Every once in a while I like to reflect on the little tricks I have learned in this hobby and today is that day. In no particular order, here they are.
1) If you are frustrated with a miniature you have spent a long painting session on, put it aside and look at it the next day. Many times I have worked on a miniature and HATED it only to throw into the stripper and start over. Here is the thing though, after a few days the mistakes and color will look a bit different and the miniature will most likely look much better to you. Or at least not as bad.
2) Once a year or so, copy a professionally painted miniature. This removes the color palette issues from your painting and focus you in on the techniques they used. You will be surprised by how much you can learn by coping a master.
3) Try to paint for at least a few minutes a day.
4) Always keep the paint jobs as you continue painting through the years. Its a great road map to where you have been and how far you have come.
5) Every so often try to paint something that you think is above your skill level. Yes it will be frustrating and you might not like the results, but I bet you will be surprised by your results. Not only will it give you a new respect for miniature painters you admire, I will improve your skill level at the same time.
6) Try to paint in a different style than you are used to every so often.
7) Watch a basic painting tutorial again. You will get something from it I promise.
8) Teach some one else to paint.
9) Paint a miniature for a friend.
10) Pick a miniature at random and paint it. One that has no use other than the enjoyment of painting.
11) Paint a miniature for a contest and get honest feedback from the community.
12) Give someone else some honest critique on their miniature. Don't be mean! Just tell them what works and what does not on the miniatures. It helps to find someone who is asking for honest feedback to improve their skills.