A few weeks ago, I decided to make a real effort to get better at painting my miniatures. I posted about how I’d found a painting tutorial series that I liked and how I was copying the technique step-by-step on my Warhammer Fantasy High Elves. I really enjoyed the process, didn’t find it time consuming or technical and above all was really pleased with the results.
Well I’ve not painted anything for a while for a variety of reasons but a couple of days ago I knuckled down and put paint to brush again as I started work on my Impact! Miniatures Valkyrie Blood Bowl team. The valkyries are a team of female fantasy football players that can be used as either Norse or Amazon on the pitch. I need to paint about 18 miniatures in total to be able to get both teams ready for the pitch.
Blue and white are traditional Norse team colours and with a few embellishments would work well as a well dressed Amazon team. A quick image search online confirmed that these miniatures had been done in these colours by many others and they looked good, so I picked a few images to use as a guide. The other benefit of this scheme is that I could use the same step-by-step process that I’d learnt and used on for my High Elves.
I’ve spent a few hours applying the base coat to 4 of the players and 1 of the model that I will use as my snow troll / yeti. The first thing that I have noticed is how well I think they are turning out! I had always thought that my painting was limited by my eyesight, by brush control and patience; physical/mental limitations. It turns out though that a large part of my poor painting is colour selection and knowing how to build up from base coat to the final colour.
Using the same tutorial on an inferior model is still giving me good results. I can paint to a pretty good level, I just don’t know how to paint. Now this may seem obvious to most, especially now I have pointed it out, but it is a little bit of a revelation to me. I can paint. It’s odd because I’d always though that the more I painted the better I would get. This is partially true and looking back at the teams that I have done recently I can see progress, but the end results are generally the same. The High Elves are a significant step above anything that I have done before. Too great a step up to be associated with brush control. The improvement comes from the use of colour, when to apply washes, building up the highlight layers, picking details out carefully.
I think this represents a break through in the quality of my painting output. If I put in more effort upfront to determine my colours and find tutorials that I like (preferably the GirlPainter ones as I like the style) I can follow those instructions line-by-line knowing that I will get good results.
It means that I will never have the most unusual teams but they will all be painted to a higher standard than I would have thought possible a few weeks ago and that makes me happy 🙂