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Exodite
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PostSubject: Beginner Painting Techniques   Wed 24 Feb 2010 - 0:38

Hey, I was hoping to tap into the pool of experience on the forum to get some ideas on some painting techniques for a beginner to practice... Mainly for models right now, but for terrain later too...

I'm pretty sure that I understand dry brushing, but there are plenty of other techniques that are used and am not too sure which ones would be good for a beginner and what to start off with...

I'm going to get a few extra models from friends to practice on, but if anyone could point me in the right direction or show me some good resources for techinques to practice with I'd appreciate any help I could get!
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PostSubject: Re: Beginner Painting Techniques   Wed 24 Feb 2010 - 3:02

Drybrushing is probably one of the best techniques. Not that it gives the best results, but it gives good results easily. Especially for terrain!

If you want to learn more, the best way is to browse some of the many paiting-bolgs found in cyberspace. And also get your hands on some of the painting guides, like those from GW. Some can be found on the homepage, but the best (I think) are in the White Dwarf magazines.

Hope that's a help for you. And please keep asking, if you ave more questions.
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Grumm999
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PostSubject: Re: Beginner Painting Techniques   Wed 24 Feb 2010 - 23:58

Definitely grab as many of the most recent copies of White Dwarfs as you can. Each issue has a painting guide in it, and all of the techniques are covered.

For a beginner, I'd recommend learning washes and "dipping" as well. Washes can give a good drybrushing and even better look, while dipping (basecoating, dipping the model in varnish, and shaking off the excess) can give you a tabletop-ready army/warband/whatever in little time.

Even so, from personal experience I'd also say try everything. The stuff I learned from was Verlinden (those of you in Europe should know that name) painting guides, so I was trying some advanced techniques right from the get-go.

Lastly, remember that a lot of the techniques you'll use are dependant on the effect you want to achieve on the finished model. A person going for a realistic look paints differently than one trying for an artistic or even cartoony look.
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PostSubject: Re: Beginner Painting Techniques   Thu 25 Feb 2010 - 3:47

You hit the mother-load! Great painters in this forum! cheers Everything that Louis & Grumm999 said is true. Let me add few tips myself.
  • Painting Requires Practice: I know it sounds obvious, but you will NOT guess how many people expect to grab a brush and end up with a model capable of winning a mediocre painting contest, like a Golden Daemon, or even an elite contest, like the Golden Tom. Wink Your 1st miniature will suck... just like you are going to fall when learning how to ride a bike. Keep at it... you get better with every model, and after a little while you be better getting your own Golden Tom!
  • Start with Easy Models: You would not believe how many people want to paint a super detailed model for their 1st model. Remember, it will suck... so you will be frustrated even more. A model with 'simple' patters like a skeleton or a wolf (fairly uniform in structure) are best to start the basics.
  • Painting is About Tricking the Eye: When you paint, he aim is not to make a photo-realistic model, is to use techniques that trick the observer into 'connecting the dots' and making (in his mind) the model to be photo-realistic.
  • Aim Realistically, Dream High: At first, aim for table quality models. This means that the model should look good on the table (3 or 4 feet away), but not really that great Display Quality, which is for close inspection (6 inches). As you get better, the model will start looking better and better the closer you look at it. Like the movie The Professional... you start with a rifle and when you are really good, you just use a knife. Razz
  • Take Care of your Brushes: Another obvious, but forgotten fact. Dip only the tip, rinse them, etc. The basic guides will tell you about of crap about the subject... it is NOT crap! It is easy, but important! Smile
  • Don't Forget the Bases!: If you have a great model in an unpainted base, the illusion is broken. The observer would not be as easily tricked, and flaws will jump out. Same thing if you have a mediocre model with a nice base... the illusion is reinforced and flaws are minimized. Simple fine sand and some static grass do make a GREAT difference.

Now for techniques:
  • Dry Brushing: It is basic AND important. Like Louis said, you will always use it and helps with brush control. It helps to bring details that are 'high' on the model, like a medallion a sword edge, highlights on hair. Best practiced on fur. Take a wolf, bear or doggie... paint it brown and (after it dries) dry brush light flesh color. Once you get the hang of it, you would be able to cast lights (glowing reflections) and shadows (beard stubs!) Too much dry-brushing will remove the detail... control is key. Less is more.
  • Washing (a.k.a. Inks): Also another basic. It lets you put multiple shades of the same color, bringing details with ease. Best practiced on muscle. Get a model that has muscles... maybe some nice abs. Paint it (light) flesh and (after it dries) take a wash/ink of a brown tone (or sepia) and put it over. The wash is very runny (consistency of milk, rather than thick like regular paint) so it would go to the deep section. It will bring definitions to the muscles... don't be surprised if your strong man has a navel you did not saw before! Too much wash will remove the detail... control is key. Less is more.
  • Dipping: Although some people find it controversial, I think is a primary technique. Many topics on this forum. This is the ONLY technique that (by itself) would yield a nice looking model. You reach table quality quickly, but can never reach a superb display quality. Remember, it is about combination of techniques... so using only dipping is like collecting models and not playing. It is OK, but you are missing part of the fun!
  • Blending: It is the way to make a base color transition to another without any interruption. Best practiced on cloaks. Imagine you have a baby blue cloak, but the model has been walking on mud; the cloak HAS to be dirty on the bottom, right? Rather than painting a straight brown line at the bottom you want to do some blending. Starts brown on the bottom and get more blue every millimeter you go up until it is just baby blue. Requires practice, but it takes your model to a new level!
  • Thin Lining: Making THIN lines is a true skill! Will help you define sections. For example, armor plates. While you can simulate armor division with Wash, the difference in noticeable. Also, some advance techniques require that you can make thin lines. Is easy once you figure out how. Best practiced on a 'magical' sword. Take a sword and paint it deep blue. Now take some baby blue on a small brush and instead of painting with the tip (like you would instinctively do), paint with its side! Make a thin line on the middle (following the model cast) and on the edges. Thinner the better... subtle is the name of the game. Take some whit and do the same (even thinner)... congratz, you have a glowing magical sword! Very Happy

Those techniques will take you to new grounds. Then you can learn how to paint eyes, gems, blending highlights, light redirection and the always elusive (for me) Non-Metal Metal! Good luck.. please take LOTS of pictures and share. We have all been a novice and we will be GLAD to help you get started! BEST OF LUCK!
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PostSubject: Re: Beginner Painting Techniques   Thu 25 Feb 2010 - 12:27

Thnx for all the tips!

As a fellow unexperienced painter I'm watching closely for anything that might help.
Can't wait 'till my mini's get shipped in Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Beginner Painting Techniques   Thu 25 Feb 2010 - 12:59

Thanks for these tips, I really appreciate the help!

Knowing that my first model is destined to suck, I think I'll be best off trying to get some throw-away models off a friends to practice on... I'm sure I can piece together some stuff, even if its an awkward mismatching of limbs and the like...

should be interesting... I'll post the results for further advice/laughs Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Beginner Painting Techniques   Thu 25 Feb 2010 - 16:31

NO!!!!

Keep your first model... do something cool for yourself. It will be a treasure for YOU. In few years, you will look at it and laugh at how hard it was for you, and see the great master-pieces you are able to create with ease. Then you will nod at the sight of your finished Warbands and Armies.

Those of use that don't have their first model... well, I would kill to even see that stupid ninja one more time... even in a blurry picture. Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Beginner Painting Techniques   Sat 27 Feb 2010 - 23:35

Oh I wasn't planning on getting rid of them, just piecing it from spare parts... But got some catachan models to paint up instead, almost all pieced together now, and I'll have them primed tomorrow...

Any recommendations for painting colors? I know green, but moreso which ones for a base and which ones to build on top of?

Like for flesh It seems like elf flesh would be good as a highlight, but would a brown or an orange make a better undercoat? Or is elf flesh what you want for a base and a wash will bring it out before re-highlighting with more elf flesh and lighter colors?
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PostSubject: Re: Beginner Painting Techniques   Sun 28 Feb 2010 - 1:56

Exodite wrote:
Oh I wasn't planning on getting rid of them, just piecing it from spare parts... But got some catachan models to paint up instead, almost all pieced together now, and I'll have them primed tomorrow...

Any recommendations for painting colors? I know green, but moreso which ones for a base and which ones to build on top of?

Like for flesh It seems like elf flesh would be good as a highlight, but would a brown or an orange make a better undercoat? Or is elf flesh what you want for a base and a wash will bring it out before re-highlighting with more elf flesh and lighter colors?

It all depends on what look you like. Best thing is to just experiment a bit before deciding on a color scheme.

The foundation paints make a great base color since you only have to use one layer to get an area covered. From there you can use "normal" paints for your highlights.
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PostSubject: Re: Beginner Painting Techniques   Tue 2 Mar 2010 - 0:05

Definitely don't go with an orange undercoat; for flesh, try this: base with tallarn flesh, then do a 1:1 wash ogryn flesh and gryphonne sepia. Next, thin down a bit of bronzed flesh and paint it into all but the deepest parts. Add a hint of Baal red to the wash and paint this into the recesses only. Finally, thin down elf flesh until it's almost a wash and paint it onto the highest parts.

It's a bit much, for a beginner, but it'll give you a decent result. Oh, and you might want to check if I got the names right; I've switched to using the Formula P3 paints, and seldom use any of the citadels except for the foundation paints and the washes.

For the greens, do a 1:4 mix of chaos black and catachan green for the base, then catachan green for a highlight, then a final highlight of camo green; lastly, wash it with heavily watered-down 1:3 chaos black and knarloc green. And, if you're really feeling frisky, try adding some touches of 1:1 camo green and rotting flesh in a camo-pattern. If you go that route, you may also want to add some darker patches, perhaps a 1:1 of scorched brown and vermin brown.

Hope that helps...
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PostSubject: Re: Beginner Painting Techniques   Tue 2 Mar 2010 - 0:44

Definitely! I'm not too worried about the 'final result' on these guys, but do want to get the techniques in
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