The Journey of a Miniatures Painter


The Journey of a Miniatures Painter


Every painter must eventually find their own way when it comes to miniatures, but there is a journey that all walk bringing them through fire and brimstone, blood and tears, to finally emerge into the green pastures of understanding.  This is their story.



Each fresh painter goes into the job thinking that they need no help from the rest of the world.  Of course they don’t, they took an art class in college; they even know color theory and worked extensively with acrylic printing inks.   Why would they ever need the advice of some paltry nerd that offered to teach them the difference between a wash and a shade?

Green Stuff Galore:


When all hope is lost, the seams aren’t straight, and the arms are on in the wrong direction there comes a false knight in shining armor.  A veritable chaos void is that from where Green Stuff emerged.  Fraught with peril and potential blobbiness the green stuff must be handled with care.  Too little and you have gaping holes, too much and you end up with little more than a shapeless mass;  beginners nearly always err on the side of the latter.  Tread with care, noob.

Thin your paints?  Why would you do that?:


We’ve all done it, it’s not a new mistake.  That being said we will all laugh you into next week when you inevitably don’t thin your paints enough and end up with a flat surface where a full model used to be.  Don’t fight it, simply revel in the fact that the next rookie who comes along will be stung by your laughter in turn. 

Frustration and an overwhelming sense of despair:


Eventually you will become frustrated, throw brushes and paint across the room, swear off painting for your lifetime, and possibly stomp on your models.  Why is the White always clumpy, why does this paint look like jelly and won’t be thinned, and why, why did you start this ridiculously frustrating hobby in the first place?  

Acceptance and Realization:  


If you’ve made it to this step in the journey it means that you have reached the end of your first model. You will no longer be a beginner and it only goes up from here.  You finally realized that you should not use a dry brush to paint eyes, and you must wait for a layer to dry before you start the next one.  So congratulations you have joined the ranks and now can paint without fear.  Go forth and present the world with your mediocre paint job and be proud.  The next one will be better I promise. 


About Martha Bartell