I'm only "fair" at painting minis, but I use wash-and-highlight trick to pretty good effect.
Apply base coat, add wash, lightly brush over raised surfaces and contours with same color as base coat.
There used to be an old Warzone wash called Chocolate Brown that was great for flesh...any brownish wash should work.
If I'm painting a blue cloak, then I use a wash from a darker shade of blue.
Washes give nice depth to a paint job.
Another question would be what color primer you're using...it has a big effect on what your colors end up looking like. A black or white primer underneath a lighter color, like a soft blue or a yellow, changes it quite a bit.
If you want a dark mini, use a black primer, or example.
Be careful with some of the "white" primers...they're actually green. The ones I've noticed like this have John Kovalic's Dork Tower characters on them.
That said, they're not bad...they're just not white.
IIRC, kenwig is a pretty good mini painter...I'm sure he'd have a ton more advice for you.
Co-Author: The Almanac of the Endless Traders, DCC #13, DCC #29, DCC #49, DCC #51, DCC #52, DCC #63
Author: DCC #55: Isle of the Sea Drake, DCC #61: Citadel of the Corruptor, more to come....