Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Inspired by...

I don't have anything I can show today, but I thought I'd do a post I've been meaning to get to for a long time. Who or what inspires my painting and modeling? The obvious answer (as an artist) is "everything". A good visual artist observes and breaks down pretty much everything in view all the time for future use... But to be more specific, what is behind my process as I paint a mini?

As a young kid I learned to paint from White Dwarf Magazine. The work by the 'Eavy metal team seemed like unachievable goalpost, but I diligently read every article I could. Back then I often settled on a color scheme or technique that I knew was only so-so, just the get the unit painted faster. I was always disappointed with the minis as a result and didn't enjoy using them as much.
Nowdays I'm looking for new and fun ways to paint, rather than the fastest way to "get an army done". Army painting as a sole goal is actually a bad thing in my book. It is an artificial mindset that is at odds with the pleasure of collecting and painting miniatures, and instead encourages sacrificing effort in the name of getting "more troops on the table".. Which really equates to spending more money faster if you look at it from the company perspective.

So with the demon of Army Completion firmly in my rear view mirror, I have discovered a whole world of fun by painting for it's own sake. Starting this blog has put me in contact via the internet with a great variety of painters and modelers, all of whom influence me on a daily basis.

The List

Of course I wouldn't have known about 15mm sci fi if it wasn't for Dropship Horizon. And chances are (if my Google stats don't lie) that you actually surfed here from that site. A great resource that continues to fuel the 15mm sci fi hobby in all regards.

I'm sure you're no stranger to Gruntz, the excellent rules made by Robin Fitton. Robin and I have been in contact on and off since I started the blog, and I even sold him my original set of terrain to take to shows... If you've played Gruntz at a convention you may have even battled around it! The Gruntz site has tons of great tutorials and a fair bit of military modeling knowhow to boot.

Does painting have to be laser-precise and perfectly blended? No! Mini painting can be warm and impressionistic and still look amazing. The work on Carmen's Fun Painty Time really changed the uptight way I thought about painting.

Mind you, can sci-fi miniatures be absolutely mind bending works of shading and detail? Absolutely yes if you take a gander at the guy who paints a lot of the the Infinity stuff: Studio Giraldez. And yes, this is where I got the idea to try OSL.

Surely nobody does Infinity style models as well as 15mm sci fi? Yes they do, it's Fire Broadside. A treasure trove of inspirational painting here.

When I'm in a bit of a rut, there's nothing like a broad spectrum cure, and Laughing Ferret Lab is about as broad spectrum as you can get. Clever conversions and a wide subject matter mean there's plenty to be inspired by on his site.

Finally, you probably already know about Dave Taylor Miniatures. Dave is a flat out Hobby Celebrity and his site is always showing off his imagination and incredible industriousness. I haven't seen Dave in years, but we used to share a flat in Sydney that was completely filled with miniatures and paint. It's really heartwarming to see how incredibly far Dave has gone with his hobby career.

This is not a "top 10" list or anything and I should stress again that EVERY blog I follow is inspirational to me, this short menu is just an example of the diversity that's out there and that there is no one best painting style or secret. I no longer have any interest in 40k, but that doesn't mean there isn't a wealth of information and great ideas from 40k hobbying that translate to my hobby on the internet.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy your painting!



17 comments:

  1. Interesting read. I'm starting to do more painting for painting's sake style painting, nowadays. I haven't been to all of the links you posted. I will make a point of visiting them. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You used to share a flat with Dave? Crazy. When I frequented the central Brisbane store back in the day we used to chat about some of my conversions for Tau and the like when he was there, always liked the guy. Small world.. heck, even smaller miniatures nowadays. I agree on hearing about his US exploits and so on.

    Pretty much agree on the collection of sites; have those lads listed and many more. 15mm blogs just exploded across my bookmarks in the last 6months.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a small planet indeed, but as they say, I wouldn't want to paint it. ;)

      Delete
  3. Great Post. I would put Carmens in there for sure. Yours of course. Not Dropship so much now, but when Mark was in doing it, absolutely. The Barons Blog. Certainly all the guys from the old League of Augsburg. And I enjoy playtesting for Scott Pyle so his Four-Color Figures blog is always a stop as well. Great links for a couple I hadn't seen. thanks for those.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Addict. There are plenty of great blogs out there (yours is a beaut!), this list was a small taste of how a lot of very different hobbyists can contribute to one's own.

      Delete
  4. Hey "Spacejacker"!

    Thanks for the nod. I think it's been almost ten years since we last hung out (Wrestlemania 18 in Toronto if I remember correctly). It is thanks (in large part) to you that I have been very happy with the style I developed over the years. Your painting always inspired me to keep pushing myself. I'm glad that I stumbled onto your blog and I enjoy reading about your take on painting and gaming.

    Enjoy life back in Sydney and perhaps we can grab a beer or breakfast or something when we visit Oz next year?

    Cheers
    Dave

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why thank YOU Dave! Hogan vs Rock was the last time I saw you , yeah.. It's been ages! I still remember how you used to get a whole Guard regiment done while I was "overpainting one goblin" and whenever I'm adding too much detail to a 15mm mini, I mentally call myself out in your voice for overpainting my goblin.

      I'll be in Sydney next year and I still love me a breakfast, it would be awesome to combine it all. See you then!

      Delete
  5. Thanks for the kind words! This blog has been a great inspiration for me as well and you've shown me that 15mm minis can look just as good as their larger cousins. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's all about spreading the knowledge! Cheers Martin ;)

      Delete
  6. I gotta tell ya, I've been painting and converting figures since 1975, but your posts have really inspired me and re-invigorated my work. I am very impressed by not only your work, but the fact that you take the time to explain how you did it.

    Give yourself a big pat on the back

    Chris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Chris, this blog has been a bit of a hobby lifeline for me in the last couple of years so it's always really nice (and somewhat humbling) to hear that others enjoy it.

      Delete
  7. Thanks for the mention, and very flattered! Especially since I am constantly inspired by your work here.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Nice post, brought a few more blogs to my attention. I'm starting to get rather a collection of them going.

    ReplyDelete
  9. No love for the gaming blogs that feature gardening aye?

    ;)

    Seriously though, good stuff all around. I'm inspired by many of the same places, including your own blog especially. It's just this rut I'm in is seemingly bottomless. No matter how awesome your stuff is (or Martin's, or Dave's, etc.) I just can't seem to pick up the freakin' brush.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mik, your blog doesnt inspire my painting, it inspires my whole life! Seriously!

      Heres an attempted cure: put on a dvd or maybe an awesome podcast like Minions if the monster master. Then (after putting all your other unpainted minis out of sight) paint ONE 15mm mini. Take the whole afternoon/evening to finish it. Overpaint that goblin and I guarantee you will be happy when its done and you will want to paint another one :)

      Delete