Painting Jam 19 - FAQ

by Roman aka jar

posted by roman, jarhead, kong

Another Painting Jam rolling in - excusing myself that such things take a while to be done and sorted out. Many questions i do get via Mail like always and i just can't answer them all. I try my best to do some here now...


Jean-Francois asks via mail:

"Hey, dont know if you got time lately to have a look back at my Orcs for advice on the warpaints, just figured i'd give you a straight link to pictures of what i got painted so far

Click!   "

My answer:

Don't mind if the skin colour of your unit isn't always the same - your thought that every part of the unit is unique, also in his skin colour will make the unit looking way more alive in the end. Some little overall tips i try to give before it comes to Warpaint:

  • Sure it goes faster for gaming models using the same brownish tone everywhere, some changes here can make the difference. Just hit your basic colour (i guess Bleached Bone) with some difference, mix in a tiny drop of dark brown or a tip of blue or red or whatever you like. This makes the unit even more looking more like the savages they are. Then hit your groundwork with a wash like you did, you can also bring in difference here by just mixing in, for example a dark brown into your cryphone sepia or devlan mud. Just to make different material look like different material.
  • Warpaint: Ain't easy on this skintone as it is very, very dark. So a dark colour would not come out proberly. If you want your Warpaint on your orcs pop out then i would recommand using a bright red, as this is the complemantary contrast to the colour green - this will stand out like here on TankaWanka! Remember that if you plan to use blood this could bring a bit confusion, otherwise you also could do a Warpaint with blood. As your skin is so dark i guess you have no other chance to use a bright and strong colour tone, like ice blue or ultramarine blue, yellow, orange. I also recommand doing some sketches first of your Warpaint style - it should look the somehow the same when it comes to style. Some elements always returning are always nice and keep it all together - i now try to find some links of minis where i have used warpaint - just for your inspiration, but i guess Games Workshop has a lot of examples themselve. Here they come and i hope this brainstorm of mine can help you somehow:
  • Click!
  • Click!
  • Click!
  • Click!

Mads Ravn asks via email:

"... and that is a tutorial on something very basic, namely figures presented as being in the dark with a single lightsource. 

Take "Fat Fergus the wandering friar" in the Aenglish line from marvelous Red Box for example. Figures like these have become more common in my opinion, and just beg for being painted like they were in the dark. 

Unfortunately, the step from just painting a figure like you feel like, to painting someone in the dark, feels like a HUGE leap. Perhaps it is? At least, I'd have to study like a possessed regarding OSL and techniques for highlighting colors specifically for someone in the dark etc. and the end result would probably not be worth it. Actually, I've tried and failed miserably a few times haha.

So I just thought I'd mention that such a tutorial or just a step-by-step "this is how I painted a figure in the dark" would be very helpful in making figures like that accesable to the mainstream painters.

While this was just sent to you, it is of course intended for all of the Voodoo-people. Thank you for your awesome site and spreading the happy painting :o)


My answer:

Oh yes, there is still much missing in the article section. Basics, Colour Theory and so many stuff we plan and could tell. In fact we need way more time every day, so i would ask for more patience. It comes as it comes. Maybe the article about basic OSL or Raffa's light explanation helps you to find your way to this topic. What also could help is that you take a photo of the miniature in the dark in front of a candle - so you could paint from the photo how your light situation is suited to the miniature. Sorry for such an low level answer, but there is always much work i have to attend to and i can't write articles very much these days - even i have a lot in my backpack and ready to post, but time to write them is needed. Many thanks for your nice words about the jungle!


Ragnar Black asks via email:

"Hi I am beginner miniature painter, from czech republic thanks for all
tutorials on Massivevoodoo pages they are very helpful. I have only one question.
Can you give me some advices about hair painting? If You have some nice tricks.
Or some guidence for beginer. How to do some basic type of hairs: blonde, black, red.

Thanks for any answer. (I admire your work. You are really good miniature painter.)
With kindly regards Black "
My answer:

Hair - ough! I love to paint bald heads :D

Hair is for sure not easy to paint and i don't have a tutorial about some thoughts yet. I will start my explanation way more basic. I can only recommand that if you search for a plan how to paint different material there is no need to go all the way back to learning it own its own. Make sure you know something about light situation, for example the easiest one, zenithal lightning. Now if you work your way over the figure you can find out where the spots will be bright and dark, also the hair you want to paint. If you do bright hair, it is not very comfortable if you work out a really dark/bright contrast - it fast will look like dirt, for example a pale blond with dark brown in the shadows. Mix your colours and try to make soft transitions in the tone. Bright hair, not much contrast - dark hair has more light reflexions, like those you always see in advertisment - in fact i can only tell that taking a look on hair at photos helps you a lot for learning, study what you see, let your eye understand and take your time, for example click. Otherwise it is always good to study Computer or traditional Art to see how others went for the topic, click for example! There is no need to only look on miniature examples - it's all the same :)

It is all out there, you just have to open your eyes.

You can start from a bright tone and glaze it down, reworking the final lights again or start from a dark basecolour with slowly mixing up to a brighter reflexion. You can gently drybrush over a dark underground and glaze it again, reworking, etc. - mostly it is doing what you want to achieve, pick an example from nature and try to repaint it, paint as long as you achieve what you are looking for and you will learn the most for your own experience. Bad answer i know. Someday i or one of the other apes will write an article about this topic - hope i could have helped somehow :)


Grayson asks via email:

"I don't know if you remember me, but a while back I e-mailed you a picture of a space marine in white armor.  It was my first display piece, but not my first mini.  Since then I've really jumped into my painting feat first.  Here is a wip of a model I'm working on.  Any constructive feedback would be appreciated.

Thank you so much for what you do with Massive Voodoo, and all they artist there.  I check daily to see what ya'll are up to.  Happy painting!"

My answer:

Sure i remember this white armour question. Wasn't there a Painting Jam about it? Uough, i don't find it anymore if there was one. Whatever sure i can give you some brainstorm while looking at your model.

  • First, i would recommand that you start working out all areas (base, metal parts, leather) before you go into detail work.
  • Your detail work should be some final lights in the muscles mainly i think and some more depth in the green shadows. You did very well in bringing them out but your distance in the bright/dark contrast is still between 30%~70% if we think of a distance of 100%. Working out small light situations that guide the viewers eye more. I try to explain what i mean with a little sketch.

I hope this helps you further on your personal colour journey :)


Sinan asks via email:
"Dear Roman!
I've been lurking massive voodoo for a long, long time now, and I must say, it is a great site to find some inspiration and fuel to continue my own projects. I just wanted to thank you first for keeping the site open and running, and giving us something to look at almost every day.

What I want to ask is a bit complicated. I've been painting models for quite a while now, almost 10-12 years to be exact. I've always worked with games workshop stuff, painted armies with an increasing quality at each one. I believe I've reached the point where I should stop painting armies and focus on single models to get my painting better. I think I set myself a quality cap while painting armies to get them to finish at some point, and this slows my painting improvement.

I'm looking to buy several single models to start my "better quality" tries, I was wondering if you could give me some tips. Is 54mm is the way I should go? Should I stick with 28mm? Is there any models you would advise for beginning?

My painting quality is about these standarts right now;
Click 1
Click 2
Click 3

and I'm thinking about starting with this model, if you have painted one before could you tell me if you liked it or not? she's got a lot of skin, which I believe I need to practice;Click
Thanks a lot for reading, I hope you're having a good weekend!

Best regards,"

My answer:

As I can see from your gaming models you are "feeling" the right decision. For sure it is always a difference if you paint up a gaming model to get your army completed in a human time line or if you do paint up a single model only for the cabinet. Don't lose your fun doing your army and take display progress as an additional aspect of the hobby - sooner or later you will see what you really like and concentrate more on the aspect your heart tells you. Nice gaming models btw an army in such a standard looks pretty cool i think - i just miss the bases.

Unfortanetly i did not yet paint the twilight knight pin up so i can't tell you anything about it. I just can tell you about a miniature that i propose for those taking part in my classes and with the will to learn and improve. First, improvement comes mainly from your understanding of a light situation, like said before zenithal lightning. Now there is one figure where i had a lot of fun and did learn really a lot. King Maulg by Figone as Allan did sculpt him the way that you can paint him perfectly in zenithal lightning. There are many intresting areas that are hit by light and shadow and if you try to find your way trhough the model with the use of zenithal light you will have a great journey ahead of you. I really love Maulg and believe me there is a lot to learn from it. Not too much detail, but tons of character and great anatomy. Hope this helps, but remember this is just my personal oppinion. Maybe others can help you too via comment - dear readers, feel invited :)

I would not say that there is a scale to learn best. If you pick what you like it will be painted by itself - if the passion is with you everything goes :)


Painting Jam out! :D
Do your workout and have some happy painting!
Hope i could have helped the one or the other.

Best Wishes

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