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  1. Yeah, a white background is unforgiving which is why I use it I have some models from back in the day and it's embarrassing how bad they are. But the black background and shitty camera made them look better they were in reality. Using a white background forces me to paint with much higher contrast and gives me confidence that my models will look good even under less ideal settings.
  2. I wouldn't bother with a small brush for edge highlighting as the paint on the brush will dry too quickly. A large brush with a good quality tip is better. You also don't need a model to practice, I used to fill up a sheet of mixed media paper with lines as a warmup before every painting session. A few months resulted in a big improvement in my brush control. Edge highlighting is the most important painting skill you can learn, just look at how gw paint their models, so it's worth the time investment. Aim for the lines to be as thin and even as possible even if you can only paint a small bit at a time.
  3. Here are some models I painted for myself. I like to think I've made some improvement this year and hopefully there is more to come. I had some time off over thanksgiving and had something of a breakthrough thinking about value perception whilst watching the macy's day parade. It should make my edge highlights more effective and my layering too I suppose without adding more time cost
  4. The wood elves were terrible back in 2005. The lotr range in general is hit and miss. There were a lot of scaling issues with some troops being heroic sized and some plastics lacking details. I think the issue with the flash and mold lines is more a case of things having moved on.
  5. I use the airbrush and only at the end once the model is about 95% painted. The idea is I use opaque low saturation colors at first concentrating on value contrast and then use transparent high saturation colors for glazing.
  6. The most progress I have ever made with painting was one summer holiday when I was 13 years old. I spent 6 weeks doing little else than painting and achieved a very respectable level Then when school started and I showed my efforts to my classmates I was told I was too old to be painting toy soldiers and being an impressionable child I gave up the hobby. When I got back into the hobby as an adult it took me years before I get anywhere near that level of painting which was something of a mystery to me. I had a lot more resources, paints, fancy brushes and books. Then along came the internet with tutorials on websites, blogs and youtube. Despite all this I struggled to improve. My explanation for this is that as a child the lack of options gave me a singular focus to develop my skill. I had no idea how long people spent painting a model and would take as much time as needed. Whereas trying to learn as an adult with all the distractions of life, let alone all of the different painting options meant I never developed a good foundation and would go from one method to another, chasing after that method that would turn me into a golden demon winner, without ever getting good anything specific. I remember discovering Roman Lappat's website massivevoodoo and not only being amazed by his painting but also thinking I cold replicate it! I wasted years trying to recreate his incredible artistic style when I would have been better off doing basecoat, wash, edge highlight. Nowadays I aim for consistency and simplicity. I paint every model the same way regardless of the quality I'm aiming for even if it there are quicker alternatives. Doing this allows me to improve my ability with every model. This is the most recent addition to my collection. The end result is about as good as anything else I've painted and yet there is nothing complicated about what I've done. Layering, edge highlighting and glazing. That simplicity gives me the freedom to be creative with the things that matter without worrying about the end result.
  7. I might not be the best person to give you advice on this as my own attitude to paint selection is a lot different to most. I find the more intense colors really hard to use given the way I like to paint and right now my favorite paints fall into two categories, grays and whites. The grays are desaturated colors and earth tones, not actual neutral gray, and the whites are off white pastel colors. What paints you'd need depends on how you intend to paint and it might be worth thing about what your hobby goals are and how you intend to learn painting. My recommendation would be to go the gw route. It's the most expensive option but if you can afford it there are more resources available for how to use those paints including tutorials for the specific models in their white dwarf magazine as well has their youtube channel. The most difficult part of learning to paint is knowing how things are supposed to look at each stage and at the end. The gw tutorials are designed to maximize their profit minimize any uncertainty a beginner painter learning on their own may have whilst also teaching you the most important skills of layering and edge highlighting. At least the precontrast tutorials were, the more recent ones seem to be a bit simpler, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
  8. Thanks @feltmonkeyit's only taken 8 years and over a 1,000 models to get there In all seriousness taking a long view of things has helped. I did try to force the issue on prices, with a more efficient painting and even with a more business minded outlook and all this caused was a lot more stress. Even now I don't earn anywhere as much as I'd like, but I have had continuous work for two years now allowing me to focus on my developing my skills and I'm starting to see the benefits in terms of the quality. It's helps that I can filter out a lot of the noise withing the wider community regarding the various products and techniques that businesses and influencers are constantly pushing. Not that any of these things are bad, per se, but for me consistency is the key. I know I can produce a good looking model with the method and technical ability I have. The next step is to play around with the colors to see what produces the better results.
  9. It's okay if you say it When I was editing the photos it was difficult to not focus on the mistakes and areas that could have been done better. A few did get touched up mostly to correct wonky eyes but otherwise I managed to resist the urge to spend hours on improvements. Allowing myself to make mistakes was the point of painting things for myself in the first place. With commissions I have to play things safe and at least attempt a consistent finish. With these models I tested out ideas and not all worked out but the result is I have a better idea of what works and what doesn't along with a collection of painted models.
  10. I finished a thing! There are more photos on my website here and here are a few of my favorites:
  11. Thanks! I would have picked an easier model to practice on or at least focused entirely edging. Space marines are a good choice for this as are infinity models. I used to practice using shitty synthetics with hooked tips and now I can paint itty bitty details for fun.
  12. I added a few more models to my infinity army and hopefully more will be added soon now I've finished with my marvel collection. I think the decision not to have a strict uniform color scheme was a good one and I've enjoyed playing around with different combinations.
  13. I never made much money off ebay and instead used it as a way to pick up commission clients. Even if I could make more money by selling quickly painted shite I couldn't be bothered with all of the crap that comes with ebay selling, the offers that amount to little more than the cost of the model and the ever tightening grip of ebay's algorithm. I like the easy life and would rather have less in the bank than put up with that nonsense again.
  14. It's worth persisting with edge highlighting even if it's slow going at first. It's the best way to get a sharp definition to your models as it triggers a strong response with the edge detectors in our eyes and with practice it becomes a lot easier and quicker to do. These are some recent models I painted for a commission. Around three hours per model.
  15. In my opinion the best way to paint is the one you enjoy the most, there's no right or wrong way to paint. However, I don't think blending is as important as it once was and shouldn't be the focus of the painting process. Variation and density of information is a better way to make your models stand out. Freehands, textures, color changes can make a model look a lot more interesting than a smooth gradient. Also, the modern techniques of blending (velatura or airbrushing) have made blending a relatively easy thing to achieve and it isn't as impressive a skill anymore. And as @feltmonkeysays there is a better understanding of the role of visual perception in miniature painting. The percieved difference between two colors decreases as the global contrast increases, painting with high contrast can force the layers to appear closer in color. Here are some models I've painted recently as practice. The two troops on the left took about three hours, the other two 4-5. The different layers are quite obvious in places but I really don't care becauase the models are painted, have enough detail and contrast to look good, and were fun and easy to paint
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