The Waving Flag: Painter's Miscellany #2

Tuesday 8 October 2019

Painter's Miscellany #2

[1] Take Time To Reflect
This is a bit of painters' psychology. Like many people I find painting very relaxing and a wonderful diversion from the everyday. Sadly, this isn't always the case. There are times when I just have to apply myself.

During these periods the relative lack of enjoyment makes me more critical than usual. This in turn dampens my enthusiasm and round it goes. I have developed two approaches to break the cycle:

  • Always leave at least 2 hours before reviewing recently painted figures. This gives you time to switch from the "painting" mind set of correcting the last few errors to assessing, and enjoying, them as completed pieces.
  • With large projects, or units, take time to check any previously finished figures. They will invariably be better than you thought and will spur you on.

Do you have any tricks? Leave a comment it you do.

[2] Use A Restricted Colour Scheme
Colour is important. Using lots of bright colours is really hard especially if when adding colour for variety in a unit. Get it wrong and the unit looks like a rampage through a children's paint palette. Bright colours for emphasis works well but can easily be over done.

The best way I've found to counter this is to use a restricted selection of colours. Have you ever wondered why WWII models & figures always look good? I think it's because the period has an inbuilt restricted palette of drab greens, browns and yellows.

When I first started painting units I would often use brighter colours to introduce variety in what otherwise would be a drab unit: no longer. Increasingly I am using just three or four browns, a few creams (including buff & taupe), and a couple of drab greens & khakis as the basis of a units appearance as seen here:

Obviously, colour is important but I now tend to restrict bright colours to small areas for emphasis and only use one or two in a unit as shown here:

Since I started doing this I've found that painting is a little quicker and when I do use colour it stands out far more. Of course there are occasions when you just have to paint in full colour:

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