Painting Techniques Likes/Dislikes

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Painting Techniques Likes/Dislikes

Post  ScottRadom on Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:44 pm

So I was surfing a little over at CoolMiniOrNot.com (CMON) and man is there some freakish talen out there. I am a firm believer that EVERYBODY can become a decent painter with time, patience, and practice. That's where I think I fall into, the category of decent. I like my stuff and more importantly really feel my skills are improving as time goes on, which I am happy about. So as I head over to a few of the nicer painting sites and forums looking for tips, inspiration, etc. I often come across some stunning but bewildering pieces. What I refer to is some of the more difficult techniques and styles. I absolutely freakin' hate some of these. What a waste of time!

Light sourcing- This technique looks amazing in diorama pieces, or on occasion with a piece of the model (like a glowing staff/jewel etc.) but I just read an amazing tutorial about a skeleton using an really cool pallete choice to represent skeletons at night, with a glowing moon behind them. It was an amazing tutorial and really made you feel like anybody could do this. But then I saw the finished model and as amazing as it was I know that the effect will be completely lost when it hits the table. NOBODY will understand what the painter was trying to depict. Once he explains it I'm sure he will get ooh's and aahh's but it just seemed crap to me.

NMM- Man I hate this too! Nothing really more to add. Everytime I see a beatifully painted NMM model (Carson has some nice one here on the board) It drives me crazy. Nothing more to add, just trying to spread around the hate.

Dipping- I actually love this concept. It's not for me, but the fact that there is a technique that helps put good game quality miniatures on the table as fast as this does my heart good. I don't do it personally because I take some sick pride that I paint each and every one of my models one at a time. Even goblins. No batch painting for me.

Drybrushing- AS time goes on I have moved away from drybrushing and ink washing. It's a great starter technique and an ink/drybrushed force looks way better than a plastic/primer force. I think anyone who wants to develop there skills a little further should start here. Paint at least one unit exclusively with base coat, shade wash, highlight then look at it. What do you like? Keep those pieces. What don't you like? Alter the colors and techniques for the next unit. By the time you're done 3 units you will be a pretty good painter, and probably want to go back and do some extra work on the first unit.

Well there's not much point to this message. Just a little time to kill at work here, and my dremel died so I can't finish prepping my plaguebearers or Panzer Grenadiers for another 3 hours. Let's get some more disussion going! Don't be afraid to throw down a rant of your own! I'll flame with ya!

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Re: Painting Techniques Likes/Dislikes

Post  Grapeshot on Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:25 pm

Ok i agree with you on dipping. I think it is a great way not only for people to get an army on the table fast, but also for those people who will never find the time/patience to paint each and every model to high standard. My degenerate cousin Ivan has been playing the game on and off since the 80's and he has never had a painted army. At the same time he is quite competitive, so not having painted models was really hurting him at events. I finally sat him down and convinced him to try dipping. It really is a miracle method. We primed the ocrs white, and then went over them with a very thinned coat of paint. This made the highpoints of the model fairly lighter than the lower where all the pigment went. Once we had that single coat on we hit it with the varnish. Man it is impressive if you use the right colors, there is a magical transformation from a 2/10 miniature to a 6-7 in about 10 seconds.
Things that piss me off. People who dont fully research the method, and paint the models too dark, making the dip much less impressive.

Thats the good. The bad experience i had happened in calgary. Some clown entered a bunch of dipped miniatures, and his squad of imperial fists actually took first place in the category. I mean yea they looked great (because the dip was used on a light color: yellow) but man, that shit doesnt take enough skill to win painting competitions. I diddnt enter so this isnt a personal thing, i just dont like people getting shit when they dont earn it. In the end i guess i should really be pissed at the judges for being incompetent. There were other equally nice units which took allot more skill and talent to do.

I however have mixed feelings NMM. I really like this technique, and i believe it is far superior to metallics. At the same time i truly do hate it because i will never have the time/patience/skill to do it myself. It gives those anal retentive purified water using bastards a leg up on anything i can do. That said it does take a master to pull it off properly, and those people tend to paint only for competition, as it takes them 300 hours a model (not joking)! No offense to carson and robyn. Rob does a pretty good job of it, carsons stuff i have never seen.

What i have found is that reading about the different techniques and seeing first class models is good for anyone who is willing to paint their own models. It is almost impossible to not improve by reading about the subject. Sure im never going to use half of what i read, but i cherrypick. I take what i like, and skip the rest. The first army i ever painted was my slaanesh (sorry guys im a 40k'er) and i had no one to give me advice or teach me the ropes. I used the internet exclusively to learn the craft. I have since gone on to win too many best painteds to count anymore. I dont mean to come off cocky, but it goes to show how much someone can benefit from spending time researching and learning off the net. Hopefully i can get the time to do another army because there are allot of more advanced techniques i would like to try that would not fit into the painting style of my current army.

/end rant

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Re: Painting Techniques Likes/Dislikes

Post  Galadros on Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:05 pm

Many of these advanced techniques that are commonly seen on CoolminiorNot and other sites are certainly within the reach of any experienced painter. The experience of colour matching, brush handling, and water management progressively develop with time and repetition. That is the same path that Golden Daemon winners take to the podium. It's only in rare cases that miniature painters have some visionary-like advantage over the rest of us. As Scott stated practice and patience will get you there.

Having said that, most of the techniques should be reserved for display models, not game models. Light sourcing, and NMM especially look fantastic from the perspective that the artist wants you to see it. They look odd and disjointed from every other angle, though. The appreciation of the effort would be lost on the battlefield.

So, my advice is to keep doing what you're doing. Try to improve on brush and paint handling. Work on adding more depth of colour to your models. Most importantly, enjoy the hobby and the game for what it gives you.

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Re: Painting Techniques Likes/Dislikes

Post  Lord_Stash on Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:35 pm

What is NMM?

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Re: Painting Techniques Likes/Dislikes

Post  ScottRadom on Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:28 pm

Lord_Stash wrote:What is NMM?

Non Mettalic Metals. Instead of painting with a metalic you would paint your axes in shades of grey to represent metal.

It's a two dimensional technique for illustrating and artwork. Wolverine's claws aren't painted in the books with boltgun metal for example. It's a lot of work, very hard to pull of properly, and is all the rage in some circles. About two years back you couldn't find a golden demon model with any metalic paint on it, but I've quit checking up on that.

It's an approach which I can appreciate for the talent and effort, and even looks nice in display, but I don't care for it on the table top. My opinion, not ragging on anyone except Carson here.

My tastes just steer away from NMM is all.

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Re: Painting Techniques Likes/Dislikes

Post  Screamindaemon on Fri Aug 29, 2008 10:26 am

NMM and SENMM (Sky-Earth) are mettalic substitute styles that make use of 'metallic sheen' concepts and colours.

Take a look at a fork in the sunlight. See how it goes from a shiny grey to a dark grey, almost blue? This is the idea behind NMM. You blend your white/grey/blue/palid colours to match the contours of the object you are painting. The problem with this technique, is that there are two skills you need: the ability to blend paints so that no colour change lines are visible, and the ability to 'read' the contours of the metal you are painting. The first can be taught, the second... well I'm still working on that.

there are two styles that work well for blending: layers, and wet-blend.
With layering, you start with one colour, and slowly, very painfully slowly add more of the colour you wish to blend into. You should also apply washes in between stages of blend. It takes for-blinkin-ever, but it's a sure way of getting a blend.
Wet-blending is my favourite, mostly because I don't have the patience to layer properly. It is also more difficult to control and have consistent results. With wet blending, you bypass the steps of blending colours by changing the colour in your pallet, instead you slop down your choices of colours on the model, load up on water, and work one colour into the other. Now water has a nasty tendency of screwing up this process, and working with water is another lesson entirely. But I still find, with a bit of practice, this last method is feasible and controllable.

The idea of NMM can also be associated with source-lighting. Think of a power sword, and how it's energy creates a light that is reflected on the marine's armour, or the fire of a pyre of bret archers creates light across their face and clothing.

There are loads of great articles here: http://coolminiornot.com/go.php/go/articlephp/levels/99/expand/all?
They will help you on your way to be a better painter.
Also, take most of what they say with a grain of salt, as these are the people that I love to hate...they paint so very well, but usually have art degrees or more time than a normal person with a normal life will have.

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Re: Painting Techniques Likes/Dislikes

Post  ScottRadom on Wed Sep 03, 2008 1:32 pm

So I was checking out some of the forums on CMON looking to improve my flesh techniques for my dwarfs. It's been many, many years since I painted flesh and I am not 100% happy with what I was doing, so off I went. I found a little article on flesh blending and got a few technical pointers that should pay off dividends pretty quickly just by adding a layer or three. And that's when it hit me....

As a painter/gamer I love painting to get my models on the table and play the game. Without the game I don't have the same motivation to paint my stuff and would move on to some other hobby quickly. Here I was looking at advice (all of it seemed helpful) which wouldn undoubtedly provide results but the line between competition painter/artist and gamer/painter was never more clear. Here was a tip that would easily add 1hr painting time to every dwarf I paint, even with the modest amount of exposed skin on those models. I have made some time compromises and increased my painting time for this newest dwarf army from about 15min a fig up to about 1hr per RnF. Still drybrushing armor and a little bit on the beards but the rest is mostly layered and such which takes longer (But I hope looks better) and I am pleased with the results to time ratio. I had to stop and think about doubling my per model time to increase the quality of the fig by a small amount, and I just don't think I can justify that.

So I feel a little frustrated. In dealing with the figure artist style painters I really want to hate them. I wish I could scoff at their methods, but I've seen their results. I wish I could trash them personally so I would feel better about not following their advice, but they're easily the most polite, encouraging, and friendly community I have encoutered on the net (Excluding us of course!). I want to achieve their results, but in 1hr a model instead of 50-60 hrs, and these bastards are telling me I can't. They're not even being mean about it! I mean I must come across like Luke Sywalker with his "But I was going to Toshi's station to pick up some power converters" sort of stuff but still they encourage me! If they could at least brush me off then I could rationalize my painting by saying "If I got any better I might turn into one of those pricks".

I know I can't spend the time they tell me I need to to get there results, so I have sort of put myself in a place where I know I will only be able to achieve so much and still play the game I love. Sigh. I need my kids to grow up quick so I can have more time to put 50 glazes of 10:1 water/flesh over my pure white dwarf's cheek bones....

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Re: Painting Techniques Likes/Dislikes

Post  squalie on Wed Sep 03, 2008 2:32 pm

I am simply a slow painter. I would like to spend more time on blending and become really good at it, but I look at the amount of figs I still have to paint and it becomes intimidating. Plus, I can't stand rank-n-file. If I could make an army out of just characters, I would spend the time on blending.

Most of the time my motto is "good enough".

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Re: Painting Techniques Likes/Dislikes

Post  nathanr on Wed Sep 03, 2008 2:39 pm

I agree, plus I'm just learning this new-fangled blending thing. I spent the last 10 years or so solely painting dwarfs so I figured out how to paint beards and metal. Now I'm trying to paint wood elves and I am having to learn all kinds of new techniques! These Bretonnians that I'm painting now are another new thing for me, I'm trying to effectively paint large areas white and black which in my opinion are the hardest "colors" to paint without them looking like just a base-coated miniature.

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