Greetings on this fine Terrible Tuesday! My name is Brent, and I’m the lone voice behind Strictly Average. Guess all the hugs and gropings scared any prospective partners away, but having cried myself out on that score ages ago let’s just move on.
It’s fair to say the art and science of painting miniatures has taken off these past decades – and frankly, I’m pretty jealous. I could have saved endless hours slapping paint on small models in poor light if only my birth occurred in the Age of the Wash.
You younger hobbyists don’t realize how lucky you have it. Seriously. We all had to invent this crap on the fly; even then, we’d have to wait unit bulletin board systems accessed via 2400 baud modems (screaming fast!) gave way to broadband and the World Wide Web made sharing secrets beyond a local level actually practical.
Does this sound like a, “I walked to school and back both ways in the snow,” story? Yeah, maybe. Whippersnappers, the lot of you!
Even way back when there were those of us to whom painting appeared effortless. It took agonizing hours and many sittings to finish painting my first Ork, something the local prodigy did easily in a few evenings. For a squad.
Those long, frustrating days learning to paint are probably why most of my efforts these last ten years have been toward speed painting techniques, like batching painting, washes, and the like. While I’m not the prodigy and never will be, these days my output is smoking fast while still maintaining a decent standard. My best efforts in this regard – to date – are the Slaanesh Eldar I worked up for the Wargames Con two years back.
That said, I’ve never considered commission painting. It isn’t a natural fit, really, largely because there is more than enough of my own junk to work on without taking on someone else’s. Also, among the painters I most admire, a handful are very successful in that line of work. Since I’m a fan of the shameless plug, here are the folks in question:
1) GMM Studios is my personal favorite, and with Adepticon coming up I’m getting all giddy at the opportunity to see his latest effort! His blog is worth checking out; take your time when you get there.
2) Next Level Painting is next on the list, and this dude is a true talent. His style is similar to GMM, with an emphasis on slick air brush work, but his take on armies is all his own.
3) Lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my pal, and co-inventor of the Sadness Doughnut, Goatboy himself! His personal company, Full of Monkey, does graphic design and commission work. He’s unique, as is his work.
Those dudes, among others, are professionals; don’t try this at home. My output may be good, but I simply can’t match the quality and speed they achieve day in and day out. Which is why they can go into business and make a living and I can’t
That said, I did it anyway!
On a much smaller level, of course; just a few small projects then one big one. During this process, I’ve managed to stumble into a number of mistakes – some obvious, some not so much – which seem now, in hindsight, fairly obvious.
I’m sharing that experience today, primarily because it’s interesting and hobby related, but also because I can imagine a number of you out there have either tried their hand at the odd project or two for someone else, or will in the future.
Learn from my mistakes!
Here’s how it happened.