Painting Jam 32 - FAQ

by Roman aka jar

Another Painting Jam rolling in ...
I hope you enjoy...

Roon asks via mail:

"Prior to the paintworkshop in december I wanted to ask you for some advice. 

So far I don't have experience painting display models, and hope to improve this during the workshop. 

I have a small miniature called little 'Thulu ( I believe from MEOW miniatures?). There have been several painted versions of it on the internet, and it inspired me to make my own version. Here's why: the miniature has one big eye looking, and one almost closed. The big eye made me think of (here it comes...) SpongeBob SquarePants. So Cthulhu being in the water as is SpongeBob made those characters connect into the miniature. I wanted to paint the mini yellow like Spongebob, with his big eye blue. But I'm afraid I won't get enough contrast with the yellow mini on the base, since I thought of a sand/seabottom base. So to give the scene more contrast I thought of it to place a small pink seastar (Patrick) on the base as well. 

Ok, ok here finally comes that question: do you think it will have enough contrast all together? Or do you have some advice how to improve this? There is no hurry to give an answer, as I want to use the learned skills from the workshop before I take on this project." 

My answer:

Yeah I know the figure.
Already painted it myself and it is a lot of fun indeed.
A yellow figure on a yellow sandy base wil definatly not use its maximal contrast ability.
I would seperate the base in two parts. For example having the figure standing on top of a underwater rock (painted dark, blueish black grey with gentle highlights, maybe some shells there). The rock could be on top of the sand, so you have the a dark seperation between the two bright parts (figure/sand). This could help making the scene not only yellow and make it clearer to the eyes of the viewer. You even could add some underwater plants here and there to make the base more detailed.

I hope my thoughts help you!


Aleksey asks via mail:

"Good day or night, Roman!

I decided to write this letter because i have a terrible questions about painting miniatures ... 

I`ve learnt how to prepare minis also learnt to prime but i have a real barrier to begin painting! This is big stone wall in front of me that don`t allow me to understand the principles of miniature painting. (0)

I want to ask you: what is in the beginning? (1) I saw different paint manufacturers with its huge paint sets, a lot of brushes and other painting stuff. But i cannot decide what i need. (2) 

Another my big problem that i cannot understand how to choose main paint scheme right. (3)

I decided to repeat painting process in your wip "Step by Step - Daemonette 1.0 ". I like this set of Demonettes too. They are beauties :) And here we can see my another painting phobia. I afraid of miniature waste. If i get new mini and began to paint it i can do something wrong. And mini will be lost... (4)
Also i bought many DVD about miniature painting. But i cannot investigate for myself the beginning of this process. (5) Please give me the advices about my problems. What paints i need to buy? (6)

Can i buy a several colors or huge paintset? How can i decide a right paint scheme? Can i ask you a questions about colors in your Demonette wip particulary? (7)"

My answer:

These are particular some interesting questions and I would love to help you out of the "mysery" that you explain. I put numbers to your questions and will answer them by using the numbers.

(0)  "I`ve learnt how to prepare minis also learnt to prime but i have a real barrier to begin painting! This is big stone wall in front of me that don`t allow me to understand the principles of miniature painting. "

Go easy with yourselve. Miniature Painting is such a complex thing, you just can't learn everything when you are about to take the first step. Don't see the big wall ... see a big alley you are walking, with cherry trees and you pick the cherries you like to study them and learn them and use them on your way of the miniature painter. Easy, miniature painting is like building up muscles, hard work, training, but still a lot of fun. Or do you think this guy did get his arms without hard training.

No really I mean what I say about that. Go easy on yourselve and don't put too much pressure on you. Miniature painting is a great hobby, do not destroy it with fear of doing failures or too high expectations. The only thing you can learn it is by painting. It is not about talking about painting, not about reading about painting, not about watching DVDs - it is just the painting that you do on your table that pushes you forward, because you will fail during your studies and you will fail on your goals, but with that mistakes you learn how to ask the right questions to other painters on how to improve and get the right answers. Your muscle will grow, but not without painting.

Don't try to understand all which is out there about figure painting at once - you just can't. Go step by step. So I think it is a good thing that you asked me those questions. I try to help you as good as I can, but always remember, these are just my thoughts and they don't have to be perfect for you. Pick your cherries! Thanks for letting me answer this in public - I hope this might also help some others.

1) What is the Beginning?

And in the beginning there was chaos and from chaos your passion will rise and ... blablubb ... ok, well, I can understand you about being unsecure on where to invest money. There are so many things outthere and so many different brands and so many more stuff that many are talking about - definatly not an easy decision. Again, keep it simple. Walk the alley and pick what you might need. This guide should help you choosing the essentials that will help you on your way of the figure painter.

2) What do you need for the start?

You don't need all of that in the beginning, but brushes, primer and colours ... and a wetpalette, a cutting knife for cleaning and a lamp is money well spent. The rest grows from itself. If you have a look on this article which shows you different brands, you might see that my own collection also grew from small too big. I suggest buying a red, green, blue, yellow, white, black and some brown and sandy tones for a healthy start. Even you won't have all the colours available with that you can still mix them by your own. For example red and blue gives purple. The White and Black can be mixed into those colours to make them darker or brighter. Go with 2 brushes. My recommandation is the Windsor & Newton Series 7 (long, not short) in Scale 1 and 0. Great brushes, great to work with. I don't think you need a big painting set for the start. Maybe buy those colours I have mentioned from different brands to see which one you like the most. I personally prefer Vallejo Model Colour and Games Workshop colours.

3) Another my big problem that i cannot understand how to choose main paint scheme right.

Well this is not so easy to explain, but I found this guide that could really help you with its theory. It's simple but effective. Now starts the hard work, read it, make notes for yourselve while painting, understand it, learn from it. There is no perfect formula for the perfect colour scheme. You will not find it by searching, just by painting. Inspiration is everywhere, for example if you see an Artwork you really like or see a scene from a Movie where you love the colours ... BOOM ... give that colour scheme a try on one of your figures. Again you see the experience comes from the act of painting.

4) If i get new mini and began to paint it i can do something wrong. And mini will be lost... 

I can tell you one truth when you starting with painting by showing you my very first figure:

This is my first painted figure, ever. And it is nothing I feel ashamed of or think that the figure is lost. I had my fun and joy painting it. You can see again - experience grows as a muscle, by training. For sure you will get some results that you are not happy with, but you are not allowed to take these as failures that kills the figure. These are your steps while learning to paint. You just can't paint and already have all teh experience. It needs time to grow. If you are feeling bad painting up an expensive model, if you are scared of "destryoing" it by painting it ... start with simpler testing models. Really this thought will get you nowhere, change it. Every figure is a step, sometimes you go a step forward and sometimes you go three back. It's normal, that is how learning works.

5) 6) have been answered in the upper answers already ...

7) Can i ask you a questions about colors in your Demonette wip particulary?

Sure, go ahead via mail :)

Rik asks via facebook:

"Good evening mr. Lappat, I'm following the interview for sunshine and moonbeam. 

You talked about "focusing" on winning prizes is something not very worthy, but enjoing the hobby would be a lot better. I totally agree, my question is: does this help in being reknown among people who ask for paintjobs (high level in your case)? According to the fact you paint for living. I also paint for living, but at the moment we are lightyears far from each other. Thank you very much, hope to write you soon. "

My answer:

A competition is definatly not a bad thing and winning an award can be a great thing. What I wanted to say is if you are focusing only on the winning aspect, you will lose in the end. You can lose your passion for the one thing that you love: sit down and paint figures. Don't take competitions too serious or the dark side can swallow your passion. Take it as a chance to compete with others but always keep in mind that a contest is judged by judges, which are also only humans and the result of a contest always depends what other projects there are from different painters. I always try to paint what I want to paint and if there is a competition I bring the pieces that are ready. In rare cases I prepared myself for a contest and in the end it is only about the time management that comes from such a preparation: you have to finish your project in time. It is best to not think about winning or loosing during the work on this project as this will get you nowhere.

I will be very honest with you: Sure it does help to get a bigger name in the industry if you are able to win a prize. This will also lead to comissions. It is that way, but I can tell you from my point of view and my way I have went while starting to do a living from it. I never did participate in the Golden Demon in the early years, just started to enter three years ago. When I started I tried to give the best that I could with my comissions, always have a win-win situation for me and the comissioner, be friendly, honest, good in what you offer to do, good in what you do and help others. That is why I write so many articles, because I am able to help others. Somehow this made my internet nickname and my painting as 'jarhead' "famous". It was not taking part in competitions. There are different ways to handle that and that was just my way. There are other painters outthere who focus on the competition painting to carve their name in a stone to never be forgotten and get comissions. This also works, it is just what you prefer.


So far, keep on happy painting to everyone - I hope my answers helped!
Best Wishes


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