Painting is NOT EASY

Ok I gotta get this off my chest. This is going to be a rant, and its gonna be unpleasant but you know what? I need to say something about this.

You have been warned!
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Ok, here it goes. I hate painting these blasted minis. Yea that’s right, I don’t enjoy it. In fact the only reason I am doing it is because I like the end result, the things that actually LOOK like something that is alive rather then a metal figure. But the process, the painting itself, frustrates me. Why you may ask? Because I am a perfectionist. Sure, I tell my friend Dan who is painting that he shouldn’t worry about making mistakes, but he is a much better painter then me straight out the gate. If you compare his Warpwolf to my Mauler you will see a HUGE difference in skill level. That frustrates me. Why? He is so blasted GOOD at it with no practice! And I have had a bit of practice and I STILL am bad by comparison! So I have been asking a variety of people for suggestions (and no I am not gonna name names) and for the most part they have been helpful, save for one thing.

Nearly every one of em acts like its so damn easy to paint. Well, for them, IT IS. They all have had loads of practice and whatnot doing this. Me, I got a grand total of 15 models under my belt. An Orc Warboss from WHFB (you can see it in the last pictures I took, and it took me 4 hours), the KSB, 2 Impalers, my Mauler, and now my Champions. That’s it. That’s ALL. Sure, I watched the P3 painting DVD and whatnot, and while I grasp things at a conceptual level I do not have the skills or practice to put them into use. Drybrushing, which is supposedly really easy to do, I fail at. Miserably I might add. When I tried it I did nothing more then repaint things in the color. I thought I had gotten most of the paint off the brush, but apparently I did not.

Highlighting? I get the concept, again. Just paint the raised areas. But then I run into the problem of How far down? How much paint? What color? How on earth do I tell what is a raise area of a relatively flat surface?! Again, when I tried I did nothing more then repaint everything (on my KSB which HAS obvious raised areas) and then on the skin of my mauler. I have issues telling what’s raise on something so blasted small.

It also doesn’t help that I am really clumsy. Just ask someone who knows me sometime. I trip over my own damn feet just walking sometimes. Its crazy. Oh and never ask me to go skating. I refuse to do that anymore after the last time where me, the wall, and the floor because BEST FRIENDS FOREVER!

So all you painters out there who are excellent, I applaud you. You are damn good at what you do. But for people like me, I am just not that great. I mean the Mauler is my best work to date, and it still is miles behind Dan’s Warpwolf. In fact, here I will put them up side by side just so you can see what I am talking about:

Dans Warpwolf and My Mauler

See? I have no idea how he did it, and when I asked him all he could tell me was “think about points of light.” Am I angry at Dan? No, why should I be? He understands what he is doing because he has that mindset and is just an artsy guy (he also is in school for graphic design). I am angry at myself for not getting what apparently SHOULD be so damn easy. I am not a stupid person but damnit when it comes to this I feel like a real idiot! And when I ask people for help they make me feel even stupider sometimes as they act like doing some of this stuff is the easiest thing in the world and I have no excuse for not being able to do it. Sorry guys. Maybe I am just that stupid, who knows?

So for all the people who have helped me and gave me tips I do thank you. I really honestly do. I would not have gotten to where I am NOW without the help. But I am done asking for help I think. I am sick of being made to feel like an idiot afterwards (and I know its unintentional guys, so don’t feel bad). I really am. Now I am gonna go back to painting things MY WAY. It may not have highlights, or drybrushing, or anything fancy like that. But at least I like the look of em. I feel slightly better now.

Oh and this IS NOT A REQUEST FOR HELP! I want NO MORE Help. All that is happening is I am getting 9 different ways to do something, getting myself more confused and thus MORE Frustrated.

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8 thoughts on “Painting is NOT EASY

  1. You know, my paint jobs didn’t start getting better until I quit caring what they looked like. I started by painting Reaper minis for a couple of D&D games I was in and my motto was “make them look as good as the D&D minis do”. D&D minis look like ass and I had very deliberately set the bar low. I painted for the process, not the end result. Painting was a very relaxing outlet for me after my daughter died.

    I hope you find a solution that makes you happy.

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  2. Jamie of Earth 2

    I feel your pain.

    A lot of what you have said really resonates with how I am feeling with my army as well. So much of what appears to be “easy” or “common sense” when it comes to lighting effects or other tips on shading and highlighting go right over my head. Using the DVD and practice is what i am doing also, and attending as many painting days at our FLGS as possible to try and pick up what I can.

    Personally I think your stuff looks really good, and I feel your skills are way above mine, so don’t despair and keep at it, we’ll all get there at some point I imagine.

    Best of luck,

    Jamie

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  3. I would suggest you find a good painter and let him have a look over your shoulder when you paint. His tips will be tailored to current situation and he can help you while you are painting (with advice).

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  4. alexsmith175

    “Now I am gonna go back to painting things MY WAY. ”

    This is what you need to do!

    Get things painted and as you do, getting more practise, you will get better. Read painting articles and get advice but if it isn’t working for you try something else.

    I know you have said you don’t want advice but I just want to share something that an old friend, and former ‘eavy metal painter, told me.

    Basicaly he said to concentrate on neatness above all else. once you have that down you can look at expanding into different techniques.

    Hope that helps, but if it doesn’t just ignore me.

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  5. What Von and Felix said. Just keep doing what your doing. With practice (I’ve painted thousands of minis!) you’ll find techniques that suit you.

    The Trolls look great – keep it up. A fully painted force will look awesome!

    Owen

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  6. Nearly every one of em acts like its so damn easy to paint. Well, for them, IT IS. They all have had loads of practice and whatnot doing this.

    That’s the only reason I find it easy: I’ve been doing it a year for every model you’ve painted so far. Believe me when I say that practice is everything.

    Not a peep of advice about technique will be forthcoming. That is all.

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