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5 Basic Painting Techniques for the Hobbyist

By Edited Oct 27, 2013 0 1

When I first picked up miniature painting as a hobby, my understanding about it was that it would be similar to painting a wall. When I did read some general articles about painting miniatures, it just informs me of what I already knew about painting. It's like painting a wall-you need a primer and a few coats of paint and that's it. It was after a while, after practicing and picking up tips from other hobbyist that I understood what basic techniques are needed to be specially mentioned when painting miniatures.

Priming is to apply a coat of paint to allow better adhesion of the the base coat paint. It also prevents the paint to be easily chipped away when being handled accidentally. Primers mostly comes in spray cans. An example is the Tamiya primer that comes in gray color.

Base coating
The first layer of color that you apply onto the miniature is called the base coat. The base coat is usually applied between 2 to 3 layers of paint.

Dry brushing
Dry brushing is a method to highlight the raised surfaces of a miniature figure by applying a very small amount of paint to your flat brush and then dragging the brush across the grain of the texture. For example if a miniature figure has a clothing which drapes towards the ground, your dry brushing should move perpendicular to the direction of the drapery.

Washes are the traditional terminology of adding diluted paint onto small areas to shade or emphasize subtle details and make it more pronounced. We add washes to deep recesses, or to details that will be lost once the base coat and blending are done on a miniature. For miniature figures you normally apply dark to black washes to trouser seams, folds, belt and strap edges etc...

The purpose of sealers is to protect the paint layer against natural elements and allows them to last longer. Sealers in general art and craft work are three types -mat, satin and gloss. When we talk about miniatures we only deal with mat and gloss sealers. Usually you would use only mat sealers for your miniatures unless you need glassy effects. Understanding which one to use and how to apply it correctly would definitely make your finishing look good.

These are the 5 basic painting techniques that every painter need to understand when they start painting. If you need a guide to painting miniatures and more, please visit my site at http://2paintminiatures.com.



Aug 28, 2009 2:50am
I have friends who paint miniatures for Dungeons and Dragons, and they are simply fantastic. I'm not sure I have a steady enough hand, but thanks for the article - very informative!
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