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Lucas DP's painting thread

PostPosted: Tuesday August 16th, 2016 12:27pm
by lucasdp
Hey friends! I haven't posted in a while, as my gaming group, and life in general, has been sporadic lately; what with summer vacations, weddings, Comic-Cons, night classes, and what-not.
With that said, I've stolen a few moments of personal time to try my hand at painting minis! I picked up a Reaper Bones Learn-To-Paint Kit, and I've done two of the minis that came with it so far.
My first painted mini!!!

Planning to use this guy for Skulmar! He escaped the ruins of Kalos when we played the Return of the Witch Lord, and I really want to get the heroes to face him again. I found the Gathering of the Hordes in the Agin's Inn Archive, so I'm thinking about trying to get that going if/when we finish the "official" quests.
I've actually added an additional black wash to a couple areas on each of these guys since the last pics. For the skelly archer, I thought his bow looked too bright and not battle-worn. I think I kind of overdid the black wash on him, but since this was the first mini I've ever painted, I didn't beat myself up too much and called him finished. For Skulmar, I wasn't happy with the blue areas, the shield and his under-coat. In this case, however, I actually think I did a really good job with his last black wash. I'm pretty proud of how this guy turned out; I'm sure there will be another pic of him sooner or later.
I'm sure there are a lot of techniques that I still need to practice, but pretty good for just starting out, if I do say so myself!

Re: Lucas DP's painting thread

PostPosted: Tuesday August 16th, 2016 2:00pm
by knightkrawler
Indeed, pretty good for a start.
I imagine that the black wash added to Skulmar (nice proxy choice there) brought out the armor pretty well and it was the right decision to do that.
On the Skeleton, out of experience, I'd say a black wash is too harsh which you've found out yourself I figure. No better way of finding out than trial and error.
Next time, to wash bone, use a brown (reddish or yellowish, doesn't matter much), and then go into the deepest areas (between bones that is) with a mix of that last wash and a touch of black.
The bone base that we see in the pictures is really nice and a good starting point.
Carry on practicing, it's really worth it.

One question: Did you thin down your paint?

Re: Lucas DP's painting thread

PostPosted: Tuesday August 16th, 2016 3:21pm
by Anderas
Wow cool another topic for my favorite topic, the painting! :) Thanks for the picture!

Indeed, it's pretty clean painted so just continue and it's not wrong. Whereas, this is true for every painter - failures don't exist, just continue. :D
The Skeleton could have a highlight here and there, but Skulmar is already quite impressive.

Just for the photos, don't you present the minis bigger than they are. We will find every failure on such big pictures, more failures than you are able to correct with shaky fingers. So better make pictures of roughly the same size like the miniatures.

Re: Lucas DP's painting thread

PostPosted: Tuesday August 16th, 2016 5:12pm
by StratosVX
Much better than my attempts at painting have been. I'm thinking of picking up a starter Citadel paint set to see if it's me or the paints. I'm pretty sure it's me though...

Re: Lucas DP's painting thread

PostPosted: Friday August 19th, 2016 4:31pm
by lucasdp
Thanks for the encouragement, all!

KK, I only thinned down for some of the last small details, like the T-zone in Skulmar's helmet, but I can certainly see the advantage of doing so. The blue paint especially was almost too thick and I found myself immediately wiping it off a couple times when I had a bit too much on my brush.
I guess my question is, what's the ratio when watering down paint to thin it, without thinning so much that it becomes a wash? (And I know every paint is different and this isn't an exact science... ;) ) Would a simple "1 drop of water to 1 drop of paint" be advised?

Anderas, you're right, I always seem to post pics way bigger than necessary! :lol: I'll try to resize it before posting from now on!

Re: Lucas DP's painting thread

PostPosted: Saturday August 20th, 2016 2:14am
by knightkrawler
The blue on Skulmar specifically had me ask...
The consistency of thinned paint should be roughly like milk.
If you search youtube for "thinning paint" or "how to thin paint" and watch a few from various miniature painters (AG Productions' is the best, but watch a few more like Corvus Miniatures') you'll get a pretty good idea.
You don't need anything but water, don't get convinced otherwise until your level is so far up that miniscule differences will be worth it. If you have thinner mediums, then fine, but don't go and buy any unless you live in very peculiar climate.

Here's the most important thing about painting with thinned paint:
Loading the brush is a technique of its own. Basically, you need a fine tip and long bristles (Winsor & Newton #1; no other brush is needed for most fine painting techniques; there are some alternatives for that brush, but everyone should invest in this on brush).
After thinning the paint, load your brush, but only up to two thirds of the bristle length. Don't let the paint reach the ferrule!
Now you have to unload the brush. Counterintuitive? Yes. But it has to be done.
Either touch the side of the brush against the edge of a paper towel, or get rid off excess moisture on your non-painting thumb.

The rest of the paint and water in your brush will have the perfect mix of pigment and fluidity.
If you don't unload your brush, you'll flood the mini with moisture and lose all control of the paint.

Thinned paint shouldn't be too thin, and yet in the perfect consistency, for a basecoat without splotchiness or cloudiness you're gonna need to paint several coats.
It's also a good idea to learn what color you can use to put a "basecoat under the basecoat" for certain colors that don't cover well at all.
For example, when you have primed a mini black and want its shirt to be yellow in the end, you need to have patience by first laying down a dark brown coat, then a medium brown coat, then a dark yellow, then your base yellow, and so on.
These many layers are precisely the reason why you need to thin your paint. Because else you'll clog details with thick paint and many layers.

You also shouldn't thin your paint too much. Whole milk for you Americans is roughly right, I hear time and time again, but it really depends on your style and the paint.
Most of all, it depends on your technique. The less you use true blending, the more layers you need, the thinner the coats must be.
As a beginner, you should probably keep this whole milk consistency as a guideline for layering. 1:1 might be too thin for a basecoat, especially when you don't use basecoat paints like Citadel Base or Vallejo Game Color Extraopaque.
It's a thing of practice and patience, really.
Youtube videos also tend to insinuate the thinner the better, which is utter bullshit for a beginner, so don't be seduced.
I suggest you take a flat piece of plastic to practice on. Just use different colors and different consistencies to see how they work with each other, how many layers of paint you need to cover opaquely, which pigments cover how well (there's a huge honking difference between yellow and blue, for example), and so on. And then layer your highlights on top of these areas to see how small of a step you need to use and how many steps to achieve a nice blend.


Having said all that, I go around several layers and thinning down my paint much in basecoating
by using a flat brush or Filbert brush (size 4 or 6 or 8, depending on the size of the area)
and mostly unthinned paint, which means I just dip the brush into water, touch a paper towel to suck most of it off, then go into the paint,
and then stuff the area with that paint, pushing and poking it around (hence the brush type: it gets me everywhere) until it covers everything but doesn't clog any details.
That's how I roughly lay out my color scheme, similar to what James Wappel does with his shaded basecoat technique (thank god for that guy! Watch some of his videos, too).
Of yourse, when highlighting and shading, I thin my paint as the next person does.

Re: Lucas DP's painting thread

PostPosted: Saturday August 20th, 2016 3:42am
by Anderas
Everything KK said,

try to feel the consistency in the brush. smear it a little bit around on your palette. Very fast you will get a feeling of how it should feel and look on your palette. Save this finger-tip-feeling in some unoccupied space of your brain. Reuse it as necessary. :)

Re: Lucas DP's painting thread

PostPosted: Friday September 23rd, 2016 2:51pm
by lucasdp
Well, I haven't been able to paint as often as I like (stupid job and responsibilities), but I'm trying to keep at it, and here's a quick little update on my progress.
I've been working on the Orc Marauder, the final mini in my Reaper Bones Learn-To-Paint Kit.


Here he is with the beginning of the base coat. The guide with the kit had instructions to give him leather armor with metal spikes, but I decided to give him full metal armor. It turned out pretty decent, but I see now that, with metal armor, the chainmail, and the grey fur cloak thing underneath his armor, it's "too much" grey. The leather armor would have broken up the colors and made it more visually pleasing, but I learned that the hard way. Not stressing on this guy, though. I don't really see him proxy-ing into a game anytime soon, so I'm not super attached or needing him to be perfect or anything. When I finally sat down to finish him the other night, I just wanted to get it over with, which is probably evident by how sloppy his teeth are. On that note, I do need to get a better brush for the fine details. Any recommendations?


All in all, I think I've done a great job. Considering I'm just starting out, I think I'm getting a pretty good hang of it. Even the bits that are a little sloppy look better than unpainted (as has been stated in other places on the forum. I get it now ;) ). And I'm still really proud of that beefed-up Chaos Warrior looking-guy in the middle there. Can't wait to proxy him in as Skulmar.

Up next, got another Reaper Bones, Garrick the Bold aka my proxy for Sir Ragnar.

Re: Lucas DP's painting thread

PostPosted: Friday September 23rd, 2016 2:57pm
by lucasdp
Darn it, I tried to resize those pics, but it still stretches them out to the full window. Except the blank mini at the end, for some reason... Oh well, sorry, gang. You'll have to deal with seeing all my imperfect brushstrokes up close!

Re: Lucas DP's painting thread

PostPosted: Friday September 23rd, 2016 5:12pm
by knightkrawler
For the brush, invest in a Winsor & Newton size 1 (Not the miniature, but the regular one!).
I could go on another epic rant about the importance of a good brush and the awesomeness of this particular brush, but I already have repeatedly in other threads.
The only alternative in quality is the Raphael 8404 size 1 (it might be because of availability issues, but I doubt that), but in terms of learning brush control and as long as you don't wet blend
I'd always - ALWAYS - go with the W&N size 1.