Sunday, 11 December 2016
Age Comes On Apace...
I haven't felt much like painting lately, but I did manage to finish these three Minas Tirith guardsman and a Frostgrave treasure token (the rune stone on the right). The photo, unfortunately, is a tad overexposed, which is ironic, considering what I'm about to say.
Over the last year, I have been having difficulty painting. The truth is, I just don't see as well as I used to. It's not a big deal on most miniatures, but those with finer detail (which includes most of GW's The Lord of the Rings line), I'm having real difficulty seeing that detail well enough to paint it.
For most of my life, I have been blessed with above average eyesight (apparently to compensate for my terrible hearing and sense of smell). However, having turned forty this year, it would be surprising if I didn't 'see' some decline. So I went to the optometrist. Apparently, my vision is still above average, at least as far as forty-year-olds are concerned, and I don't need glasses; though I am considering getting myself a pair of low-powered reading specs for small font.
I briefly experimented painting with magnification, but it seems to cause as many problems as it solves, and takes some of the enjoyment out of it. So, instead, I started experimenting with light... and soon made a major discovery. I didn't have near enough light when I paint.
Once I stopped and thought about it, I realized that my 'painting light' has slowly decreased over the years. I used to have a dedicated paint station, near a window, with a specific lamp for painting. Then, I immigrated to country that doesn't receive near as much natural light; I lost my painting space near the window, and I lost my dedicated lamp. Oh, and then European legislation outlawed the old light bulbs and made us all replace them with much dimmer energy-efficient ones. At each step my eyes could handle it, but added all together with another ten years of age thrown in, and it was too much. A few nights ago, after I finished painting these Gondorians, I took my super bright light from the living room into the kitchen. It has both a general lamp and a directional lamp. I cranked both up to full power. I bathed that room in light! And what a difference it made. I could see again! Okay, not like I could when I was a young man, but good enough that I could happily paint even most of the fine detail.
Yes, probably I'm just an idiot for not realizing this sooner, but hey, I've had a lot on my mind. Anyway, I'm a happy painter again!
For those wondering about the title of this post, it is a phrase from the poem 'Solomon Kane's Homecoming' by Robert E. Howard. Howard didn't write much poetry, especially later in his short life, which is a shame, because he certainly had a talent for it. You can read the whole poem here.