What I learned painting Raven Guard scouts

I thought I might post this to show you what 6 months or so of solid painting will do for you. Now I didn't work on this guy for 6 months but he's the results of my painting just about every day for that long.
You can click on either picture above for a larger view.

I'm actually getting to the point where I can paint faster with better results.

I'm starting to develop techniques for getting the results I want without having to guess or test them out to see if they'll work. I can look at a mini and know exactly how I'm going to paint it before I start now.

I'd like to think I'm developing my own style but really, this is mini painting, I think there's only so much you can do for variety. I've come up with a fairly clean, slightly muted look to my models that I really like. It's definitely not the pure colors I had a year ago.

Six months of painting has taught me how to use washes too. I use them on almost everything. But even more important than that, is knowing when NOT to use them and to go with a different technique. I've learned to mix and match my techniques which is new for me. I used to be a one trick pony.

Now I use washes, layering, blending, line highlights, sometimes drybrushing... whatever will work the best. All of these techniques used together work much better than just using one approach for everything.

I've also learned when to paint certain things to. Sometimes it's better to paint Part A before Part B. Knowing when to paint things or knowing what "order" to paint them in has helped with speed and with overall cleanliness and detail of the finished model too.

The next step for me now is to push the subtleties on a model. Things like color changes on metal areas and varying color highlights on objects. Smaller things to really capture the feeling of the model and bring it to life.

Six more months and I should be alright.

Ron, From the WarpIf you've got any questions about something in this post, shoot me a comment and I'll be glad to answer. Make sure to share your hobby tips and thoughts in the comments below!


  1. Ron,

    I love the style you are evolving. Less paint, fewer colors, and more carful application appear to be the hallmarks. I am really looking forward to your week off so you can provide us all with great posts. Kind of selfish of me huh...

  2. Thanks Drathmere, next Sunday will be a big roundup of all the stuff I finised (or didn't).

  3. What I like most about this paintjob isn't the technique (which is obviously very good) but the choice of colors. This usually takes a lot more than 6 months to master and you have pulled it off very well.

  4. I'll second what's been said, you've grasped the concept of using a limited palette of muted natural colours.

    I'm quite envious mate.

  5. Beautiful work Ron.

    Technique is very nice, but the color choices are flawless.

    I'm painting up a homebrew offshoot of the Raven Guard (purple green gold), but you've really got me thinking of doing a few of the RGs now.

  6. To be honest guys, the biggest thing with my color palette has been trying to close my value range from being so wide and staying away from black and white (aside from using black to prime).

    Instead of having a wide range of values, I try and find an area and stay right there.

  7. I really like this. Nice simple paint scheme but done with great skill. Hopefully I'm picking up some second hand marines today so might start my own force soon. Keep up the great work,as I find them very very helpful.

  8. Great post and I totally agree. I will also say the same thing for people who stop painting ... perhaps this doesn't hold true for everyone. But painting skill atrophies if it isn't used for many people. I am a victim of being inactive. I haven't painted an army for nearly 4 years and I'm back in the saddle painting every day ... I hope to keep that up really forever. Having talked to many friends who have gone through the same thing ... long periods of inactivity in terms of painting ... I've heard similar things. I'm easing myself back in to painting. I started with an ork army using some basic techniques ... the dreaded dip method for example ... but I can feel my skills returning. Like your saying the point your at now in terms of just sizing up a mini and knowing exactly what to do. I'm not there yet but each mini I paint I re-learn something I've forgotten or I'm learning new tricks. My hope is a couple more armies from now (six months or so) I'll be half as good as you! That scout is really well done ... if I can get to that point again I'll be very happy. Again thanks for the post and awesome work man!

  9. "I can look at a mini and know exactly how I'm going to paint it before I start"

    This is key to having not only good final results, but also speed.

    That scout is beautiful and the color choice is flawless.

  10. I think that is a very nice looking scout.
    The armour is dark and his skin pale perfect for Raven Guard.

    However 6 months and you'll be there,common Ron you know you never stop learning with this hobby :)

    I do not know about you but my photobucket is at 56 pages.
    For a goof go back to the early stuff you might of done a year ago.
    Looks like your kid brother painted it and not you,at least that is what mine looked like.

    Hell I can go back to models I have only completed a few months ago and when I finished at the time I thought it was a Golden Deamon winner only to look at it now and want to chuck it in a vat of simple green

  11. Great job Ron, and congrats on increasing your confidence as a painter. I wish I could paint every day. I go through spurts of paint productivity, usually 3 months on and then 3 months off. Or something like that.

  12. Man!! That is such an awesome paint job man!! The colour choices are just perfect!!

    I will go out on a limb here and say definately the BEST Ravenguard I have ever seen!! as well as one of the best scouts!

    If all your army is to be like this.... then WOW!!

  13. BigWill: I go back and look at old models and can see that I didn't understand what I was doing, I was just copying what I saw.

    Now don't get me wrong, that's part of the process of learning but once you understand, you are free to change things and develop your own way of painting.

    Dj Batman: This isn't my army, it's for a Client of mine. Wait until you see the whole squad next Sunday when I post the results of this week.

  14. Awesome! I love the minimalistic approach. I cant wait to get my chops back.

  15. wow , im starting to learn the game and getting a battalion box soon , and i wasnt sure what army to chapter to choose ,

    but i found this page and saw those raven guard , and i was blown away with them , and when i read their story i loved them more :)

    i just hope i can paint them like this ...


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