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As someone that just now finished a Pathfinder Session at 4am, I can indeed say natural light is not always something that's a big factor.

 

The finished, well lit rat does look awesome. Ears looks a lot better than I've seen from others around.

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I finally finished a mini. it's been a while. I decided to try and do proper WIP photos but I did miss a step or two.

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The minis had a bit of flash that needed cleaning, and the sword was bent. The only serious problem is the rat was misaligned in the mold, so the two sides don't match. It is only really obvious on the tail. I shaved it down with the edge of a knife, but I haven't painted the rat yet to see how it turned out.

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Base coated, I only did one coat as it seemed to cover just fine.

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First up is the flesh. It seems quite dark, but I decided early on to stick as close to the instructions as I could, so no white tint and highlighting for me. I suck at eyes, these seemed particularly hard based on how recessed they are. I did end up touching up the flesh a bit to shrink the eyes as can be seen below. Still, eyes do not look good.

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First step I missed, I forgot to photograph the base coat of blue. It actually looked pretty good. Then the wash of walnut, I thinned it quite a bit but it still seemed really dark. I know the instructions suggest possibly tinting the walnut with blue, but I didn't know ahead of time how it would turn out and didn't want to stop part way through. You might notice no bottle cap glued to the base. My superglue dried up, so I need to get some more. As a result, you can see where I hold the mini to paint, base coat is rubbing off on sword tip and base.

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I was worried about how dark he was looking, and I was really concerned about drybrushing as I hadn't had much luck with it previously. Still, I did like how it worked here.

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Ohh, shiny! It's not obvious from the pic, but in the spots where there was blue on the base coat blue showed through the silver. I considered a second coat but changed my mind as I was curious how it would turn out.

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I really liked the ink wash. It behaved the way I hoped the dip method would work. It was really easy to work with, I will definitely buy some more inks. I almost missed this step completely, so this photo is after I already started drybrushing. From this step on I had a bit more difficulty because I didn't want to mess up his sword so I only held him by his base.

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And he's done. I messed up the instructions for the leather bits, I basically painted them all the same. It isn't really visible, but I did follow the instructions to make basically a wood grain inside the shield. It's a nice effect, worked pretty well. I thought about trying to paint something on the shield, as that's something I want to try, but I like the solid blue. Overall, I'm quite happy with this guy. I still need a lot of work, but little things like the leather straps on his legs look much better than some earlier straps on a dwarven mini, which tells me I'm at least moving in the right direction.

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So as mentioned in my personal WIP thread, I'm currently working on this kit, which is my first time ever painting minis. The primer and flesh went well on the man at arms, but then I reached the step of doing the eyes. I was lucky I was able to get the skin tone on the face without getting the helmet. There's no way I'll be able to paint eyes that small. I'm seriously considering just skipping that step. Looking at his face now, the shadow where the eye sockets are recessed actually looks decent enough for eyes that I could see just leaving it as is, and it kinda looks like there are eyes there.

 

I think I've talked myself into skipping even attempting the facial details. I can do stuff like that once I've painted a few dozen more minis and have better motor control when it comes to hitting tiny details with the brush. For now, just hitting the face and not the helmet with the flesh tone paint is a challenge for me.

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Stop that. It's not as hard as you're duping yourself into believing, and if you mess up - who cares? Paint over it and try again. If you mess up so many times that his eye sockets are filled and bulging, then strip him and start again. Failure to achieve isn't a big deal. Failure to try is a crime and a sin.

 

"A few minis from now" isn't going to mean anything, if you don't push yourself between now and then. The only way to progress is to keep moving forward.

So as mentioned in my personal WIP thread, I'm currently working on this kit, which is my first time ever painting minis. The primer and flesh went well on the man at arms, but then I reached the step of doing the eyes. I was lucky I was able to get the skin tone on the face without getting the helmet. There's no way I'll be able to paint eyes that small. I'm seriously considering just skipping that step. Looking at his face now, the shadow where the eye sockets are recessed actually looks decent enough for eyes that I could see just leaving it as is, and it kinda looks like there are eyes there.

 

I think I've talked myself into skipping even attempting the facial details. I can do stuff like that once I've painted a few dozen more minis and have better motor control when it comes to hitting tiny details with the brush. For now, just hitting the face and not the helmet with the flesh tone paint is a challenge for me.

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Even with the magnifying glass and the new pair of glasses I just got yesterday (The world's in 3D now! When did that happen?), I can barely even see the eye sockets, let alone have the hand eye coordination to hit them with a paint brush. Painting small stuff like this guy's face without hitting his helmet was good practice, and I really think that painting other fine details like the leather straps and the edge of his shield will be good for helping me develop the hand eye coordination needed to control a paint brush. Until I develop some of that coordination, though, those eyes and mouth are definitely impossible targets, and I don't see how that will be any sort of good practice.

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Even with the magnifying glass and the new pair of glasses I just got yesterday (The world's in 3D now! When did that happen?), I can barely even see the eye sockets, let alone have the hand eye coordination to hit them with a paint brush. Painting small stuff like this guy's face without hitting his helmet was good practice, and I really think that painting other fine details like the leather straps and the edge of his shield will be good for helping me develop the hand eye coordination needed to control a paint brush. Until I develop some of that coordination, though, those eyes and mouth are definitely impossible targets, and I don't see how that will be any sort of good practice.

I had trouble on my first 5 minis and I was using a magnifying visor, My vision adjusted after a while and I see/paint much easier now without it.

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How are you holding your mini and brush? If you're right-handed, I've found the most stable way for me is to hold whatever the mini is attached to in my left hand, with the "blade" of my right hand cradled in my left palm, and my elbows or wrists on my workspace. This way, the only things moving are the very tips of my right fingers and thumb as I move my brush.

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Try the eyes anyway. Every bit of practice counts. Mostly with eyes thinking about it too much is what will hang you up. Every good set of eyes I've done came first thing in the morning even before my coffee was brewed. With my brain turned off, it was easy.

 

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed enough to fret about it is how I wind up with them pointing different directions.

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Try the eyes anyway. Every bit of practice counts. Mostly with eyes thinking about it too much is what will hang you up. Every good set of eyes I've done came first thing in the morning even before my coffee was brewed. With my brain turned off, it was easy.

 

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed enough to fret about it is how I wind up with them pointing different directions.

^this, all my really good eyes were accidents imo.

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Also paint the eyes first. Much easier to do them first and paint around them than do them second.

 

Walnut Brown the eye area.

Whites of the eye Linen White (or Polished Bone or Ghost White never Pure White)

Pupil Pure Black or Walnut Brown

Touch up surrounds with Walnut Brown as needed.

Paint the flesh base colour on leaving a thin line of Walnut Brown around the eye.

 

Look up "Bette Davis Eyes" over in the Resources "The Craft" section of the site for more detailed instructions with pictures.

 

Putting eyes first made them a lot easier to paint and later on when you get into more advanced techniques it helps as well. Keep in mind eyes are one of the important things, they are a key element to making a face look like a face (it's why monsters in movies often get human like eyes - we are just plain better at reading expression etc from them).

 

Otherwise what the folks above said.

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Most quality painting and good brush control comes from experience and, most importantly, being able to relax. That second is a good bit of why I latched so readily onto Bones as something to just mess around with for kicks. Takhisimat was making me tense. Real tense. Like game 7 of the playoffs with one free throw to tie it up and 3 seconds left tense.

 

The result was every time the brush got close to some fiddly bit (and there are a lot of those) I'd be so worried about messing it up that my muscles would freeze and then my hands would jitterbug all over the place. Making it a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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Look up "Bette Davis Eyes" over in the Resources "The Craft" section of the site for more detailed instructions with pictures.

 

I also really recommend the Bette Davis Eyes tutorial, it helped me a great deal. It not only gives you tips on how to paint the eyes, but how to hold your hands so you can get your brush as steady as possible. Good brush control has a lot to do with how you anchor your fingers, hands and arms to keep everything steady.

I'm an artist, but even I get the shakes and can find it hard sometimes to get into a good working position so I can paint smaller details. (Note: don't paint after working out, I tried the other day and heart-rate was up too high and I was jittering all over the place.)

 

One thing I suggest is after you anchor your hands like it suggests in this tutorial, move your fingers down your brush so they're nearly at the tip. See in the photos presented, how close the painter's fingers are to the bristles of the brush? Try that next time.

 

I'm with everyone else here in suggesting that you keep trying, the only way you're going to learn is by throwing yourself in the deep end. I know what it's like to work around a visual handicap as well, I have glasses and even with them semi-poor vision. (I'm far-sighted in one eye and short-sighted in the other, bleh!) But it just means I need to try harder and spend a little bit more time on my minis. I found the Bette Davis eyes tutorial a good way for me to work too, because if I do the eyes and the face first, if I screw up I've only ruined one part of the mini and can start again without ruining the rest of the paint job.

 

Good luck!

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