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Learn to paint kits worth it? Starting painting again trying to starte fresh


pestario
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I painted for several years and did a decent job with dry brushing, inking, washing, etc.

 

After getting rid of all my stuff and starting fresh a year or so later I wanted to "relearn to paint" and do proper layering, maybe some blending and not be so over Dependant on drybrushing and inking.

 

I know for sure I will be using reaper master series paints and want to buy some nice sable brushes.

 

My question is I saw the Learn to paint skin tones kit at a local store and was thinking of picking it up. I do not recall if brushes were in it or not but saw that it included several reaper paints Id buy anyway.

 

Is this kit worth it for what I want to learn and do? How does the phamplet compare to tutorials you get free on this site and cmon?

 

Will the lessons learned from this kit transfer nicely to other figures?

 

Thanks,

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Yes, the LTP kits are well worth it. The tutorials are well written and photographed, thought the images are a bit small. You'll still get a lot out of it. They teach you basic blending techniques that are easily transferred to other figures. The skin tones one for example contains a female figure to show you how to do subtle tones, and a male barbarian to show you how to emphasize muscle.

 

You will definitely want some good brushes. The Reaper brushes aren't the best. I generally recommend starting with a Windsor & Newton Series 7 (NOT the Miniature Series) size 0, which can be found on dickblick.com. There are other brushes out there, and I'm sure you'll get other's opinions on those.

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They are worth it, I have the first 4.

 

I will note that Skintones is, literally, pretty much just that. You have bonus colours for finishing, but no instruction on layering techniques for them. So #2, "Skin and Cloth" might be a better first choice if you're fresh to layering and want the practice. Tsuko is very well suited for skintones, and Laurana for cloth.

 

An alternative is to get both, study them, and combine the two into one project to practice with. Then after that you might want to take a crack at #3, non-metallic metals.

 

Between those, you should get plenty of good instruction and practice with layering.

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I am a total beginner, and I got the LTPK 1-4. I'm now on #4 and really like them. I'm sure some of the instruction might be repetitive for someone with some experience, but it never hurts to review if you've been away from it for a while. So far, I feel that I understand the basic concepts of what I'm supposed to be doing, which I'm sure is the focus of the kits. The execution is another matter, but I know that will come with more practice.

 

The kits do come with some Reaper brushes which are fine for me while I'm learning. But I do see where better brushes might make some of my work a bit easier. Maybe I'll buy some of those fancy W&N brushes as a "graduation" present to myself for finishing the LTP series :)

 

Overall though, I like the kits and have learned a lot from going through them.

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One of my 0's from one of the paint kits, even after 2 years of serious abuse, still holds a point.

 

I don't know how, since the rest are definitely junked. But this one brush... he's a survivor!

 

I'm looking forward to trying out the Kolinskys I ordered. Not W&N 7's yet, still just the Reaper ones, but they'll do while I swtich from good paint and bad brushes to good brushes and worse paint (I'm switching from MSP's to the old PP).

 

I figure after some practice there I'll be ready to move up to the big leagues... good brushes and good paint! :lol:

 

Edited to add: I bought my kits in 2006, so there may be some differences in some (or all) of them now. However, I still don't think any come with any primer so if you're thinking about these kits buying a bottle of brush-on primer if you don't already have any is a good idea too. I bought primer and a 20/0 detail brush along with my LTPK purchase and it made things easier.

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I can't help but add a note here about brushes.

 

Please do not think that you may not be "ready" for a nice brush. A good W&N will improve your painting by a noticeable amount, and will make learning MUCH easier. It's like learning to drive on a broken down Gremlin with a bad clutch and a broken steering rack versus a new automatic with power steering.

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I can't help but add a note here about brushes.

 

Please do not think that you may not be "ready" for a nice brush. A good W&N will improve your painting by a noticeable amount, and will make learning MUCH easier. It's like learning to drive on a broken down Gremlin with a bad clutch and a broken steering rack versus a new automatic with power steering.

I'll second what Matt says here - a good brush makes a huge difference, no matter what your skill level.

 

However, if you dont have a clue on how to properly care for a brush (like I didn't), you're wasting your money to buy them only to ruin them. So if you invest in a good brush, make sure you learn how to take care of it. And I'd say not to use your good brushes for things that don't matter - like dry brushing terrain - get some cheap brushes for that kind of stuff.

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I can't help but add a note here about brushes.

 

Please do not think that you may not be "ready" for a nice brush. A good W&N will improve your painting by a noticeable amount, and will make learning MUCH easier. It's like learning to drive on a broken down Gremlin with a bad clutch and a broken steering rack versus a new automatic with power steering.

I'll second what Matt says here - a good brush makes a huge difference, no matter what your skill level.

 

However, if you dont have a clue on how to properly care for a brush (like I didn't), you're wasting your money to buy them only to ruin them. So if you invest in a good brush, make sure you learn how to take care of it. And I'd say not to use your good brushes for things that don't matter - like dry brushing terrain - get some cheap brushes for that kind of stuff.

 

That's exactly why I haven't bought any good brushes yet. After I saw how much a bar of brush soap was on top of quality brushes plus added clean up time on an already tight time limit of painting I just bought some cheap ones =P Maybe after Christmas I'll have some play money and buy a bar of brush soap and a couple nice brushes =^.^=

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RE: Brush cleaning - my issue with ruining brushes was never with how or what I cleaned them with, but because I kept loading them up too much and not rinsing them enough, and and that let paint get up into the ferrule. Oh, and then I would let them dry whereever I happened to set them. Once I kicked thse habits, I was much better at not ruining brushes, despite not using a 'proper' bar of brush soap.

 

So don't worry so much about the expensive brush soap, make sure your other habits aren't killing your brushes first.

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If you're a sporadic painter (like I am), the price/six months of buying a good brush and some brush soap is lower than the price/six months of buying, say, "Golden Taklon" brushes. Good brushes with good care last a lot longer than cheap synthetics. If you paint regularly, the break-even point is probably under a month.

 

And the quality of results and reduction in pain is worth the difference in price even if that weren't true.

 

(FWIW, I don't blame you for deciding otherwise; I made the same decision for years. I wish I hadn't, though. :rolleyes: )

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When it comes to high-end Kolinsky sables my usual brush care is this; rinse often.

 

Seriously, that's it. I don't load the brush past 1/2 or 1/3 of the length, and I rinse them a lot. Once every 6 months to a year I'll use Winsor & Newton brush cleaner on them, but that's all I do. Even the brushes I've used for over 2 years now still have good points with minimal upkeep.

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When it comes to high-end Kolinsky sables my usual brush care is this; rinse often.

 

Seriously, that's it. I don't load the brush past 1/2 or 1/3 of the length, and I rinse them a lot. Once every 6 months to a year I'll use Winsor & Newton brush cleaner on them, but that's all I do. Even the brushes I've used for over 2 years now still have good points with minimal upkeep.

 

What about reforming the bristles before putting them away?

 

I find that's what screws mine up the most. I just rinse really well and throw them in my box of painting stuff. Next time I come back the bristles are formed into some funny shape and it's hard to get them to stay in a point again.

 

I've been trying to be better about this but usually when I'm done painting it's like 2 AM and I just want to clean up real quick and crash. =P

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I generally rinse the brush very well first. Then I lick my fingers and form the brush to a point. Spit will condition the bristles and help to hold them in place.

 

If it's hard to get a good point when the brush is wet, either the brush is not clean or it's shot. Paint wicks up the length of the bristles and dries in the ferrule, which causes the bristles to split. You can prevent this by using thin paint and not immersing the tip past halfway, and rinsing very frequently. It still happens though, at which point I use a clothespin to hold the brush upright in a small jar of W&N brush cleaner overnight.

 

Bristles can also get bent and damaged through normal wear and tear, or abuse (like aggressive drybrushing).

 

I have a theory that we're more prone to this up here in Colorado, as paint dries much faster.

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