Saturday, June 5, 2010

Practice Is Important

A few nights ago I had an hour to paint and so at last got back to the test Homer that I started a couple weeks ago. Overall there's not a lot different from the last time I posted pictures of this guy except that I worked more on the yellow areas and made my first attempt at painting the Stonecutters' symbol. I've never been too successful with my previous forays into painting freehand details which is the main reason why I wanted to have at least one practice run with the chapter badge. Based on my results with proto-Homer, I think more practice is needed.

Before getting to the chapter badge, I first spent some time highlighting Homer's arms and helmet. It's been a long time since I painted any significant areas of a miniature yellow although I don't recall ever having any particular problem with the color. This time, however, I believe I let my paint get too watery as I had some issues controlling the pigment. Otherwise things were okay and I'm happy enough with how it looks, though in the future I do want to accent the highlights more. I'd also like to experiment a little with other lines of yellow paint to make sure I wouldn't prefer something other than the Foundry System paints.

The last thing I did with the yellow was to add a wash of Gryphonne Sepia in hopes of restoring some of the depth of color to the model. After highlighting the yellow those areas looked sort of faded and stale and I thought the wash might provide a richer color. It turned out alright but I wasn't too careful and left some splotches, most noticeably on his helmet above the right eye lens. I probably won't do that in the future, and if I do it will be much earlier in the process. So despite its fearsome reputation, painting yellow wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and I feel confident about being able to manage what I'll need to do for this army's color scheme.

As for the chapter badge.... well, take a look.

It kind of looks to me like the double-hammer design for which I was aiming, but that could easily be because I know what it is supposed to represent. I'm starting to wonder if I should have gotten on Chapterhouse Studio's wait list after all, but it really did sound like it could be a very long wait and I'm eager to get moving with this project. If I knew how to make custom decals I would be interested in going that way but that's beyond my abilities, both technical and artistic. That leaves me with painting them freehand. I therefore need to just be satisfied with doing them as best I can and hopefully get better along the way. No other way to improve, right?

Going in for a closer look, you can see that what was meant to be a circle turned out like a slanted, wobbly egg-shaped thing. Not only do I need more practice, but in particular I need practice painting on curved surfaces like those found on these shoulder pads. I wasn't very patient and would have put more care in laying out things evenly were this not a test miniature, plus I made no effort to go back and tidy up my mistakes. I therefore feel like I've got some reason to be confident that I can do a better job when painting it for real. And the same goes for those white portions of the power armor, too, for which I just plan on taking a lot of time in order to get a smooth finish.

This Stonecutters project is very slowly creeping along but I'm okay with the pace for now. I decided recently that I want to hold off on anything more with them until after the home remodeling has been completed. It should only be a couple more weeks now and then I will be able to set up my own hobby space in the house, something which I have sorely missed for more than two years. Meanwhile I've got plenty of side projects I can work on when life allows me the time, like the stack of five Citadel Woods kits that I began assembling yesterday. I may not be painting much at the moment but I'm still trying to be productive.


  1. Nice work so far.

    The yellow can be hard to do, and sepia is the perfect colour to shade it with without it going too dark. A shame you made a slight mistake, but you get use to it and learn from the mistakes we make.

    The symbol looks decent, freehand can be hard if you are not use to it. I am still learning how to make it look effective as well. It just takes practice. I would suggest you try sketching it out on a bit of paper first. If you do it at various sizes you get a general idea of how you'll want it to look, it is different to painting it on, admittedly but it gives you a basic understanding of shape.

    You could even try painting the symbol on some paper or a spare shoulder pad first. In essence, practice makes perfect.

  2. Thanks, Kuffy. I appreciate the encouragement on freehand painting as it's still pretty intimidating for me but like you said, practice is the key. Great tip about sketching out the design, I think I will spend some time doing that before trying again with paints. Plus I've got a bunch of leftover shoulder pads I can practice on as well. Thanks for the advice, man. Really helpful stuff, especially as those are things I can work on whenever I get a few spare moments.

  3. The color scheme is very appropriate, but there must be something very wrong with you on a deep, fundamental level.

    I approve.

    Some of those female Witch Hunter Inquisitors might make a good Marge.

  4. Hehe... you know it! Thanks, I'm glad you like the direction of this project. I was relieved to hear recently that the updated Inquisition pdf's do not invalidate hard copies of the rules as I've been planning just such an allied contingent for my Stonecutters. I've already got the model to base my Inquisitor Marge off of (those lady inquisitors with the tall hair really are perfect) and I'm slowly pulling together an appropriate Simpsons-themed retinue. This should be one of the first things I work on once my new painting station is set up.

  5. Maybe Krusty and Sideshow Bob/Mel Daemonhosts?

  6. That sounds really good, I like it a lot. I hadn't thought of what to do for Krusty and Mel so having them as Daemonhosts could work very well. What about Bob as an assassin from one of the Temples? If I were really ambitious I could do a variant of Bob for each of the four types of assassins, but that could be more of a long-term goal. Awesome suggestions, thanks!