Learning to paint minis was not really something on my radar a few years ago. Then again, the thought of NOT building aircraft was not on my radar, either.
But here we are…
Now if you’re thinking “is Jon switching to being a mini painter?”, let me answer that quickly.
First, my attention span for subjects is too short to focus on one thing like minis. And second, I’m nowhere near able to call myself a “mini painter”. Not by a long shot. At best, I’m a modeler who enjoys painting the occassional gaming miniature.
Learning to paint minis – so why do it?
I’ll admit that my initial motivation to paint minis was simply a case of thinking it looked fun. I watch many mini videos (see what I did there Mahoney? 😉). Two of my favorites are Sorastro’s Painting and the Duncan Rhodes Painting Academy. Those two painters in particular make me want to paint miniatures every time I watch them. They make it seem fun, and present the process in a very approachable way.
But my real reason for adding more minis into the mix was something I realized only after starting.
It ain’t as easy as it looks.
And that’s a good thing. Because as I started painting a few miniatures, mostly out of curiosity about the process, I realized that it exposed a whole range of skills that I lacked. I think it’s not prideful to say I’m an experienced modeler. I’ve used a wide range of products and techniques over the years. And I feel fairly confident in my ability to apply them.
So what does that all mean?
The more minis I painted it dawned on me that there were gaps in skills. Gaps that I’d have never seen had I not tried to blend flesh tones, paint eyes, and give fabric texture to flat plastic.
Yet the more I painted them, the more I saw a very positive effect. While my minis would never win any awards, I saw that the skills learned there really began to help my other modeling projects. A great understanding of brush control, thinning, blending, highlight, and shade begin to show benefit in everything I did.
So my goal is not to be a miniature painter really. Rather, it’s to be a better, more capable modeler. And a way to get there is by painting minis.
And have fun along the way!
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