|First dark tan stucco base layer|
Buildings are the perfect answer to this. I generally have some unpainted ones lying around, and since they are basically an exercise in layered dry brushing, I can do this in little ten minutes chunks at the dining room or kitchen table, in and around other things, with only one or two containers of craft paint needed at any one time.
This group of 5 buildings is an Old Glory set from ten or twelve years ago, plus one JR Miniatures (old Architectural Heritage) building from their Bavaria or Prussia line. The Old Glory set was a "European Village" set that I bought and began painting about ten years ago but never finished. A few weeks ago I over-sprayed the set black to start over. The set consists of three blocks of three joined buildings each, plus a church. They are of a style that can be used for anything from the Seven Years War through World War II. Very useful to have lots of these lying around...
I would estimate that this group took a little over an hour to paint in total, which occurred in lots of 5 and 10 minute increments between Saturday morning and late Sunday afternoon. I used cheap craft paints for these, and probably used no more than 7 or 8 different colors. The stucco is a dark tan base with a couple layers of lighter dry brushing. The gray walls are two colors of medium and lighter gray. The roofs are dark brown highlighted with reddish browns, medium browns and tans. The same range of browns and grays was used to do the flagstones, grave stones in the church courtyard, and the yard areas in the different building sections.
The only thing that remains to be done before these can be considered completely done is to flock portions of the yards and then coat the whole thing with matte sealer for durability.
Not bad for an hour's work (ok, maybe an hour and a half...).