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Painting Questions
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TOPIC: Painting Questions
#16641
Painting Questions 8 Years, 2 Months ago  
OK, so Dante and I and a few others got into a talk recently (in another thread) about how we paint, and what approaches and techniques we use.

And it got me curious -- for people out there who DO paint minis, whether you really consider yourself good or whether you do it for fun and don't really think your painting is all that great --

What influences your color choices?

Sometimes there are colors that just feel "right" (or others that feel "wrong") for a mini. It would seem strange to have a bunch of minis in armor and never paint a single one of them silver, for example -- or to have a beholder painted bright neon blue. Not out of the question, but a little unusual.

But sometimes I find myself trying out colors because I realize I haven't done a particular color yet. I don't have any purple, or any aqua, or any yellow, or any brown of a particular class.

Sometimes I realize that I'm thinking too much in terms of "color" when what really might make a mini sing is "colorS" -- a color combo that really works well, even if the component colors are ones I'm sick of using, or that wouldn't be that special on their own.

Sometimes I realize I have completely skipped over a color -- for a long time, I realized, none of my figures were ever in grey. Why? Because the BASES were always grey! So a grey-robed mage or grey-cloaked fighter was out of the question.

Anyone else ever confront these kinds of questions? How do you think about color when you are painting a mini?

L
Law
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#16642
Painting Questions 8 Years, 2 Months ago  
Good topic, L.

I always thought my paint jobs were "o.k.--suitable for table top gaming". Some of them were downright gorgeous though, IMHO. It wasn't until recently when I took up the brush again (after several years' hiatus) that I think my skills really improved. My wife likens it to the stories of prisoners of war who everyday dreamed of the perfect golf game and then came out after being released and actually played perfect games. I didn't have the room, access to my hobby stuff, or the opportunity to paint for the past two years but I read tons, and tons of topics on painting techniques over at www.theminiaturespage.com and I also "studied" hundreds upon hundreds of pictures of excellently painted minis for reference.

When I started painting again a few months I noticed a huge improvement in my technique. I'm not afraid to experiment anymore. It's just paint and can be stripped off with thinner if I really goof up.

Regarding your question about choosing colors, I look at the mini and "get into" that mini's features and characteristics. I try to imagine what it would look like were it animated. That helps me start to suss out what colors I think would look good on the piece.

I too like to be bold and try colors that aren't frequently used--vibrant purples and oranges, aqua greens and grey-blue hues. They have to be on the right sculpt though, otherwise they look "off."

Sometimes for inspriation and reference, I'll go to www.coolminiornot.com and look at similar figures to get the creative ideas flowing. I've rarely copied a paint scheme exactly as I've seen it. I can only think of two minis where I've done that simply because the color palette was absolutely striking. Still, most of my choices come from what I see in my mind's eye.
Dante
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#16643
Painting Questions 8 Years, 2 Months ago  
Coolminiornot is a great place to find exceptional paint jobs. It's also a terrific place to learn techniques, as many of the more accomplished painters post tutorials.

I consider myself to be in the "very good" category. My best score on the site is 8.5 to 8.6 (holding in that range). Sometimes the scoring is pretty close to what I'd choose for a mini, and sometimes it's way off (my opinion, of course). Individual tastes and styles have a lot to do with it, and sometimes I think the current mood of the voter matters more than the quality of the paint job.

If the figure has breasts, in general it'll score 1 to 2 points higher. It's the same way on eBay for painted figures. Same level of quality and originality in painting, but one is of a hot chick, and she's going to sell for considerably higher than the commensurate male figure.

That said, I do find myself paying more attention to the well-painted female figures. It's that Y chromosome, I'm telling you. :)

For excellent painting advice, check out Jennifer Haley's website at http://www.wegotgame.net/jen/main.html. Her stuff is awesome (she's a slayer axe winner), and her tutorials are great. I own one of her painted minis, a female minotaur from Grim Reaper miniatures. She's so far beyond my skill that I can't describe it.

I'm looking forward to getting out the paints again. I love painting miniatures, and I love learning and trying new techniques. I mean, who would ever have thought about mixing Future Floor Finish in with the water to dilute washes? Weird, but it really works! And for basing material, when looking for forest litter, open your spice jars.

Got to get to bed, but have fun, guys!
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#16644
Painting Questions 8 Years, 2 Months ago  
I use a color wheel that can be picked up at any art store for about $5. It helps with determining shading, highlights, complementary colors and so on.

One way I paint is to pick 1 primary and 2 secondary colors. the bulk of the mini is painted with those colors with a few additional colors to pick out detail here and there. One thing that is tough to do is metal- especially silver. My silver goes on over a black undercoat to give shadows to the depths. Then it is washed with either a thinned down blue or brown ink depending on other aspects of the mini otherwise you get that super-bright silver.

I also keep a notebook of the colors and mixes I use on mini's so a year later I can duplicate it if desired.

Here are some of my minis with a brief color pallete description:


Warmachine slayer- Black Iron, Purple and bronze. Black iron is 50/50 mix of chainmail and black, purple is a mix 3:1 of warlock purple and blood red, silver and bronze were applied to black undercoat and washed with thin brown, red and black ink. Purple washed with thinned purple ink



Warmachine Deneghra- ROughly same pallette as above. Skirt was undercoated black, then had deep purple applied to it then various shades of purple drybrushed on. Skin was given a hint of rotting flesh to pale it out and give it an unhealthy look, then washed with thinned down flesh wash with a touch of purple ink.


Goreshades servant - Built up rotted flesh and blue for skin tones. Blood red base for dress deepend with red ink, built up red highlights after that. Simple green belt to offset the mini and break-up a monotonous red. Hair is black dry-brushed white.


Cygnar warjack - Something brighter- the 3 colors are blue, copper and and chainmail. Blue starts with a deep blue and is built up through 5 layers ending in a in 50/50 white and blue for highlights. Metals are again over a basecoat of black with inks on them to tone down the brightness. No highlight on the silver but the copper was highlighted on the edges with silver to give it a sharp edged gleam. Notice the yellow swan really pops off the mini since it is not blended into a muddle of colors.
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#16645
Painting Questions 8 Years, 2 Months ago  
Great stuff!

I use coolmini for inspiration sometimes, but I frequently have to go elsewhere simply because I'm painting a batch of newly released Reapers and they haven't been posted up yet!

My biggest problem is just the size of my collection -- thinking about what works for the character or what complementary colors are ideal can sometimes leave me realizing, when I'm finished, "Oh, great, another blue-and-gold wizard figure..."

I grouped my figures recently by color, just to get a sense of what I had. I have four times as many blue- or green-themed wizards as I do any other color -- but I also have four or five purple-themed ones, which I didn't realize.

I also have far more bronze-armored fighters than I realized, esp. dwarves....

L
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