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It seems 2021 is to be the year of the "painting blehs", where many of us are struggling to find out just where our inspiration has wandered off to. The world seems to be going increasingly mad each passing day, so this isn't surprising. With so much uncertainty about, it's difficult to get back into painting mode with so many other things to worry over. Last year I was knocked out of any steady routine for long periods of time, and it appears that for this year that may hold true as well. So how to adapt is the question here. To begin with, to recognize how I wound up with a horde of half finished minis on the table nagging at me. Simple, for the last few years I've had the tendency to bite off far more than I can chew on a regular basis. Between juggling Undead, Witch Hunters, and the Witch/Halloween army, I've put myself in a place where I'm dealing with units on a regular basis, and using pretty much the same palette on all of them. Don't get me wrong, the limited palette achieves what look I'm going for with everything and I'm still just as much in love with all of my factions as I was when I started them, but like with all things there are consequences. My habit of opening a blister of something new to try and feed the motivation also doesn't help me here. Humans are to a greater or lesser extent novelty seeking creatures. Although I fall into the far end of lesser, sooner or later it catches up. Also part of why I fell into the current structure is logistical, I've lost the knack of small pours, and have a horror of wasting paint, so limiting colors to what can be spread far in the case of overspill makes sense. Another contributing factor is that having learned the hard way with drawing, I cannot and will not try to "force it" when it comes to artistic projects. All well and good, but it leaves me in a position where as soon as the muse decides to hide beneath the sofa, the project comes to a screeching halt whether it be painting or writing. So what to do about this now? Goal setting in the loosest possible sense of the word. Overall objective is to clear everything off of the table before unblistering or opening anything else. I've been doing good here, so it's just a matter of keeping this up. Outside of my faction projects, these are what's staring at me... Barbarian Mouslings... Viking Mouslings... Eastern Mouslings... Drangus the Duck Knight, meant as a Christmas gift two years in the running now, saving grace is that the recipient has no clue about this. Zombie Dragon, also meant as an unexpected gift. The snag here is that this is the first full size dragon I've ever attempted so scale got intimidating quickly and that I was having a difficult time trying to figure out what was rotted flesh and what was muscle. Gluing the wings on this early didn't do me any favors either. I have another one still in it's package that is destined for my undead army, so hopefully by tackling this one I can have an easier time when it comes up in rotation. Even here it's obvious as to how I go strongly with theme, even in my "random" minis. Since I tend to try and paint as large a batch as possible, with this the solution might be to focus on one or two, finishing them before moving on, even though my brain is going to screaming at me otherwise.
The time has come to once again pick up the pencil and inflict my vision upon an unsuspecting world. Rather than do the sane thing and start out with something like angry squirrels or grey aliens, or anything else that wouldn't require me to track down reference pictures or turn into a lengthy project, I decided to jump right back into concert poster/album covers, this time for bands with better names that don't yet exist! Several reasons for this, 1 It's a very familiar format. 2 Wishing I'd been able to do this when Nuclear Krill took over the Randomness thread awhile back. 3 It's a format with interesting limitations. The band name needs to have something to do with the image, (although when I was doing this regularly and getting hit with bands whose names didn't even evoke what genre they were, I usually ignored it.) and I have only one panel, if a large one to depict an image that not only catches the eye, but hopefully entices and entertains the viewer into forking over some cash by going to the show. A more personal goal was that even if the viewer didn't much care about or for the band or show depicted, they might at least enjoy the drawing and keep the flyer. Before I ramble further, I'd like to shout out an appreciation towards whoever set up the Nuclear Krill Wiki, because that's going to save me so much time and sanity. Seriously, thank you! I decided to go with the first album, 1985's Born To Krill. Made sense to start at the beginning, and one of my ideas is to have the krill grow steadily larger with each cover/poster. Also it makes the evolution if any, of their logo easier on continuity. My rough notes for the poster. I spent some time searching for 1985 metal album covers in search of period fonts, and possible ideas for composition. Unfortunately, the vast majority were of band members or paintings that don't really translate to the 50s comic book style I aim for. The Born To Krill font is based off the poster for 1947's "Born To Kill". Wherever possible, I like to mix fonts so as to tug the viewer's eye all over the poster, and prevent the sameness of the lettering from blanding everything out if that makes sense. As can be dimly seen I penciled in a rough idea for the image. A nuclear plant going into meltdown in the back ground, and a krill riding a radioactive barrel over a nearby body of water. I remember a lot of cartoons using the radioactive barrel as a plot device in the 80s, so this fits the theme I'm going for and provides at least the bare bones of an origin story. Also it makes reference pictures easier to find. The coffee stain on the page gave me a laugh because years ago, almost all of my work was done at the coffee house, so most of my drawings had at least one. Thankfully they never showed up in the photocopies, and I view it as Agamenthar blessing the work in progress. Three Mile Island will be the basis of the background, and this picture gives me a nice wide view of it to work with, and allows me to highten the realism by including all of the various structure, powerlines, etc. Since most of my work contains fantastical elements, keeping as much realism as possible in the presentation grounds things and keeps them from getting too cartoony. Wally Wood was a master at this as shown in the panel. A ship in a bathtub takes on a seriousness it would otherwise not have. He was also a master at contrasting black and white, and I selected this picture so as to study the water. Our krill will be in calmer waters, but if I can pull off a tenth of this, I'll be happy. And this is where I'm currently at. I have a love/hate view of lettering, this took three hours not counting the "R" in nuclear, which I finished up a few minutes ago. The challenge is always to get them large enough to be a focal point, yet still be able to fit them onto the page in a pleasing fashion. A lot of measuring goes into this, and as can be seen by the way the "R" is clipped off, I do usually run out of space. I also ink in the letters as soon as possible, because it's easier to draw around/ through them when the actual drawing part begins. The paper I'm abusing is 11x17, with a half inch border all around, a relic of the days when the copy service employees would end up lopping bits off by loading it in crooked. Outside of quick sketches I prefer this size, because it allows me to noodle in a large amount of detail even if it is a lot of space to fill. Next up will be the joys of curved lettering.
OK, let's do this. I've been taking about doing a WIP for quite some time. I've been painting off and on now since the mid-80s when I was introduced to 40K (Rogue Trader the only edition I actually played) and found a group of guy that actually used the little Grenadiers and Ral Parthas in a game. My work doesn't really reflect the longevity due to the stop and nature of things. I basically do ok tabletop and while I have lots of theoretical knowledge (spending way too much time reading the forums), I haven't put in the practice to actually apply this knowledge. I finally made it out to Reaper Con this year and not only did I have a blast, I had the opportunity to take a few classes and caught the bug to see how far I can take this painting thing. Plus I promised several people that I would enter the paint contest next year, and dire things will happen if I don't. So this WIP thread is to help keep me accountable, display my progress, get feed back and allow others to critique my work. So feel free to comment, pick apart my work, make suggestions or just make fun of me in general. I don't get embarrassed, take things personally or get offended. So be as honest as you are comfortable with. I will start by showing some of my in-progress work that I have with me (I'm traveling and just have some travel supplies and minis). Buckle in, it's gonna be a bumpy ride.