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Genghis_Sean

My first mini (finished?) - please critique and suggest

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http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/62318-my-first-mini-unfinished-please-critique-and-suggest/

 

I tried to post at the end of my first thread, but discovered that I couldn't include an attachment.  Can't imagine why, but the 'Attach Files' option at the bottom is missing, and it would do no good to post a request for critiques without displaying the product, so sorry about the dual threads.

 

post-14161-0-50456300-1436581001_thumb.jpg

 

In short, I wasn't happy with my first attempt as the initial thread says.  I made a lot of mistakes and ended up stripping it and making a second attempt from scratch.  I primed it with a Krylon flat black spray this time, and then lightened it gradually with layers.  Because I probably spent four hours on the thing, I ended up leaving the shoulder piece, boots, and cloak untouched.  They are primed and nothing else other than a little polished silver on the protruding nubs.  I stole MiniPainterV's YouTube idea about using a cork base as stone and mounted it.  I'm also better at photographing now thanks to Slendertroll's advice, though it still needs work.  You can't really see the flesh shading very well, but it actually looks better than the photo shows.

 

post-14161-0-02864800-1436581176_thumb.jpg

 

Critiques?  One thing I've still not done and was tempted to try, though I don't want to screw it up, is a wash.  I've heard that many painters wash the figure multiple times as they paint, but I'm not sure when or what color to use?  Does this figure need it?  Black wash heavily thinned?  Or would I use brown since the figure is mostly brown?  Or is it good to go, you think?

 

The other conclusion I've drawn is that I'm going to have to get better at faster at this hobby or I'll I'm never going to have the minis to play.  This was a relatively simple mini.  I skipped sections, and it took me probably four hours.  I hope it doesn't take you guys that long to do one, does it?  I've got forty or fifty minis lined up to be painted and so far, I've painted exactly one.  Ugh.  Thanks in advance.

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He looks good. His skin could use a little more highlighting but I'd say he's ready to hit the table.

Time taken depends a lot on your skill level and the quality level you are going for. There is a gnoll my wife painted on here that took her roughly 8 hours, speed painting competitions generally run about 45 minutes but those typically aren't as pretty a paint jobs as one that you take your time with. My bones 2 minotaurs have taken several hours so far and they are still not done, but I'm planning on entering them in a contest. My orc squad only took a single night for the group (painting similar minis in batches does help speed up the process), but they re no were near display quality.

Also this should be in the Show Off Forum. You can upload the picture there directly. I'm sure a Mod will fix it for you.

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Good job!

 

To attach files you need to go to the "more reply options" and there's where you'll find the spots to upload.

 

Washes are pretty simple. You'll take a darker shade of the color and thin it down with 3-5 drops of water, then go over the areas in shadow and in recesses. Let dry and then if you hit a few areas too many just go back over with a couple thin coats of the mid tone to blend in.

 

Just take a quick look at my signature below for my shoanti barbarian. I did a wip that I linked in the show off thread too.

 

As far as time goes, ummm as I get better I spend more time on figures. I get a bit OCD about them tho and can easily spend 10 + hours working on something to my tabletop plus standard. Much more if I'm trying to hit display or competition quality.

 

There are plenty of people who speed paint things to tabletop standards in 1-3 hours around here and do a great job at it.

 

Just keep practicing and asking questions and asking for feedback. You'll get better and better.

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I've got four or five hundred minis lined up and so far I've painted... never mind. :) 

 

Four hours is a really good time for 1 figure.  It is possible to do them faster, but usually that results in poor quality. If you need to get 30 skeletons ready for a game this weekend,  then yeah, you don't put time into them, but for character figures like this 4 hours is decent.  Lots of people spend way more time than that. 

 

I think your figure is good to go. I brown wash might help in some areas, but he also has a lot of flat skin that won't benefit from a wash, so I would just leave it as is.  Black would be too dark over a caucasian skin color. I usually only put black wash over metallics. 

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You will get faster as you master techniques and no longer need to think about how its done.

 

I think 4 hours is an acceptable amount if time and you will get faster. Speed is just something that comes with experience and ability.

 

As an example I primarily paint historical miniatures and I usually paint by unit. Currently I have units of 15 marines and those will take about 10 hours to get to tabletop quality. I gain efficiencies because they are all alike and I can assembly line paint them.

 

You can do this to a limited extent with characters by painting all the flesh on five figures. After that you can paint them as individuals but you will have saved time by already having all tge skin done.

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 I usually paint by unit. Currently I have units of 15 marines and those will take about 10 hours to get to tabletop quality. I gain efficiencies because they are all alike and I can assembly line paint them.

 

You can do this to a limited extent with characters by painting all the flesh on five figures. After that you can paint them as individuals but you will have saved time by already having all tge skin done.

I was actually thinking already of doing something like this.  I got out a bunch of figures that were mostly armor and figured I could hit several figures at once.  Great idea.  I probably better wait to mass paint until I've actually painted an armor figure first though. I need to know I can pull it off, first.

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 There are basically two different styles of painting - tabletop and display.  The difference is largely how many layers of paint you want to slap on them, i.e., basically a matter of degrees.

After a certain point, the smoothness of blends and degree of complexity in painting small details are only possible to see when viewing pictures or looking at it in hand at a much closer distance than you'd be viewing it if it was sitting on a table during a game.

(For example, the basic technique for painting an eye is to just paint a white line across the eyeball with a black dot in the middle, because the eyes of a mini are so small you can't generally see them if you're more than three feet away. It's only if you're planning to display your minis that you really need to take the extra steps of painting in a colored iris or the light reflecting off the eyeball.)

After about ten feet of distance, all you really see on a mini is the basic colors and contrast rather than any real detail. (Which is why you should always push your highlights and shadows, lol.)

 

The people painting for competitions at a high level can sometimes spend a month working on their piece, painting details you couldn't see if you were at the other end of a gaming table.

 

If you're painting for a tabletop game, considering the time it takes to let the paint dry and doing non-painting things like prep work and basing, four to six hours is pretty good for a single figure. As mentioned, the people who get more than a single figure painted to high tabletop quality in that amount of time are usually assembly-lining them in an efficient manner - for example, painting all the flesh on a dozen orcs at the same time, rather than finishing each one in order, and dipping them in a pre-mixed shade solution (such as Army Painter Quickshade) rather than painting in all the shadows individually.

 

As with anything else, speed comes with practice. As your brush control improves and you learn how the paint behaves, you'll be able to paint faster and still get the paint where you want it and how you want it.

 

 Anecdote:

 

 I once painted the same figure twice - once for a game and once for display. It was a knight, dressed entirely in plate-mail with a full helmet and a sword. No belts or anything.

 

The first time, I painted the whole damn thing the same metallic silver color and then dipped him in a wash. When it dried, I drybrushed on the base color again, then dumped a bunch of white into the sliver and drybrushed it just on the high points. It looked pretty good sitting on a tabletop, but kind of rough and basic up close.

 

I was done in twenty minutes.

 

The second time I painted him, I did four layers of highlights and four layers of shadows using different colors of silver and steel as well as dark blue and black in the shadows and pure white on the highest highlights. It looked moderately awesome up close.

 

It took me twelve hours.

 

And from more than a few feet away, they looked exactly the same.

Edited by Mad Jack
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 I usually paint by unit. Currently I have units of 15 marines and those will take about 10 hours to get to tabletop quality. I gain efficiencies because they are all alike and I can assembly line paint them.

 

You can do this to a limited extent with characters by painting all the flesh on five figures. After that you can paint them as individuals but you will have saved time by already having all tge skin done.

I was actually thinking already of doing something like this.  I got out a bunch of figures that were mostly armor and figured I could hit several figures at once.  Great idea.  I probably better wait to mass paint until I've actually painted an armor figure first though. I need to know I can pull it off, first.

 

Heavily armored figures are a great opportunity to try out washes, especially if you're planning on painting several at once.

 

Silvery armor loves a black wash and gold/bronze armor loves a brown wash.

 

As an experiment, pick two figs with big sections of plate armor. Prime them black, then drybrush one with a flat silvery color, like a chainmail or plate mail color (Army Painter Plate Mail is a good all-purpose one). Paint the other a solid silvery color, then wash it with a thinned black ink or store-bought black wash. Both are speed painting techniques. Judge which one you like best.

 

I started out drybrushing silver over black, but later developed a lot of skill in using washes, so don't drybrush much of anything anymore. But if you have a lot to paint, either technique will help you get it done faster.

Edited by Bruunwald
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Good start. Your painting is clean, which is a necessary foundation for everywhere you want to go from here. And it looks like you got a nice, smooth layer of paint down. Those two steps put you far ahead of most new painters.

 

Recommendations for next steps:

  • Push the highlights higher and the shadows lower. When you think you've gone far enough, go twice that far. Only when you look at a figure on the table 3' away and say, "Hmm, that might be a bit much" should you start to back off.
  • Paint the eyebrows. They're more important to expression, especially for gaming use, than are the eyes.
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 I usually paint by unit. Currently I have units of 15 marines and those will take about 10 hours to get to tabletop quality. I gain efficiencies because they are all alike and I can assembly line paint them.

 

You can do this to a limited extent with characters by painting all the flesh on five figures. After that you can paint them as individuals but you will have saved time by already having all tge skin done.

I was actually thinking already of doing something like this.  I got out a bunch of figures that were mostly armor and figured I could hit several figures at once.  Great idea.  I probably better wait to mass paint until I've actually painted an armor figure first though. I need to know I can pull it off, first.

 

Heavily armored figures are a great opportunity to try out washes, especially if you're planning on painting several at once.

 

Silvery armor loves a black wash and gold/bronze armor loves a brown wash.

 

As an experiment, pick two figs with big sections of plate armor. Prime them black, then drybrush one with a flat silvery color, like a chainmail or plate mail color (Army Painter Plate Mail is a good all-purpose one). Paint the other a solid silvery color, then wash it with a thinned black ink or store-bought black wash. Both are speed painting techniques. Judge which one you like best.

 

I started out drybrushing silver over black, but later developed a lot of skill in using washes, so don't drybrush much of anything anymore. But if you have a lot to paint, either technique will help you get it done faster.

 

Thanks for the advice, but I already primed a bunch of armored figures using Army Painter's Platemail Metal.  I'd heard that was the way to go because it would save on painting, but I like your suggestion too.  Suggestions on what to do with those I've already primed?

 

This is a figure that I've had for twenty years that had a crappy paint job, so I stripped it last week and primed it as I said.  Sorry for the poor photo quality, but you can see the color at least.

 

post-14161-0-93349700-1436613989_thumb.jpg

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Good start. Your painting is clean, which is a necessary foundation for everywhere you want to go from here. And it looks like you got a nice, smooth layer of paint down. Those two steps put you far ahead of most new painters.

 

Recommendations for next steps:

  • Push the highlights higher and the shadows lower. When you think you've gone far enough, go twice that far. Only when you look at a figure on the table 3' away and say, "Hmm, that might be a bit much" should you start to back off.
  • Paint the eyebrows. They're more important to expression, especially for gaming use, than are the eyes.

 

Unsure what you mean when you say push higher and lower.  Use brighter highlights and darker shadows?  

 

I'm still struggling with the shading.  Here's an earlier pic of the same mini.  The shadows seemed misplaced and looked distracting so I tried to round out the muscles with more highlights and killed a lot of the shadows.  Proper shading is certainly a target of mine, but I'm unsure how to get there.  I might need to watch Dr. Faust's vid on painting flesh on miniatures a fourth time.

 

post-14161-0-18411900-1436614442_thumb.jpg

 

You see the patch under the armpit?  And over his heart and his shoulder?  That was what concerned me and I ended up eliminating them.  What should I have done?

Edited by Genghis_Sean

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It's a good idea to think about how he'd look in a painting. You know, heroic, comicbook kinda stuff. There'll be a couple of highlights that hit white, and a couple of shadows that hit black (or a super dark brown or blue).

So you've got the 3-D illusion shading down pat, now it's time to start thinking like a painter again. You WANT to push the shadows and the highlights. Look for opportunities to do so. Think about where the light source would be in a dramatic painting of this guy: usually diagonally up, right?

So put him on an angle for a hero portrait with dramatic lighting, identify the lighting point, and point a pencil or brush back at him from there. That gives you an idea of "ground zero" for dramatic, oiled-chest, 80's movie poster highlights. Then that same light will also cast dramatic shadows.

DRAMA! DISCO BALLS! ARNIES' OILED PECTORALS! EMBARRASSINGLY BAD EXPLOITATIVE SOFT-PORN DISGUISED AS FANTASY ART! TIGHT PANTS! BIG HAIR!

I hope this helps :upside:


ETA: if the shadows are too distracting, think about how you can keep them but still make them work. Slower transition? Smaller shadow? Stuff like that. Your work is smooth and excellent but you're killing the depth by not pushing it hard enough. Try to have less good taste ;)

Edited by smokingwreckage
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It's a good idea to think about how he'd look in a painting. You know, heroic, comicbook kinda stuff. There'll be a couple of highlights that hit white, and a couple of shadows that hit black (or a super dark brown or blue).

 

So you've got the 3-D illusion shading down pat, now it's time to start thinking like a painter again. You WANT to push the shadows and the highlights. Look for opportunities to do so. Think about where the light source would be in a dramatic painting of this guy: usually diagonally up, right?

 

 

 

DRAMA! DISCO BALLS! ARNIES' OILED PECTORALS! EMBARRASSINGLY BAD EXPLOITATIVE SOFT-PORN DISGUISED AS FANTASY ART! TIGHT PANTS! BIG HAIR!

 

I hope this helps :upside:

 

Try to have less good taste ;)

 

Thanks.  I think I get it.  Do you, by chance, have an example or two of what you're talking about?  I agree with what you're saying, but I'm kind of impotent in knowing how to go about it.  I tried to pop out his muscles as much as I could, but my clumsiness with shading kind of prevented it.  I also painted him with a bolder blue cloak originally, but it looked completely out of place.

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Reference images and photos as a huge tool for beginning painting.  Google image is your friend.  Just make sure you have some level of safe search on ::D:

 

Build a library of reference shots.  Both of awesome minis you aspire to paint like, but also references to see where to place color.  People, lighting, cars, animals, fire, etc.

 

For your barbarian, some photos of a professional wrestler or body builder, both which tend to receive lots of overhead light are overly muscled and shirtless, will let you see where the highlights will occur, and you will get a variety of skin tones.

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Notice that the side of her face is white. The shadow under her arm is close to black.

348721-11hr_11.jpg

Edited by smokingwreckage
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