May 10, 2012

Bloody Horns!

Sometimes I can make bad decisions. Here is one of them made early in the painting of my Gnarlhorn Satyr. I wanted to get a colour similar enough to what Privateer Press have on their studio models horns. This is what I have ended up with. The glaze I used is still a little wet on the horns so it looks far more shiny than it is. I am not 100% sure what I was trying to do here. I thought I could get a nice warm brown by working from Snakebite Leather (GW) up to a white. Somewhere along that path I seem to have changed direction and this is the result. It is terrible, I really don't know what I was thinking. I do remember at one point saying to myself that this looks terrible but that maybe another layer or two would help. It definitely didn't.

I think its great to see mistakes other people make while painting. A lot of blogs I follow only show awesome finished models and while I am not complaining sometimes I think I would learn more by seeing the mistakes better painters than me make. I often do things wrong or lazily. I often don't have the knowledge I need to apply certain techniques correctly. I am sure I am not the only one like this. I would really benefit from having someone look at the various mistakes I make and correct me. In creative fiction circles writers often form groups where they can advise each other on work they are doing. I have never experienced anything like this with regards to painting. I guess it may exist somewhere. Painting is often a solitary task, especially for me. I either have an audiobook or podcast playing in the background and then I just work through the model I am on until I get bored or am finished. I had a friend once come over a few times to learn how to paint but I found that a totally unnerving experience. It really felt like someone was invading my space a little. That is terrible as I guess I could have benefitted myself from reviewing the basic techniques. Maybe I should look into getting him back over and maybe a few thers along and form my own little group?


  1. I have to say, shiny finish aside, I quite like the direction that the horns are going. A final white or off-white highlight and a blast of matt varnish and they'll look the business!

    I hear what you're saying about painting in solitude. I find other people (even my wife in the same room) distracting and then I make mistakes because I'm not concentrating. I also tend to make mistakes when I'm rushing or bored with a particular model. I then have to live with the mistake, or put it to one side and come back to it another day with fresh eyes.

  2. I, too, think they look good and that you shouldn't worry too much about them. I understand the doubt though, particularly if you're aiming to follow a particular style and just can't get it to work out (I abandoned all hope of doing that ages ago!).

    The painting circle is a good idea but difficult to pull off in practice. That's why blogs are so useful and I totally agree with you that seeing other people's works-in-progress is incredibly important - in fact, I just wrote a post yesterday about this very topic:

    I wonder if it might be worthwhile having something like a more organised blogging-painting-circle?

  3. Ehm, hmm. I must say, shiny finish aside, I think the horns look great. It may not be what you intended, and they do need a hit of matt, but they look pretty good to me.

    I understand completely what you're saying about painting alone. I get very protective over 'the hobby' too, but I have painted with a good mate over a weekend and it was great, though we were more painting and chatting than one teaching the other, though I did give a little advice on pinning. I found I got more done than normal!

  4. I must say the horns look absolutely fine to me. I agree about painting in isolation (but this is probably for the best seeing as the amount of swearing I subject my miniatures to). Perhaps you could post more WIP posts and gauge the reaction from there.


  5. I really am not familiar with that figure and what they did with it. But what I see in the above pic is save-able. I would get out the wet pallette and start blending in some very thin bone white on all of the high points, and I think it would begin to really pop. Course if that does not work start over.

    Yes I often make mistakes, don't always show them, and sometimes they turn into happy mistakes.

  6. Well I have recoated the horns in bleached bone. I couldn't leave it as it was, it just wasn't ever going to be of a standard I would be happy with.
    Thanks for all the comments, nice to get some good feedback.
    I will think a little more about an 'online' painting group for feedback and such. I would love to have a collection of about five people I could get good feedback from and pass along some tips to. Maybe more WIP are really the way to go! I generally like to present finished pieces as I feel that these reward people that come here to see what I am up to.
    I don't abide mistakes with my Circle army. What you see here is often the limit of my abilities. I want to paint them better but I simply don't yet know how. Comments are always welcome!


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