Monday, August 29, 2011

Painting Purgatory: Speed Painting Is The New 40

So I discovered today that the new blogger editing interface doesn't protect me from my own html editing mistakes and screws up the layout if I don't close tags properly. Lovely. Anyway, now with that mini-rant out of the way, here's my latest update.

A while ago I was planning to start a series of posts about speed painting, but that project sort of burned out quickly. However since that time I've noticed a lot of revitalized interest in the painting community in terms of painting armies quickly but still having good results. Dipping has been around for a while, but to be honest I can't stand the idea of it. For one thing it still requires the longest effort of painting which is getting solid base coats. Another reason is that if you ever want to strip the model, you're out of luck. And finally, I just have a personal revulsion to the methodology (no offense meant to dippers out there).

However, glazing and washing are techniques that get you similar results but can save you time over the dipping method depending on how you go about it. When I was painting many of my Cryx models, I used glazes and washes over straight white primer and found that I got a lot of good results. There is a catch though. These techniques can sometimes leave you with less consistent look to the surfaces, but that may or may not be a benefit given the model and your own style preference. Personally I like the variation in the surface colors because it gives a more natural look. There are times, like when you are trying to simulate enameled metal, that this breaks the visual cues of the material being implied.

In a recent No Quarter article, studio painter Matt DiPietro demonstrated the "underpainting" technique and it seems to be getting more and more attention. My first link to share is Adary's Scrapbook where he's been making attempts at this technique with good success. If you look closely at the last photo you can see how the black undercoat darkens the tone of the color in key places (like knees and fabric folds) where light wouldn't be hitting it as much. My second link is to a tutorial on Hand Cannon Online by Ghoul (who is an amazing painter). He gives a very good description of the process and paints a whole unit. He also gives some very educated history of the technique from well before miniature painting.

Seeing a revitalization of "old master" techniques being used in miniature painting is pretty interesting. As I continue to listen in to various painting communities, I encounter more and more of these sorts of things happening. The past is ripe with knowledge and experience, we just have to tap into it!

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