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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tavern Talk - Painting; Beginners and Beyond

For Tavern Talk, Kuffy asked:

A new starter to the hobby has approached you, their army has been selected (insert your own preference if needs be) and rather than ask you questions about how to game or army composition they instead ask you about painting.  Your reply is....

Basically, what tips would you give to a new starter in the hobby.  Everything from paints, to basing.  What are your top tips?  

There's a ton of great practical advice that one could give a new painter.  You should always clean your brushes.  Don't prime when it's humid.  Water down your paints.  Don't wear your good clothes while painting.  Even someone who has only been painting for a few months could drown a new painter in a flood of tips, tricks, and techniques.  If I had to give only one piece of advice, however, it would boil down to four simple words.

You will get better.

The first models you paint might be poor, or they might be great, but they won't be as good as the models you paint six months from now if you practice.   Paint a little every day, even if just for a few minutes, and watch as your skills slowly but surely improve.  It might be that your learn new skills and techniques, or that you gain the painting "muscle memory" that you'll hear about, but it all comes down to the fact that your painting will get better and better as time goes on.

It might not seem like you're getting better sometimes, and you may plateau for a bit, but then you'll suddenly see great improvement.  Sometimes you'll have "Ah Ha!" moments or big jumps in your skill, and other times you'll make steady progress.

So don't give up.  Keep on painting, and you will get better.

Oh, and try out a wet palette sometime.  Those are neat.


  1. I've never heard not to prime while it's humid, does it mess with the application of the paint? And for the rest, great advice, and definitely true. Everyone will get better with practice, and can produce really nice results.

  2. You can get "fuzzy" primer on your models when it's really humid...it just doesn't turn out well sometimes, kind of like when you varnish in humidity.

  3. Good to know. It's been extremely humid here recently but I haven't seen any of this fuzziness popping up on my recently primed models thankfully :)

    I've actually never used varnish either. Don't like the look most give when photographed. D'oh!