Painting can be, but doesn't have to be, one of the most expensive parts of the miniatures hobby. There are many companies producing paints, and there are many many colors from which to choose.

I've noticed a lot of good tutorials on the internet, but most of them only reference Citadel paints. They make terrific paints and inks, however they run $2.25 per bottle and you really don't get that much in the bottle. Let me re-introduce you to our good friend Wal-Mart. You can find hundreds of acrylic colors produced by Plaid. Their Folk Art line of paints runs $.87 a bottle and their Apple Barrel line runs $.44! You can pick up a 32-color set for only $8.97. That wouldn't even buy you four of the Citadel paints.

I don't mean to give any disrespect to Citadel paints. They are great paints. Nike shoes are great, too. But you can still play basketball without a swoosh on your high tops and you can paint great miniatures and still save a lot of money.

I would also recommend that you look on the shelf above the Plaid paints. Find the set of brushes labeled "Natural hair, fine detail." This is a four brush set and runs $1.97. The Citadel equivalent is $12.99. Granted, the Citadels are made with fine quality sable hair, but if you are just starting, you don't need the best brushes yet. When you decide you definitely want to pursue the miniature painting hobby, by all means, pick up the best brushes you can buy. Citadel brushes are excellent. Other good brands are Floquil and Grumbacher.

Regarding brush sizes, eventually you'll need: Round No. 000 (3/0), Round No. 0, Round No. 1, and Flat No. 3 or Flat No. 4.

A local art supply sells very fine pens (No. 000 and smaller!) You might consider picking up one in white and one in black. You can use your Round No. 000 to stroke your chosen eye color over the white painted eyes. Then use the black pen to dot the pupils and the white pen to shape the iris and dot a highlight above the pupil. This is one of those touches that will get "ooohs" and "ahhhs" from your friends.

I don't know how your local Games Workshop outlet works, but mine has an annual sale where everything is at least 50% off. So I save my bucks and stock up on that Saturday. For me, its a great time to replenish supplies, expand my favorite armies, and test some of the new miniatures.

Guide to Shading and Highlighting

Painting the Human Death Cleric

Copyright 2002 Brian Byars. All rights reserved.
Revised: September 27, 2002 .