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Fromper

More stupid newbie questions! Paint remover?

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I second the "everyone can paint" theme! Art is learning how to translate what you see into another medium. Or what you want other people to see that appears only in your mind. The key is learning to see and learning how to translate it. Practice is essential, just like any sport or craft- no one is born a great sports hero, painter, etc. It only comes with time and lots of experimentation. "Mistakes" are not really mistakes- they're a learning experience, and they teach us far more than successes. Even when they're frustrating and overwhelming. I always encourage crazy fun experimentation! And I love to watch/share it, because then we can all learn! Watching people paint is a fantastic thing- just in watching how they hold a brush, clean a brush, apply paint, thin paint, etc etc. That's one thing that's nice about formal art classes (the good ones, anyway) because you have someone there who can show you how to do something- the analytical part of art. Then you get to use the creative part of your brain to create things!

 

Painting minis is just as much a technical skill as it is art. And every skill requires the dreaded word: practice. It's frustrating. It's repetitive. It often involves throwing things at the walls... well, maybe that's just me, but...

 

But, if you're feeling overwhelmed, there's an easy quick way to get your bones ready for the dungeon crawl! Coat them with a sealant like an " acrylic gloss medium" Then thin down some grey or black paint and wash the entire mini in it to pick out the details and accentuate all the edges. Or, if you're feeling ambitious- paint them with grey paint, wash with thinned black paint to get the shadows dark, and drybrush with white to pull out the highlights. Either way will net you a painted mini, that's not bright white, and that you can see and appreciate the details of the figure.

 

Oh- and never color in between the lines. It's boring. You're just giving in to "the man" If anyone questions your coloring choices just tell them it's art! Why else would we put those pictures up on the fridge?

 

We all hang out here because we like painting, so we're naturally going to tell you to keep at it and don't quit and no pressure all the usual things. :poke: We love our hobby.

 

Most of all- have fun! And try not to be afraid to share! The phone camera is ok!

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Check out my WIP threads. I play things loose and easygoing and I'm not afraid to show mistakes. Most of the time I have no idea how something will turn out, and one of these days I'll wind up showcasing a disaster.

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Check out my WIP threads. I play things loose and easygoing and I'm not afraid to show mistakes. Most of the time I have no idea how something will turn out, and one of these days I'll wind up showcasing a disaster.

Yeah, I would HIGHLY suggest looking at Buglips' WIP threads. They always start out with paint slapped on the mini in no specific way. I always, always look at the first pictures of his stuff and think "oh my gosh that is horrible- what is he doing??" but then when it's all said and done they look pretty good. It's amazing but it works for him and his figures look NOTHING like what he started with.

 

I on the other hand meticulously and carefully put paint to mini in just the right spots, being careful not to go outside the lines, I take probably twice as long as he does, if not more, and end up with pretty much the same result. But my OCD can't handle the "slap it on" method even though I would love to try it.

 

Your tools do make a difference. You will never be able to get the fine detail if you use a large brush. I tend to use a 20/0 for most of the painting and something a bit larger if there are large flat areas, like a cloak, or even boots. But I would never try to do eyes with it. It just won't work and you'll end up frustrated.

 

Speaking of eyes, they can be the most frustrating part of the figure. So paint the whole thing white, or off white, and then get a super fine black Sharpie and dot the pupil in. Yes, you'll be missing the colored part but from table top it will look fine. If you want to add the color then use a Sharpie for that too. If you aren't ever going to be going for show piece work, and you just want something that looks good on the table, Sharpies are fine to use. They will save your sanity.

 

One of the easiest ways to make your minis look good is to use Quickshade or Polyshades on them. Paint them up how you want them, then dip them in either product. I use the Minwax polyshades because they are cheaper and easier for me to get. You'll protect the mini and get a great shading on them all in one step. There are some threads around here that discuss it and if you go to the Quickshade website you can quickly see for yourself what the technique does for a figure and how to do the technique. For what you want, and for your level of "love for painting" I would recommend it. Between Buglips' painting techniques and a dip in the Polyshades you'll have some pretty great looking figures on the table in no time. There's a reason speed painting techniques exist- use them to your advantage.

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Do whatever makes you happy with it.

 

Do NOT expect the end result to look like the picture in head until you've painted a ton of figures. They just won't unless you're some sort of mini-painting-savant.

 

Do NOT compare what you do with ANYONE ELSE on any site. You have your own skills and hurdles that do one else has, so your work won't look like other people's.

 

There are some caveats to this great advice.

 

1. Sometimes there are things about this hobby that won't make you happy. power through them to the spots that make you happy. I hate cleaning mold lines. I hate it so much I'm really good at cleaning them up now.

 

2.True but if improvement is your goal then get comfortable with the fact nothing will look how you pictured it in your head. I'm a better painter in my head than on figures. :poke:

 

3. Also true, but if you see something someone does, like it, and fail at trying to emulating it then you should ask the artist how they did it and ask for help. Comparison is helpful for growth. It is unhelpful if you do nothing with it and use it as an excuse to not grow.

 

Don't get me started on art classes trying to teach art without actually teaching the craft of using art tools. Drawing, painting, or sculpting things that look like things are skills not inherently more difficult than laying a brick wall that doesn't look like it was done with donuts and frosting. (Not to say that everyone can do it, but certainly many more people can than leave art classes believing they can.)

 

That also doesn't mean that all those people will be great artists; there's more to good art than craft. But nice miniatures don't require good art; competently executed technical paint jobs look just fine (and better than the vast majority of painted figures you'll see).

 

And if do you have the artistic ability, you'll never be able to use it without the craft, anyway.

 

See, you got me started. ^_^

 

^^^This^^^

 

To quote Alexander Pope, "True ease in writing come from art, not chance. As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance." When I teach kids how to paint figures invariably one will comment they will never be as good as me. I always remark back, "I was once where you are. Practice and you'll be where I am."

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Which other comment is that? All the comments I've made about how much I suck at art in general? Don't bother. I know my own limitations. I figured I'd try something new with this painting stuff, but I'm not optimistic about ever being good at it.

 

The other comment I was refering to was where you talked about messing up to the point of wanting to strip the mini. Your primary comment was to ask what to use to strip paint.

 

Don't be so hard on yourself. "Good" is very subjective. It also includes personal goals you set for yourself. If your objective is to paint minis to win awards, then your level of "good" is going to be different that if your goal is to have something other than stark white plastic figures on your game table.

 

As for your "limitations", I don't put much stock in inherent mastery of much of anything. Painting, like playing trumpet, writing, or rebuilding the engine block of a 1977 Pinto is a skill that improves with repetition and self critique. I'm willing to bet, that if you took anybody off the street and gave them the vampire level kickstarter box and a set of paint, told them to paint each mini one after the other and after each one think about what they'd like to do better on the next one, their last mini would be a lot crisper than their first one. (Have a look at Derrek Shubert's first mini).

 

It's all in what you want to put into it, and if you don't want to put in much, that's okay too. We're not here to tear folks down. We're here to encourage folks in painting on whatever level they are comfortable with and to whatever level they seek.

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Fromper, you might want to look into the "dip" method of painting, as epitomized by Army Painter products. You can find a lot of information on it searching here, or on the web in general, but it's very forgiving, simple, and makes decent tabletop minis.

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Just so you all know, I don't have any mini that needs stripping yet. I'm just assuming it'll happen eventually and started the thread preemptively.

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The second mini I did after returning to the hobby (I painted enamels on parthas when I was like 14), I painted, and dipped, 4 times. It happens, man. :)

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......... (I painted enamels on parthas when I was like 14) .....

 

{{shudder}}

 

Thank heavens for advancements in the hobby.

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I second the dip style. It works very well for tabletop. Minwax Polyshades wood stain, which I use quite a lot of on my battletech stuff, can be found at many a hardware store, and is virtually the same as what Army Painter sells. You don't need to be able to 'colour in the lines' near so much as block out the basic colours for skin and clothes and what not, give it a dip, give it a shake, and leave it sit 24 hours, and you have a tabletop ready figure. Dullcoat if you want, or leave it shiny if you like. Look on youtube and you can find guys who have done whole armies up in a single day that way.

 

That said, I do suggest you try and paint a little bit more then that, you may find it a relaxing hobby, or you may not. However the only way you can really find out is to try.

 

Oh and pinseol or simple green work great on paint. Not sur how pinesol is on bones though.

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Now I have a related question, which may or may not deserve it's own thread in my "stupid newbie questions" series.

 

I have a cheap plastic dish I've been using as a palette. Now that I've used it a few times, I have spots of dried paint all over the place. Should I have been cleaning it after every use while the paint's still mostly wet to avoid that, or should I use Simple Green or something to clean it off? How do most people deal with their palettes?

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you don't have to clean it. I use an old butter tub lid and it has years of buildup. Every now and again I wipe it down with a wet cloth to get dust off of it, especially if I've been doing some filing or terrain projects. As long as the paint is dry, it shouldn't matter if you paint over it!

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I clean mine because I occasionally get flecks of dried paint in the fresh stuff if I don't. Usually, this involves warm running water and a fingernail scrape... not much more. Prolly could do. Full SG soak, but that just seems like overkill.

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