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My First Minis Painted (77017: Skeletal Swordsman & 77031: Cassie, Gnome Wizard)

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It's all Loim's fault.


Oh, it started innocently enough.


First he lured me into the world of Reaper Miniatures by inviting me to some crazy DnD play-by-post games on the forums. Once here, I started lurking in the crafting topics, amazed at the incredible things everyone is doing. I was hooked.


Then when I started talking about how much I'd like to try painting some minis, he rounded up from his supplies the basics I'd need to get started in the habit...er...hobby. Armed with some paints, brushes, wet palette parchment, and some cool Reaper Bones, I was ready to get painting! How hard could it be??


Quite, it turns out, when you have no freaking idea what you're doing. But thanks to the excellent tutorials in photography here on the forums (and finally finding the manual to my camera :P ) I was able to take decent shots of my first attempts to paint miniatures, in all their gory detail. I didn't do a WIP because it wasn't until last night that I finally got the photography right...


Loim insisted I inflict them on you all before I throw them in the Simple Green, so here they are. Comments and critique are welcomed.


The first mini I tried to paint was the Reaper Bones skeletal swordsman.




He suffered badly from my attempts to drybrush highlights.




The next mini I tried was the Reaper Bones female gnome caster.




I missed a lot of her detail - couldn't see it, partly due to really awful lighting at my desk. And my usual approach in this situation - aim in the general direction and hope for the best - works pretty well for threading needles, but not so much for painting minis...










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While hosercanadian offers good advice, I personally like to keep all my old minis intact for reference. Every now and again pull one out and see how far I've come, especially when I'm feeling down about my skill level!

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Don't you dare toss these in Simple Green!

They're not anywhere near as "bad" as you think they are - remember that we're our own worst critics! It IS really hard to paint minis but you got over the first hurdle by getting these lovelies painted up! That's fantastic, so congratulations! You're braver than me, tackling that little gnome with her tiny details and actual person face so early on! I started out with a faceless worm and a werewolf to shy as far away from human features and eyes as I could.

Instead of picking out all the flaws at the start, look at your minis and really think about all of the things that you did right - your good colour instincts, the clean lines you painted, the details you were able to pick out. Then move on to the things that you need to improve upon and strive to do better on the next mini and the hundred after that.

The members around here have absolutely amazing painting skills and as a beginner, myself, I know it's easy to compare yourself to the breathtaking work you see around here and think that you've fallen short. Just remember that you're looking at months, years, even decades of practice and it's not fair to the developement of your skills to compare yourself to that. Every single one of us has had to crawl before we could walk.

Right now, focus on having fun, then secondly focus on what you can realistically do to improve. In my opinion, what you would benefit from most is improved lighting and some form of magnification so you can see the details better. I got myself a desk lamp/magnifying glass combo for around $20-25 on amazon and while the lighting isn't anywhere near as decent as I'd like it to be, just being able to make out the different areas on the mini makes a world of difference.

Don't worry that they're not perfect, be proud of your minis; you did a great job and will only improve from here!

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Looks like a good start to me!


I'm, like, all of a few weeks ahead of you, I guess. Regarding the lighting, I've found that one of those desk lamps with magnifier has been DEFINITELY worth it. I got one from Hobby Lobby with the daily half-off for about $20. I can see EVERYTHING, now. NOTHING CAN STOP ME!


Or, at least, I can see really well. For sure.

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Thank you all for the feedback and encouragement!!


Yeah - that skelly looks so damned proud of himself that I haven't had the heart to strip him down yet. I think I'll let them both live - and having reference minis is a good idea, too.


Thank you for the suggestions on the desk lamp - I have always hated the little craptastic thing I have now - it throws glare and shadows even when I'm just writing. Now I have an excuse for an upgrade ::D:


I'm glad y'all don't think the gnome is a total mess - and I think my painting will get a lot better when I can actually see what I'm doing, and when I start using the good brushes I was given instead of the old (not very pointy) brushes I dug out of my watercolor set because I was freaking out about getting paint in the ferrule and ruining good brushes.


I can't take full credit for the color instincts, though. When I was looking at what paint colors I had, trying to figure out what to use on the gnome, the bottles of deep blue and green stuck out and it immediately reminded me of the robes worn by this gnome necromancer I used to hang out with all the time when I was just starting out in EQ (I have lots of bad habits...). That's why the belt's all light blue when a lot of the gallery pics of this mini show more leather-looking colors.


Also Loim does make a good point - my bad habits are my own, and I shouldn't blame him. He's just my enabler, and a very, very good one at that ::P:

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I totally agree with Cash, not because he's a moderator, a friend of mine, or that I'm a founding member of his Crew, but because he speaks sense. Keep the old figures, they show you where you came from. It's quite remarkable to see my own figures from about 2 years ago and the figures I currently paint, drastic difference just by practicing, learning, and getting advice.


Keep at it, and welcome to the addiction! 

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Good job on these Shiqra  ^_^ I love the colours you chose for the gnome. They work very nicely for her. And you got her eye dots in the right places, which is great for your first mini, especially given your poor lighting conditions. With a proper light your next mini face will be even better  ^_^


And I say keep them. In a little bit you can set new minis next to them and say "I've improved so much! I am awesome~!"  ::D:

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