Just a couple of months ago, I thought I had peaked as a miniature painter. I believed I was still painting miniatures to a good standard, but my eye-sight is worsening, and I just didn’t seem to be approaching it with the same passion as in years passed. Then, I made some changes.
I started being more deliberate with my miniature purchases. I completely reviewed and revamped all of my painting tools and accessories, and, perhaps most importantly, I made a real effort to set-aside chunks of time where I could concentrate fully on my painting. I also started working on my technique a bit, being more willing to water-down my paints and paint that extra highlight layer… Well, I now feel like I’m heading in an upwards direction again, and several of the last few miniatures I have painted I can confidently say are better than any that I have painted in years past.
For example, I have just finished painting Gus Greenweevil from Reaper Miniatures, sculpted by Bobby Jackson. Gus will be playing the part of Sam Gamgee in my Fellowship of the Ring. I mean really – he’s a pudgy Hobbit, overloaded with stuff, including a frying paint, ‘rope’, and a dagger. I kind of wish he wasn’t carrying a torch, but you can’t have it all.
In fact, it’s that torch – or more exactly the flame on top, which is the only part of the paint job I’m not completely satisfied with. The next time I paint fire, I’m going to have to research some new techniques. Still, it’s passable. I think the face is one of the best I’ve ever painted – helped by the broad, slightly cartoony features. Otherwise, it’s just lots of washes and layers.
For me, miniature painting is definitely about enjoying the figure I am working on to the maximum extent possible, more than the sense of accomplishment from getting loads of figures done.