Thursday, October 20, 2011

Painting Advice

Before we get under way, this post is editorial. If you aren't too terribly interested check back on Tuesday for more painting articles.

I get beat up a lot, by myself more than anyone else, for not having a painted army. Full disclosure, I don't think I can field a painted minimum force org in any army I have. Yet over the last two years I have been painting steady, and completing more models than ever. I have more armies than sense right now, and that is its own editorial. Even still, I have been asked by a couple of people lately how I keep at it? I have fellow gamers, whose skills I respect immensely, saying they are looking for motivation. So I thought I would share some things I do here.

Get your mind right. You "get" to paint, you don't "have" to paint.
There are a lot of reasons why I can't see this hobby as a chore. I do it to unwind, and if it is causing as much stress as my job, well then I will do something else. This hobby is something that the participants are privileged to be part of. Especially now, there are people who can't afford to play, or have no time because they are working a few jobs. "Count your blessings" seems kind of hokey, but there is some merit. Instead of focusing on the things that make it feel like I chore, I remember the things I enjoy, that couldn't come about from any other hobby, then I start slinging paint. Ultimately, it falls to me to make sure the right mind set is there, because otherwise I can pretty much talk myself out of anything.

Be inspired.
I have an entire Pandora play list of music posted on Massive Voodoo. Not only do I like most of their music selections, but hearing the songs reminds me of their blog, and consquently, their work. Art, photos of other minis, even photos of stuff that "feels" like what I am painting, are scattered around my work area. Often times I will paint with my codex open, looking at the unit I am painting or pictures of the army. These visual and tactile props help me slide into a creative mindset where some enjoyable painting can get done. I know I am in the right place when I realize my wife is looking at me funny because I am occasionally making the, what I perceive to be, sound effects of the piece I am painting.

Do it.
Sounds trite. I know. It actually was the advice that lit the fire for me, and ironically enough it was given by someone who only just last weekend finished the first model he has done in a year. It is easy to talk yourself out of painting. It is easier to turn on the TV, X-Box, whatever. Just don't. Find what it takes to not turn on the distractions. Maybe you won't even paint. Maybe you just sit and stare at a wall a few times, but unprogram the need for quick and easy stimulus. I set times. I go an hour a night, 4 nights a week, and then 2 hours on the weekend. This time is for painting, or nothing. No other distraction is allowed in for fear of it taking over the joint. As important as it is to make yourself start, also make yourself stop. Even if you want to keep going, don't. Save it for the next session. Sometimes I can't wait to get to my brushes only because it has been bugging me all day that I am one color, on one guy, away from having the group done.

Thanks for reading,


  1. Agree - its a hobby and you need to make time in your life to 'decompress' even if only a few hours a week. Time when you don't have to do anything close to coherent thought, you get to let your mind wander and relax.

    For this you shall be blessed with the Bandito.

  2. All praise the Bandito! May its spicy deliciousness make us grow and prosper.

    For those who don't know: It is the business!