I see lots of newbie painting questions, but haven't seen this particular idea, so I thought I'd throw it out here for general consideration. I'll preface this with the comment that I'm new to Malifaux, but have been doing 40K for a long time.
What I do is keep some "junk" minis around to test techniques and color combinations on. You can pick up 4 or 5 elder or tau, which are similar in size and delicacy to Manifaux, for about $15 on eBay. Strip them, prime them, and go to town. Try the same techniques on a couple of them. For example, try the same colors with black primer on one, b