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Painting obsidian miniatures can be tricky, as the paint is often thicker and harder to see on dark surfaces. Here are some tips for painting with success!

How To Paint Obsidian Miniatures

If you are obsessed with tabletop gaming, you may want to paint some miniatures. Although there are different types of miniatures that you can paint, most probably many of you want to get your obsidian miniatures painted. 

If you don’t know how to paint obsidian miniatures, this step-by-step guide will be there to help you out. So, continue reading this entire article to know everything you need to know to paint obsidian miniatures. So, without further ado, let’s begin the guide. 

Necessary Equipment

When you talk about the paint brushes, make sure that it comes with a good tip for detailing and doing highlights. You will need a small brush for minor areas of the miniature. To do base coating or washing, you also need a larger brush. Besides, don’t forget to get a stiff-bristled brush for dry brushing. 

For thinning the paint, you will need a palette. However, a plastic container lid or even a ceramic tile can also be used to serve that purpose. Always try to go for a standard metal palette so that splitting can be prevented. 

To cover the main parts of the obsidian miniature, you will need quite a few paints. Some primary colors can be used for skin, armor, cloth, etc. Also, get some metal colors like gold and silver. Besides, get some brown color paints for the leather and straps. 

Many people go for different shades of the same color which is not a good practice. Rather, you should try to make things simple. You can expand eventually as per the requirement. Although, you can complete the task without using spray primers. However, it is recommended to have a can at least. 

How to Paint Obsidian Miniatures: Step-By-Step Guide

Follow each step properly discussed below so that you can get your obsidian miniatures painted correctly. 


The first thing is first. You should get the miniature for painting and to do that you will need to assemble it first. Take all the necessary steps for assembling the model perfectly. If the miniature is black, you should prime it with the spray can of black paint. 

If the model comes with lots of bright colors like yellow or white, you can use a gray or white primer. But, to be honest the black color is always forgiving to start with. Because there may be some areas that are hard to reach. Always try to find the best primer for miniatures for better user experience.

In the case of black paint, those spots will become shadowy. Apply a thin coat evenly. The best practice is to apply short bursts from a 15-30 cm distance. You should allow 30 minutes for drying. You need to make sure that the model is primed and you can repeat the process if you are confused about any spot of the model. 

Base Coating:

The painting process of basic colors on your miniature model is known as the base coating. To get the job done perfectly, you should apply thin and even layers of paint. Never use the paint straight out of the bottle. First, make it thin by adding a few drops of water. 

I know, it is challenging to get the expected consistency. But, you should try to make it runnier than paint and thicker than the water. Keep your patience when doing a painting project. It is always good to apply two or three thin layers instead of using a thicker layer. 

Trust me, getting a smooth coat isn’t tough, but you should never lose your patience. If you practice properly, eventually you will be able to master this art. 


As miniatures are typically smaller, light doesn’t have the same effect on them compared to larger objects. So, it will be a wise decision if you paint them with darker paints. So, to get the job done here, you should use washes or you can even use shade paints for shading the model. 

When it comes to implying shadows, you can use these thin paints which will settle in the recesses of models. At this stage, you should focus only on recesses. Target such areas as folds of cloth, around joints, and areas that contain quite a few nooks and crannies. 

As a result, flatter areas will remain untouched so that armor and cloth will remain bright. During the time of shading, you will not have a lot of options. Firstly, you can make the paint darker. Besides, you can add red or green so that there will be extra depth to the shadow. Always try to research the color for perfect shading. 

Layering and Cleanup:

If you have already completed the base coating and shading stage, you will get an obsidian miniature that can be used for many purposes. But, it is recommended to complete the layering process as well. 

In the layering stage, you must tidy up and raise areas that have been washed by going over them with the original color. No doubt, the layering, and cleanup process are pretty much important and you should do that with utmost care. 


Edge Highlighting:

The next important step you should do when painting an obsidian miniature is known as highlighting. The main purpose of highlighting is to stimulate the effect of light reflecting off the highest points of the miniature. 

If you thin up the paint properly, highlighting is an easy task to complete. Another point to be noted is you should focus on the edges where light exposure is high. If you do the edge highlighting properly, the miniature painting project will be successful. 

Dry Brushing: 

The next thing you need to do is dry brushing. At this point, you will need a brush with stiff bristles. This brush is perfect for larger areas. You will need to take a very small amount of paint on your brush for the dry brushing purpose. You should brush the model back and forth for better performance. 


The last step you should follow is the detailing. When painting a model, you must leave some of the details on the model until the work is completed fully. This process is called detailing. It will help you to avoid getting paint on the spots of the model which are being worked on more. 

How to Paint Checkerboard on Miniatures

Sometimes you may want to paint checkerboard miniatures. To be honest, it is very simple to do. But, you need to follow the guideline properly to complete the task. 

First of all, you need to start painting with the lightest color first. It will make the task easier. For example, If you paint white on black, it will be harder. But, black on white is a far easiest option. 

Now, take a B range pencil which comes with soft lead. You have to mark the pattern on the miniature by using a pencil. Then trace in the paint with darker paint color.

Continue tracing until you get the perfect checkerboard pattern as expected. Now that you have the pattern on the miniature, it’s time to fill in the blocks with the darker color as you feel necessary. 

For a better understanding, you can check out this video. 

Final Words

Painting obsidian miniatures is not a tough task. But to get the job done properly, you must know how to paint obsidian miniatures. In this article, I have discussed all the necessary steps you should follow to paint obsidian miniatures. I hope it will help you to complete your project properly.