Since somebody mentioned tutorials..
A while back, somebody asked me in a private message how to get started painting. Below is a reprint of what I wrote back, with some updates:
Question: How do you get started?
The answer is twofold:
1) Paint minis!
2) Watch a LOT of YouTube and Twitch.
The first part seems obvious, but it's really important that you paint a LOT of minis, even if they aren't very good. You need to develop the muscle memory of how you hold and control the brush, and use various angle to reach weird spots on a mini.
You need a lot of experience working with paint and getting it to the right consistency. That is probably the biggest tip for beginners: ALL PAINT NEEDS THINNING (usually with water). If you put paint straight on a mini, It will blob up and show brush strokes. Thin paint flows well and gives better control.
Get a bunch of cheap minis (at least ten, people are better than monsters at this point), and shoot them with primer. Then start painting. They will suck. It will be annoying. Don't get discouraged, and keep painting. After each one, look at it and see where it fails in *one* aspect. Try to improve that one thing on the next one. And keep doing that. You will get better.
Second is YouTube. The painting videos available are phenomenal. I would start with Vince Venturella's channel:
I have learned more from Vince than probably anybody. He has a whole lot of videos on a lot of topics, some of them very technical. He also has plenty of beginner-level videos on topics like edge highlighting. Vince runs a Google+ group called PMP (Painters Motivating Painters) where you can post pictures of your work and get feedback from professionals on how to improve. They are very kind and they will never tell you you suck, only what might night be working on your minis. It's a private group, but if you go to Google+ and search for PMP you will find it and can request membership.
Another great resource is Kenny Boucher, who has both a YouTube presence and a Twitch Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTfnfI ... xvQ/videos
Kenny is a colorful character and is actually very fun to listen to. If you want to learn how to master the airbrush, or the *right* way to wash minis, he is your man. His YouTube videos tend to be concise and short, while his Twitch streams are 3+ hours long and you can watch his techniques in detail and he explains everything he's doing. Full disclosure, I'm a Patreon patron of Kenny's and do some private lessons with him.
There are *many* other Twitch Channels out there for painters, and I have just started to scratch the surface on that platform. I can certainly recommend award-winning Sam Lenz's channel:
Some other YouTube channels I follow:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrTkWZ ... knoQeVkH1g
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyMPU9 ... kD8NZQu1tA
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCclSAa ... wWFOelz3ow
Dr. Faust's Painting Clinic:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwfL3s ... c4wAWOOdiA
All of the above will show you minis that make mine look like refried dogshit. That's okay, every painter is somewhere on the skills scale, and we all can improve. Every painter *does* improve...IF they keep working at it.
1) Don't use craft store paints. Get some real miniature paints. They are not that expensive, and the smoothness and quality of the pigments is much higher. For years I used the $200 full set of Vallejo Game Color paints, and still do sometimes. Their intro set is only about $43 on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Game-Color-Intro ... game+color
You can mix those paints to make any color you will need.
2) Get at least one good brush. It's fine to use synthetic brushes from Miachael's or Hobby Lobby, especially when you are starting. Once you are sure you like the hobby and want to continue, get a real Sable Brush, at least for the detail painting. Windsor & Newton Series 7 sizes 0-2 (NOT the miniature brushes) and Raphael 8404 sizes 0-2 are good choices. The point of a brush is far more important that the size. A size 2 with a sharp tip will do better detail work than a size 0 with a tip not as sharp.
3) Use distilled water! I used to have trouble with blending, and all my washes had ugly tide marks that no technique changes seemed to cure. I started using distilled water to thin my paints and clean my brushes, and that all went away. Minerals and other particles in the water can cause these issues. Every tap is different, but it's cheap and easy to just avoid the problem.
4) As mentioned, thin your paints. Thin more than you think they need. It's better to put on multiple smooth, thin layers to get color coverage than one thick layer that looks lumpy and has brushstrokes.
4a) Let your paint layers dry. If you try to put a new layer over a still slightly wet layer, you will roll the older paint layer and create a mess of semi-stripped paint. Most layers only take 30-60sec to dry. You can use a hair dryer on low to blow a layer dry more quickly.
5) Don't go crazy with washes. Lots of painters like washes because they are easy to shade with. But they are indiscriminate, and dull the colors. Washes have their place, but learn other techniques too. Look at the Kenku I posted in this thread. Many people would wash over those feathers for shading. Instead I started dark and highlighted up with thin layers on each feather. It's subtle, but gives a cleaner effect.
6) If you want to learn one technique to get good at, learn to glaze. Glazing is using very thin layers of paint (the paint is thinned to the point of being essentially colored water) in multiple passes as a filter to alter a color or build up color. With glazing you can achieve almost any effect in miniature painting. It's not the fastest technique because of the multiple passes required, but it produces some of the best effects. I'd say after I get a base coat on a miniature, 75% of what I do after that is glazing.
If you have specific questions, or need more direction, feel free to ask me!