Books for learning painting techniques
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Thread: Books for learning painting techniques

  1. #1

    Default Books for learning painting techniques

    Hi guys,

    I'm looking to study up some painting techniques this year and was wondering if anyone could recommend any books? I know there are a lot of online material, but really I'm after a book.

    I'm looking to learn:

    Pattern, Tarta, Freehand, Camouflage
    Faces, flesh and anatomy
    Diorama and conversion building (with all the prep, etc...)

    I'd say I'm looking for intermediate to advanced level.

    Thanks guys!
    Polymath Workshop - Miniature Painting Service - Open for commissions

  2. #2


    Many of the reference books I have are more military and historical related however the principles can be applied across most genres.

    Some of the military figure painting books are good for step by step painting of camouflage. You won’t find much theory in them but you will get an idea of more complicated Camo patterns. Panzer Uniforms I think by AK is one that I’ve used myself for reference. I can’t seem to find them so I will have to get back to you on other titles.

    The Mr Black Publications are quite good for the painting historical and again, military figures. Each book contains about half a dozen figures painted by the best in the business with accompanying text on how they achieved certain techniques or colour combinations etc. They are not for the beginner and assume you have a certain skill level.

    As for diorama building you can’t go past any of the F.A.Q books. A few are huge tomes that aren’t cheap but you get what you pay for. F.A.Q Dioramas by Ruben Gonzales is my favourite. It’s 559 pages long and includes theory, composition, construction and painting. F.A.Q Dioramas 1.2 Water, Ice and Snow also by the same author is another goodie but it’s a little more specific. Extreme Weathered Vehicles/ Reality deals mainly with cars but it also has some nice advanced diorama touches. Vignettes a How to Guide by Joaquin Garcia Gazques deals with military subjects again but also has some composition theory and how tos when scratchbuilding. The Landscapes of War by Rodrigo Hernandez Cabos is ok but it deals mainly with landscape and vegetation.

  3. #3
    Superfreak!!! Dragonsreach's Avatar
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    Just looked up the F.A.Q Dioramas book now running at 70+€ for a physical copy.
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  4. #4


    yeah, the FAQ books are pricey, but they are worth it.

    Some books I have:
    - Darkson Designs Painting Guide 1 : mostly intermediate level, chapter on a diorama, flesh, nmm. But it'll be hard to find as it is an old book
    - FAQ Diorama: worth the price
    - AK Interactive learning series: no6 is about painting flesh. To be honest it's not the best as it's mostly pretty pics + color recipes.
    - Finescale - Art of the Diorama: could be useful
    - Kalmbach - How to build Diorama: same
    - Andrea Press: Painting Girls in Miniature and Painting Pinup: both are super for flesh, altough it's limited mostly to caucasian female skin
    - Laszlo Adoba: Let's Build Dioramas: wonderful book from Hungary. Shows some great, simple and cheap techniques to use.

    - Game Forces Magazine: ok, it's not a book, but a mag about figure painting. Some articles can be useful. No 16-31 is in english
    - Modelbahn Schule magazine: in german, 39 issues so far, mostly about model trains, but about half of each issue is about building the terrain, so useful for dioramas

    Freehand, tartans: there is not a lot about them in book form, but I find the "Painting Buddha" videos super for the first 2.
    Camo: lot of military modelling books show it. So feel free to browse through those.
    Forgot, that it works again.

  5. #5


    Another publication I’ve found useful is the downloadable Figure Painter magazine. The issues are hit and miss as to what you are looking for but there are a few good articles. They are only a few euros each so it’s not too bad if they don’t have the articles you want and you can buy bulk packs of downloads even cheaper. Even if it’s not what you have in mind there are numerous showcases of well known artists that are worth the price alone.

  6. #6


    Thanks for all the ideas and references guys, it's much appreciated! I'll get looking at all of those for sure.

    Thanks again!
    Polymath Workshop - Miniature Painting Service - Open for commissions

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