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OtterlyTrying

Tips for painting larger "minis"

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Hello all,  

 

One of the reasons that led me into the fantasy genre and ultimately rpgs and mini painting is a love of dragons.  Since I've been painting, I have been dying to paint a dragon.  I was a Bones 3 backer and a loving wife let me order all the dragons, well except Mal, but technically that's a hydra.  I've been gradually trying to paint larger minis but lack of confidence has kept me from potentially ruining the higher cost dragons, even at KS prices.  I've still only done large humanoid size.

 

To cut to the chase, all of the 7 day Mal and Rainbow dragon challenges have really inspired me to knuckle down and paint a dragon, likely one of the smaller KS ones.  Are there any tips or tricks, especially for a hand painted as opposed to air brushed?  Or does the same theories apply, just with larger brushes?

 

Appreciate any help!

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I tend to use larger brushes.  Flat hogs bristle brushes are better than soft sable types for rapid application of base coats, I find, especially if the shapes are complex.

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Thanks!  I am particularly wondering about colors and contrast.  With the regular humanoid sized there isn't always a lot of room but on the large models it seems for some reason there should be something more besides just layering and blending.  Not to mention a sharper contrast doesn't seem as desirable.

 

Perhaps as usual I'm over thinking.

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While it is true that a dragon mini is physically larger than a human one, individual details are still too small to be seen from 3 feet away unless you provide contrast.  A dragon will still need all the shadows, midtones, and highlights you would use on a smaller mini or else it will look flat.

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On 10/21/2017 at 4:03 PM, OtterlyTrying said:

Thanks!  I am particularly wondering about colors and contrast.  With the regular humanoid sized there isn't always a lot of room but on the large models it seems for some reason there should be something more besides just layering and blending.  Not to mention a sharper contrast doesn't seem as desirable.

 

Perhaps as usual I'm over thinking.

 

  It's really mostly a matter of scale - the areas are larger but the techniques are mostly the same, which means that you can get smoother blends much easier since you're not trying to get from one end of your color gradient to the other in under three millimeters...It does, on the other hand, require more layers to get that smooth transition.

Although both smaller and larger models will have the same level of contrast overall, it'll look much more pronounced on the smaller ones since it's compacted into a much smaller area.

 

Edited by Mad Jack
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Thank you all.  These comments were what I was looking for.  I had been concerned that there was different techniques required.

 

I guess the only issue I have now is storage!  Haven't figured that one out quite yet.  Maybe we can clear out the china closet.  Hmmmm, fancy dishes from our wedding that never get used or dragons....

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56 minutes ago, OtterlyTrying said:

Thank you all.  These comments were what I was looking for.  I had been concerned that there was different techniques required.

 

I guess the only issue I have now is storage!  Haven't figured that one out quite yet.  Maybe we can clear out the china closet.  Hmmmm, fancy dishes from our wedding that never get used or dragons....

 

Dragons sitting on fine dishes, of course. Dragons demand fanciness. 

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on larger projects I notice its real important to blend the highlights more evenly as they will tend to stand out and look blotchy. 

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On 10/21/2017 at 2:03 PM, OtterlyTrying said:

Thanks!  I am particularly wondering about colors and contrast.  With the regular humanoid sized there isn't always a lot of room but on the large models it seems for some reason there should be something more besides just layering and blending.  Not to mention a sharper contrast doesn't seem as desirable.

 

Perhaps as usual I'm over thinking.

 

I think you want the same levels of contrast, you'll just have more area to cover and so will also want more midtone. 

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I've really enjoyed moving mainly over to 54mm, 72mm, and busts. I find them more fun and relaxing and quite frankly to me they are easier to paint, especially the eyes! Blending is a bit more important as others have stated, but you have more room to fix those mistakes and make the blends smoother. Concentrate on glazes and learning how to really have those smooth thin coats to establish the good blends. I'm no expert by any means and I know that my own blends need a tad bit of work, but everyone seemed to really like the busts I brought to the Con this time around (Aaron Lovejoy even said if he had judged my bust he'd have given it a vote for gold rather than the silver it got) and I definitely plan on painting at least 2 more up for next year.

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Thanks again all.  I had tried to find some of these topics online but most of the instructional videos are for the smaller miniatures or at most a vehicle which isn't going to normally have the variations and gradients of something living.

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On 10/21/2017 at 3:45 PM, Pingo said:

I tend to use larger brushes.  Flat hogs bristle brushes are better than soft sable types for rapid application of base coats, I find, especially if the shapes are complex.

 

Very much this. 

 

I have only painted one "huge sized", or larger dragon, but, unless you are attempting some crazy goblin challenge, use a bigger brush, at least to start.

 

I haven't personally tried a stiff, hog-bristle brush for the task, but Pingo's advice makes good sense to me.

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A hog’s bristle brush is very good at quickly getting paint into the sorts of holes and crannies that fray sable-type brushes.

 

If you’ve ever winced while trying to poke paint into a hole with a nice brush, you’ll know what I mean.

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