Thinking to yourself: “How hard can this be? It’s such a tiny space, I’m sure I could fill it with something awesome. I’ll figure it out.” Well… I agree. It just takes time and a few supplies. Things that might help you get started:

  • Cards to Sacrifice – I painted tokens and land when I started since I wasn’t prepared to jewel-encrust any Force of Wills, but hey, if you’re a brave soul… go to town!

early CBC

My early work…

  • Paint – Investing in a small set of quality fluid acrylics is worth it. Pigment content is higher in better paint, so you actually need less to get good coverage. Pick one up for $30-ish and make sure you have black if it doesn’t come with. I use Golden Fluid Acrylics. If you’re not super comfy mixing colours, search instructions for making your own colour wheel with your new set of paints.

  • Brushes – I go through brushes regardless of their price, but buying even just a smidge above the worst has been worth it. I bought a cheap set to see which sizes I liked working with and then bought singles of my favorites.

mid cbc

Getting better…

  • Prepare – Stick your card to a piece of cardboard or something else you can hold on to while you work. A palette is just a place to mix – find a plate, tile, piece of cardboard, anything. A gray basecoat is miraculous. Edges are tricky – use a little toothpick to GENTLY shape edges.

  • Be Ready to Underwhelm Yourself – If you paint because you love it, the practice doesn’t seem like work. Prepare yourself to NOT be awesome right away. For most people, including me, skills come with lots of time. Getting better is a happy byproduct of a process where you get to CREATE something. Cool.

now cbc

There we go!

  • Start – Don’t get in your own way. Painting on cards is crazy anyway, right? :)

I’ll be going much further into depth about technique in future articles, but right now the best thing you can do is just get started. Try extending a mountain out through the card frame. Try putting some sweet shoes on a planeswalker. Have some fun with it!

– Kelli

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