X Ways to Paint Faster

Tyler Provick

Tyler Provick is a writer and a gamer that likes to combine his two interests and share them with the community.

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6 responses

  1. Zab says:

    great tips 🙂 Remeber to takea step back and veiw your table top minis from the 3foot mark too. If it’s a display piece lavish it with attention. if not step back and that will help your judge when it’s done. TT requires good from far, but far from good in my books!

  2. Kelly Kim says:

    The “don’t edge highlight the downward facing surfaces” is one that I see people forgetting ALL THE TIME. It just looks wrong, and shows that very little thought went into the painting of the mini. Thanks for posting that!

    • Warren B. says:

      I’ll see your ‘highlighting downward facing surfaces’ and raise you Steve Dean and Kev Dallimore:



      I don’t take all that much satisfaction in naming and shaming, but these guys not only took improper highlighting almost as far as it can go, but popularised it as a ‘good’ method of miniature painting. I can’t help but think of it when I see Tyler provide any hint of a much-needed, much better alternative. These painting articles get bookmarked!

      • I don’t dislike their style because it is a style. It’s like complaining that Picasso’s paintings don’t follow human anatomy. If anything its the advice popularized by Games Workshop: Highlight the raised surfaces, shade the crevices.

        Thanks for the response to this article. Based on this it makes me want to do some more. Anything specific you want to see. If I haven’t written about it before I may write how I paint step-by-step.

      • Kelly Kim says:

        I vaguely recall they published something titled, “Painting the Foundry Way”, which helped popularize their style, particularly amongst historical wargamers.

        I get it. Their paintjobs are “easy” to read from a distance, or with aging eyes like my own. It’s not technically challenging, and it looks about as good as it can get without really pushing yourself as a painter. But I know what you’re saying… it does sort of encourage lazy painters to “settle” and not get any better. And they start to think of it as the “proper” way of painting, whereas people should try and keep an open mind and see that there are other ways of painting too… many that are just as quick and easy, and may even look better.

        Seeing extreme highlighted edges on surfaces that should actually be in shadow is another thing entirely. If the idea of mini painting is to simulate how light would contrast on a full size real object (a 6′ tall human instead of a 2″ tall miniature representation of one), then why the heck are you highlighting a downward facing edge?

        Speaking of extreme highlighted edges, and a good example of one, there’s an article I wrote for my own blog several years back:


        Apologies for linking to my own blog from yours… I know it’s typically considered bad form, but I figure it’s easier then retyping the whole idea out here in the comments section. I’m just hoping it illustrates the depth of my frustration with this particular painting trend.

        • Kelly,
          I don’t think linking your blog is in bad taste at all. When people mention their own stuff without linking I usually ask them for a link. I’m glad you did it.

          Edge highlighting isn’t the worst thing. Light collects on tightly rounded edges naturally. Link of a convex mirror, it sees a really wide area. Imagine a mirror which shows you the same amount of information but is flat. A convex mirror of a much smaller size collects images (light) from a larger area.

          I took this quick cell-phone image because it so wonderfully how different facets gathered light:

          Even downwards facing edges will collect more light than you would expect, just not the same amount as an upwards facing edge. If I am not fully painting with speed I will add edge highlights of appropriate intensity.

          There’s another mechanism at work as well. Our human eye exaggerates contrast, especially if the brain thinks that there’s an edge. There’s an optical illusion of gray squares of different values. Each square is flat but they appear to have a slight gradient because your brain is increasing the contrast at the edges. In painting you’ll often see a flat vertical surface with hard edges be slightly darker at the top.

          Anyway, I do really appreciate your comment, Kelly. Thanks.

Even a short comment makes my day.

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