I'm fairly new to painting minis, what will take me to the next level?
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Thread: I'm fairly new to painting minis, what will take me to the next level?

  1. #1

    Default I'm fairly new to painting minis, what will take me to the next level?

    I only started painting minis properly this year, on and off because of university commitments. I have painted an ork and some Gretchin but I am unsure what I could be doing to make them more real, they feel cartoon like which isn't bad but not entirely what I am aiming for?
    I am also in the process of building up my paint collection and have been looking at the WarColours range if anyone knows much about them?

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  2. #2

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    Hi. I am a beginner too so, take this with a grain of salt. I struggle with the same sort of things in terms of defining what I am aiming for. This is the part of painting where you use no paint and the only brush you use is the 5 inch one between your ears. These days I am trying to pre-plan what the end result should be and then coming up with a strategy (palate) to meet that goal. It's difficult. I think the other advice you'll probably get from many of the masters on CMON will be "push the contrast way way way more". Take the ork's shirt for example -- it's too monotone. You need to give it highlights and deeper shades to make it look more "real".

    I have no idea about WarColours -- I've been using Vallejo primarily and some GW washes primarily.

    Have fun, I hope I helped (lol)

  3. #3

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    Cheers, that really is useful! Never gave pre-planning the mini too much thought.

    I am already thinking of ways I could bring out more contrasts using the colours I have.

    Thanks again

  4. #4

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    for a more realistic feel: you'd have to go away from the GW style dark-color, color, light-color and go more in the direction of: complementary/analog color+color (makes shadows a bit more brownish/greyish), color, pastely desaturated color.
    For example the ork skin: some red(or red-brown) + green (or blue (or blueish black)+green) for the shadows, green can stay as a base for the skin, green + offwhite (ivory) for the highlights.

    Also consider the direction of the light. Usually you should paint like it comes from above, so some raised areas should remain dark if they are facing away from the lightsource.

    -------

    warcolours: those who tried say it's good. I have no exp with them,so no idea there.
    Forgot, that it works again.

  5. #5

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    I'll speak to warcolors, good price and quality. I was a beta tester and they are great paints for the money - superior to many brands out there in many ways, actually. They are a great way to get a bunch of colors, that said, learning to work with a limited palette and mixing what you need with less colors will make you a better painter if that is your goal.
    "Remember, you can't spell paint without a little pain."

    Blog: almostperftec.blogspot.ca
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    P&P: Neil Szabo

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by MAXXxxx View Post
    for a more realistic feel: you'd have to go away from the GW style dark-color, color, light-color and go more in the direction of: complementary/analog color+color (makes shadows a bit more brownish/greyish), color, pastely desaturated color.
    This is what I struggle with, trying to wrap my head around colour theory is proving difficult, my brain says no but when seeing other people's work here it clearly does look amazing, if I could just skip forward a bit until it makes sense to me that would be awesome.

  7. #7

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    I have to throw a recommendation for Reaper Master Series Paints they dry matte and have good flow.

    The big things that i am doing personally to improve are:
    1) Fighting Gloss (i am trying to avoid gloss on every layer i apply)
    2) weathering (adding realistic grime and dirt to miniatures)
    3) Non metallic metals (I have said goodbye to all metallic paint and my brushes thank me)

    That being said the minis above look very good!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Straw Boss View Post
    1) Fighting Gloss (i am trying to avoid gloss on every layer i apply)
    3) Non metallic metals (I have said goodbye to all metallic paint and my brushes thank me)
    1. how so? most paint lines I know are pretty matt and it's not easy to make them glossy.

    3. heresy. TMM is the only true way, NMM is for weaklings. (yes metallic paints are rougher on the brushes, but not that much and there can be some wonderful effects be done with them)
    Forgot, that it works again.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by MAXXxxx View Post
    1. how so? most paint lines I know are pretty matt and it's not easy to make them glossy.

    3. heresy. TMM is the only true way, NMM is for weaklings. (yes metallic paints are rougher on the brushes, but not that much and there can be some wonderful effects be done with them)
    1. by choosing matte paints and varnishes, i use a lot of washes with my stuff and that adds a ton of shine. When you combine that with any satin or gloss varnish it adds up to a level of gloss that i am not happy with.

    3. i will agree that i have seen som amazing things done with metallic paints, i just personally don't like them (they are shiny ). Metallic paints always seem somehow out of scale to me, especially when you get down to 15mm scale and smaller.

    my goal is to get good at nonmetallic painting and i am working towards that.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by MAXXxxx View Post
    3. heresy. TMM is the only true way, NMM is for weaklings. (yes metallic paints are rougher on the brushes, but not that much and there can be some wonderful effects be done with them)
    Yes. TMM is the one true path.
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    "Remember, you can't spell paint without a little pain."

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  11. #11

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    As someone who is exceedingly new to painting I can only say that I think your work looks amazing. I personally enjoy some of the more surrealistic elements of "cartoon" like minis. Realism, while exceedingly beautiful unto itself, I think looks so drab often and I really love being able to work with the bright colors that are part of fantasy. What do you wish to accomplish with your painting? Also when you say you want more realism, would you move away from WH40K and fantasy minis?

    Also, just to the Metallics conversation: I purchased a couple of water-based acrylic paint pens from sharpie in bronze, silver and gold and have loved using them for my accouterments. I still use my metallic paints for larger portions but for little dabs and dots I think the pens are great! Especially for really thin lines and little touches.


  12. #12

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    Hello and thanks for the positive feedback. I generally just want to become a better all round mini painter, so i'm looking at ways to base my minis and also improve my painting skills.
    I feel I need to move away from using just the potted colours I own and start mixing them more so some of my highlights are not quite as drastic as above.
    In term of WH40k models, i have never actually played the game and I am not overly interested in playing it, so I have been looking at Infinity and Malifaux minis to practice some new techniques as I really like the styles of those minis!

    Thanks again everyone for the great feedback.
    Last edited by SamuelBenjamin; 12-19-2015 at 06:18 AM. Reason: Grammer

  13. #13

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    If you don't actually play warhammer then I definitely recommend looking at other companies, there are tons of fantastic minis that are made by other companies, I've not bought any infinity myself (though I have been tempted to many times) but I have got some malifaux, lovely models but can be a bit fiddly to assemble

    Perhaps consider some larger scale minis too

  14. #14

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    IME and IMO the answer is simple. It can be complicated, and there are countless things to do, but aside improving technique (which comes from more painting), I would look at the following;

    1. Light situation. Create a light situation for your MODEL, not just for individual parts. A model needs global light and detail light to look more "realistic".

    2. Desaturate your colors. Add grey or complimentary color. Why? Mostly artificial things have solid and saturated color, like cars or toys. Things in the nature like leaves, soil, or Ork skin are not solid color, but rather consist of many different tones and are more "calm" (gray).

    3. Study color and contrast theory. Contrast of light, color, gloss and saturation. Red looks more red next to green, saturated is easier to be spotted by the eye next to a desaturated tone (for example a bright green Gem or Jewel next to a grayish cloth is very easy to spot), bright objects are easier to spot next to dark objects and so on.. combine for extra emphasis. Eg if you really want a Gem embroided in a cloak to pop out, paint a dark desaturated cloak with matt highlights, and glossy bright gem with complimentary color. Gloss can be achieved by painting the lights very sharp and bright and/or use glossier paints.. you can play even further by complimentary, glossy shadows for each object and so forth.. hard to explain.

    Sorry, I said it was supposed to be simple. This is a huge subject.. and I'm personally not an expert with these at all. It's just what I think would help you to get better.

  15. #15

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    There's some great advice on here already.

    My two cents worth would be to set up a WIP thread on the forums here. People have been very welcoming and really helpful in getting me to push my painting skills.
    Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do. ~ Edgar Degas

    ArchArad's WIP
    ArchArad's CMON Gallery

  16. #16

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    Watch as many of the Painting Buddha tutorials on youtube as you can and try to follow along with a project. Great stuff there.
    My current WIP thread. Always looking for critique. Also vote on my Gallery if you're bored

  17. #17

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    A lot of good points here, but not much talk about basing the minis. Even something simple, like glueing a layer of something to the base will make a huge difference. Figure out what kind of material you want them to be fighting on (grass, sand, forest, city, etc), and create a consistent look between them. Will make them pop a little more and having them standing on something other then black will make the mini feel more alive and compliment the paint job.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by marke View Post
    IME and IMO the answer is simple. It can be complicated, and there are countless things to do, but aside improving technique (which comes from more painting), I would look at the following;

    1. Light situation. Create a light situation for your MODEL, not just for individual parts. A model needs global light and detail light to look more "realistic".

    2. Desaturate your colors. Add grey or complimentary color. Why? Mostly artificial things have solid and saturated color, like cars or toys. Things in the nature like leaves, soil, or Ork skin are not solid color, but rather consist of many different tones and are more "calm" (gray).

    3. Study color and contrast theory. Contrast of light, color, gloss and saturation. Red looks more red next to green, saturated is easier to be spotted by the eye next to a desaturated tone (for example a bright green Gem or Jewel next to a grayish cloth is very easy to spot), bright objects are easier to spot next to dark objects and so on.. combine for extra emphasis. Eg if you really want a Gem embroided in a cloak to pop out, paint a dark desaturated cloak with matt highlights, and glossy bright gem with complimentary color. Gloss can be achieved by painting the lights very sharp and bright and/or use glossier paints.. you can play even further by complimentary, glossy shadows for each object and so forth.. hard to explain.

    Sorry, I said it was supposed to be simple. This is a huge subject.. and I'm personally not an expert with these at all. It's just what I think would help you to get better.
    Read and re-read the above. Step 2 in particular, then provide a range of highs and shadows. Boom world famous miniature painter.
    ​You are ranked 1 out of 9149 artists.
    BloodFather's Axis of Chaos http://www.coolminiornot.com/forums/...f-Chaos/page17

  19. #19

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    Secret tip that nobody ever talks about:

    Be oh so gentle with your brush. Kiss the mini with it. If you are gentle and careful
    the entire time, your result will be so much improved. This is true of everything but the base coat, where you can be faster and less delicate. Watch Ben Komets on Painting Buddha. Be gentle.
    ​You are ranked 1 out of 9149 artists.
    BloodFather's Axis of Chaos http://www.coolminiornot.com/forums/...f-Chaos/page17

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