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Hey guys, I've been painting for roughly 8 months on my SMurfs army. In my opinion they are they are less than average. I was just wondering how long have some of you veteran painters been painting, and how long you painted before you were "average". Also maybe some common tricks and tips for a newish painter. I really wanna start taking the modeling end of 40k as seriously as the gaming, I just want some words of advice and maybe hope haha. I'm not that good. HELP ME.
It would really help people to give you tips and advice if you were able to post up some photos of what you've been working on. I know that can be hard if you're not overly happy with your work, but the guys here in my experience are real good at giving good honest advice while not being nasty about it, so don't worry in that department.
Myself, I'm no great painter, been working on it on and off for about 4 years now, and spent about two years back when I was about 14 painting as well. I would say the key is patience and a willingness to experement. But again, if you are able to post up a few photos people can offer you some more specific advice mate
Listen mate - I've been painting and gaming and modelling for over 20 years now, so this should be fairly wise words:
1. I have had people positively drool over some of my miniatures - and never understood why. You (like me) will end up being your own-worst critic. In your eyes your models will NEVER look as good as other peoples. This is NORMAL.
2. Everyone develops their own style....do not feel that 'Eavy Metal is the way you MUST go - it ain't. Whilst yes, it's something to aspire to in some ways - it is NOT an example of attainment. Do you own thing - dangle your bits and swing 'em. Screw it if people don't like it.
3. This is your hobby - your time, and your investment - and it's for YOUR enjoyment.
If that doesn't answer your question, then maybe this will: after 20 years I consider myself only average, after another 10 years of steady improvement and maybe getting lucky and taking a GD trophy or two, I will STILL consider myself only average.
Be patient, but enjoy. Practice brings reward. Never be afraid to vary your work, your style or to try something new (even if you thinks it's a rubbish idea - sometimes you will be wrong). Oh yeah - and keep an open mind.
I found it better to sometimes start on a simpler scale on some figures. The more complex your figure/design is, the more problems you may have trying to pull it off - then you look at it unhappy and lose a lot of enthusiasm.
SMs are a very good army to do this on. Take a couple and test your color scheme with the intentional point of using as few colors as possible, because the real talent to painting is the technique and finish - not that you used 8 colors, but how good did you make the 3-4 colors you used.
Get used to using washes and a final highlight drybrush - this is critical!! This is not the only way, but it is the easiest way to quickly get those magnificent depths/shadows and highlights that make all of the details stand out.
Ultra-quick SM painting tutorial: Paint Enchanted blue. Wash with Asurmen blue. Hit some of the deeper recesses with Devlan Mud. Drybrush lightly with some Bone White w/ just a slight tint of blue. Then admire your mini, be pleased that it only took you about 15 minutes to paint, and be impressed with yourself on how great it looks!! Then, go attack some bigger projects with what you have learned!!
- A nice even coat. You want your paint to be applied evenly and to look smooth, not chalky/grainy or with visible brush strokes.
- 'Staying in the lines'. Even a miniature painted using block colours without highlights or anything will look presentable as long as you're nice and neat.
I would suggest they're the two major considerations for your first few models. Everything else is just building and building and building on your technique base from here mate.
In an interesting nod to FantasticMrFox's second point, I actually went against what Kev said and did allow brushstrokes to show on some of minis. I personally like the "painted" feel, as I think that it's impossible to actually capture realism on a mini. Another great painter that I've seen, makes all of his mini's look like 3-D oil paintings. It's up to you- what you are doing is art, so look at every naked grey mini as a blank canvas.
(I've since gone "smooth" with my painting, the brushstrokes are only on my Empire army)
Another point is that a beginning painter should usually look for the "easy" methods for painting. This can feel a little cheaty, but the idea is to learn the basics as quickly and solidly as possible, and later you can decide if you want to get into the crazy stuff like NMM and Source-Lighting.
Good tricks for a starter are:
0. Trim your mold-lines. This comes before painting, but you need to buff out all those little blemishes in the plastic, because they WILL show through, and you won't be taken seriously as a painter until they're gone.
1. Experiment with your basecoats. Learn the difference between painting blue over white, or blue over black, etc.
2. Learn to shade and highlight without washes. That means learning a lot of dry-brushing, and how to put highlighted edges on your minis
3. Play with Inks. It took me ages to figure out how to make inks look good, but once I figured it out, they turned into the best thing since sliced bread.
4. Play with Finishes- this is washes and dips. Washes are a powerful tool, in the right hands. Dips can be as well, but they're often looked down upon as being too cheaty (because they do basically the same thing as washes, but faster).
5. Post here, and do it often- I haven't gotten to this point yet, because I never had a capable camera. Now I'm going to post up on the boards to see what other people think of my effort. I'm well aware that I'll probably get slammed with TONS of negative criticism, and I've been painting for over a decade. But I want to learn where to improve, and what to look for while I'm working on the next project.
I was looking at WW2 bombers the other day in a book I was reading and a lot of the wing markings are just slapped with paint.
I think developing your own style comes with time, and once you have your head around the basics, maybe its because I ascociate a 'painted feel' with more advanced techniques that I left it out, but either way, you are spot on with your point there man.
Hey all, This advice is very helpful from an encouragement stand point. I play drums in the states, and I have for many years. I understand the idea of "patience + a knowledge bank = a great product". I will post several pictures later tonight. I will also put up several question on how to prevent specific things from going wrong again that I just can't seem to remedy. I'm 19 so I have many years to go.
If your anything like me you'll always feel abit hit and miss with your own models, this is because some models are genuinely harder to paint than others! For example i'd never tell a new starter to run out and buy a high elf dragon lord or Azhag the Slaughterer because heck they take a small amount of expertise before you even get to the painting stage. Don't let this dishearten you however, start small and compare your models with people that have been painting and modelling for the same length of time as yourself, try to share cool tips and tricks that you've discovered and they'll be eager to share their's with you with the added bonus being that they hopefully won't take a leaf from the 'eavy metal school of teaching and leave a massive gap between stage 1 and stage 2 because "if your any good you'll already know all those bits", really bug's me stuff like that.
Just a few random tips, cut up bits of sprue and keep em in a bag, it's fun to experiment with different brands of paints and you can always use the old sprues to check if the paint reacts with acrylic paints/model plastic or the glue's used to put them together. Look into populer entertainment for sources of inspiration, I have'nt got enough fingers to count the amount of times i've dived right into a model and although it looks clean and well presented the colour scheme and any modifications i've made don't work together at all, try to look at what colours and materials populer sci fi characters outfit's use like Judge Dredd, Robo Cop, Xenomorph and Predator, most of the models in the citadel range use these as sources of inspiration anyway and you know what they say "If you can't innovate, emulate!". I'd love to see Space marines with yellow shoulderpads and black body suits or Kroot with improvised body armour and string vests on.