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How would you teach a new painter?


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First, it should be a cool figure he likes, otherwise there's little incentive to do well ;-)


I enjoy the hands on style of teaching - here's what we're gonna do, I will do it right in front of you, now you try it on your mini, let me see, try this or correct that, and we just go back and forth. I try to focus on technique rather than color choices, and let the questions come naturally as they will. A first time painter really does want to get into things and may be more willing to listen to the prep speeches and such when they understand what they will be doing and why some prep stuff is a good idea.


Good luck with your apprentice and just remember to have fun!

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I appreciate all the input I'm getting here.


New question: Should I start him on metal, so as to learn the importance of the extra steps needed on a metal figure? Or just start with a Bones mini to avoid the extra work.

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3 words: "Thin your paints."


I'm on the Reaper boards because I enjoy painting their minis, but I only have 3 bottles of Reaper Paint (bought a triad to give them a shot.)


Now, sadly, I haven't used them yet, so **maybe** this doesn't apply to Reaper Series of paints....


But for the brand I use, "Thin Your Paints" is one of the best pieces of advice I received.


"Have Fun" would be another thing to teach. Sometimes, when we look at the mountain of minis we have to paint, for ourselves, or a comission, or for the next game session, things can become daunting, as we begin playing "race the clock," and we can get frustrated.


It took me a little while to remember: This is a hobby, and is supposed to be an enjoyable one.


Everything else, including your ordering, I think is great.


How old is the person learning?

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The guy is 30 years old and has steady hands (he just won at Jenga less than an hour ago!)

Other than you people here, I can't name a single painter. I've felt your pain, Anne.


I wanted to keep this topic updated on his/our progress, but the lessons have been postponed for a few reasons. Now during this waiting period, I continue to overthink things. Mainly which minis to start him on. I don't know if he's willing to purchase any supplies beyond the old junk I'm donating which all needs replacing. If he isn't, then I'll give some of my bones when they come in. But if he does want to invest, the best bang for your buck is obviously the LTPKs, then where does that leave the teacher? Am I greedy for trying to experiment with him?

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I'm with the give him a prepped mini and let him have at it crowd. You can talk about prep once you get him working on the figure and show him what an unprepped figure looks like. I learned on my own from what I could glean off of late '90s websites, if I had learned from somebody in person and the first thing they dumped on me was prep I probably would just play with the silver horde.

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I've had to learn in isolation with no help from a person in real life. Anything you impart to a beginner will be a blessing.

A lot of us did. It's nice to be able to pay it forward and help out people with what we've gleaned so they don't have to face learning alone or have to reinvent the wheel for themselves like we did.


And it's great to have a resource like this place. I'm still picking up new things all the time, and I've been at this (with a twenty year gap) since 1980.

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Wow! So it's been a few months but the day finally came. Last Thursday we began our first session and it went quite well.


I gave him an old tackle box with my old, no-longer-used supplies, then I let him pick out of the pile of "Vampire Bones doubles". Thereby teaching him about inspiration without saying a word. Apparently, Kobolds are what spoke to him the most. I wished he would have picked one with less skin, but he taught me "it's just for practice, right?" See? teachers do learn things from the students! Anyway, I did my best to briefly teach him things to know before the actual physical painting (don't let paint dry on brush, keep paint out of ferrule, mash the brush and you'll be kicked out of my house, the brush is your most valuable tool, etc.)

Then painting began. He asked where to start, and based on the model in hand I suggested basecoating all the areas first. This gave him something to do while I continued to impart information at a more relaxed pace (different paints have different consistencies, when you need thicker or thinner paints, looking at character backstory for a reference point for what colors to use, muscle memory, different paint styles for different purposes, drinking tea appeases the miniature painting Gods, etc.) Then while we both painted, he asked questions, and I kept my answers in a conversational tone, and it really helps to have painted examples nearby.

I intentionally avoided certain areas of information, but if it came up, i just said we'd see it later.

I learned that you have to read your student while you teach, mine read "no need to explain, just an answer and an example are enough."


At this point, my first advice to anyone about to teach others to paint, is to watch Bob Ross vids on Youtube. Hearing things like "every day is a good day when you paint" and "we don't make mistakes, we just have happy accidents" really puts you in the right frame of mind. Remember to impart that there is no right or wrong way to paint, you can do it however you like. It's just that some ways work better.


Hard to tell from his first basecoated mini, if there's potential or not, but he enjoyed it and that's what matters.

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I've run about a half dozen introduction to mini painting sessions at my local game store (next session is Sept 21st) over the past few years. These are typically four hour crash courses for novice 6-10 painters. I cover the following:


1) Equipment - basic and advanced

2) Prepping a miniature

3) Priming

4) Essential techniques - how to use the brush properly

- getting paint to the right consistency

5) Base coating

6) Highlights and shadows (including the use of inks/washes)

7) Top coating

8) How to clean up properly - with an emphasis to cleaning brushes


These sessions have been very successful, and I still have students contacting me on a regular basis years later. I find it rewarding to introduce people to the hobby and to watch their skills develop. Y'all should do yourselves a favor and try passing your skills on to someone else.


The Egg

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