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The Sullen One 07-01-11 12:11 PM

The Misadventures of a Cack-Handed Painter
The Misadventures of a Cack-Handed Painter

Iíve just finished painting up my Chaos Space Marine army for a tournament being held in a couple of days time, and as my back and spine slowly recover from the punishment Iíve inflicted upon them over the last few weeks, it seemed as good a time as any to start my new painting log. Now Iím not a great painter, nor am I a good one, or even decent, average or mediocre. I am in fact a bad painter, a very bad painter. Not only do I lack a steady hand with which to paint (by which I mean itís impossible for me to keep my hand still), but also I have very little patience for any technique that requires extensive preparation or skill.

Highlighting of any sort is beyond me and I long ago gave up trying to pick out the edges of raised surfaces and the like. Nor do I entertain any hope of being able to pick out the smaller details of a model, such as the edges of Chaos Space Marine shoulder pads or all those little arrows they have pointing up and down, while every time I go over a model I invariably find little details that Iíve missed and I have to go back and pick them out all over again, or else I find that some of the basecoat is still showing through.

Now despite all this, I wouldnít say Iím the worst painter in the world, merely highly placed within the top ten. About the only things Iím any good at painting are Plague Marines (who are supposed to look that bad anyhow) and Orks, who for some reason have detail that is easier to pick out than is the case with Chaos Space Marines. Anyhow my hope with this painting log, besides somehow becoming a better painter, is to write about my incompetent attempts at painting in a way that I hope is vaguely entertaining, and in that spirit here is my first offering, some pictures of my recently completed Chaos Space Marines:






torealis 07-01-11 02:51 PM

Your honesty is amusingly refreshing...

Its nice to see someone asking for help who really needs it.

My main piece of advice isnt about painting, but modelling. Please, please remove your mould lines. Your models will look the better for it. Also, think more about the posing (the top pic looks like it has a guy slipping on a banana skin, and the second has a guy dolling out high-fives...)

On the painting side, a shakey hand is a tough thing to get over. You've got a good start with a simple scheme, but the one thing you could do right away is to ensure a nice even coat. Either look for a scheme you can do with foundation paints, or just do multiple, washed down coats. Again, I'm mainly looking at the Khorne dudes' red for this...

Hope that helps...

greenee22 07-01-11 03:06 PM

highlighting is very easy using washes that would make anything look good (almost anything)

good start though:victory:

Dave T Hobbit 07-01-11 04:31 PM

Much respect for admitting to not painting well. However, I would not place you in the 10 worst painters; I have seen much worse work in just the tournaments I have attended locally.

For example, your choice of colours for each model is good; nothing leaps out of a photograph and attempts to melt my retinas. The bases are also solid game level work. So you have a reasonable aesthetic sense, which your limitation is likely to be lack of practice rather than talent.

Depending on which point on you body the shake starts you could try bracing to reduce the shake. For instance if you wobble from the shoulder then painting with both elbows pressed loosely to your sides removes the shake; for detailed work you can even brace the heel of your painting hand on the heel of the hand holding the miniature, which will deaden the effect of twitches in almost all of your body.

Another possibility is training your hand to your eye by drawing lines at different angles on a piece of paper with a ruler and pen then trying to paint along them starting at one end or the other; this will be easier than following on a model but will help you to practice moving smoothly. It can also help understand how and when your brush drifts or jerks off the line you want to follow; for example, if you always drift to the left on vertical lines but keep to horizontal lines starting from the right then you can rotate the model to make vertical detail horizontal.

arumichic 07-01-11 10:31 PM

Dave gave out some solid advice for shakey hands though I do understand that it's hard to change that quite fast. It's a lot of practice even for me, though I have a pretty steady hand.

I do say thin down your paints a lot, like 1:1 with either water or flow improver and use a couple of layers since it seems that there's a lot of thick paint here and there. It will help your models a lot and even with a shakey hand, with thinned out paint, you will probably have a bit of an easier time controlling how much paint you put where. The natural layers will also give you a bit of shading and highlighting. Washes will also help you in this department.

Overall, you're doing pretty well with shakey hands. :)

The Sullen One 07-02-11 04:39 PM

First off, thanks to all for the comments. Mould lines are a bad habit of mine, as I tend to notice them only after I've undercoated the models, so I'll have to try and get used to filing off the lines. Also, thanks to Dave for his advice about reducing the shaking, I'll give it a try and let you know how it turns out.

Anyway the next project will be my long-suffering VBCW units that have spent months sitting on my desk, grinding their little miniature metal teeth in frustration as squad after squad of Orks and Chaos Space Marines have shoved them out of the brushes way. Well no more, now is their time and when their finished they'll crack some heads belonging to those Blundering Ugly Frakwits (BUF). Here's the first WIP unit, Cecilia Denbigh-Hartford:


Dave T Hobbit 07-03-11 08:39 AM

Looking like a good start.

The jacket and skirt are tidily separated

The Sullen One 07-03-11 08:53 PM


Originally Posted by Dave T Hobbit (Post 1017368)
Looking like a good start.

The jacket and skirt are tidily separated

Cheers mate, I tried painting with my elbows against my body, but it proved to be too uncomfortable to paint that way. Thanks for the suggestion though.

TheReverend 07-03-11 09:25 PM

As some of the other's touched on, try using the GW washes, they make everything look 50 times better :) Just try a universal coat of Devlen Mud of Gryphon Speia, this'll tie the whole mini together and provide some shading which will pick out all those details.

Keep it up :)


Kobrakai 07-03-11 09:40 PM

The model above is a great starting point. With a little bit of citadel washes (to begin with) and a few extra colours you can turn that model into a real nice peice.

I'd recommend getting some Ogryn Flesh wash, then a Thraka Green and a Asurmen blue for the respective colours. Put a small amount on first and see how it shades the colours respectively. If it needs a bit more, add a bit more to add some more depth.

When it comes to painting the face, once it's washed and dry, the easiest place to start is paint with the original colour these main areas:

- Chin
- Cheekbone
- Bridge of the nose
- Forehead

If you highlight these areas first it'll give you great scope to then if your feeling adventurous, add a lighter shade to the mix and then hit the very tips of those edges (edge of chin, end of nose etc.) That will help the skin tones plenty.

With regards to the cloaks, remember to leave the shaded colour in the recesses, and then simply add the base colour on the raised area. It's a simple one step shaded technique. Then once thats done, you can add a bit lighter areas to the very highest areas.

I'm hoping these tips helped, if you get stuck get to where your stuck, take a photo and post up, i'm sure we can help you with some of the finer details.

Good luck with it, we are all here to help :)

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