I want to paint like Professionals
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Thread: I want to paint like Professionals

  1. #1

    Default I want to paint like Professionals

    I've been debating whether to paint my miniatures myself or commission someone to paint for me. After a sad experience of having my miniatures stolen and my money gone by Lee from Nobz Studio I lost hope that he'd give me my painted miniatures or send them back to me (been waiting since may 2010).

    So, I want to paint like "professionals" I have the will and passion to start. I am willing to spend a lot of money on this hobby if it is going to stop me from needing to hire people to paint my miniatures. But since I am a perfectionist I need to paint them real good. I have plenty of miniatures to practice on. I have plastic/resin/metal miniatures. But I just don't know where to start. I read websites like www.how-to-paint-miniatures.com and watched plenty of youtube videos. I know about the basic processes and primers. I just want a hand to help me where to start.

    I want to buy the best quality materials. I want an advice with what kind of tools/raw materials that I might need to buy. Where to buy them from? Which brand? Is it "possible" for me to paint like these amazing painters? Is there a secret? (paintbrush? machines? specific equipment and tools?) or is it just dedication and talent? Why do some minis look dirty and ugly? I always think my minis would end up like these. I wish and i want to pain like these beautiful miniatures (show case) done by these great painters. Is it possible?

    Your advice and guidance will be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by Carlin; 06-28-2011 at 12:13 PM.

  2. #2

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    The secret? Practice, and a desire to get better. A little talent goes a long way, but as long as you're open to advice, you can do amazing things. Take a look around the forums, read some of the lovely tutorials here. Go over to the gallery, and get some inspiration. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Everyone here was once where you are, and most of them are happy to help.
    Proud owner of a Cassar!

    #1378/9460
    You are ranked 1351 out of 9441 artists.



  3. #3

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    The secret is indeed practice. Repetition Repetition Repetition. Learn the techniques and keep trying them and experimenting. The desire is a big part too and it sounds like you have that.
    Only Truth in Truth

  4. #4

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    Nothing wrong with having goals, but if you aren't realistic with yourself, you'll be disgusted and give it up in a hurry.

    The best way to start is to just jump in. Don't over analyze it. Just decide on a mini and start. You will make mistakes, you will be frustrated. It's all part of the process.

  5. #5

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    A basic set of a dozen acrylic paints. Brands vary but it's mostly personal preference. Vallejo Model Colour, Cote D'Arms, Games Workshop are all good. Artists acrylics are an option but not one that I'm familiar with.

    Good quality Kolinsky Sable brushes, No. 2, No.1 & No. 0. Windsor & Newton Series 7 would be a longstanding default though Rosemary & Co have had a lot of good mention of late. A No.2 & a No.1 cheaper brush for putting paint on pallette, mixing, undercoating etc. Make yourself a wet-pallette from the supermarket (shallow tray, sponge, baking parchment). Craft knife (set of needle files & pin-vice if you're dealing with metal).

    Stop spending money.

    Pick up a mini & paint it. Commit to picking up the brush at least 5 days a week, if only for 30 minutes. Perservere. The more you become familiar with the actual rather than theoretical process, the more the professional tutorials/advice will start to make sense.

    NB Don't start with you favourite mini, save that for when you know you can do it justice. Don't intend to spend a 100 hours on it. Take care but get it finished, don't fanny about with niggly detail before you've got to grips with a smooth basecoat Then pick up another, learn from previous mistakes.

    Start a WIP thread here

    Cheers, B.
    My CMON Gallery Rank...

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlin
    I am willing to spend a lot of money on this hobby if it is going to stop me from needing to hire people to paint my miniatures.
    Good news to start off: this largely won't be necessary, excluding the miniatures themselves. There are initial setup costs of course but they don't have to be too steep and once you've absorbed those it's not necessarily an expensive pastime. Except for the minis, depending on what you buy and how many.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlin
    But since I am a perfectionist I need to paint them real good.
    Since we have a rough idea of the quality you'd be happy with (and you do too, having seen this level of work in the flesh, yes?) I think it'd be a good idea to establish some kind of realistic timeline and here's the first bit of news that isn't so good.

    If you're dedicated and stick with it you'll get better pretty fast (especially with places like CMON to tap for individualised advice) but development speeds vary greatly from person to person. Some of it is down to what's usually called talent but I prefer to think of as a knack, past that though and it's about doing the work... and this is where you might need to take a deep breath, relax and just let improvement come at its own pace, since you're talking hundreds of hours to get good, lots more than that to get really good.

    So the first thing I would recommend is not worry about getting to this quality, but rather start painting and keep at it just with the goal of getting better. You need to enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

    While I don't encourage getting into the habit of stripping and starting again it can be worth doing sometimes and metal miniatures are very forgiving here so they're good initial pieces to practice on for this reason alone. You can also leave stuff for now and strip it in the future, which leads on to my next suggestion.

    Which is painting some minis now, admire your handiwork for a while (week or so) and then put them in a drawer and ignore them for a bit. Then dig them out in a month or two and hold them up against something you've just done so you can directly gauge how much improvement you've made. You can do the same thing periodically all through your learning/development phase.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlin
    I have plenty of miniatures to practice on. I have plastic/resin/metal miniatures. But I just don't know where to start. I read websites like www.how-to-paint-miniatures.com and watched plenty of youtube videos. I know about the basic processes and primers. I just want a hand to help me where to start.
    Nike mantra - just do it.

    If you have the materials at hand now, paint something, anything, as long as it gets you painting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlin
    I want to buy the best quality materials. I want an advice with what kind of tools/raw materials that I might need to buy. Where to buy them from? Which brand?
    Well worth doing a search since this is the kind of thing that's asked about fairly often so there's lots of info on this already; also look in the Sticky Thread of much stickyness for a quick start. There are many prior threads asking "what's the best paint?" (there isn't one) and on tools there are a few which list the basics and some of the more specialised ones you might aspire to in time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlin
    Is it "possible" for me to paint like these amazing painters?
    Maybe - no way someone else can answer that I'm afraid, it really is up to you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlin
    Is there a secret? (paintbrush? machines? specific equipment and tools?) or is it just dedication and talent?
    The number one 'secret' is unquestionably practice; it's actually hard to do something again and again and not get better at it

    The road to mastery seems to be the same no matter what area you look at - putting the time in.

    Einion

  7. #7
    Brushlicker gohkm's Avatar
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    The number one 'secret' is unquestionably practice; it's actually hard to do something again and again and not get better at it

    The road to mastery seems to be the same no matter what area you look at - putting the time in.
    QFT.

    In Jen Haley's latest video interview, she says that to paint to a high professional standard requires a serious amount of dedication - weekend painters like myself aren't going to get anywhere near that. It needs to be taken as a serious job, a 9-to-5, to continuously paint and paint until your fingers are bleeding and your eyesight is hazy.

    Well, OK, Jen Haley didn't say that in as many words, but certainly, if you're serious about painting to a professional standard, it is going to take quitting your current job and dedicating yourself to painting.

  8. #8

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    So let me get this straight. You have not picked up a brush yet? I would say that is the first thing to do. I started with testors enamels and a big brush back in 1980. It worked for a while and then I figured out how to use acrylics and a smaller brush and then figured out some more tricks along the way. It's just a process and part of the enjoyment of the hobby. Painting like a a pro is not all that much fun anyhow, since then you have to worry about your scores here, and that is definitely not fun.

    Asking to paint like a professional without even having started reminds me of this old skit. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8VD4JXUozM

  9. #9

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    Im getting better and it is a slow process. Being on this site there are many skilled if not gifted painters here and are more than happy to help. Get some minis painted post some pics and get some feedback. Just be prepared for some major!! feedback.

    AND THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER!

    Enjoy it.

  10. #10

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    Painting like professionals requires the ability to spend the majority of your waking day painting; if you're wanting to be a professional painter, ostensibly, you're doing this as a living, and that shouldn't be hard anyway.

    I can only reiterate what many of the astute painters have said here: Stick with it. Put in the hours. Practice, practice and more practice.

    If you have minis, then you might only need three or four brushes, a good light and some good paints (I prefer Reaper Master Series, if you care). All the airbrushes, name-brand pin-and-drills, paints, brushes, lights, and other hardware in the world will not make you a better painter — only time and dedication do that.

    I keep a blog of my stuff (mentioned in my signature); it's not everything that I do, but it helps keep me motivated to pick up the brush (as someone else mentioned) five to seven times per week, for at least an hour or so. I love getting feedback, and I wish that people were more brutal with it sometimes. I haven't even hit above 6 rating on what I consider some of my best pieces, and I am fine with. In the end, whatever works best for me is what is best. I don't paint to sell on eBay or anything, but paint to play, collect and enjoy, so that's what I adapt my painting style to. And keeping a record helps (be it blog, notebook, or whatever).

    Excellent advice about finishing some pieces, and then putting them away. I don't do it in terms of time, but rather, every 20th or so miniature. Since some weeks, I have tons of time, and others next-to-none, I attempt to pull out miniatures from two-or-so batches ago.

    If you can find a mentor, great! I have looked in the Portland, OR area, but to no avail. I'm willing to pay money for mentorship, but alas, I can only check the boards and ask others — and some of the (free) advice here has been fantastic!

    Overall, just enjoy it. If you're not enjoying the process of learning — and are pulling your hair out as you paint, screaming, "When will I get better!?", you've probably picked the wrong hobby.

  11. #11
    Brushlicker MightyChad's Avatar
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    Talent goes a long way, but isn't the main ingredient to making a successful painter. Practice and the willingness to try new things, researching techniques, and asking for AND USING critiques/advice are the most important things. In the internet age, it is easier to access this information than it was when I started, and it hasn't been incredibly long for me. Ask questions, and take the advice. Don't get upset with harsh critiques. Try to find some other people to paint with, that can motivate you. Try to find some that are better than you, and try to reach their level, that in turn will help push them to get better. All of these things worked for me. My minis, according to this site, went from a high 5/low 6 to a mid-level 7, in less than a year. but I spent a lot of time and effort at it. Anyway, get started, post photos in the Work in Progress section of the forum, and use what you learn. Try to make every miniature better than the last, then you can see that you are at least one step closer to your goal.

  12. #12

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    I agree with what has been said here, and fall into a similar category as both yourself and Ordo. I have yet to post a finished mini here for fear of a low score (kind of a people pleaser that way), but I have only recently been apply to apply a few tutorials. I've been trying them for a while, but only on my most recent mini did it 'click.' Application of one technique does not always work as shown in tutorials, how-tos but eventually something in one will trigger something in another, and they may not be connected. Just try them out and you'll pick things up without even meaning to. . .
    If you can name your paint colors blindfolded....you might be a brushlicker

  13. #13

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    Don't let that fear of a low score scare you! It's like a band-aid - the quicker you pull it off the sooner it will stop hurting. And then you have a base to improve upon!
    Proud owner of a Cassar!

    #1378/9460
    You are ranked 1351 out of 9441 artists.



  14. #14
    Newbie, please be gentle geaugan's Avatar
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    Be sure to get youself one of those "plaid brushes" for doing tartans.
    Are we having fun yet?

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by geaugan View Post
    Be sure to get youself one of those "plaid brushes" for doing tartans.
    You can get that in a spraycan now, haven't you heard?

    Einion

  16. #16

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    [QUOTE= I want to paint like "professionals" I have the will and passion to start. [/QUOTE]

    Practice,Practice,Practice,Practice,Practice,Pract ice,Practice,Practice,Practice,Practice,Practice,P ractice,Practice,Practice,Practice,Practice,Practi ce,Practice,Practice,Practice,Practice,Practice,Pr actice,Practice,Practice.......
    .... oh and you can try licking your brushes :-)
    "we reach for the stars, forever looking to the heavens, our minds filled with wonder and the glory of the cosmic all; stretching the boundries of human knowledge and securing the solar system for the Human Species out there beyond the final frontier so one day our decendants will be as gods!
    You hold our hands so we don't blunder into things........and do the photo shop.
    "
    . Andyg


  17. #17

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    I would suggest that you buy some cheap 2 or 3$ mini's from reaper or something like that. Read the tutorials on CMON very helpful ask a lot of questions and don't get discouraged. My painting although not very good has improved a lot. Great community to ask for help.

    You need to paint,
    repaint,
    ask questions,
    accidentally drink out of your cleaning pot,
    paint more,
    ask more questions,
    watch video's,
    and don't give up it gets better but takes time and practice a lot of practice.

  18. #18

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    [QUOTE= accidentally drink out of your cleaning pot,
    [/QUOTE]

    Done that, done that - I thought I was the only one.
    "we reach for the stars, forever looking to the heavens, our minds filled with wonder and the glory of the cosmic all; stretching the boundries of human knowledge and securing the solar system for the Human Species out there beyond the final frontier so one day our decendants will be as gods!
    You hold our hands so we don't blunder into things........and do the photo shop.
    "
    . Andyg


  19. #19

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    Accidentally. Yeah, that's it. It was an accident. Honest.
    Proud owner of a Cassar!

    #1378/9460
    You are ranked 1351 out of 9441 artists.



  20. #20

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    ah lol i suffer from the problem of practising so much and then my minis are still crap. i can paint average armor but if its robes or skin were i need to tone it and what not. then i just get frustrated cause for the life of me i cannot get blending or anything like that down.

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