I just posted this (modified for this blog) on the Reaper forums in response to someone struggling with Reaper’s Learn to Paint Kit 3 (NMM), it might be helpful so I decided to repost here.
I spent so much time poring over the instructions on this kit. Reading, re-reading, re-re-reading. Examining the pictures intensely. I spent at least a couple nights studying them before I even started painting.
I find NMM is a constant back and forth as you dial in the highlights and shadows. The main thing with gold is to figure out where the brightest highlight will be. This usually runs along the longest axis of the object, but there are lots of exceptions (which is where studying the pics comes in). Anyway, I put in a line of thinned white as a guideline for that highest highlight.
Then lay out all your spectrum from shadow to highlight on the palette (this is why I like a wet palette). The very basic rule is to paint one side of that line as shadow and the other as light. The shadow side will start with the darkest shadow right next to your guideline and will fade away from it to the mid-tone. The light side will start with the highlight next to your guideline and fade away to the mid-tone.
Forgive the crudity of this, and it lacks the center highlight, but I whipped it up in a couple seconds in GIMP 🙂
So get that idea down and you’re getting started with gold nmm. Study Anne’s instructions and painted examples and look to see how she applied that to the different surfaces on the two models.
Steel…yeah, still working on that one…Anyway, hope this helps!