Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Bringing a New Style to the Hobby

Barry Lees, Golden Demon 1993, Veteran's Category
Here are some thoughts that have been brewing for a while, sparked more after attending Games Day North America 2010. (Baltimore)

Recently, Lauby has been talking about things that have stirred up my thoughts again and I finally think I know the direction I want to start taking things. (Read his thoughts as of this posting in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4) Get comfortable, and if you only have a little time, please come back to this post later.

I entered two pieces into the Golden Demon painting contest (both making first cut) and was slightly disappointed to see that a majority of the other entries seemed to blend together into a single mass. They look great up close; this is not intended to be a slight against the artists. But take a few steps back and most of the models disappeared in a sea of darkness. We all get it - in the grim darkness of the future, there is only war - and if there is one thing that Ron Perlman (narrator of Fallout) has taught us, it is that "War... war never changes".

Lauby's posts made me realize I'm not the only one with woes regarding today's common style of painting. Something that came up was the idea of how human nature is to emulate until we get bored and find a new vice. I recall that when I was a kid, a lot of the great works of art I saw in miniatures were done in washed out sepia tones and lighter or brighter colours which looked great and was the reverse of today's landscape. However, much like today's work, it blended together when you put figures from different artists side by side because everyone was still painting the same style.


[Update: to reiterate and avoid confusion, this isn't about nostalgia. Some people seem to be confusing this as me saying everyone should start painting like we used to 15-20 years ago - let me point you at that last sentence: Even back then, when a whole bunch of models painted similarly are placed side by side, they still wash out and blend together. This is about adding diversity to the art. The Golden Demon photos I've included from the past are there to show that other styles have successfully competed.]

Matthew Parks - Golden Demon 1995, Slayer Sword
I'm going to point out a few pop examples as a way to help you understand what I'm talking about.
Sitcoms used to be prevalent on TV and then reality TV started taking over the airwaves. Over the last few years we have been seeing a rise in adult cartoons and low budget, amateur or specialty programming. As a long time fan of anime, I was happy when North America started airing shows like Lost to bring storylines to audiences rather than just trying to get as many episodes out of a series as possible. The TV landscape now is actually somewhat diverse.

Then there is the video game landscape, which for a while has been getting stale compared to the 80's and 90's.  Before awesome 3D graphics, all a game had to rely on was innovation, writing and game play. Designers had to work hard to carve a niche out for their styles and prove to the audience that they had something new and worthwhile - and they did, because they laid the ground work for every video game that's been created in the last decade. Then game designers began relying on pretty graphics instead of solid game play and storyline and quality dropped. They blamed pirates for low sales, making the assumption they weren't releasing garbage. A lot of what comes out these days is just rehashed from old ideas. However, there's a lot of indie developers, the "little guys", getting further into the game industry thanks to services like Steam which allows them to distribute their content and we are seeing some really innovative stuff again. (Things like Audiosurf or World of Goo)

Gary Taylor - Golden Demon
1995, Fantasy 3rd place
Neil Thomason - Golden Demon
1995, 40k 1st place
Actors already create something a little beyond reality. All those accents, dramatic pauses, exaggerated gestures and so on are exciting to watch.
A salesperson can give the perfect pitch to someone for a cheap, gas efficient vehicle and that person could still go buy the expensive, go fasta red sports car.
We read books, play video games and watch shows or movies nowhere near realistic and sometimes not even plausible because we enjoy the diversity and flight of fancy found within them.

Now, if the problem can be defined as "Everybody's art looks the same" then the question is "How do we change the current landscape of painting styles?"


We have to try something different. The longer we wait, the more stale things are going to get. I'm not saying everyone should stop painting dark and paint light, (then we still look the same, just brighter) but that we need to try our own styles rather than emulate what everyone else is doing.

The quickest method would be to have a bunch of great miniature artists switch up their style and encourage others to adapt to their own unique methods too. If a lot of us start trying new things, while it may not look great at first, it could open more eyes to the possibilities out there.

Any time a new reality is created, it must be given a certain style. Landscapes and the objects that fill them don't have to look "real" but they must be "believable". This is true in movies, tv, games, books and anything someone has dreamed up. Even cartoons like the Ultramarines Smurfs are believable to a certain extent. Maybe when our brain sees something that does not try to look real, it relaxes and accepts what is being presented to it. This is the creation of what's known as "suspension of disbelief."

Adrian Wink - Golden Demon 1991, 40k Vehicle
Miniature gaming universes have a background and a "look", part of that being how we the painters bring the models to life. (It occurs to me that maybe there's a reason much of Games Workshop's art is in black and white or grey scale; to leave our options open.)

The great thing about trying something completely new with a hobby is that it does not cost a lot of money. A model, some paint and an idea is a lot cheaper than a car manufacturer adopting electric. I suppose there is your reputation if the idea fails, but I would hope others would at least appreciate that something new is being attempted.

Before I continue, I should point out one clarification:
At this time, I still think an army should look unified. They don't have to be painted exactly the same, but they should look uniform. (Though this general rule is sometimes bent, for example, Eldar Aspect Warriors.) What I'm trying to get at isn't "paint every model differently", it's "develop and paint in your own style and not like everyone else."

The following are some examples of what I am talking about - worlds that are believable, however unreal they appear, followed by my thoughts on other techniques we could see improve and mix up the landscape...

Baseline
Doom 3
To compare where we are currently at with most miniature painting, I would point to video games like Fallout 3, Doom 3, Quake 4 and so on. These are games striving to become ultra-realistic and while creating a spookier atmosphere they have also become darker. The detail within these games is incredible, just like in Warhammer, but also masked in shadow. A lot of the detail and effort that went into these graphics is lost to that darkness.
Quake 4
These are examples of games that did it right. There are plenty of other games out there that tried to appear realistic and failed. Games like these, we criticize.
Fallout 3

Sound familiar? When looking at realistic models, we usually have two reactions - awe and critique. Not only do we see all the amazing things the artists have done, but the longer we look at it, we start seeing all the little imperfections.

If you want to go down this path, that is still fine. Ultra-realistic art does look incredible, but shouldn't be considered the only option that you can aspire to. Just because everyone else is doing it, is not a reason for you to as well.


A Whole New World [World of Warcraft]
A game with 11 million people immersed in this universe nearly 24/7 has got to be doing something right. The graphics are obviously better than The Realm or Ultima Online but WoW got a lot of criticism early on for being unrealistic and somewhat cartoon-ish. It is difficult to create a video game that looks like real life, especially one of this scale.

Instead, they have created their own style for everything that players can accept and feel part of, rather than one that's not quite right and constantly having it's flaws pointed out. Believing the world you're immersed in is extremely important. By creating your own style and placing it in the context of a whole uniform system, things look right. Not only do they flow, but they trick your mind into accepting what you are seeing, rather than criticizing it.

By pulling art just a few steps away from reality and/or putting it into a context of it's own, you create your own world and tell the viewer what they should believe. Too far though, and things may look outrageous and unbelievable.


In retrospect, the miniatures I painted after my considerable amount of time in WoW may have been influenced by that world. However, I love these miniatures because when you're looking at them on the field of war, not only do they stand out and you can see the detail, but normal indoor lighting takes over and adds the shadows for me. It's actually a nice bold effect. (and yes, that Guardian IS rocking a Lascannon)

Warp Spiders, Guardians and D-Cannon Crew painted by Me

Razzminis - Chaos Lord
Outlining [Borderlands]
Cell shading has recently become popular and it's the act of giving 3D games a "drawn" look by outlining the objects in them (from the viewer's perspective) with black, like in a cartoon. This is sometimes bold with thick black outlines but Borderlands did it subtler than other games. Instead, there's a lot of detail on the models themselves and the old cell shading techniques are used just to outline, adding emphasis to details. It could be done in black or maybe even a much darker/lighter version of the detail's colours.



Before you pass over the model on the right, take a long hard look at it. There may not be the normal darkness of Chaos in there, but I guarantee you that if you're 6' away, looking down at him on a battlefield, you will see all the detail. I saw this mini while working on this article and it made me think of a practical example of how subtle outlining might look. Shading is not consistent and light does not appear to hit from the same angle. Instead there is an overall highlighting from borders and edges inward, creating a type of outline.
Borderlands
Sketching [Borderlands]
The other aspect of this game's art is that the open areas on the models have a bit of a rough sketched look rather than natural blending. Multiple colours and/or shades are still used, but rather than a gradual blend, there are more steps. This creates an interesting gritty / dirty / worn look.

I will admit to seeing this same technique used on TheWife's Ace of Cakes show (the same people that made the giant Squig cake for Warhammer Online) to create a life size R2D2 cake in the style of the Star Wars 3D show - shading and blending was done rough and streaked... it's just another way to do things.


Reduce Detail to Emphasize Detail
YuliaPW - Farseer Sketch
Similar to sketching, I have seen this style from time to time and Yulia just posted this art as I'm working on these thoughts, so I thought I would use this example. Basically, the act of reducing detail in less important areas causes the detail you do apply to stand out.
This could mean painting areas such as limbs out of focus, rougher, sketched, in muted (darker or lighter) colours to bring the viewer's eyes immediately to higher detail areas like faces, chests, insignias, etc.

In this example, this Farseer's face immediately jumps at you for the very reason that it's not lost among the rest of the image.

Black and White or Grey Scale with Colour [Sin City]

Sin City
Here is an idea I'd love to see en mass across an entire army. It might work better with fantasy than 40k, but I can still see it working in sci-fi. Picture an entire army done in bold black and white and/or softer grey scale. Shades of grey still leaves plenty of room for beautiful and detailed blending. Interesting, right? Some units could be painted softer greys while maybe shock troops and elites could have strong contrasting black and white.

The twist is to choose certain aspects of your models and give them colour. Eyes could be piercing greens, claws bloody red, insignias or tabards could jump right out at the viewer, heroes could be given more colours than those that surround them and so on.
Sin City


Sin City comes to mind because it plays with a lot of these contrasts. The whole movie is in black and white, but certain things are given bold colours to make them stand out.

I'm really curious to try this method out myself.
Lighting
Raymond Mason - Foule Illuminée, photo by Me, Montreal Quebec
I'm guilty of not paying close attention to where the light source should be shining on my models. I've been trying to get better at this rather than just using generic highlighting techniques such as placing highlights on edges or central areas. If you consistently highlight with the same light source direction in mind, your army will appear more uniform. Usually this will mean a top-down approach. The guys over at Massive Voodoo talk a lot about Zenithal Lighting and have some great demonstrations on how it is done.

This is somewhere you could switch things up, applying highlights as if the light source was in front of your models, behind them or even off to one side.

Scrap Tower, photo by Me
In the case of direct lighting, you could paint shadows solid rather than blending. Some say this is cartoony, but try shining a light directly on an object and see how the shadows land. An intense light source creates stronger shadows with less blending. Avoiding solid shadows is actually an example of how our hobby already usually chooses what looks better over what is real.

Finally, you can also change the colour of the light on your models. In Warhammer Fantasy, perhaps some evil ritual is casting a red glow or nasty Skaven stuff has made a green luminescence. In 40k, there are plenty of alien worlds with different suns and coloured atmospheres to shine any colour from the rainbow on battlefields. For example, a light brown wash over a whole model, Snakebite Leather in particular, can actually cast a bit of a sunset sort of lighting.


Playing with Colour Theory
Complimentary Colours
From 99Solutions
Analogous Colours
From Xara Xone
This doesn't have to mean using bold options like complimentary colours. (Colours opposite each other on the colour wheel - Red-Green, Blue-Orange, Yellow-Purple.) If you want objects on your model to stand out though, take a look at a colour wheel and choose something opposite the colour it will be near.

Another option is analogous colours. (Similar colours, side by side on the colour wheel - Red-Orange, Blue-Purple, Yellow-Green.) Every model in your army could be roughly the same colour or in the same shades.

Silent Hill the Movie
You've seen plenty of examples of this in movies where the characters are dressed in clothes similar in shade, tone and/or colour of the set.

Person Unknown
Photo by Me
Similar to analogous except using a single colour, photographers will often use the sepia setting on their cameras to take pictures with that old rustic look. It is basically greyscale, except from central colour, shade to black and highlight to white. Details on models could be painted darker or lighter shades of overall colouring - a Space Marine could have blue armour, light blue trim, dark blue knees, etc.

Art Techniques
Old Radio, photo by Me, added noise (stipple-ish) effect
There are also other techniques for creating and shading art, one being stippling. This means using dots and their proximity to each other to create the image and shade. Perhaps some kind of physically rough base coat could be used on a model and go from there.

Another is using lines " // " and/or hashes " ## " to shade rather than solid shadows or blending.

I'm not schooled in art, so my knowledge on colour theory and techniques is a little limited. I'll leave you with the suggestion of doing some research into ways artists will play with colours or try to find out how pictures that stand out to you were made.

Emulation of Artists

Vincent Van Gogh - Starry Night
Speaking of researching art, there are plenty of famous artists out there who have already created plenty of painting styles that could be attempted. If you research the various periods and the big trend setters, you'll find some dramatic shifts in what was considered art. Because of all the research that's gone into them, you should even be able to get a good idea of how their works were created and the best way to recreate them.

Why not treat your minis as a pallet? I'm not talking insignias and open space pictures, I mean paint your whole model in these other styles.

I'm also particularly interested in exploring applying this kind of art to minis.



This topic has spawned a whole lot of ideas in my mind, and I expect this to be the beginning of a sporadic series where I try to explore different painting styles. Really, who says that we have to approach our miniatures and constantly try to place them in the context of our reality? Not just because we're already talking about science fiction and fantasy settings, but also because we can treat these figures as three dimensional canvases.

From a practical standpoint, you've just seen a number of options for someone who wants to try some new methods - a few that specifically interest me. I'm not entirely sure where I want to go next on the theory end, but I do intend on exploring my thoughts as well as trying some of these ideas out.

I can only hope that these thoughts get your own ideas spinning and I'd be interested in hearing what you think and seeing any models you try. Whether you want to discuss this further or have me feature your attempts in a later update, you can reach me at: npluspluswargaming [at] gmail [dot] com.

If you think I'm off my rocker, I'd also like to hear from you - you won't convince me I'm wrong, but I am honestly interested in knowing what the opinions are of others and WHY. (If you're going to tell me every time we paint a model, we should try to make it as real as possible, you had better back that statement up.)


I've tagged this post with the label "punk_art" which is how you can keep up on or reference the series.
"Punk: a style or movement characterized by the adoption of aggressively unconventional and often bizarre or shocking clothing, hairstyles, makeup, etc., and the defiance of social norms of behavior, usually associated with punk rock musicians and fans."
[Update]
In the last 24 hours since posting this article, I've received over 1000 hits (Big thanks to Massive Voodoo for linking to it) and 4 people have shared their thoughts on it. I even added a large email link to my blog in hopes to receive some feedback This is a disappointing response and gives me the impression that for many people it's one more "cool" article they find online and forget about in a few days. I'm not going to walk away from this because I truly believe I'm on to something, but I think it speaks out again to the "status quo" or "routine" our hobby has settled in to.


If you are moved by what you've read here, please offer some feedback.

[Images in this post copyright their respective owners as credited in their captions and/or section headings. Golden Demon photos taken from White Dwarf Magazine.]

37 comments :

  1. Wow. Love the article.

    I definitely agree that a lot of the golden daemon stuff if a bit uniform, and while the technical skill it take to paint like that is impressive, the results can be a bit bland.

    One place you should check out is this thread from the Wyrd Miniatures site: http://www.wyrd-games.net/forum/showthread.php?t=12119

    This guy has one of the most unique painting styles I've ever seen and it looks amazing.

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  2. What a great take on this truly interesting process.

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  3. man, Dave. this is good stuff. Its like you're the canadian version of me. Or am I the american version of you? Whatever it is, we should get some wondertwin rings made up.

    Good, good stuff that has a good chance of getting me to do an experiment this weekend.

    I'll keep you posted.

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  4. Thanks for this great article. I'd love to see example miniatures of each style you've listed.

    I remember the original attraction to 40k for me was due to the brightly painted, uniform pieces of 2nd edition. When I returned to the hobby almost 20 years later, I was stunned that it had changed so drastically (and not in a bad way). this article, and the GD winners you've posted from the last decade, bring back some serious nostalgia.

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  5. Thanks for leaving feedback all, you're 4 out of over 1000 people who've viewed it and shared some thoughts.
    I will be pursuing this further, I'm just somewhat disappointed that so many people came and so few left their thoughts.

    @Rkik: Thanks, his style is a little different and I like seeing that. I've saved it for later to follow up on.

    @Lauby: I can't wait to see what you come up with.

    @Zero: Same with me, I too remember being a kid and seeing such a different style, which is why I pulled out some old White Dwarfs just to show it.

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  6. You're receiving only a few comments, because there's little we could add that aren't "me too" posts. Most people on the Internet are polite enough not to do that.

    I would also like to add that CMON, eBay, and the business of selling painted minis are also responsible for the flattening of style. I know that if I adopt the largely accepted style I can get a 7.5 or higher on CMON, which in turn results in a much better sale price on eBay. Or used to anyway, it's been a while since I've sold painted minis.

    Likewise, if I can get a Demon on a model that model will sell for more money, so I'll cater to the whims of the judges, and in a setting where you have ten or more first rate paint jobs vying for three trophies in each category it does boil down to judge's whimsy.

    For example, it is always strongly advised that people enter models released by GW in the last year. You could have the best painted ten year old Orc Wyvern model there, but the judges won't give that a Demon.

    Many of the best painters do this for a living, so they're disinclined to rock the boat. Forty plus hours spent on a traditionally accepted style is a guaranteed 1K or more in the bank. Forty hours plus spent on something that might not gain acceptance is a loss.

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  7. @Glen: I definitely agree with you. For those approaching painting miniatures as a business rather than a hobby, the time investment to create something that people will possibly shy away from isn't worth it. If you want to make money, stick with what works.

    Then again, what if you're the one to bring something completely new to the Golden Demon and be the first to walk away with a prize that shows everyone else they don't have to do the same thing every year? That's gotta be worth something to the person willing to invest their time to take the chance.

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  8. Hello Dave,

    First of all i must apologize about my english( i'm from spain).

    I thought that nobody feels this way about this and then i saw your post, i agree in almost everything fellow.
    However i think that the purpose of all of this is not to create a stile but a way to express what's inside our heart, a feeling, hot, cold, happiness or sadness.
    The fact is that now i'm starting to make all kinds of experiments with colours and your thougts have touch me.

    The first experiment in which i'm working is with simple armonic gamma.

    My blog is http://gimnir.blogspot.com/

    I will follow you dude.

    Congratulations!!

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  9. @Gimnir: Absolutely! Now I feel bad for not touching on that point. Massive Voodoo also talks about painting from the heart a lot.

    Thank you, I think you've just brought up where I want to go next on my theory side of things - painting for yourself and expressing yourself in your art. This is definitely a very important aspect of finding your own way with your art.
    I've made myself a note with a link to your blog that I will absolutely reference when I put something together discussing artists putting themselves into their art.

    I've taken a look at your blog and love the look of your figures. Especially that group of slayers. What I really like is seeing all your dwarves lined up together and being able to see the detail on all of them. They stand out great!

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  10. Thank you Dave,

    One of the things that i want to try is to paint a mini with a expresionist style, lets see what's the result!!

    continue posting your thougts and feelings dude.

    greetings.

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  11. I skimmed your post and it's an excellent article. Definitely food for thoughts that I need to sit down and take my time to read carefully.

    Incidentally, the sculpture from Montreal is from Raymond Mason and titled "Foule Illuminée" or "Illuminated Crowd"...

    Simon
    (in Montreal)

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  12. @Gimnir: Can't wait to see it!

    @Simon: I appreciate you dedicating some time to it :) And thanks, I've updated the photo's caption.

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  13. Dave, I came back to read this again.

    Thanks so much for taking a tough concept and making it accessible- it really seems to be striking a cord with a certain crowd.

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  14. Dave great article, I hope you don't mind but I linked it in mine.

    First the images drew me in, '94/'95 was about the time I got in to the GW universe as a kid and I remember drooling over that Diaorama for hours wishing I could paint so well.

    Then I actually went through and read the rest of the article and it is very well thought out with tons of ideas. Thanks very much and well done on such a great piece!

    Cheers
    Red

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  15. Interesting article, I recently tried to get away from painting my tried and true red an black IG and painted yellow and brown marines, I know it's not exactly what you were meaning when you talked about changing styles but I found even switching colours and undercoating in white instead of black made a huge difference to my method and I learnt a lot.

    Oh and if you would like to see a Sin City inspired paint scheme check An00bi's work on dakka

    http://www.dakkadakka.com/gallery/images-27761-10600_Update%20On%20Sm%20Semi%20Heavy%20Pics!.html

    Cheers

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  16. Hello Dave,

    Great little write up here sir. I enjoyed the read and the comments, in fact the link to the Wyrd thread from Rkik is one of the locals here in my area. I personally do my best to think and execute my paint work outside the box.

    I do love what I see in the winners circle, but I also absolutely love the unique and fresh, so it makes me smile to think there are others who want to see innovation and creativity, not just in fantastic work, but in new and untried work.

    Personally I have been obsessed with the monochrome/monotone idea to an army, and just so happen to be working on a black and white greyscaled force of my own. It is however a Warmachine force. I have yet to post photos but you can see the WIP of my display base side of the project in the two 'Whispers and Howls' posts on my blog. I will be updating with some WIP photos of figures as well here soon.

    I will be following the 'punk-art' set to see what you come up with!

    Best!

    Oz

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  17. Thought provoking read that builds off and complements what Lauby has been writing of late.

    An example of a Sin City style miniature can be found here:

    http://volomir.blogspot.com/2008/10/babe-wore-red.html

    And for something on colour theory could take a look at Sandwyrm's three part series... just scroll down to bottom of page:

    http://theback40k.blogspot.com/search/label/color%20theory

    Messanger

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  18. I'm glad to be getting some good responses, thanks all!

    @Blackhand: I do like the look of those marines and how he's played with those bold reds and coloured faces on the black and white armour.
    @Messanger: Another excellent example, and maybe pulled off subtler by having most of the model in black and white.

    @Oz: Your blog intrigues me and I'll have to find some time to look through it's history. I'll look forward to seeing what you create.

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  19. Woops, also meant to mention that Sandwyrm's posts are also worth taking a look at. There's some great colour theory there on how to choose colours that mesh well and stand out well.

    I've saved all these links to come back to at a later date. Thanks all.

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  20. Great article, I agree with your points and remember almost all those Demon winners you posted! I posted my similar thoughts on my blog here:
    http://collegiatitanica.blogspot.com/2010/04/gunhildr-of-utherby-some-thoughts-on.html

    I sometimes have to remind myself as a painter to not get stuck doing the same things with my models and to try new things rather than just playing it 'safe'.
    It doesn't always work but when it does it is certainly more rewarding seeing the job done than simply going the tried and true.


    Don't get discouraged by lack of replies, my IA: Badab War review has had almost 3,500 views and I've only gotten four replies to it so it's just the way of things I guess.

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  21. @Gotthammer: Thanks for the kind words - and a great post on composition of minis. I think contrast is something too often overlooked and it's nice to see people paying attention to what will make their minis stand out from a distance.

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  22. i have read and reread this...epic post...not a lot to add other than praise.

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  23. A great article that I really couldn't agree more with.

    As an example. At the LGS there is two of us who routinely tie or beat one another by a point or two for best painted army. My constant contender plays Ultramarines and his paint job is very clean, very simple and very subtle. It's a nice paint job but very bland and almost expected.

    My Marines are a DIY chapter and are bone, black and red, predominantly bone. I spend a fraction of the time on my Marines than he does and from a technical stand-point his Marines are better painted. However, people really like my paint scheme and style and so we run at the top of best painted army each month.

    I don't paint my models for anyone but myself. I never had any intentions of winning best painted army, ever, and yet I have with all three of my armies. Now, I'm not blowing my own horn here, I'm far too humble for that. What I am doing is trying to back what you have to say, Dave. My painting is not going to win any Golden Daemon awards but it's unique, it's different and people always seem to like the style.

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  24. Very good article, Dave. I think that one reason a certain style predominates is that the majority of people are either not very creative or afraid to experiment and fail, so they imitate the techniques they see that look good.
    Keep up the good writing, I'm bookmarking your page.

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  25. Nice article, I think you have a point, the 'Highlights and washes' pattern does get a bit old after a while, but many people start with these techniques.

    You've given me some pause for thought. I'll try this out if I make a third army :P

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  26. Great article. Every time I go to a tournament I see exactly what you mean.

    Here's one of my favourite models. I don't know who painted it but it keeps me wanting to do a greyscale inquisition army.

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_4OYGjUrdllo/SBKtV2WynDI/AAAAAAAACp8/bKOlPEkyxjE/s320/CoolMiniOrNot%2B-%2BBlack%2Band%2Bwhite%2Bwitch%2Bhunter%2Bby%2Bskeeve_1209183500203.jpeg

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  27. This is an interesting article, I spent ages trying to perfect one style and was sometimes oblivious to other ones, sometime you need exposure to different styes to make you own take on it.

    Also your painting style is sometimes affected by your peers at the time and your exposure to the marketing departments of the various manufacturers, once you get good at one style its quite hard to take the hit and paint in another which your not quite as good in, I tend to gravitate to colours that I can paint well too avoiding harder colours.

    One thing I have found interesting to do lately is to completely copy another miniature, sometimes the style and colours are so foreign that its quite tough to do.

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  28. The House of Paincakes brought me back here to your Punk Art tag, and... well, you've helped me blow my world right open.

    I'd been doing some ill-informed messing around with Tyranids, trying to escape from my usual layer-layer-ink-layer shenanigans, and you've given those experiments a degree of cohesion and confidence that they hadn't had before, so... thank you.

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  29. Ahhh... '95 back when all the spear hafts were painted red and all my warpstone was painted in glistening green.

    I appreciate the input, I too was at GD 2010 and took home a first cut for suitably dark models. But i scratch sculpted them and am proud to display them on my shelf because to me this is a hobby.

    To others it could be a business and we can only encourage more people to paint better so they sell better. I can recall phenomonal entries form that GD that defintely stood out. The Chaos-Giant was one of them, and the two dragons fighting was impressive as well, if only he didnt use a balrog and mix the product lines. And the dragons were certainly painted in different styles. There was a beautiful white Deamon Prince painted very quickly as it was just released. As well as some very characterful entries with style.

    So not to discount your post, beacuse i agree with considering many factors when painting minis, but I think perhaps you simply need a refreshing look at new models. Styles change all the time. So do FADS.

    Paint for yourself and regardless of a daemon you will be happy. I personally look at each model like a blank canvas, but I also enjoy finding pieces others have tried and emulating their style as an exercise and test of skill.

    -Cheers!

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  31. Fantastic article Dave. I'm sorry I didn't see it sooner, I just wrote a similar one yesterday, and one of my visitors pointed me here. Mine's nowhere near as in-depth as yours though.

    There's more than one way to get a model to look great, and I think everyone should know that.
    Sorry about the deleted post above by the way, I messed it up :/

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  32. Very thought-provoking article. As someone who paints historicals, I'm still developing a style. I work within the limits of representing the past and the limits of 15mm.

    You pointed out a truth for all of us. An example that makes your point in historicals might be Impetus. Impetus pushes historical gamers towards using fewer figures and larger diorama style bases that tell a story. Because its different from everyone else, it stands out!

    Keep up the great work!

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  33. @Monty: I've been seeing even Fantasy players using this tact... instead of bases FULL of guys, creating scenes... makes the base look much more dynamic.

    But even you aren't limited.. you've got contrasts and shades you can play with, as well as lighting, dirtyness, basing / setting and even posing.

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  35. A wonderful article; coherent, articulate and inspiring.

    I have an example of grey scale, or something that closely resembles the technique you describe;

    http://warhammer.org.uk/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=45082

    I've also written an article on colour theory and how it applies to painting war gaming miniatures. I won't put a link to it as I don't want to spam your comment box but feel free to use the article in any capacity you wish.

    This is the first article I have read in your website and I can't wait to read more.

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  36. Well, note quite greyscale, but definitely a fine example of analogous colours.

    And feel free to share a link to your post, I'd be curious to see it.

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