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I’ve started painting off and on for about 2 years and I can paint a mini that looks good enough to play with. I’m still trying to improve but I don’t have a desire to paint professionally, I just want to get minis that look good enough to play with. However, it takes me days to paint it to a decent level. 
I’m working on some pyromaniac goblins right now and all the details are so small that I might have to work on them for what feels like forever until they’re ready to play with. Is there any tips on how to get details done quickly? Is there any tricks? 
 

I have thought that maybe I can use some black primer to hide some detailed that I don’t really care about painting but I don’t know if that would work or not. Some of the goblin miniatures detailed aren’t really defined well due to molding.

Edited by DangerRanger
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Welcome to the forum! Following on from Glitterwolf's advice, I also recommend YouTube for painting videos. I use that a lot to try out new painting techniques. Ther are also some sites you can find with Google that have step by step tutorials that are pretty handy. This one has come in handy for me: http://www.necrotales.com/necroTutorials/

 

 

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3 hours ago, DangerRanger said:

I’m working on some pyromaniac goblins right now and all the details are so small that I might have to work on them for what feels like forever until they’re ready to play with. Is there any tips on how to get details done quickly? Is there any tricks? 

 

The devil is in the details. Either lower your standards as to what constitutes a "good enough" paint job, or only pick out the most important details to paint, like face and weapon. 

 

Also, for something like a troop of goblins that are nearly the same army-painting one color at a time works well.  IE: base coat them all green (or whatever) at once.  Go back to the first figure, and paint all the swords.  Then paint all the eyes, etc.  You'll gain speed with repetition. 

 

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You may find some additional speed painting tips in this section of the forums here: Speed/ Army/ Tabletop

Time vs Quality is an unavoidable part of the hobby.  There are plenty of time-saving techniques out there.  Though results may very.  You begin to learn which techniques to use for which minis.

What slows you down most while painting?  My struggle is usually picking colors and just getting bored of tedious steps.  As a result I try to mix colors using what's already on my palette before grabbing new paint, and I try to cut corners on tedious steps such as wet blending tons of spikes instead of layering.

Depending on what painting methods you like, you may also discover that its easier to paint hard stuff first - such as painting eyes before the rest of the face - as there's less pressure of messing up the mini while working on difficult areas.

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On 8/30/2021 at 6:15 AM, DangerRanger said:

 Is there any tips on how to get details done quickly? Is there any tricks? 

I don't have anything specific to details. Sorry. I have always tried to reduce the time I spend on everything else and save my time there. With that in mind here are a few general things that helped me:

 

1. Somebody already said it but it's worth repeating. Have a focal point and paint it to your highest level, and skimp on the rest. If my eye is drawn to the face or the flame in their hand, it isn't looking at a belt buckle or a shoe. Detail, color, light, contrast, all these things can be used to draw the eye to a specific spot.

 

2. Practice. Like me, you paint on and off. So your intellectual grasp of what you need to do is probably ahead of what has transfered to muscle memory. Only more painting can fix this. I feel your pain.

 

3. Batch paint. Do five cloaks in a row and not only have you not changed colors but you are into the groove of painting cloaks. 

 

4. Have a plan. Not just a color scheme but an order you are going to do things in and an idea why. For example is that item sticking out of his belt going to be easeir to paint before or after the belt? etc

 

5. You don't have to use the same techniques on every part of the model. For example I am working on some town folk. I used fast techniques for their clothes (translucents over a zenethiel primer coat, then an oil wash), and more traditional time consuming techniques on the faces. This kinda goes back to number one I guess.

 

Edited by junkbarbarian
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17 hours ago, junkbarbarian said:

 

1. Somebody already said it but it's worth repeating. Have a focal point and paint it to your highest level, and skimp on the rest. If my eye is drawn to the face or the flame in their hand, it isn't looking at a belt buckle or a shoe. Detail, color, light, contrast, all these things can be used to draw the eye to a specific spot.

 

 

I agree with all of those points.  I would just add on that the shield is what you see on fantasy/ancient/medieval figures.  A good shield will carry the rest of the figure.

 

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Scruffy ancient Minifigs from 1974, but I’m not unhappy with the shields, which I feel succeed in attracting attention on the table.

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18 hours ago, junkbarbarian said:

4. Have a plan. Not just a color scheme but an order you are going to do things in and an idea why. For example is that item sticking out of his belt going to be easeir to paint before or after the belt? etc

This is great advice - but I will also counter that too much thinking will slow you down as well.  Find that happy medium between planning and doing.  But you have to try both.

When I start a mini I normally have an idea of what technique I'm trying to improve or experiment with - almost always with the goal of maximizing results and minimizing effort.  Sometimes it's deciding to write down each color I use for future reference (and saving time later when you want that perfect formula for bones or flames) - Or I push myself to only use a few colors.  Other times it's trying out a certain painting technique like wet blending to quickly paint a large smooth surface, or relying on trusty washes and dry brushing for a furry monster.

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I will suggest you watch some of James Wappel's videos over on the Ewe Tube.  He paints quickly and at a very high level.

 

My advice is twofold:

1) Practice.  Then practice some more.  There's a certain memory that goes along with art stuff.  Some of it is muscle memory, some is "I just know the consistency of paint I need" or the like. 

2) Cheat.  There's no need to blend every highlight and shade.  There's also no need to hit every detail.  I've found skipping eyes is particularly useful for army-level figures.  Buckles look fine if you just hint at a little metallic color instead of trying to paint the entire thing.

3) Line.  Dark-line the seams (between armor and cloth, between skin and cloth, between leather boots and pants, etc.) and it makes the miniature pop a bit more.  Minimal work, maximum impact.

 

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If you want to learn to paint faster, come to a ReaperCon and participate in the Speed Painting in the Hobby Hijinks area. It’ll force you to forget about obsessing, and is a ton of fun!

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Here is a tip: "dress" the model from the innermost colour to the outermost colour, in that order. This lets you paint smaller and smaller areas, and you won't have to reach past already painted bits to paint other bits, thereby reducing the chance of messing up by hitting the wrong areas and then having to go back and fix them. combine this with a dark / black undercoat. Stay neat and with practice you can up your speed significantly.
 

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The other thing to consider about painting faster is that you can think about what the final effect is, if you want to …

 

When I’m wearing magnifiers over my reading glass to paint, I see this:

 

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When I look with my regular glasses at what I have done, I see this:

 

9C91A3C4-4B5B-4984-9B26-CA758E6E4E9E.thumb.jpeg.f3e1e618b7c277795d273290be6d2f9b.jpeg

 

At that stage I can still actually tell whether I shaded the shoes.

 

But, those figures are part of an 8-man unit.  When it’s mounted, the group base looks like this:

 

233EBF74-F097-468D-B96A-E417081CB6CB.jpeg.d1ec91e541931c9d66f6b4faacd7b21d.jpeg

 

The shoes are no longer important, and, if you plan ahead (which I don’t), you could put some very basic colors on areas which will be hard to see.

 

But, when the stand above is done, it’s going into a battle game where the players will be looking at something like this:

 

B82B98FA-7E3A-4327-807E-147623E792AF.thumb.jpeg.9ba83548113e7613e434fd6d0d040321.jpeg

 

Can you tell which orcs didn’t get their belts properly highlighted or edged? 

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