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canuckotter

Anyone have suggestions for teaching a 4-year-old how to paint a mini?

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Put some paper down or do it on a surface you can clean.  Make sure she's wearing something she can get paint on.  Kids have oopsies. 

 

Cheap brush, but not too crappy, kids want to try their best. They have young eyes and can see that detail. 

 

Most kids at my paint and take can handle dropper bottles with supervision.  They need to learn to put one small drop down. They WANT to squeeze out a big puddle.  Remind them to put the lid back on. 

 

She will probably love fairies, the unicorn and pegasus foals, the various small dragon familiars**, animals, and any of the mouslings. That's what the girls in my P&T always go for. 

 

** suggestions

 

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If the familiars are too small, you might try the hatchling dragons, which come in bones. 

 

For colors I would start with a standard ROYGBIV selection. 

Edited by Inarah
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Other parents will tell me the wisdom of bringing a child to Michael's :lol: but Michael's has 40% off coupons, as well as paint and other projects specifically for young children.

 

If she wants to paint with you, you could even pick up one something from Michael's to do as a project, such as terrain, game accessories, etc, that's less demanding than painting miniatures.

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What everyone else said:  Keep it simple, do it outside, don't give a kid your good brushes.  Use bones or plastic.  I'd suggest a larger than small mini (size L or a hefty M) so the details read more clearly.  Limit the palette so they're not overwhelmed.  4 years old?  Maybe do "all of the skin" or "all the red parts" while literally holding their hand, and then just let them go.  Work on work space cleanliness and general practices (one pot open, wash the brush between colors, etc), rather than painting technique.  That'll come with growing interest.  Most importantly, both of you have fun!

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I wonder if on a larger bones if you can outline them with a permanent marker so the kids have a "coloring book" look to the mini.

Even just a basic outline to the clothing. I don't know ... I don't have kids :)

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I wonder if on a larger bones if you can outline them with a permanent marker so the kids have a "coloring book" look to the mini.

Even just a basic outline to the clothing. I don't know ... I don't have kids :)

It's a good thought! But given how much success this kid has at colouring within the lines on paper... ::P: 

 

I appreciate everyone's suggestions! I'm sticking with minis that I wouldn't mind seeing on the table (albeit with the assumption that the colour scheme will make my eyes bleed) because she knows I paint minis for use in D&D games, and she really enjoys participating in our games and would get very upset if her minis never showed up. 

 

I might also make a couple ruined fieldstone walls (hooray Hirst Arts!) for her to try painting some terrain... ::): 

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I'd suggest using the burrowing horror. It's big, has easy to see textures, and lots of options for her to explore color.

 

It will mean you have the potential for a carrel color explosion bulette, but think of it as a wizard's mad chromatic dragon bulleted hybrid abomination or such...

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Some minis my daughter has painted that others haven't mentioned (all Bones):

-some of the giants

-troll

-worm

-rats

-spider (this one is pink)

-a few female casters

-many others that I am sure I am forgetting

 

 

As a side note, the pink spider is being used in my 5e game. I am forcing the druid to use it until he paints his own. Everyone thinks it is funny, since the character is such a macho type, even my wife and daughter.

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Too funny, my kid picked the burrowing horror out of my Rcon loot right off the bat, so The Bryan is correct.

 

Pink spiders, glitter ponies, or plaid horrors, whatever the kid paints if they want it in game, the other players better use it and LIKE it! 

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Both kids want to paint a dragon hatchling. Boy9 wants to paint his a dark grey with red plates or spines on the back. Girl4 wants to paint hers purple and pink and maybe bright green and who knows what else... Should be entertaining anyway. We went out and bought them each a cheap set of brushes tonight, so probably tomorrow night we'll be able to start painting. ::):

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I will echo what others have said that often, the kid wants to get involved in something that you do and really wants you to watch him/her paint.  In other words, don't wander off and/or do something else (at least, not for a protracted period of time).  Spend the time with them watching them paint and giving them tips/suggestions.  Their attention span isn't so great that you will be there for hours anyway and having you on hand to answer any questions will remove any fear/uncertainty in their mind about what they are doing.  If your kids are anything like mine, they will constantly look to you for positive confirmation that they are doing the right thing so make sure you give them verbal and visual cues that they are doing well.

 

In terms of paint, I let my kids use the same Reaper paints that I use.  I really don't think they would be happy if I got them a separate set of cheapo acrylics.  Kids are very smart and observant and they will immediately realise that you got them the crappy stuff.

 

In terms of paintbrushes - getting them their own set of brushes would work.  I don't know about others but my kids have learned that I am very protective of my brushes and that they should never ever play with (or even touch!) my brushes.  As such, they would probably understand if I got them their own set of brushes.  With that said, I didn't actually do this.  Instead, I let them use my older brushes which they seem happy with so far.

 

In terms of models, I still have my Bones models from the Kickstarter and I let them go through and pick one that they want to paint.  I generally let them paint whatever they choose from the box but do give them suggestions on which ones to avoid (ie the ones with lots of tiny details).  Although young kids can see the model great, I find that their patience/fine motor control isn't good enough to paint detail on models so it's generally a good idea to avoid those.

 

Lastly, for my own kids who haven't been painting long (only a couple of models), I have been avoiding teaching them any techniques beyond basecoating, washing and drybrushing.  I don't intend to start teaching any techniques beyond the bare basics until I feel that they start showing an interest in moving beyond the basics.  Basically, I want them to set the pace of learning rather than putting them on a painting course.  No idea if this is the right approach but it's what I'm doing.

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I have yet to expand beyond base coating...although I swear she has accidentally done some decent OSL, freehand, wetblending, etc.

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With my kids at that age the main issues were:

1) me accepting that I would be assisting and not getting much work done on my own minis.

2) them remembering to close up the paint properly to avoid them drying up.

3) them wanting to start a new mini before finishing the one they were working on.

 

Other than that I have had no problems.

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