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To put it bluntly, I suck at painting to an extreme. With my nids I simply can never get them to look right. Even a simple black and red color scheme turns out like crap. I try drybrushing but it simply makes them look dusty instead of alive. Even the guides I read are incredibley vauge when it comes to actual painting processes like inking or drybrushing. Is there any kinda of painting 101 someone can suggest or a step by step of brushing techniques? Anything with alot of pictures would be great. Also if anyone has any tips on painting nids in general that would be great too.
"Dare to be Naive"
If someone helps you, or you just like what they say, rep them
I'm hardly an expert, but from what it sounds you might be using too much paint when you drybrush or too light a shade. I used to have the same problem with my nids (red over black) so I made sure there was less paint on the brush and used a slightly darker shade of red. I then drybrushed lighter red over that, and so on. Try really wiping the brush off first: it will take longer, but should look better in the end.
Sorry if this is old news to you. There are much better painters than me here and they can probably help more. Also, keep practising. Practise doesn't make perfect - I can vouch for that - but it does make better. Good luck, and feel free to put a few pictures up.
It is generally more helpful if you can specify what you are looking for help on. If you have pics to show your current progress all the better. My suggestion is to work on one technique at a time until you get better. Post pictures of your work asking for constructive criticism and keep trying until you feel you have mastered something...
It can really be hard to help someone when we don't know quite where you are at.
Specifically to drybrushing. The key to drybrushing is to make sure there is virtually no paint on the brush. Several passes of the brush over a figure will slowly build up color on the raised areas. In general though drybrushing does not look as good as if you used layering and painted on successivly lighter shades of color. Drybrushing works best for things like rock/stone, metals, etc.
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If you are having trouble with drybrushing I may be able to help. I also drybrush my Tyranids and I find it gets very good results. The problem you have is that you aren't applying ink to them. Drybrushing looks dry and dusty before the ink is added.
Generally it is best to apply the ink in small amounts, have the brush wet with ink but not dripping ink. Apply this over the red areas. Do all of this before you do the carapace, drybrushing and inking tends to be messy.
To get good drybrushing make sure there isn't too much paint on the brush. Paint the areas you wish to drybrush a dark shade of the colour you want your Tyranids to be. Drybrush with several layers of paint. If you are doing red Tyranids you could basecoat them with red gore or scab red. Then drybrush blood red over this. Then use a lighter colour. You should think about the look you want. Blazing orange will work but it will be very warm. Use only a little of the last colour.
Another colour for red is very lightly applied bleached bone. When applying the bleached bone make sure that the paint is very thin on the brush and that you are alomst dusting it on. You can then shade in the cracks an so on with black if you want a deeper effect. Now apply the ink. You will find that the bleached bone turns a lighter shade of red and will look like a kind of highlight or light refecting on the Tyranid.
Be careful of what shade of ink you use and consider what kind of red you want you Tyranids to be. If you use a warmer red you will get an effect closer to orange. I find with reds it is better to use a deeper red or a crimson ink. This will give a darker more sininster look to them, slightly closer to purple but not actual purple. I use this method on my own Tyranids except that I use purple exoskeleton and give them a black carapace with pale green highlights going up to white.
Here is a Carnifex I painted using this method so you know what I am talking about and can judge if you like the effect.