Hello! Here are some general tips and advice to help you improve the quality of your miniature paintings.
Note: There are likely to be typos or things I miss in my first publication. Please let me know if you spot any that you feel would be helpful to the guide.
1 – How to effectively use brushes and tools
1: Paint – This brush will simply paint on a model. It will not do anything special.
2: Wash- This brush can be used to paint the lower parts of the miniature. Cracks and dents are the most important areas.
3: Dry Brush – This brush is only for painting the highest areas on the miniature surface. It’s great for painting sharp edges such as weapons and armour. To make your edges pop, you can also add extra highlights to your miniature.
4: The Airbrush – This is very similar to a spray paint. It is softer and adds paint using an air/pressure effect.
5: Stipple- This is a detail/noise tool that adds tiny dots to the surface of your miniature. It has many uses, but I use it mostly to add random noise to miniatures.
6: Decals- These are fancy stickers you can use to add detail to your miniature.
Save system – ensure you save! It is important to get into the habit of saving. You won’t regret it if you lose valuable work. Make a copy of the miniature you are painting so that you can explore other ideas.
Opacity – This is how strong your brush is for painting. You can slide it up and down to get a lighter or darker tone. This is great for mixing colours. You can also use opacity in order to add certain levels to an existing color.
Brush palette – There are tons of brushes out there, but make your own! You should also try them all out and see what they can do to your miniatures.
2 – Additional hotkeys and keybinds
These are some extra keybinds that might be useful for you. They will speed up the process of painting and make it more enjoyable.
Go back – CTRL + Z
Go back – CTRL + Y
Brush hardness Shift +(up) and Shift — (down)
Shift: Mask painting
Toggle UI – TAB
The camera and movement controls are all very standard and traditional. However, I would recommend that you adjust your bindings if you find them odd.
3 – Planning for a miniature painting
It is important to think about and plan for a miniaturized project before you begin. These questions are simple but will help you get started.
1 – What general theme am I going for
2 – What are the main colors of your miniature’s?
3 – Where’s the miniature’s focal point?
It is important to obtain references if you really want a good start.
You can search the internet for images of characters, colors, and other inspiration. This is great for anyone who has only one monitor.
Another way to get started is to just lay down some basic colours on your model. You can then work on detail later. The context of your painting is important. Make sure you use believable colours. This makes it easier for viewers to see and understand your work.
4 – Artistic direction & theory
Once you have outlined your ideas, it’s important to outline your exact colours and shapes.
Colour theory – Using good colour theory to create miniatures will make it look 10x better. Our eyes are used to seeing colours together in the real life. Think about how your colours will look together when you paint. Also, consider what colours are best matched together. One example of this is Christmas. Reds, greens, whites are the main colors used in christmas. They all blend well together. To create a good set, you can use a colour wheel website or a colour palette generator site.
Shape theory – When you paint, think about the shape already existing. Does it have armor? To enhance other shapes, you might use a lot hard edges. This will make your model more convincing. You can also use shapes and patterns to add extra effect to the miniatures, such as adding edge highlights or making the damage look more serious.
5 – Artistic Tips
These are just a few tips to help you improve your miniature painting process. It’s my personal advice so you may disagree but it’s how i approach painting in Moonbreaker
1 – Start by working on the model in phases. You can start with a base layer and move onto a secondary colour pass. Then, you might start your first detail passover. Consider splitting up your ideas to make the miniature easier.
2 – Do not get too focused on a single area. It could cause you to lose sight of the whole model.
3 – Refer to other examples to try to duplicate the techniques. This could be adding colour variation to your miniature or brush strokes that add more effect.
4 – Start by focusing on the largest parts first. This will give a clear view of the rest. I would recommend that you start in the torso/upper abdomen area.
There are many more ways to approach it, but these are the ones I have in mind.
6 – Add shadows, gradients, and highlighting
This is the part I wanted to make because it was so crucial to the overall outcome of your miniature.
Highlights – Adding detail to the edges and brighter colours around the edges can give your miniatures an extra level of beauty. Instead of being flat, they will have sharper edges that better define the overall shape. The dry brush is a great choice for this task.
Gradients: You can add gradient miniatures to your miniatures. This could be like making the corners darker or the middle more bright. This will help give it a more 3D shape. This idea can be used to great effect with the opacity slider.
Shadows – Darkening areas that are obscured or receive less direct light will require shadows. Make sure to add some shadows where you think it will most impact. While the models have some shadow already baked into them, adding more shadow makes them stand out. For best results, use the wash brush with opacity.
7 – Extra tips
These are just a few tips that aren’t about the actual painting process.
1 – interact and use the discord to communicate with other players. If you want some results, speak with others about what you are doing and get feedback.
2 – Take breaks! These models can take a while to complete in high-quality detail and quality. Be sure to take breaks to recharge your creativity. You will also benefit from taking breaks to prevent burnout.
3 – Practice your skills. The more that you practice it, the better you will be at painting miniatures. This contradicts what I said above, but it is possible to find a good balance.
4 – If your goal is to improve your skills, you can check out videos or websites that show how to do this. This could be traditional arts or 3D art.
5 – Although it’s obvious, try not to be jealous or feel as though you’re making small mistakes. Learn from others who have different skills.
8 – Closing words
I hope these tips will help you improve your miniature painting skills! It’s worth giving it a thumbs down, a favourite, or even an award if you like it. This will help others to see it. I would love to hear from you if there is anything missing or if you have any ideas. You can see some of my 3D art on steam if you’re interested to see what I’ve learned along my art journey!
Many thanks for reading! We look forward to seeing all the miniature paintings!
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