A Change of Pace

I’ll try to post some info on the painting process for this figure next week. Right now I only have time to share a few quick thoughts before I head out on a trip to Reaper for the Bones 5 Kickstarter countdown party. (It’s not too late to join us if you can get to Denton, Texas by Saturday afternoon!)

Hydra - view 1

I think a lot of us tend to get into a pattern of what we paint. Whether it’s because we’re painting for a particular army/game, or for our own preferences of subject, scale, and/or colour schemes, it’s not unusual to look at your painted miniature collection and see some trends. 

The fact that a lot of what I painted is on commission means that my painted output is a little more varied than it might be if I was choosing only for myself. But even then, people tend to ask you to do more of what they perceive you to be good at doing, or my clients have a lot of things they need painting and letting me choose from a selection means I’ll tend to gravitate towards what I like (or think I’m okay at doing.) 

Hydra view2

For me this has tended to mean a lot of gaming scale human figures, female more often than not, and with a lot of non-metallic metal or elaborate cloth. I usually, though certainly not always, paint with a fairly saturated colour scheme.

Hydra view 3

While I have painted animals and humanoid type monsters on occasion, I’ve never really done a genuine large monster type figure. So when the art director at Reaper (Ron Hawkins) suggested that I paint this hydra, I thought that would be an interesting challenge. The sculpt, by the very talented Julie Guthrie, was certainly very appealing to me. One of the elements I love about it is the way that the main body seems to sink towards the ground and has a real feel of solidity and weight to it.

It definitely was a challenge for me to paint! The size and repetitive nature of some elements required a whole other kind of patience than fiddly freehand or never-ending non-metallic metal. And I found on several occasions that it was surprisingly easy to lose track of which head/neck I was working on at the time!

But despite a few bumps in the road (mostly related to choosing colours and the patience thing), I had fun, and I think it was a valuable experience to break away from the scale and subjects I normally paint to try something quite different. I recommend it to any painter, particularly if you’re feeling a bit in a rut or aren’t very excited to get to your painting table.

Hydra view 4

This Hydra will one day be available in retail, but for now the only way to get one is to pledge to the Bones 5 Kickstarter campaign and add on for the Greek Odyssey expansion.

Have you had a positive (or negative) experience trying to paint something that was a big change from what you usually paint? I’d love to hear some stories (though may have some technical issues accessing comments while on the road, but will do my best!)

4 thoughts on “A Change of Pace”

  1. I don’t paint enough to have deeply established tendencies, but creatures or characters with a base larger than one inch is where I tend to overthink and second guess myself. However, I recently let my sons both pick a creature to paint and they chose larger creatures. They painted without fear and with no care about the judgement of others. Watching them, I realized that I worry too much. Now I just need to act on that realization.

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    1. Sounds like giving yourself permission to have fun with painting instead of aiming for perfection is the change of pace you need! Maybe sitting down to paint with your sons would be a fun change of pace. You could even let them pick what you paint and/or what colours you use!

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  2. Incredible stuff, the scales look fantastic, and so real. That base is also awesome – looking forward to reading about the processes you used 🙂
    I’ve got ‘The Beast’ from Time of legends: Joan of Arc to paint, and would love the scales to look this good.

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