Monday, August 24, 2015

Energised about return to painting

Frankly I've been torn on if this post is a painting post or a ramble post. I've tagged it as both, but will leave the paint brushes as the lead-in picture. Although a bit shorter, I will be touching on some of my painting experience that might help out others.

Along with my blogging dropping down to very little over the past several months I also lost motivation for painting and modeling. On receipt of my Wrath of Kings models I assembled and primed them, but could not get the excitement to paint high enough to sit down and work on them. Similarly I had to really push myself to assemble and paint my first Guild Ball team. This is not due to the models themselves, both games have excellent models. It was completely due to lacking motivation to sit down and paint.

I found this to be very frustrating overall and spent a fair bit of time thinking about it. Unfortunately my pondering the predicament of painting did not help with the motivation I needed. I really pushed myself to sit down and paint up my Guild Ball Masons team to a point where I was not overly embarrassed to put them on the table. Harmony (to the right) is an excellent example of where I was at. While she is at an acceptable level to reach a table-top painting standard I'm comfortable with, she is lacking details I have since put onto other models. Comparing her to the models I have painted since getting excited to return to painting shows a fair difference in overall quality.

I noticed something else about my painting. I noticed this as I was painting up some of my initial Aetherium models and found it carried over to the other models I painted. Painting my models was taking a lot longer than I anticipated based on my previous painting experience. I am not a fast painter and as such a "typical" man sized model (28mm - 32mm) takes me approximately 90 minutes to complete when starting from primer. I found that during my slump the models I did push myself to paint were taking 2 - 3 hours to complete. I can't point to exactly where I was moving slower, I just realized that when I would finish a model that much time had passed. This only added to my frustration and lack of motivation, especially when they did not look as good.

I wish I had some secret sauce or sage advice I can offer to others in the same situation I was in. I have found myself reenergized and excited again to sit down and work on painting up models. I can't say exactly when it happened, but I do remember some of what I was doing when I found myself "back in the groove". This may or may not work for others, but hopefully it helps.

I have an upcoming article talking in depth about painting Chibi models, it should post over the next couple weeks. One day I decided that I would drag my Super Dungeon Explore models down to my painting table and work on them. I had never painted up Chibi style models and was very nervous about not being able to paint in a new style. I've spent the entire duration I've been painting for the hobby focusing on a non-cartoon style that works for mini-wargaming. I was not involved in the hobby during the early GW days when all the bases were goblin green and all the models were painted in clean cartoon lines with extreme highlighting and black border lines. I got involved in this hobby and learned my painting techniques with an eye toward achieving a "semi-realistic" style to my models. Lots of washes and shadow-midtone-highlight blending to get a "natural" look to the models. Chibi style models were all extreme highlights, clean lines, smooth and bright colors, and very cartoonish.

I started with what I knew about painting and picked the models that I felt would come closest to my "normal" painting style while giving me an oppurtunity to try out some new techniques. I have spent a lot of my painting time working on fire through my wargaming tenure, and picking out the SDE fire monsters was the best place to start. I painted them up exactly as I would have painted a non-chibi mini, then looked at some other painters online pictures for reference. Starting with that base I went back over the model and cleaned up areas I typically left blended, hardening the transitions and lines on the model. I then added in some very extreme transitions and let the model dry. Although I was uncomfortable to start, I quickly found that the result was exactly what I was looking for. I then convinced my wife to play a game with me, pulling out my newly painted monsters for us to face off against. During that game my wife really enjoyed the way the monsters looked, and I also became excited to see them on the table. They were certainly not professionally painted, but they looked pretty good overall.

Starting at this point I began to prime other SDE models, moving into the heroes and adding in more monsters as I went. I found that the Chibi style was not as tough to achieve as I thought, and I was starting to become very excited to keep painting. Along with the SDE models, I became motivated to paint other models using my "normal" technique. Switching back and forth between models, both between painting sessions and during the same session, I started to see progress across my whole collection. I also began to pick back up on my painting speed and my overall technique. In only a couple weeks I have found myself reenergized to keep painting and move forward with that side of the hobby.

blog comments powered by Disqus