Modelling

Painting advice

Posted by Bessiere on 22 Mar 2022, 17:04

This post was created to address the issues I have found in my own painting. Nothing will wake you up faster to mistakes or more often overlooked items I failed to paint than close up photographs. I am very guilty of deluding myself as to the "finished" state of figures while in reality some components are left undone. Painting units of 36 figures becomes a chore past a point and I believe my mind fills in gaps that my brush missed.

I welcome any and all advice to address these issues. I began painting to build armies to fight in war games while hoping to maintain a certain standard. Pictures don't lie and I am very dissatisfied with my failure to meet that criteria. Having built those armies I am ready to slow down and try to up my painting skills. Here then are the issues I have noticed.
#1; failure to paint faces beyond a basic flesh tone.
#2: not using blacklining nearly enough, especially next to where metallic paint is applied.
#3: failing to paint areas like hair, sword hilts, buttons, turnback emblems etc.
#4: not using highlighting enough.
#5: failing to use drybrushing when it could be beneficial (relates to #4). My earliest attempts at drybrush often resulted in removing paint, probably from using too stiff a brush.

I am not satisfied with washes, especially those with oil or whatever is in it that leaves a shiny surface. I don't want shiny faces but have a difficult time adding any depth without resorting to them. I'm tending towards doing faces in a dark tone then adding highlights to reveal form which is better but perhaps not the best way.

There are so many excellent painters here using a variety of styles I am constantly amazed and impressed by the work you show. Any improvements I have made has been thanks to your help. Please be lavish with criticism or share your own disappointments with your own work if you prefer. All comments welcome.
Cheers,
Bessiere
Bessiere  United States of America
 
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Posted by Bluefalchion on 22 Mar 2022, 18:11

I think a painter needs to be realistic about what that painter is trying to accomplish. Masters such as Udo Spreng or syh have informed us that they take 40 hours or more on one figure. Their results are so good as to defy belief, but if the goal is to paint whole armies the standard will need to be adjusted.

Does it look good enough from about six feet away? Probably good enough for a wargaming table top.
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Bluefalchion  United States of America
 
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Posted by Bessiere on 22 Mar 2022, 20:16

I'm good on the 6 foot rule but would like them to pass closer inspection. I'm happy with my Polish lancers but despaired of trying to paint the eagle monogram on the back of the shabraque - I just left it off. Also large areas of gold like on the czapka aren't delineated like they could be. I can't find a wash or painting method to bring out those details. Thanks for the reply!

Eta: those lancers are posted here - viewtopic.php?f=11&t=25572&p=282619#p282619
Bessiere  United States of America
 
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Posted by raph86 on 22 Mar 2022, 21:01

Hello,
I took back the brushes at the end of 2019 after more than 20 years without touching the models and my first passion was the WW2 tanks in 1/35th.

I discovered a multitude of paintbrushes that I didn't have when I was young like Vallejo, Citadel among others.

I quickly progressed thanks to the criticisms on a French forum by exposing my small soldiers like you by accepting to receive criticisms without ever being offended and I received some.

I especially learned and understood that I don't dilute my paint enough before applying it on the miniatures.

First, I clean my miniatures with essences F, then I apply a white undercoat from Vallejo with an airbrush in order to have an even and thin undercoat.

I use some citadel contrast paints which for some shades like the flesh color that works miracles with very little effort.

I also discovered the washes still from citadel like the agraxearthshade which is by far the best wash I've used.

I also use dry brushing with the base colors lightened with blance or dry from citadel as for the skin color areas to bring out the details.

For the moment it works pretty well at 1/72 because the surfaces are small and except for the close-up photos, it is often difficult to see a mistake.

If I ever go back to 1/35 or 1/32 for the miniatures I will certainly have to review my painting style :oops: .

Finally, there is the SHY alien who shows us a true masterpiece with each figure presented :yeah: , which I personally will probably never get close to.

Not being bilingual, I hope you will understand my text with the online translator

Sincerely Raphaël.

PS: your figures should arrive soon at my place ;-) .

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
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raph86  France
 
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Posted by Bluefalchion on 22 Mar 2022, 21:14

Bessiere wrote:I'm good on the 6 foot rule but would like them to pass closer inspection. I'm happy with my Polish lancers but despaired of trying to paint the eagle monogram on the back of the shabraque - I just left it off. Also large areas of gold like on the czapka aren't delineated like they could be. I can't find a wash or painting method to bring out those details. Thanks for the reply!

Eta: those lancers are posted here - viewtopic.php?f=11&t=25572&p=282619#p282619


Those Polish Lancers look great! For the gold in the czapka I like to paint the emblem with a mixture of bronze and dark brown, then dry brush with gold so only the raised areas get the lighter and brighter color, while the recessed areas have a darker, yet related, color.
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Bluefalchion  United States of America
 
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Posted by Bessiere on 22 Mar 2022, 21:14

Thank you very much Raph. You are correct about thinning the paint sufficiently to flow smoothly from the brush, that took me quite a while to learn. I like vallejo but I find the Ivory white dries very quickly and tends to get lumpy and shows up easily. Agrax earthshade is great for brown horses and Nuln oil for black horses. I have a few citadel contrast paints I haven't had much use for yet. Do you use those or are there specific colors you find useful? Very pricey paints but always worth a bit more if you get what you want and need. I can't seem to manage a wet palette, maybe I'm missing the basics of how to use one. I'm really looking forward to painting those cuirassier casualties; what a nice break from doing hundreds of standard poses that will be!
Cheers,
Bessiere
Bessiere  United States of America
 
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Posted by Bessiere on 22 Mar 2022, 21:16

Aha! Thank you for that tip. I use vallejo bronze a lot but can't seem to get any highlights, gold doesn't show up and white looks wrong. Vallejo gold is very thin, is that the gold paint you use?
Cheers,
Bessiere
Bessiere  United States of America
 
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Posted by santifernandez on 23 Mar 2022, 19:30

From my experience as a painter I can say that on a smaller scale you have to paint or try to create fewer details, it is not the same to paint a 54mm or a 75mm than a group of 15 figures at 1/72.
To paint 1/72 except if you are a genius with a couple of lights and a wash as shadows is enough.
I find it a very interesting thread, greetings.
Santi.
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santifernandez  Spain
 
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Posted by Bessiere on 23 Mar 2022, 19:56

If I didn't see the work of geniuses here I probably wouldn't be wanting to up my skills as much but once you see what is possible one begins to wonder "how close could I get to doing that?". For game pieces my work in 1/72 is fine but it would be nice to do some special figures to a much higher quality. I totally get what you're saying as scale determines everything. I spent 30 years engraving wearing magnifiers with my face stuck about 6 inches from my work so perhaps it's just a hard habit to break. Oddly enough I haven't worn those optivisors until I tried painting eyes on a 1/32 figure of Murat. Thanks Santi, I think your work is magnificent.
Bessiere  United States of America
 
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Posted by blacksmith on 24 Mar 2022, 00:21

I think your painted miniaturers are above the tabletop standard. They are actually quite good for any gaming table.
For gold I normally wash it with chestnut ink or flesh wash and then highlight with a mix of gold and silver.
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blacksmith  Spain
 
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Posted by Bessiere on 24 Mar 2022, 03:05

Thank you, I've never tried those combinations. I will now though.
Bessiere  United States of America
 
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Posted by Bluefalchion on 24 Mar 2022, 06:05

Bessiere wrote:Aha! Thank you for that tip. I use vallejo bronze a lot but can't seem to get any highlights, gold doesn't show up and white looks wrong. Vallejo gold is very thin, is that the gold paint you use?
Cheers,
Bessiere


Yes I use almost all Vallejo acrylics for everything, although I am green with envy towards the metal effects some others have achieved and shown us using other products for metallics.

Sometimes I mix the Vallejo Gold with non-metallic Gold Yellow creating a mixture that is a bit lighter and a bit more substantial.
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Bluefalchion  United States of America
 
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Posted by Emperor on 24 Mar 2022, 20:35

I was once talking with president of modellar association in my country...He has built a diorama for exibition and he said to me that he paints different for competition and for museum exibitions...When it comes for museum exibition he said it is only important that figures are painted clean you don-t need to work on details that will cause problems...I looked on diorama and I noticed on Turkish cavalry he didn-t painted ornamnets...So I thought how much I had problems with trying to paint perfectly...In the end I realised I like the feeling of concentration simmilar to meditation...I like it how painting relaxes me...Since my hand are shaking I made tecnique to put both of my palms on table, since shaking comes from upper level of hands...So I paint to enjoy, no washes, no drybrushes... One inspiration was for me when I visited Bratislava in 2008 I bought a bunch of knights on square from some nice girl...I look at those figures they were no dry brush or washes and they are nice figures and I realised I want to paint it simple... I talked with one friend from forum and I said to him I painted a Italeri tower in 1 35 and a Zvezda Trebuche...Tower is nice painted, but I think Trebuche is not...He suggested me to post pictures but I stopped posting since photobucket is out of use for me...For short I like painting because of painting and feeling of relaxation and when I look at figures I enjoy them...
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Posted by Howlin on 31 Mar 2022, 06:13

Your french army really looks nice and clean and well done. All the details are seen, and its bright enough to be seen without looking too color intense or cartoony. there is evidence of shading, but does not look dirty, so it has a real nice war game aesthetic. I would be super pleased if mine looked as good.

I guess I need to find more of these super painters... what does a 40hr paint job on a mini look like? wow.
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Howlin  United States of America
 
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Posted by T. Dürrschmidt on 08 Apr 2022, 18:06

For me the classic wargame style still works perfect on 1/72 miniatures. I always use black primed figures and I mostly do three layers of colors, sometimes four of five. working from dark to light. I thin down my colors a bit with water. Don´t light up your colors with pure white...it mostly looks "chalky". Use a beige tone instead.
I try to paint every small detail on my figures. Sometimes even teeth and eyes or a red nose, if this fits for the figure. But mostly not. The face is the most important part of the figure. It needs the most attention. Painting boots in three or four shades is not necessary in my eyes. I mostly use dry brushing in a sandy tone for dirt effects. Inks are a very effective way to get shading effects, but I only used them thinned down.
For metal effects I use liquid bronze. The metal effect is great.

When I paint a unit of German WW2 soldiers, I use different tones of field grey or different camo tones. most units are too similar in color. Uniforms often faded in field use.

I always try to get a good compromise of quality and quantity. Painting 10 hours on a small figure makes no sense for me, when I try to build a diorama with 50 figures. I need about one hour for a 1/72 or 28mm foot figure.
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T. Dürrschmidt  Germany
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Posted by tullo on 29 Apr 2022, 16:19

hello
Try painting the colours thinly as exaggerated "candy colours" and then first use zero oil as a wash,
let it dry for a few hours and then lightly touch it up.
greetings
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tullo  Germany
 
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