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Terrainosaur

How to Paint Miniatures like an Amateur

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It's funny how i have been watching videos non stop too and had the same harsh reality that I'll never be "that good." It looks so simple for most, but i find that it's the same as watching yo-yo Ma, Jeff Gordon, Tom Brady, just pick an activity with those at the top of their game and there's a reason they are at the top.  Explaining simple fundamentals makes a huge difference. Things I've often stumbled at are the little nooks and crannies on a mini - is that the belt,  some exposed flesh, part of the shield, excess cloth - all of these are difficult to figure out when it's tucked away.  Then it's what color should i make it or do i just flub it and go "what the hell."  

 

Increasingly difficult task for me is color choice.  I am probably an outlier, but i need to plan my colors ahead of I'll get paralyzed half way thinking, "what should that be?"  

 

Another area is what you said in base layering.  Okay, now you've got the base.  What now? How much lighter can it get?  How do you pick out where the highlights go?  Why did mine come out looking like a spotty mess when i followed their work?   So tough. 

 

Oh!  And my recent frustration! Washes.  I thought i nailed it with a base layer, 2nd layer, and finally a main color.  It looked good, so i thought, but my decision to wash and add depth was overwhelming.  So i did.  OOPS. All the layers i added got dimmed by the wash and now you can't even tell the work i invested into the layering. Gah!  

 

I wish there was a starter guide that was a "do it with me". Use a common mini that anyone can buy and do it in 4 times with different techniques:  

1. Simple paint with 4 to 5 colors.  No wash.  No highlight.  Clean it, prime it, and paint. Just how to do a simple work and consider it done. 

2. Up the ante: now do same as #1 with 4 to 5 colors, add dry brush, but show a wash and going back after to do clean up. 

3. Do same as #1 and #2, but now add highlights and depth.

4. Show how to make skin, flesh, and faces stand out.

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I learned painting from the Owner of my FLGS, who is a gamer too. He said that the best way to improve your painting skills is to repeat the same technique on several of the same mini. After each, the next is done better. You can improve on it to the point that the next time you use that technique you have muscle memory of how to do it. He said that 5 copies is the least you should do for this to work.

 

GF

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So... taking that advice i went looking where i could find a lot of duplicate pieces and found the game Runewars. I've now got armies to paint consistently.  Should be fun.  I'll put them up when I'm done.  

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I don't know that I agree with the precise approach that the YouTube video takes, but I absolutely agree with the premise that many "how-to" videos are contra-productive.  And I agree with the premise that basics are often ignored -- either by assuming that the complete beginner magically knows the basics or because the video's author is bored by presenting basics.  Or, it seems, the author is not able to teach basics.

 

I have stopped following a popular Twitch feed by a popular and influential mini painter.  Because the painter seldom (close to never) explains what the painter is doing or why.  The approach is "Watch me paint for hours and you'll learn by osmosis."

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"Sonic Sledgehammer Studio" and Duncan Rhodes studio channels on YouTube may help. The first one is very 'wargamer' focused, so showing basecoat, wash, single highlight for a paint scheme you are going to repeat 50 times. 

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23 hours ago, Brianuk said:

"Sonic Sledgehammer Studio" and Duncan Rhodes studio channels on YouTube may help. The first one is very 'wargamer' focused, so showing basecoat, wash, single highlight for a paint scheme you are going to repeat 50 times. 

Holy smoke!  I've never seen that channel before. Already picked up two good tips.  Nice share! 

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