|The demonette was the model I had in head at first but I later decided to opt for somehing a little more challenging...|
Saturday, 28 October 2017
Life in 2 colours - a painting exercise
And now for something completely different and a little unexpected, here's a little painting exercise ! I've decided to take part in a little online painting challenge a couple of weeks ago. The rules were pretty simple : the only pots available had to be black, white, turquoise and orange !
Working with a limited palette should be OK, I'm used to it I thought... And then reality struck me in the face...
If model painters are ranked from "tournament minimum 3 colours" to "master level multi awarded god" well.... I guess I'm firmly stuck somewhere in the grey area in between.
Now what drives my painting ?
I do paint to see ideas in my head made tangible and also because the very act of painting soothes me. This means I do have a comfort zone, there are things I know I can do and things I know I can attempt with a reasonable chance of success. I also have a standard set to a relatively forgiving level. Done is better than perfect.
Now why all the banter ? Well this little challenge made me realise I never paint to learn anything and I saw this challenge to change that a bit.
I tend to use solid colours and like to work from dark to light, I always feel insecure working the other way.
No since I was trying to do things differently I undercoated the model white which I haven't done in 18 years give or take.
Now painting over white with washes mostly is clearly not something I'm used to, it requires a brush control I completely lack and a pushing/pulling ability that excedes what I usually do. It certainly was a fun thing so I decided to do the model in one sitting. That's also something I almost never do, I just can't sit for more than 30 minutes in front of the same model.
The process, although messy, was very enjoyable, almost childish fun !
As you can see, the standard is not very high and I didn't take the time to correct every mistake (although I was bullied into removing an annoying mouldline right before the end...). I didn't have any plan for this model and chose it for this reason so it was all about the painting process rather than the end result on this one.
So all in all, what did I learn ?
- I can definitely improve my brush control, the more you thin your paints, the more you need to know where to place your pigments (unless you apply a hundred coats but that's for another painting exercise I guess)
- I very rarely mix paints and use their interactions, mixing turquoise and orange offered me a range from one to the other with browns and greens in between I honestly didn't suspect (even my own kids know that better I'm sure)
- I never ever use black and white to darken/lighten a colour, I tend to use greys (neutral or not) so the extreme desaturation was quite fun to see.
- Working with a white undercoat is something entirely different, I'm used to grey prime coats (or zenithaled white over black) and I guess my whole painting relies on this. Painting from a white undercoat makes me paint differently which is nice but I'm afraid it can make the models look "different". Although I do love the change, I have to determine how fine I'd be with having models with different styles on the table (I do play with friends who paint a different way from mine and I'm more than fine with it so I guess there's an answer here).
Anyway, I hope this little interlude wasn't too dull, I really welcome you to take a session to try that, it can't really harm !
I'm going back to batch painting now, see you folks !