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Need help on speeding up my painting

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15 replies to this topic

#1
Big Mekboy Chumba

Big Mekboy Chumba

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I need some help lads, I'm really slow at painting and can never seem to get anywhere with my army. I had just about finished my ard boyz which I had been working on for literally years on and off. Now with 8th they have been scrapped thus far and I'm looking at painting up some more troop choices. I've tried to simplify my colour scheme as much as possible with the black undercoat taking up most of the model but it still took me 2hrs10mins to do one boy start to finish.
AVWImA4.jpg
It's not like it's super detailed like some of the work guys on here do. My hands get shakier as the painting session goes on, back gets sore etc and I find myself not wanting to paint again for days even weeks. I've done the google searches on techniques and tried painting in batches before but again struggled to get through them. I am using washes though the model does look a bit flat. Just ANY advice would be appreciated, I love orks but the thought of painting endless boyz is making me think I'd have been better picking a more elite army with fewer models :(
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If I break it, I'll fix it.
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#2
Big Mekboy Chumba

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Just realised there is a "wots dis" section, could a mod move it for me please, sorry.
If I break it, I'll fix it.
If you break it, I'll fix you!

#3
Mik McMok the Mek

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the paint job looks nice, but i would go for painting units of 10 or twenty at a time maybe.

Spray them all with black/brown  primer, then the next day, start with a quick paint of red around the mouth and eyes. By the time you've done the last one , the first should be dried and ready for a base green skin. Again by the time you've finished the last one, the first will be ready for the next base coat, maybe the cult colour or a light brown for the teeth. Personally i'd avoid yellow if painting is hard work, go for red or blue instead. It's more forgiving.

Once you have all the base colours done, take a break. Then, do a wash on the skin, teef details etc. 

Nearly finished now so stay positive.

Come back with fresh mind/eyes/hands and highlight muscles, buckles etc.

Finally sort out the bases.

painting in blocks like this can get you a lot of models painted in no time


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#4
Gitgrod

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I'm in a very similar boat, though in the last few months I've probably painted more than i have in the last five years.  two things that really helped me speed things up was using a coloured primer and using a magnifier.

I use army painter Desert Yellow colour primer (GW Zandri Dust is almost exactly the same colour though). then i wash the whole ork with Devlan Mud or equivalent.  this does two things, firstly it leaves the model a decent leather looking colour so all the straps, bandages, certain items of clothing etc... can be left as is. Secondly if you keep your basecoats thin the wash shows through in the recesses giving you a degree of shading with no effort.

 

The magnifier for me was a revelation.  I'm not the sprog i used to be and the eyesight isn't what it was.  using one takes a little getting used to, but suddenly i can see the model well enough again to be accurate with my brush saving a lot of time spent correcting mistakes.  Also takes the hit and hope out of doing eyes/teef/piercings.  If you think that might help i use this one:

 

https://www.amazon.c...ering magnifier

 

As Mik said, batch painting is your friend.  It does take a certain mindset though, and if you have a short span of attention like me it might be worth working on smaller batches. I generally work in fives.    

Another trick I use to redirect myself when i get fed up of whatever I'm painting is to have a couple of different  things on the go at once, say a mob and a wagon.  Then for example, when i get fed up painting skin I can go weather rivets for a change of pace and still be making progress.

 

Hope some of this is of help.


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#5
Mik McMok the Mek

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all good advice Gitgrod. I tend to do a couple of washes, one early on to bring out the details and help me see them, (maybe i should get a magnifier too. I've considered one before) and then later on if needed over certain parts of the model to make the model stand out.


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When all else fails Panic
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#6
Mik McMok the Mek

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I'd also consider your position when painting. Consider what you can do to keep your back straight and avoid stooping over or leaning forward as that sort of position wont do you any favours.

 

Bring the model to you, not your face to the model where possible.


When all else fails Panic
If that doesn't work...then you know you're up to your neck in it!


#7
Gitgrod

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Mik, I can't stress enough how much of a game changer the magnifier was. Its made me really enjoy painting again in itself.   Also, great point, making details easier to see is another benefit of the initial wash I forgot about.  

Don't be shy of layering various colours of wash to get various shades of leathery as well. A couple of layers of nuln oil over the initial wash gives decent looking boot leather for example.

 

I'm no expert, i paint to decent game standard at best so don't take any of my advice to seriously . ;)

 

Meant to say initially as well, that's a good looking boy Chumba.


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#8
Mik McMok the Mek

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its very common for people to lose some of their short vision as they get older. Ironically, for me, it was the other way around and I need driving glasses to drive, but I can read small print like a teenager. I do know a couple of friends who ended up getting cheap reading glasses to help them paint as they got older. The added advantage of this option is they are stuck to your head and move with you, more freely, (and can be obtained from any chemist for next to nothing.)

I also aim  to  paint to game standard b.t.w. My eyesight isn't bad but i do suffer from tremors in my left side which can be a bitch for painting at times. If i've been strimming the lawn or driving too much, i shake like i'm having a fit and painting just isn't an option.

Painting should be something you enjoy doing and not just a means to an end, so find ways to make it easier. I find it very therapeutic and calming, but i also have to be in the mood, and like the models i'm painting. Painting Orks helps as there is so much scope to scratchbuild and kit bash and release your creativity, but painting a ton of boyz can be tough (boring and a chore  if not handled correctly). To help with this, I've painted different units in different clans, and for my Nobz, i recently repainted 30 of them as Klowns. 


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When all else fails Panic
If that doesn't work...then you know you're up to your neck in it!


#9
Mik McMok the Mek

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The magnifier looks good. Good light is also a key to painting. I paint next to a window which helps as natural sunlight is the best. (though there are alternatives if you paint at night) I like that the magnifier comes with light and a clamp, my only worry is that it looks like you need to be looking downward through it, which can;t be good for back and neck


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When all else fails Panic
If that doesn't work...then you know you're up to your neck in it!


#10
Big Mekboy Chumba

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Thanks for all the tips guys, I like the look of the magnifier but always thought it must be weird for hand eye coordination looking through it? That's what put me off getting one before. Do you guys have the tv on or music or anything? I normally have a 40k battle report on from miniwargaming or something to try spur me on. I'll try hold the model up to my face more, it's just with my shaky hands I'm normally trying to stabilise them by leaning forward on the table edge.
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#11
Badfang Brassaxe

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To get the minis up higher you could always try putting a shoe box (or equivalent size) on the table and resting your hands on that.

 

If your accuracy is dropping off the longer you paint then it might be worth putting a bit more effort into priming the minis by spraying them all black to begin with followed by a brown (yellowish brown is usually best) coat at about 45o from the top followed by a white coat from almost directly above. Using a fine paintbrush get all the details done first (eyes, teef, klaws, bullets etc) and then just wash all the subsequent bits using a well thinned paint which should be easy to remove from any bits that don't want to be that colour. As long as the paint's opaque enough to keep its colour but thin enough to allow the primer tones to show though then you should end up with reasonable looking paintjobs for not much effort.


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#12
Mik McMok the Mek

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Thanks for all the tips guys, I like the look of the magnifier but always thought it must be weird for hand eye coordination looking through it? That's what put me off getting one before. Do you guys have the tv on or music or anything? I normally have a 40k battle report on from miniwargaming or something to try spur me on. I'll try hold the model up to my face more, it's just with my shaky hands I'm normally trying to stabilise them by leaning forward on the table edge.

I tend to listen to my youtube like list when painting as it saves me having to keep selecting new music to work by.

I paint on my gaming table, which is bellybutton height when standing to play, (thus saving my back from bending over too much). When sitting to paint this gives me a slightly higher than normal table to steady my wobbly left  hand on.

some interesting ideas from Badfang. thanks for sharing


When all else fails Panic
If that doesn't work...then you know you're up to your neck in it!


#13
Gitgrod

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Thanks for all the tips guys, I like the look of the magnifier but always thought it must be weird for hand eye coordination looking through it? That's what put me off getting one before. 

Yep it does take a little bit of getting used to.  I've found the secret is to have the brush in focus with the mini behind it, then bring the mini forward until they're both in focus and youre good to go.  Quickly becomes second nature.

The magnifier looks good. Good light is also a key to painting. I paint next to a window which helps as natural sunlight is the best. (though there are alternatives if you paint at night) I like that the magnifier comes with light and a clamp, my only worry is that it looks like you need to be looking downward through it, which can;t be good for back and neck

If you use it on a table then you're right, you will end up crook necked and hunch backed. Dont have a table as high as yours, though I guess if you could combine it with a lowish chair it could work.  I do a lot of my painting on the sofa with a laptray though (also allows me to natter to the missus and watch tv).  When doing that i find I can sit so everything is in focused and comfortably positioned.  As I'm usually painting in the evening i use the light on the magnifier plus an angle poise lamp with a daylight bulb.  Almost, but not quite as good as natural sunlight.

 

Badfangs washing with paints tip is a good one,  though I've not tried the layered sprays, I'll have to try that. Lahmian medium or similar is great for thinning your paints for this.


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#14
Giganotosaurus

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To continue on the note of light & magnification; My workspace is in the basement. Lighting is poor, and natural light is non existent. I am also old, most likely one of the oldest persons on this blog. My vision is not what it used to be either, and to be honest, wasn't that good to begin with. I combined light & magnification by buying a craft light. Mine comes with a magnifying lens, and a tray to hold gubbins. They tend to be pricey, but here in the states, many craft stores issue discount coupons. I got mine for 50% off, it still wasn't cheap, but it is exactly what I needed. :yes I also have ADD :bleep. Gitgrod's excellent tip on working on several things at once is something I do all the time. Production painting lots of boyz drives me even crazier.  :/ Breaking things up by painting/working on 10 boyz, and then moving on to 1 or more vehicles helps greatly.


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#15
armored walker

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Lots of good advice in the previous posts, just some points I'd like to add.

 

First of all, two hours per model is not bad at all, considering the result you're getting, some really nice, well table-worthy models. If you painted for two hours every day, you'd have an unit of 30 orks in a month. Now you say that your hands start to shake and your back gets sore when painting, so the first issue to consider is your position while painting. Shaking hands means that you're most likely supporting the weight of your arms in the air with your shoulder and neck/back muscles, nobody can do that for long periods of time and paint at the same time. You'll need to figure out a way to support your arms on the painting table ( or on the arms of your chair etc.). I paint sitting in a straight-backed chair with my elbows on the table, this way also brings the model I'm painting up to my eye level so my neck and backbone stay mostly straight. I can also lean back a bit, rest my arms (up to my wrists if needed) on the table's edge for a while so I won't have to stay locked in one position all the time. I allso have an old t-shirt folded under my arms so the table edge won't "bite" too hard in my arms and stop circulation or just hurt too much. Now I realize that this way might not work for everybody with standard-sized furniture, I'm 6'3'' and I can easily rest my arms on the table, but you could test with shueboxes of different sizes like Mik suggested, the main thing is to get the weight of your arms supported.

 

Another thing to consider is the light; the older I get the more light I need to paint. The lightsource should be high enough for me to paint with my elbows on the table, but low enough so it will not glare in my eyes. I use a pretty ordinary reading light on a custom-built platform (=a pile of books) to get the height right with a daylight corrected bulb, a led-bulb nowadays. A normal bulb will not do, as it will distort the colours (as in wtf? my orks have yellow skin!), but one with colour temperature of at least 4000K, or rathe even 5500K (=the colour of natural light, these are more expensive 'roud here at least). I've tried those magnifying lights and did not like them, mainly because there's only one position to paint, but I know some people swear by them. I use cheap drugstore reading-glasses to paint nowdays, I found some with gliding magnification from 0 to +2, so I can keep the model in focus at varying distances. I also have some regular +3:s for detail work.

 

One fast way of painting armies has not been suggested, that of washes over grey or white primer. Just prime grey, and paint green wash over green bitz, red wash over red bitz etc and then pick out teeth and other detail as needed. Might have to do several layers of washes, but I've seen some fine looking results over the 'net, no personal experience 'tho.


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#16
Garslag

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The laziest painting method I've ever come across was a guy who used nothing but successive layers of washes over a white undercoat. It actually looked pretty decent, although it limits what you can do with your boyz. I painted a couple of boyz that way that i could post if it was of interest to you.
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