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mxconnell's Roman Signifer

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25 January 2006page first published

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mxconnell writes:

Last Ramblings

Well, here we are, on the last figure of the contest!

After the last phase, there were a couple of questions that popped up about my style in the forums. I thought I'd briefly talk about why and how I paint the way I do. (If this is not your cup of tea, please skip ahead to The Plan.)

During the last two Workbench articles, I made an effort to detail the ratios of paint that I used. This may seem a bit alien to folks that use off-the-shelf paint systems, with designated shadow and highlight colors. My background - using artist oils - has led me never to expect the color I want to be available, so I am in the habit of mixing the colors myself. I also like to play around with shadow and highlights; shifting them slightly depending on the figure's period, what environment it's in, and what colors are nearby.

I have a journal where I keep track of these ratios. This is handy when I want to use a combination on another figure, or when a figure needs repair. It also helps me track the evolution of the way I paint.

I use a common metal six-well paint-pallet and craft toothpicks for mixing (Photo iA).

Mixing paint

You can see in Photo iB that I have just squeezed out a drop of paint. In Photo iiA (below), I've added a drop of another color. Note both drops are pretty much the same size. Delta Ceramcoat bottles allow me to produce very consistent drops, and all my ratios are based on "Delta-drops".

Still mixing paint

Anyway, this is what works for me.

I tend to be very chaotic in my painting order. I do not paint a regiment of troops to completion and move on to something else. I tend to paint two or three (probably partially) of something, and then move on to something else. I finish figures all the time, but their actual painting may be spread out over a year. I have the painting focus of a gnat (I think I use it all up at work), and it's probably been the toughest thing about this contest.

I hope this was helpful for those of you looking for insights into how others paint. Now, back to our regularly scheduled program...