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NecroMancer

My first attempt painting

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For a first mini I think it is great.

 

There are a few things to work on:

 

1. Your self confidence. You have successfully done some difficult brush work including the eyes and a wash. Chin up, stand proud.

 

2. Thin your paints. Most paints come a bit thick, craft paint especially. I paint with craft paints so they are fine, as long as you thin them a bit. The kilt shows a bit of thick paint in a few spots.

 

3. Highlighting. Just a slightly lighter shade on edges does wonders. Easiest way with craft paints is to mix your own by adding a small amount of white (or yellow for brown/greens) to get a slightly lighter shade.

 

Again, great work.

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Learn to use washes. They're an easy way to get to tabletop and advanced tabletop.

 

Army Painter Quickshade Ink set has a flesh wash (and brown washes) that should help.

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Awesome expression and great eyes!  This guy is very cool.

 

I like what you have done. 

A wash on the belt would be easy and really bring out the texture in the sculpt. 

Drybrushing the fur (uhm, it is green but i still think of it as fur...) with a lighter highlight would add depth.
Those are two EASY things (and the fun part of painting IMHO).

 

Tip that i didn't know when i started - keep a wet brush handy (without any pigment on it).  It works wonders as an eraser when you mess up or if you are not quite quick enough it will at least soften the mistake a bit.  You'll get the feel for how wet to use it...

 

Again - congratulations on the eyes - you have the hardest part down first!  The rest is just practice.  Welcome to the addiction.

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Awesome expression and great eyes!  This guy is very cool.

 

I like what you have done. 

A wash on the belt would be easy and really bring out the texture in the sculpt. 

Drybrushing the fur (uhm, it is green but i still think of it as fur...) with a lighter highlight would add depth.

Those are two EASY things (and the fun part of painting IMHO).

 

Tip that i didn't know when i started - keep a wet brush handy (without any pigment on it).  It works wonders as an eraser when you mess up or if you are not quite quick enough it will at least soften the mistake a bit.  You'll get the feel for how wet to use it...

 

Again - congratulations on the eyes - you have the hardest part down first!  The rest is just practice.  Welcome to the addiction.

 

That's a great idea about the wet brush, I will definitely do that!

 

I tried to dry brush the "fur" but didn't come out how I wanted.  Maybe I'll try it again with a really light green when I touch him up.   

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You did that with craft paints?

 

And worry that you're 'not good enough'?

 

Why is every new 'please don't make fun of my first attempt' painter always better than me?

 

Drybrushing is difficult.

You need to wipe off almost all the paint off the brush before brushing the mini. If you drag it across paper and it leaves a smear, there's too much paint in the brush...

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That's not bad for a first mini.  This thread might be helpful if you're very fresh to the hobby - http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/47928-buglipss-bones-wip-request-thread/

 

A surprising number of people seem to have found it useful.  Anyway, I cover a few basics in there and talk a bit about what I'm doing and why, so that might give some ideas.  It's been a long time since I've made my WIP threads so detailed, but it's something I intend to do more of going forward. 

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Congrats on your first mini!

 

Now for a first mini he looks great!

 

You're already done eyes and I think he looks good.

 

A few minor points have already been said above.

Touch up a few places and read a little more about washes and how to apply them.Look at the enlarged pics and see where you need to touch up.

 

 

About drybrushing.

 

It seems simple, but most people still use too much paint.

 

You have to use an older brush and keep it seperate because a few drybrushing sessions will kill your brush.

 

Take a little paint wipe it off, and then wipe it off again, don't press the brush, use it gently and the raised areas will get painted.

This might need a few strokes or more.

 

Patience and it will go a long way.

 

Green fur is a bold choice. I like it, he slaughtered He-man's tiger?

 

All in all, a very good debut!

 

Keep this up, listen to the advice people have given and look around for tips, and I'm sure you will improve very fast.

 

I would have been proud if my first mini had looked like that!

Edited by Xherman1964
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Looks pretty dang good--definitely better than my first mini(s).  You've obviously got some good brush control with the eyes and face, the base is cool, and it looks like you've already tried dry-brushing (or at least wet-overbrushing) on the club.

 

Tips?  You're right about the splotchiness on the skin--to remedy that you can either concentrate on only putting your wash in the recessed areas (essentially lowdarkening as opposed to highlighting), or you can go back with another pass with the drybrushing/highlighting you used to even the color back up.  I find this happening a lot when I do paler skin tones as well, or any light color with a darker wash--the final product can end up muddied, rather than shaded--which can be great if that's the effect you're after.  I think focusing the was into the recesses is easier than highlighting back up though.

 

Also, what everyone else said is valid--thin those hobby paints, perfect your drybrushing, check Reaper's other threads...

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Miniature painting is a bit like using trickery, you want to create exaggerated depth.  You can get some of that through blacklining (you can see that in my above link), and some of it comes from shading and highlighting. 

 

Shading and highlighting can get a bit complicated to explain, so to start out you can keep it a bit simple.  Since this dude has a lot of bare skin, I'll use skin as an example.

 

For most things like skin and cloaks, you can start out thinking of it as three stages.  Reaper makes many triads in their master series line to simplify this, but you can easily mix your own.  Mixing is a handy skill anyway, since it will greatly expand your future options.

 

Now you mentioned craft paints, so for that flesh tone what you could do is take the paint you used here and make it your midtone - midtone essentially being your basic colour.  This is hand to remember when picking out colours.  So, say, if I wanted to make a cloak turquoise then I'd find a nice turquiose and that's my base colour.  I'd darken it up with black or reaper brown liner to make a shade and put that on first.  Then I'd layer the raised surfaces with my midtone, leaving the shade only in the deepest parts.  Then I'd add some white to my turquoise to make a lighter colour and layer that over the highest points.  Pretty simple.

 

So to make a shade for this guy's skin you'd not use black, but a warm brown would be better.  Something like this: http://www.reapermini.com/OnlineStore/chestnut/sku-down/09071

 

Add 1 part of that to about 3 parts of your midtone and it should make a nice ruddy shade.  Put that on all the skin areas first.  Then use your midtone and do all his muscles and stuff, whatever is raised.  And then add some white, maybe 1 part white to 2 parts of your midtone and do the raised bits again, but this time only the most prominent parts. 

 

You'll need to thin your paint for highlighting, at least one drop of water for each drop of paint (50/50) or even thinner.  When you dip your paint into this thinned mix, drain your brush off a piece of paper towel by dragging it backwards (point facing forwards) and get most of the paint to run out of it.  The thinner you made the paint, the more you'll have to drain out.  This is so it doesn't just run everywhere.  Then, starting at the edge of the muscle, drag the brush towards the center of the muscle and then lift it off - it will desposit more paint where you lifted off than where you started.  Repeat until you're satisfied with how smoothed and prominent it looks. 

 

And that's it.  Very simple in theory, but will take a bit of practice!  Depending on your brand of craft paint, it may respond well to being thinned.  If not, you'll see that it separates and might do weird things. 

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There are some good tips about achieving optimal results with craft paint somewhere around here, I don't use them but I know that you can bring them up a level with some water and Liquitex matte medium used to thin them out. Flesh colors especially like to clump if you don't thin them with something like brush-on sealer or matte medium.

 

My only other suggestion would be to add a little more glue to where the seam was where you attached the arm. (You can also use fancy things like green stuff, but glue is something you likely already have.) It makes a difference not having those little gaps to remind you that it's a plastic toy.

 

And you did fine for a first attempt. I've seen plenty worse. ^_^

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A little tip for taking pics.

 

Use a neutral background, I printed out some backdrops from the internet.

 

It will make viewers focus on the mini and not get distracted by other things.

 

You're doing fine!

 

Having fun yet?

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I am still very new, but here is my two cents on drybrushing

 

You almost cannot go too light for the final drybrush - for the green, try a yellow (see a green dragon done recently)

 

Put paint on the brush then "paint" a paper towel to get most off - try it on your skin as it shows well there and should give you an idea of if you have enough off.  You don't - take off more ;)

 

It is very easy to over drybrush, but you can almost not be too subtle.

 

When I am drybrushing best, i have the exasperating feeling that i am not doing anything because i took too much paint off.  Then i step back and look at the areas i haven't dry brushed and realize that the area i am working on looks way better!

 

Have fun - done right it is magic and by far the easiest way to make a mini look fantastic with only rudimentary skills and effort.  (Washes are the other, but IMHO require a bit more practice and control)

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Why is every new 'please don't make fun of my first attempt' painter always better than me?

 

 

Seriously! this was sooo much better than my 1st attempt. You are doing fine and as someone else stated --HAVE FUN-- its a fun hobby. All the other advice is spot on. One thing I did to boost self confidence ( besides avoiding posts by noobs that are excellent) is paint the teh same figure every 4 or 5 months. I do the same small lizard man I started with oh so many years ago. When I feel like my painting is [email protected] I look back and see how far I have come.

 

AJ

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Welcome to the hobby and the forums! That is a great first mini. Just remember this is a hobby and keep things fun!

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