The Waving Flag: As Time Goes By

Tuesday 27 February 2018

As Time Goes By

There's snow on the ground here in sunny Warrington and therefore today was a hobby day. There was lots of varnishing and basing and a little bit of painting. There was also a little bit of repair work too.

I am contemplating which of my medieval armies to use next and I decided to check my Later Polish army.  I noticed a bit of wear and tear that needed touching up and one base that needed a little bit more.  Nothing serious only half an hour's work.

This repair work made me compare my current painting style with that of years ago. For me this is never a good thing. We all improve with practise but I appear to be pre-disposed to be shocked by "how bad" my early work is.  In 2016 I wrote about similar issue with a different army:
"I examined the painted figures from 2007 in detail prior to painting the additional figures.  This brought the contrast of styles between 2007 & 2016 into sharp focus.  Prior to this my perception of the quality of these figures was high.  I felt that the paint job was one of my best.  Nine years later the critical part of me wasn’t so sure."
The 2016 experience taught me the best way for me to renovate older figures is to relax and be patient. So this time I was mentally prepared and wasn't too hard on my former self.

Nonetheless the difference was striking because the older figures:
  • Were painted before 2010 when I started using a magnifying glass.
  • Used a lot of black lining for things like patterns which I don't do now.
Sadly, these factors compounded one another.  With failing eyesight, and without a magnifying glass, the black lining turned out thick and far thicker than it needed to be. 

The contrast between then and now was even greater than the above would suggest because today I paint patterns without any black lining at all.  I rely on darker base coats to create a dark boundary.  This results in neat boundaries with no black as shown here:

On the positive side I put all the lessons I learnt in 2016 into practise. I even resisted the temptation to repaint any of the patterns: far too difficult with figures that are based.  I quickly renovated the one base that needed more than just a touch up.  Whilst I was doing that it proved really easy to tidy up some of the more glaring painting gaffs.

So it is true: you do live and learn!

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