
Minnesota
Hi everyone!
 
As I finally got my apartment all set up and ready to go, I found an old folder of mine that I’ve been compiling articles and anything painting related. I’ve had this folder since I was a freshman in college and it’s helped me come a ways in the painting aspect of the hobby. Since I looked around and didn’t see a thread like this, I thought I’d share some of this info for this forum. If anyone else has anything to add, feel free to post and I’ll add it to the forward post.
 
When it comes to painting, here are some general suggestions to take in before you’re about to put the paint to the mini looking up at you from your work area:
 
Do your research:
 
Take the term research with a grain of salt, no one expects you to grab entire textbooks and settle down at a desk for hours on end to learn everything about painting, but it is a good idea to pick up some magazines here and there or browse some sites about different techniques. There are many great websites out there, including this one, where you can learn many different approaches and techniques to us. Look up different ways to look at colors, learn the basics of color theory. The more information you gain, the better you can approach the hobby. You’d be surprised what you can learn.
 
Always ask questions:
 
Ever see a cool mini and wonder how they painted the eyes or the cloak? Did you ever get around to asking the question or did you go about your day thereafter never knowing how they accomplished those cool effects? One thing about this hobby is that painters are very nice to each other. It’s a passion that we all share and we’re very open to anyone who enjoys it. Never be afraid to ask questions. If you want to know something, ask! Many of the world’s best painters are some of the nicest people you’ll meet and are more than enthusiastic in showing others how to do different things. Next time you have a question, just ask it. There’s never a dumb question, only one that you refused to put forward.
 
Start a Painting Log:
 
Thanks to the advent of the internet-age nearly anyone can create a thread in a forum and post to their hearts desire, why not start a painting log? The beauty of a painting log is that others will read and observe what you are doing and will actually give you feedback and advice. Providing yourself with a painting log opens and channel of communication to your peers around you. Feedback will come to you as you chug along in your painting endeavors and you’ll learn quite a bit as people watch and comment on your progress. Having a painting log also creates accountability; as part of a community you’ll want to keep posting and people will actually encourage you to keep on painting and posting. This provides encouragement to those of us who have a bit of trouble keeping up with painting consistently. Plus, it feels pretty darn good to get virtual pats on the back as you begin to excel in your models.
 
Track Your Progress:
 
This one sort of ties in with the painting log, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be on a site, it could be in your own notebook or folder of some sort. Keep track of how far you’ve come and take pictures. Never throw out your old models, keep them as reference points. I know I’ve personally painted some pretty bad models, but I’ve used them to serve as a reminder of how far I’ve come along since those minis. It’s very fun to look at your minis and observe how much progress you’ve made as a painter. This is also a useful technique to keep yourself upbeat when you’re feeling frustrated about the hobby. This ties in with the next two points….
 
Try New Things:
 
Why settle for the same old same old? I’ve had some pretty crazy ideas in my painting career and some of them have actually paid off. Try some spontaneous ideas and don’t back down until you feel the model is complete. Try some different techniques you’ve read about that happen to be outside of your comfort zone. There’s no harm in trying. Who knows, you may just develop a new technique that you’ll love!
 
Practice, Practice, Practice:
 
Ever have those days when you feel you are the worst painter in the world and wonder how you could get better? The simple answer is to pick up the brush and paint on through that feeling. The more you paint the better you’ll become. It takes a lot of time to develop a sense of touch with your brush and to understand how your paint will react to the different models you paint with. It’s a lot like riding a bike, it takes a bit of practice. Once you get some time under your belt, you won’t even realize how much you are painting: you start to really enjoy it. Just keep at it, and track your progress as you do it!
 
Take Your Time:
 
I know this one can be a hard one to do as I do get impatient myself, but take your time as you paint. Yes, it can take a while to get good results, but the end is always worth it. You don’t need to spend twelve hours working on a face, but if you really want to you can. There’s no rush in the hobby, do what you feel is an appropriate pace. You’re not in a race or anything. The more  time you give to yourself to relax and just paint, the more relaxed you’ll feel in the process itself, and the more you’ll enjoy it.
 
Take Care of Your Tools:
 
This sounds a bit elementary, but the better care you give your tools, the better care they’ll give you when you’re looking to get good results. Take the time to wash your brushes and treat them if you can. Having well-maintained brushes is key to accurate and clean painting. Keep your work area clean if you can, it’s much easier to work in a clean environment. The better you keep your equipment, the easier it will be to enjoy the hobby. It also saves money too!
 
Have Fun with It:
 
Yes, the last point is pretty cheesy, but it’s also very true. This is a hobby, you’re supposed to enjoy it. Try your best and be happy that you even attempt at it. Very few people can paint minis so be happy that you have the talent to do so. Relax! This is a very fun hobby to be in, there’s no sense to ever getting stressed out from it. If there’s a problem, ask for help or get up for a bit and put the problem aside. Just have fun while doing this, you’ll paint that much better!

Always finish your project:

When the painting gods are starting to work against you and you fear that the finished model will end up looking rubbish you should just keep on painting. This is because a finished model will always end up looking good, regardless of the actual quality of the painting. It is just a question about the "degree of good". It might take you some time to realise that the model in fact looks great, but once you have let the impression sink in you should be positively surprised by the fact that the little disaster actually is a success.
Besides every unfinished model is another step towards not being able to complete any model at all, so allways complete your work one way or another; never let uncertainty rule. (by Dark Sheep)
 
Well that’s all I have for now, I can add some later. If anyone has anything that you want to add, feel free to post it and I can put it on here.
 
Thanks!
 
All the best,
 
Jake
 
 
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The Dark Sheep

Master Vampire
True Blood
Feb 8, 2008
4,529
A great idea. I'll add this to the Collection of useful threads.

That being said I'll add the following:
Always finish your project. When the painting gods are starting to work against you and you fear that the finished model will end up looking rubbish you should just keep on painting. This is because a finished model will always end up looking good, regardless of the actual quality of the painting. It is just a question about the "degree of good". It might take you some time to realise that the model in fact looks great, but once you have let the impression sink in you should be positively surprised by the fact that the little disaster actually is a success.
Besides every unfinished model is another step towards not being able to complete any model at all, so allways complete your work one way or another; never let uncertainty rule.
 

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