The Joys of D&D Figurine Painting


I have been playing Dungeons and Dragons Adventurers League at my local game shop fairly regularly since last July, and as a result, I have started to accumulate a number of figurines.  These plastic figurines come in all shapes and sizes, but I’ve been hesitant to paint them because I was not confident in my art skills (translation: I suck at art¹).

Until now.

I couldn’t bear to look at those poor, grey figurines with their bland, grew tone anymore, so I finally bought a very minimal set of Citadel brand figurine paints and gave it a try.  My first few figures turned out OK, but not great.  However, by and by I’ve gotten somewhat better at painting and more importantly I really enjoy it.  The figurine above is one of my primary characters I play in Adventurers League.  Since she is a drow (dark elf), her skin is ebony-black and eyes red.  Painting two tiny red eyes took a lot of hand-eye coordination.  😅

I’ve also painted a few monsters too, such as these orcs:


Thanks to tips from friends, and helpful articles like this one, I’ve learned how to mix and match paints to get the color and consistency I wanted too.  That allowed me to make various shades of green, such as in this figurine:




But, by far the best tip I’ve learned so far is to take a dollop of paint and put it on a “palette” which in my case is just a paper plate covered in plastic wrap.  From there, add enough water that the paint has the consistency of milk.  This really helps keep the tiny features of the figurine visible, and not “pasty” looking.  You can also mix two different colors on the same palette (after diluting both with water) to make interesting combinations.  It took me a few tries, but I was able to get a decent “skin” color for faces.

One of my friends who has more experience painting also suggested that “less is more” since you can always add more layers of paint if you need to, rather than taking away.

One thing that I do need to work on is shading.  I have a wash to provide shading, but somehow it doesn’t come out right.  As with normal paints, I’ve been told that it works better when watered down and then allowed to seep naturally into crevices and such.  I kind of got it to work on this Minotaur, particularly the shading on his muscles:


Anyhow, as my painting skills (and photography skills) improve, I’ll try to post more.

The point though of this post is that despite having no real art skills, it was something fun worthwhile to delve into, and I am glad I did it. It’s good to break out of one’s comfort-zone from time to time.

¹ And photography, too.

Published by Doug

🎵Toss a coin to your Buddhist-Philhellenic-D&D-playing-Japanese-studying-dad-joke-telling-Trekker, O Valley of Plentyyy!🎵He/him

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