How To Become A Better Miniature Painter Sep18

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How To Become A Better Miniature Painter

This article looks at small things you can do to improve as a miniature painting beyond the simply practicing. Of course practice makes perfect but there are other things you can do which will help improve your painting overnight. If you’re not doing these things then you really should be if you’re serious about your painting.

Use A Naturalight Lamp

I cannot stress enough how important it is to paint under a lamp, especially a Naturalight lamp. Have you ever painted a model that looks great to the eye, then taken a photo of it and noticed you’ve missed little details? This is because the eye cannot always pick up the darker areas of a miniature in natural light which is why I think it’s very important to use a lamp so you can clearly see all the little details of your miniature. Also make sure you use a white Naturalight lamp as regular bulbs can have a yellow or blue hue which can throw off the eye a little. I personally use this Naturalight 5-inch Magnifying Lamp but any Naturalight lamp will do. Once you start painting with a lamp you’ll quickly not want to paint without one.

Look After Those Brushes

They say a bad workman blames his tools and to a degree this may be true but you’ll never paint a great looking miniatures with badly looked after brushes. I recently wrote an article about how to look after your brushes which is worth a read.

Dilute/Thin Your Paints

When we start out in miniature painter we all seem to want to apply thick coats to get a coverage on our models as quickly as possible. We soon realise that we end up losing detail and have a very poor looking model. You’ll get a much smoother finish without losing details if you thin your paints (only a little) and apply several coats rather than one thick coat of paint. Patience is key here as you may need two or three coats or sometimes even more to get the finish you desire but the results will be worth it. I recommend using an Acrylic thinner medium rather than water to thin your paints too, especially with metallics as water will cause the pigments to separate in the paint.

Use A Palette

As you should be thinning your paints then you should also be using a palette. It’s not good for your brushes to be dipped into paint pots so I tend to use an old brush to put paint onto a palette ready to be mixed with thinner or with another colour. You could simply use a plastic Ice Cream container lid or margarine lid to use as a palette. I use a plastic GW container from one of their finecast boxes. You can also use what is known as a wet palette. This is something I will talk about in more detail in the future.

Paint At The Right Time

This one may be a bit obvious but try to paint when you feel awake so you can concentrate easily. I have tried to paint late at night when I’ve been feeling tired and the results are not satisfactory.

These are simple little things you can do to improve your painting experience which will also slightly improve your painting skills. If you have any other tips that you wish to share then please leave them in the comments below.

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