D&D DM'ing by Matt Colville


So… I bought an airbrush…

This one isn’t airbrushed, just wanted to share.


Update on the Balor!

Almost there…almost.


Dude these are coming out completely badass! I love it!



Finished my Balor!

There’s a ton I want to fix or change, but I gotta move to the next one.


Looks amazing. How did you get the shadowing in the fine details? Did you use a thin paint wash, or is that airbrushing?


I used black, brown, flesh, and yellow washes to get the recess details. The airbrush allowed me to get the overall gradation (the wings have the most visibility, but it’s easier to see here…)


Do you have any tips or references for painting figures like this? I may have a few of Matt’s dragons ordered, and I wanna do them justice!


Uhhh, hmm. I’m not sure what skill level you’re at so please don’t take anything personally.

First and foremost, practice on minis you’re not to attached to. If you try to paint for the first time on something super detailed or that you have a fondness for…you’re going to have a bad time. It’s worth spending $5-20 on cheap minis to get a feel for things. Wizkids and Reaper make awesome minis for dirt cheap.

An airbrush gives you a really smooth primer coat and base coat. That’s a big help. They can also give you excellent lighting and gradation…but they’re expensive. I paid $250 for a brush and compressor and that didn’t include cleaner, thinner, flow aid, or airbrush primer. Brushes do amazing work as well, so don’t count them out.

Use quality paint (I use Citadel and Vallejo, but there are a many other brands) and avoid bargain acrylic paints. Ie if you can get them for $1 or less, avoid them. Vallejo is usually $3-4, and citadel are $4-5 per bottle/pot.

Decent brushes help as well. It’s worth spending a little bit extra. I recommend sable brushes, but Taklon brushes can be used as well.

Also watch a lot (A LOT) of YouTube videos. Specifically Tabletop Minions, Miniac, and Warhammer TV.

Duncan from Warhammer TV is ridiculously talented and makes it look super easy. Which can be frustrating. But he’s been a huge inspiration for me and I’ve learned a lot.

Uncle Atom from Tabletop Minions and Scott from Miniac are both fantastic as well, but they’re at a more attainable skill level as they also have day jobs and other hobbies.

I can recommend specific videos that helped me if you’d like.

And I’m totally up to answering questions.


I am 100% new to this. I’m excited to give it a shot! Your advice will be super useful. Thanks so much!


Alrighty, I will pull something together for you!


Also, this isn’t a bad set of short shows for talking about painting techniques from the perspective of being a beginner:


It’s on Alpha I think, not sure if it’s made it to Youtube or whatever yet but if you haven’t tried Alpha then you can basically get a 30 day free trial to check these out then cancel the sub if you like.


Hey, Tak. I haven’t forgotten about you. I am curating some youtube
playlists and links to get you going.


Recently got to play 5e for the first time, and DnD for the first time in years. Had a lot of fun.

Got to play as a human Warlock. My first time being both a human and a warlock. And in a different campaign I was able to play my Eladrin Bard. Who was incredibly fun. Definitely the character I have liked the most that I’ve written for DnD.


Maybe your human warlock and eladrin bard will meet and fall in love! :heart_eyes:


So this is only tangentially linked, but this seems like the right place. I don’t know if anyone watched Critical Role last night, I’m watching it now… guest from the High Rollers is playing a character called Calianna, a half-elf sorcerer who happens to be cloaked and has half of their body kind of transformed into dragon scales, a clawed left hand…

Sound familiar, anyone? :wink:


I haven’t seen it yet. I have to wait for the YouTube upload on Monday


DM’d for some coworkers tonight. It was interesting to say the least. One person, no matter how hard we all tried just didn’t understand the game. Like any of it. At all. That was odd for me.

One person was constantly texting their SO and kids, which I get but also I am giving up time with my kids too. But she said after that she really enjoyed it more than the thought she would.

Another person was very goofy at the start but about half way in she had taken on the leader role and was all about getting shit done.

Last but not least the quiet girl of the group leaned hard on her abilities and probably played the best out of anyone even if she didn’t really get to show off.

All in all it was a good experience for me and it really made me appreciate my normal group.


Way back this threat started it all…
I aIready was a P&P Roleplayer when I saw this thread…but I only knew DSA (German: Das Schwarze Auge / English: The Dark Eye) and a kinda homebrew horror Roleplay called Insomnia…
So I stumbled upon this fine gem here and started watching Matt’s YouTube Channel…since most of what he says is not only for D&D but can also be applied to other RPGs…then I heard him compare his group with Critical Role at the side…but since I was curious to what he meant I watched the first episode and well got hooked right away…since then I was a critter and rl stuff kept me from returning here to finish some stuff and read all these fine threads…well now I’ve read it all…aaanyway…back to topic…
Since I love Matt’s Videos and also love Critical Role I asked my friends if we may try to play D&D as well…and yeah…and it only confirmed it…it’s awesome…
It’s great that this stuff also inspired and motivated me to draw my character again…it always helps to reactivate my creative cogwheels…:smiley:


I’m working on a Halloween One-Shot for my friends. Doing an 80’s horror theme and this is their map.

Full Disclosure: I did not create the map, just appropriated it.