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Your painting mantras

Discussion in 'Miniatures' started by Koin-Koin, Dec 8, 2020.

  1. Koin-Koin

    Koin-Koin Well-Known Member

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    This is a thread I'm thinking about for quite some time but never took time to make it as I have a very specific idea of what it should be and see so many ways for it to go wild.

    So I'll try to explain it as clearly as I can and provide some kind of format for everyone to follow to provide inputs.

    The origin: being far from an experienced painter myself, I frequently bump in the same trap which is forgetting what I've learned previously. This makes my progress curve going up and down.
    I realised that each time I don't stick to a couple of painting basics, I get lesser results or even worse, I screw something that started nicely.

    The idea: create a thread where everyone will share fundamental rules she/he follows otherwise the painting level will lower.

    What the thread is: a list of the most core rules to follow to, at least, keep at consistent painting level thus improve it in the long term. So sharing the same rule several time is more than wanted as it will help to identify it as a must.

    What the thread is not: this is not a list of tips and trick or advice for a specific technic and definitely not a "who's got the best advice of all challenge". Please don't think of what as not been shared already so you'll put something original, focus on what is YOUR absolute must-follow rule, even if already listed.

    To keep it synthetic, please use the following format:
    • Mantra: a short sentence/title that tell the substance of the rule
    A small paragraph to explain a bit deeper the what and the why (not mandatory)

    Two or three mantras maximum allowed per participant. We want to focus on what is essential. In the end, we may have something like 10 recurring entries (which is already a lot).

    I'll tried to gather all the entries at the top of the thread and maybe to sort them by popularity.

    Obviously, comments are welcome but this is not the place to criticise others mantras. Just because one doesn't make sense for you doesn't make it irrelevant for the one who shared it.
     
    jherazob likes this.
  2. Koin-Koin

    Koin-Koin Well-Known Member

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    [RESERVED FOR FUTURE USE]
     
  3. Koin-Koin

    Koin-Koin Well-Known Member

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  4. Koin-Koin

    Koin-Koin Well-Known Member

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    • Ensure your paint is properly thinned/diluted
    May be the trickiest thing to do IMHO. Most of time, having a paint dilution OK-ish is fine, but there's those rare moments when you put your brush on a mini and realised that the dilution is just perfect then you know how much a difference it makes. Unfortunately, there's those too many frequent moments you just realised that the dilution is far from just OK and you just screwed everything. Sometime you struggle to get the right dilution but sometime, you where too lazy to adjust what was OK 5 minutes ago but dried enough in the mean time.​

    • "Let It Dry !!!" (sing it like the Frozen theme)
    It could be frustrating to just put the brush aside for a couple of minutes when you're enjoying painting but it make such a difference in the end. Because a wet paint always dry different (darker or brighter or dull ...). Because a wash or a glaze always need to dry to shows its real effect. Because a second coat is not a second coat until the first one is completely dry.​
     
  5. Master Efialtes

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    • "Lets paint, right now!!!" (all paints and minis are prepared to paint in less than 1 min)

      It is hard to paint minis but it is harder to start to paint them, so i have a table prepared whit minis and paints in a closet to start in less than a minute. i have only to put water in the wet pallette and start. Pick up the table should be less tan 1 min too.

    • "I have a lot of minis, i want to paint them all and all of them have to be cool!!" (paint several minis at same time)

      Change color and bruss is time lose. It is better to paint several miniatures whit the same color and bruss. May be you wont get the best result in a miniature, but you will get the best result in the army.

    • "Only paint is bored" (Is better paint if you do another thing at the same time)

      You can think in another things at the same time that you are painting. Music is not enought for me, so i usually listend some kind of history postcast or youtube tutorials at the same time. Sometimes (rarely) see the tv.
     
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  6. Errhile

    Errhile A traveller on the Silk Road

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    however,
    • Omne trium perfectum (all that comes in threes is perfect). Do not paint too many minis at the same time.
    I have found that if I'm painitng too many models at the same time - even if they use the same colour scheme, and even if they are, in fact, repetitions of the exactly same sculpt (not really a case in Infinity, but indeed happens in other games), it is easy to skip some detail if repeating the same run too many times. Too much repetition is boring. You need to find the sweet spot between not having to change color and brush, and getting bored and inattentive due to repetition.
    Mine, I've found at 3 models (assuming about the standard, S2, size) per batch (once it is done, start a new batch). Rarely 4. Having a (4th) very different model as a off-shot is acceptable, but it doesn't become a priority, unless the main batch is already done. Or unless I suddenly feel an urge to paint the off-shot one.

    Note: this applies to painting only. I can build and prime (w/ spray can) several batches in one go.
     
    #6 Errhile, Dec 8, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2020
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  7. ev0k

    ev0k Well-Known Member

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    • "Optimal prime ensure a solid base"
    Everything starts with a nice, even coat of primer. A LOT of problems come from a poor undercoat. If your undercoat is good, your base colors will hold better, and further work (layering, dry brushing...) will be easier !
    • "Every victory starts with a good plan"
    Army painting rely much more on a coheerent color scheme than on advanced painting techniques. Be sure to decide your paint scheme before you start : you can paint test miniatures to figure out how your scheme will look like, but once you start painting the real steel, your scheme has to be clear to your mind, that mean learn to use a color wheel and get familiar with color theory as soon as possible, and pick 2 or 3 base colors that will be the backbone of your scheme.​
     
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  8. Errhile

    Errhile A traveller on the Silk Road

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    That's a very solid piece of advice!

    I was experimenting with my first army, QK, all those years ago, and therefore they do not have a coherent army-wide color scheme. Resulting in a somewhat rag-tag look (which I'm still fine with, but I admit some units look better than others!).
    Armies I've painted since then (CJC, HB, RTF) have coherent schemes, and look way better due to that.
    Well, since my other two armies (DBS and StarCo) are composed primarily of previously painted minis, they don't look that uniform again (StarCo, made mainly of CJC troops, works better in that aspect).
     
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  9. Oni

    Oni Well-Known Member

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    • "Beware of the prepping"
    Well, just plain and simple. A good prepping is one of the most important tasks before painting. Nothing is more annoying that a huge mold line on the mini when you already painted most of it. Sometimes you can fix it but other times you will have to give the mini a bath in alcohol and start over new. When that happens my motivation is not existant anymore.
    • "The paper is mightier than the brain"
    When you are like me and paint 2-3 armys really slowly and interchangeably you cant remember all the colours you have used. Write them down in a small book or something else. Your Army´s consistency will thank you.

    • "Don´t rush it to the end"
    By far my worst habid. If you are in the finishing steps dont rush it. If you already took 5-10 hours a model another 1-2 wont hurt. Don´t ruin you mini in the last steps.

    Not exactly only for painting but the other stuff was already said. Great thread :+1:.
     
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  10. archangeleong

    archangeleong Deadly Ninja Assassin

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    Preparation makes perfect

    I always research and plan colour schemes for armies so the whole force remains coherent. I also do this for individual models. I look at other minis, painting guides, artworks, photos, history, film and any other relevant source to draw inspiration. Doing this type of preparation and daydreaming through the week helps keep me motivated to see my painting projects through to completion when I have free time.

    Always thin your paint!

    I never apply paint straight from the pot. I always apply paint to a palette, add water to dilute it and apply many thin layers to the model. This is the only way to get smooth clean looking results. This is the most important rule for skillful miniature painting.

    Painting is the art of zen

    Take your time. Don’t rush. Plan. Learn from mistakes. Fix mistakes. Experiment. Repaint your failures. Take a break. Go back and fix it later. Grow from your accomplishments as well as failures. Enjoy the process of creation. Imagine something new. Pay homage to the past. Take pride. Encourage others. Learn from others also. Be patient. Dream. Find joy in the creative act. It’s the act of creating and overcoming the challenges you set for yourself that has the most value to your being and your soul.
     
    #10 archangeleong, Dec 8, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2020
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  11. Koin-Koin

    Koin-Koin Well-Known Member

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    Please repeat, don't limit yourself to what's not already been listed. Rephrase to reflect your own thinking.
     
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  12. Ugin

    Ugin Well-Known Member
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    • Roses are red, my incomes decline,
    • Make a chosen few shine,
    - You can put a lot of time and effort in only few models that are rather attractive, who stands out on the table. I think it is good for honing your own painting skills by intensely trying to exceed the previous level you've achieved.​
    • but don't leave the others dwine.
    - Unless you are a pure collector/painter, there could be some unpainted models that are rather less attractive(like several Jaguars, or Zonds). They tend to be large in numbers if you are a standard wargamer(or maybe not:stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:). I try not to leave these unattended, i.e. if I have finished painting a model which took several months, the next models to be painted will be those who are about to be buried in oblivion.​
     
  13. Hansolo

    Hansolo Well-Known Member
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    It's a hobby, not a chore

    At work, I need to ensure 100% quality. I don't want to go with the same mindset to my hobby.
    I cannot get the paint everywhere? Tired of painting every little detail? Let's just ensure it looks good from table. Painting should be fun after all.
    Still, not an excuse for half-assed paintjob or not developing myself. Just a reminder that sometimes "fine" is enough.
     
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  14. Axelius

    Axelius Not a Rogue AI

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    Anything is better than nothing

    Infinity has gorgeous minis and a ton of people who are fantastic at painting. This can be daunting, but know that any painted mini will always be better than an unpainted mini, and a uniformly painted army looks way better than a half-painted one.


    Good enough is good enough

    You will always be able to find more things to do on your models, ways to improve them. If you let it a single model can be an eternity project. Learn when things are good enough that you are satisfied. There will be other models to paint later, and since these models are metal they are easy to strip if you want to repaint them in the future.


    Arm's length rule

    Also known as "3 foot rule" or "1 meter rule". While you can take zoomed in pictures showing of every little detail and mistake on your minis, the cruel reality is that most of the time you'll see them standing on the tabletop, at roughly arm's length, prioritise learning how to get them looking good at that distance before you go for more advanced techniques.
     
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  15. chromedog

    chromedog Less than significant minion

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    Pretty much ^^ these.

    In addition to "Get it done.".

    "Never let perfection be the enemy of done."
     
  16. TheDiceAbide

    TheDiceAbide Thank you for your compliance.
    Warcor

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    "It'll get done... eventually"
     
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  17. ev0k

    ev0k Well-Known Member

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    Words of truth, my friend ! Those are some wise advices.
     
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  18. Tristan228

    Tristan228 Morlock trainer
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    I think any miniature painter got told this before, but for the sake of completeness I'll recite it (sorry to be the boring guy ;) )

    • From the inside to the outside: the the deeper in the miniature's geometry a part to be painted is located the earlier in the process it should be painted
    Whenever the access to a spot you want to paint on the miniature is narrowed or obstructed by other stuff paint this part first. Otherwise you'll risk ruining your previously painted parts. Usually you do the skin first, then proceed like you'd dress yourself. Unless you're Superman.
     
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  19. Dragonclaw

    Dragonclaw Well-Known Member

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    Getting paint on the model comes first, correcting mistakes later:
    Unfortunately I'm not blessed with a particular steady hand. TBH I'm very shakey. So I make many mistakes during painting. I make mistakes while correcting other mistakes. So correting every mistake immediately would take me literally forever. At first I try to cover as much of the model with paint as possible. In this phase I give a s*** on spilling paint on already painted parts of the model. After this is done, I sometimes repair bigger mistakes. Sometimes I proceed directly to the next layer of colors on the whole model, correcting mistake from the last layer on this step and so on. Only on the last highlights I try to concentrate on a neat finish.
    I have seen painting guides focusing on a single part of a model (like the face) from base paint to the last highlight before moving to the next part. That would be a complete impossible task for me.

    Washes don't ask, washes just forgive:

    I'm not very good at creating smooth color transitions via fancy advanced painting techniques and mixing a dozen color shades on the fly. As long as possible I make extensive use of my collection of washes and shades. I don't know when it was the last time, I didn't used at least a single shade on a model (or if this ever happened) Sometimes washes even allow to cover up some minor mistakes or at least smooth them out.
     
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  20. IcariumVNam

    IcariumVNam Well-Known Member

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    Preparation Is Key:
    No matter how much you want to start painting get the preparation right. My routine is:
    1) Use clippers to remove all tabs and large metal protrusions.
    2) Use a knife and sand paper to remove all mould lines.
    3) Brush all pieces with wire wool.
    4) Wash all pieces with hand soap and rinse.
    5) Let dry then glue together.
    This leaves me with smooth, clean models to work with.

    One by One:
    Personal preference but I only ever paint one model at a time. If I try to paint more I notice a drop in qualify. I am aware this is really inefficient in terms of both time and paint but given the small army size for Infinity it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make to ensure each model is painted to the best of my ability.

    Highlights and Shadows:
    Always push the contrast as much as you can. However, rather than use black and white to mix with the base colour I use Rhinox Hide (greatest colour ever made) for the shadows and a pale yellow (any brand) for the highlights. It prevents the original colour getting washed out. I also rarely use washes and instead glaze on the shadows until I reach our Rhinox Hide.
     
    #20 IcariumVNam, Dec 11, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2020
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