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Heya folks,

 

 

Just needed to take a sec to vent at myself. Im sure many of you have done the same... well maybe not Jen or Anne... or Mrika... well ok a few of you.

 

This post is mostly for my own benefit, I frequently have to write down how dumb I am so that I realize that I am not all that dumb or in this case, without skills at all. With any luck Ill feel better at the end of this post and some other folks will learn from it for themselves...

 

 

Here are my issues! Let the party begin!

 

1) My stuff doesn't look as good as so-and-so... (insert name here.. if your online and famous this is you... or topdogs at cmon)

 

A) I should not expect that what I do to look like what I see online... I am not ready for 10s yet on CMoN and I have only been painting seriously for 8 months now. I don't consider GW training as serious painting anymore.

 

2) I get too distracted too easily when painting... why can't i paint for more than 30-45 minutes without having to get up...

 

A) WTH man you have 2 boys at 7 and 4. Plus your probably a good case for adult ADD, the important part is that your painting at all. Have more patience and make what painting time you DO have a quality experience, don't rush because your not turning out minis every week.

 

3) When I do paint I am constantly frustrated in the early stages of the mini... white primer seems to anger me and turn what is later a decent mini into an effigy and frustration and woe. Many figures have taken greenbaths at this point due to the clash of white on color.

 

A) Not really sure here, maybe change my technique from painting one section to completion to basecoating the whole thing first and then painting to completion. My perfectionism streak is a strength but only when its rational. I am not perfect, nor will I ever be, I just want to get better each piece I do.

 

4) I slop paint on sometimes in a rush, then I go back over it, and over it, and over it,... ad infinitum. This makes issues 1, 2, and 3 much worse.

 

A) Take your time idiot. Measure twice cut once... or in this case, one brush stroke instead of 3, even if that one stroke takes twice as long. As yoda said.. Control.. you must learn control!

 

5) Too many ideas... seemingly I don't have enough time to do everything I want. Warmachine cryx army, helping a guy basecoat a Tau army, Subsistence Painting (Cause the wife is checking what I do with my $ now), putting minis together, getting terrain supplies, learning baseing better, learning to play warmachine, painting for online competitions. I figure Ill never be done, and though thats why I do this... it frustrates me that nothing moves quickly.

 

A) Welp, classic case of too much to do and no priorities. I need to prioritize what I am doing so I can make progress. Do I really need to paint for the Wyrd competition right NOW? Why terrain at this point? I would be much better off by just focusing on one thing then moving on. Start a list, your a manager, manage yourself for a change. NEVER FORGET that learning a technique takes longer than repeating it, that needs to factor in there somewhere.

 

6) My brushes are dying...I have had some of them since I worked for GW, thats 3 years now. The rest are quick fix crap brushes, the best of which is a 00 with a hook point... gah I dont have time to wait for Dick Blick!

 

A) Buy W&N now... you know you have them circled in the catalog and have been putting it off because pewter is an addiction and tools are a accessory to you. Your supplies are running low and you know for a fact you can't do quality work with inferior weapons. Step to the plate and invest in your hobby.

 

Last One for now... The big one in my head.

 

7) I don't paint enough. I get home from work at 10pm, I could paint for an hour or assemble for an hour, instead I friggen surf the net, or watch mindnumbing TV. Or worst still, stay up till 3 am playing BF2 for no reason whatsoever. I am afraid of sleep cause its non-productive time and that is horrifying to me. Then the next day, I am tired and fall asleep at dinner or what not, further pushing me back. I am probably do it right now.

 

A) Welp... prioritize, sleep more, and delete BF2 from the computer. Half of your problem is that every time you need to work on something you have to grab everything from the shelf and put it on the kitchen table. Mostly I need to get more sleep, I get up at 5am and I need more than 4 hours of sleep a night. Go to bed at 11pm period.. and that doesn't mean read Cry Havoc, NoQuarter, or White Dwarf till I knock off.

Find a permanent spot for my gear and organize it.

 

 

 

Ok.. that helped a little. I think I might be obsessive at this point. Thanks to everyone that read this, I know its rubbish but it helps.

 

LW

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Well - I can sympathize...

 

Point by point commentary and support->

 

1. Ayup. But for the most part - I look at what I do now - vs. what I did even a few months ago - and see improvement. So looking at the gods and godesses of painting doesn't hurt so much as motivate me to keep plugging away at it. And - sometimes looking at some of the work on CMON and knowing I could do better job in some cases gives me a warm yet guilty feeling... :devil:

 

2. I paint in front of my PC - watching TV/movies... I end up focusing on neither - but it helps somewhat that I can pause one to focus on the other.

 

3. Ayup! I have several minis in varying stages of abandonment, mostly because the stripping is such a pain in the but - and I'd rather wait it out and see if I get motivated to finish.

 

4. This is the nature of the beast yes/no? happens to everyone, I tend not to worry about it as much now - as I know I can go back over it again to clean it up. Kind of like sketching in charcoal, draw three lines - take the best and darken it... Seems to work for me - and since I don't stress - I make less slips... Don't let the mini get into your head :wacko: .

 

5. I don't play - or sell - this is just something I do to pass the time... so I guess I avoid this one... Mind you - I have several ideas on the go - and most sit in varying stages of incompletion... sigh...

 

6. I have several dead brushes lying around and I finally tracked down a local store that could get W&Ns in... Next up I am saving up the courage to splurge on some DaVinci's... When outside of the store - I can see how they are a good idea regardless of the price... when I go in and pick them up I get sticker shock...

 

7. This one I totally get. I wake up at 5:30 -> off to work... home by 5:30 or so, get the kids (3&5), do dinner, playtime, bath, stories... bam! 9:00... Pack a lunch, get my stuff ready for tomorrow, do whatever -> it's 9:30/10:00... So I paint for an hour or so and call it quits. I know this the only time I'll get - so I don't stress too much about it. But sometimes I get less, sometimes more

 

So it's not rubbish - and look at it this way - if it was so easy - EVERYONE would be doing it, and then it wouldn't be quite as special... right?

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Welp, I decided the hell with it and fixed one of my issues!

 

Just put in an order from Dick Blick for the following!

 

W/N SERIES 7 KOLNSKY SZ 1

W/N SERIES 7 KOLNSKY SZ 0

W/N SERIES 7 KOLNSKY SZ 2/0

W/N SERIES 7 KOLNSKY SZ 3/0

W/N SERS 7 MINIATURE SZ 0

W/N SERS 7 MINIATURE SZ 00

 

I figure, if your gonna be a bear, be a grizzly!

 

I can't wait!

 

LW

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Hrm... I can sympathize a little but I've got a similar but different boatload of woes when it comes to painting...

 

1. The deep seated knowledge that I'll never be as good as my lengthening list of so-and-so hasn't slowed me down one bit. I do know that some day the list might get a little shorter, but instead I just roll with painting how I feel something needs to be painted. I paint drow in brightly coloured armor, I paint rangers for duty in a Siberian-like wasteland, and occasionally... I ponder if it's crazy to want to paint a werebear as Tenderheart Bear and not remove the giant axe (just paint it with rainbow blades). I will now and forever think that I suck, but that's not because of anyone else... it's just how I am :blush:

 

2. I admit to having a lot more time to paint than most people, but even I get interrupted. It could be the Evil Ones causing mayhem at home or customers at the shop, they interrupt and I set my mini down, rinse my brush and hope like heck that my palette is still workable when I can next sit down to paint. And there are days that I'll lay out all my gear, sit down, and simply stare at the mini without painting it. Today was one of those days. It's a sad day when I think doing paperwork will be better than painting... I hate paperwork.

 

3. I've let more minis take purple baths than I probably ought to because I didn't like the way it looked. My imagination couldn't fill in the white blanks well enough for the mini to seem like it was good enough to continue on.

 

4. If I make a mistake, I'll try to correct it with another coat. If that doesn't work, I resort to what I lovingly call Mini Correction Fluid... Brush-On primer and start over again.

 

5. My major problem is a complete inability to do assembly line painting of my Warmachine army. I've got warjacks, casters, and infantry units that all really should be assembled and painted but whenever I try to paint a unit of Knights Exemplar for example, I'll try to paint a single figure start to finish rather than paint all the Violet red bits on all six minis and then go back to do first highlights etc.. As for the selling of minis to recover some of my investment, that's not how I started getting commissions... I got my first commission to get a kid to stop bugging me about wanting to buy one of my figures (Turanil to be exact). I don't like selling my figures and I don't really like being paid to paint... I've another hobbies-turned-business that makes ends meet and now I'm in a desperate struggle to keep my hobby just that... a hobby.

 

6. I have a fistful of brushes... most are el cheapo synthetics and sables of indeterminate species that seldom get used anymore because I decided I liked W&N University series 233s better. I have three W&N Series 7s but they pretty much stay in their storage tubes because while I've decent brush control with synthetics, sables are a different beast in handling from start to finish so they stay put until it's time for finishing touches where I need a sharp tip or final highlights.

 

7. Any time you have to spend on something you enjoy/love is time well spent. If it's an hour or an entire day. I'll know this soon enough. According to tracking info, I've got about three days left of all day painting before it becomes something I do when I've got time. With a seasonal job 3rd shift job all but in the bag and the winter commissions from that previously mentioned hobby-turned-business... time spent painting will drop dramatically for me. I'm going to treasure these days of all-day painting for at least 4 months.

 

I have to agree with VV, that if what we do is so easy... everyone would be doing it.

 

And then I'll say it again... I'm a hack with good brushes, it's nothing to do with skill :poke:

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I can sympathize. I've got a four year old boy, work full time, have a long list of household chores, and as of last week a growing addiction to Warcrack.

 

First, make it easy to paint. If you can find even a 3 foot square area to leave your stuff set up, that helps a lot. I use a wet pallete, so I can paint in 15 minute spurts if I have to.

 

About the 45 minute stretches- you're using a part of your brain for painting that you probably don't use too often otherwise. It takes a long time to get used to that, so you can shut off the constant chatter that tells you to do something else. Part of the trouble is that you switch between this left-brain for painting, and the right-brain for mixing paint, and it takes some time to get to where you can turn this on and off. I paint with a group twice a month, and that's great for going four hour stretches.

 

I'm also overly critical of myself, constantly comparing and thinking of competitions and such. I struggle with this and have no idea how to fix it.

 

I try to keep in mind that if you have a problem, worrying and mulling over it doesn't help. Fix the problems you can, and don't worry about the ones you can't, cause that doesn't change anything anyway.

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LW,

I'm totally with you on this. My hobby time is so dependent upon my work schedule, it's painful (I think I've had time to post here once or twice in the past month). I usually leave my work station logged in to the forums just in case I find a little down time so I can quickly visit (I know, it makes it look like I'm always on the boards).

 

1) Dare to dream...that's my motto. My stuff never comes out exactly as I see it in my mind's eye. Having reference from the elite helps push the bar higher and, if I can attain 1/50th of that...well it's an improvement. If their inspiration keeps pushing the bar even higher, and I'm still only attaining 1/50th...guess what, that's still an improvement. And if it's any consolation, I've been at this for years.

 

2) I've got two boys too (4 and 2) and the chores after work amount to my second full time job ::D: . I can only paint after they're in bed, bills are paid, yadda yadda...and I'm feeling in the mood. I must admit, after Gamesday, I've been a little bummed out (those guys are soo good!).

 

3) As someone said earlier, I think most of us paint like this...slowly massaging the colors and look. Pretty normal if you ask me.

 

4) Yep, my base coats are pretty loose but I do take that time to notice "gotcha" areas...places where painting on surface "a" endangers surface "b". Now is when I might start strategizing on how to get around the mini and those nasty areas.

 

5) This is what makes the hobby so fascinating right? One thing stimulates and excites us to the potential of another. It's sort of the nature of an addiction. It's how we all become "collectors". Priorities, but also, going with the flow is fine. If you aren't under the gun to complete anything, I wouldn't stress out, unless you really want to self-impose a "finish something" rule. I did a "can't buy or start anything new until I finish my current project" rule recently...that soon became a drag and I've regressed.

 

6) Looks like you've solved this one. I'm a tool nut and tend to buy tools and stuff...all with the hopes that I'll have time to use them in the near future...boy, I sure hope my kids grow up to be modelers.

 

7) Same here. 5:30am up, 7:00am at work, 5:00pm stuck on the freeway home, kids in bed asleep around 9:45-10:00. 10:00-12:00pm I'm either painting (or building) or sitting in a daze watching Iron Chef America :wacko: Guess which I do most.

 

Actually, seems pretty normal to me

 

-AW

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Do you paint for awards and kudos or do you paint to play games? If you paint for awards or kudos then all I can say is practice. If you paint to play games don't compair yourself to the big time painters. Alot of those folks don't own painted armies because they often spend 40 hours or more on a single mini. Do you have 40 hours to spend on a single mini? I don't because I paint to play.

 

Figure out why your painting miniatures first then figure out what standard you should hold yourself to. CMON is just not a practical tool for people who paint minis to play games. A lot of those folks are either pros or they paint a very small number of minis in a year and could be pros if they wanted to. Most miniature gamers are lucky to get the ocassional 7 on CMON. Do you shoot hoops against a pro ball player and expect to win?

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Ironworker,

 

The answer to the question of what kind of painter am I is this. I want to win a GD, it has always seem to me to be the ultimate even though there are alot of competitions now a days.

 

Part of my "thing" is painting to improve, I feel like I am playing catch up, many things I have not tried at all or only done once or twice. My running list of skills to learn is NMM, Demi, and OSL. At the same time I swear I have the worst time with the basics of color composition and selection. (maybe I am rushing things :unsure: )I am fully aware that it will take years probably to get to the level of that so I am trying to take baby steps. Local Painting comps, online ones etc.

 

I also realize that this can easily lead to burn out so I am trying to vary my goals a bit. For example, I have a buddy of mine that has convinced me that playing Warmachine is fun. Therefore I am trying like hell to get a small cryx force together. The intent is to paint as best I can because I don't need to worry too much about having a painted army to play... it aint GW.

 

Also.. yep.. another also, I have limited funds so I need to paint some models that I can sell. T&A seems to work as the ones I have sold are ones with minimal clothing. So I do a bit of subsistence painting.

 

I think a large part of my painters block atm is mental and something I am trying to work through, I think its that I need to set my priorities. I think I will post after this to set what I am going to be working on for the next month or so, just to get clarity.

 

I guess it also can't help that for 3 weeks its been 105 in st. louis and me and high temp don't get along very well.

 

 

LW

 

 

As always advise is welcome.. especially from painters that have gone through this mindblock.

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I can sympathize on the lack of time with two jobs, helping with the house and Dad and then helping keeping things outside in order. In Total I haven't done much with minis in a long time. I have to fight tooth and nail to get what little "me" time I do get, so you have my sympathies in that corner.

 

I paint as a hobby, I paint because I enjoy it. I'm not out to try to win a Golden Demon, I'm out for the sheer pleasure of slapping paint and perhaps giving someone else some inspiration. Do I strive to be better in my painting? Of course. I work on my layering and blending and highlighting and keep trying. I think the message I'm trying to get across here is you do need to keep trying, only through practice and trying will you attain that which you desire.

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I swear I have the worst time with the basics of color composition and selection.

 

I can put the tip of a brush where I want it and can thin my paint, but this color problem has vexed me too and there's only one way to surmount it. The exercises in the Betty Edwards book have helped, and I can see how more practice can bring my skill somewhere close to being second nature. Even if you don't feel like spending money for artists colors (cadmium red etc.) and substitute RMS or whatever, it's still worth doing to build skill and confidence.

http://www.reapermini.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=27825

 

 

 

I want to win a GD... Part of my "thing" is painting to improve, I feel like I am playing catch up, many things I have not tried at all or only done once or twice.

 

There is nothing accidental about excellence, so if that award is your priority I'd banish that war game from your thoughts and focus on painting. With all the other things in your life, having that in your periphery will just dilute your attention from display-caliber painting and insidiously cause your mind to stray because it's similar to, but not a substitute for, the kind of painting for which you strive. You can be a father, husband, employee, and a painter. More roles will cause you to underperform in your primaries. And get rid of your TV if you can't stop watching it.

 

 

 

I guess it also can't help that for 3 weeks its been 105 in st. louis and me and high temp don't get along very well. LW

 

My AC motor died a few days ago and a jungle-like haze of humidity has been smothering Chicago. I know what you are going through. But it beats winter.

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The answer to the question of what kind of painter am I is this. I want to win a GD, it has always seem to me to be the ultimate even though there are alot of competitions now a days.

 

I would say you are well on your way by the looks of your CMON minis. They are very nice for someone who has been painting for only a short while. Just give yourself time to get to that point. Hey I've been trolling paint boards since most of them have been around. I remember when CMON went up and I've seen some of the big names go from quite average to amazing with time and dedication. I think you can do it.

 

Part of my "thing" is painting to improve, I feel like I am playing catch up, many things I have not tried at all or only done once or twice. My running list of skills to learn is NMM, Demi, and OSL. At the same time I swear I have the worst time with the basics of color composition and selection. (maybe I am rushing things :unsure: )I am fully aware that it will take years probably to get to the level of that so I am trying to take baby steps. Local Painting comps, online ones etc.

 

I think it's a good thing for any painter to try to improve. Nothing wrong with that. I have a really nice color wheel I picked up at staples. I'll try to post a pic soon. One thing you might want to look into is getting some coppies of Spectrum which is an annual book of top Sci-fi and Fantasy illustrations from the previous year. Talk about color mastry. There is no reason you can't translate their 2d color pallets to 3d minis. Just don't do like I do and spend hours looking at the purty pictures when and leave yourself no time to paint.

 

I also realize that this can easily lead to burn out so I am trying to vary my goals a bit. For example, I have a buddy of mine that has convinced me that playing Warmachine is fun. Therefore I am trying like hell to get a small cryx force together. The intent is to paint as best I can because I don't need to worry too much about having a painted army to play... it aint GW.

 

Warmachine is a nice choice for painting a "force" to a high standard however armies can get as big as some GW armies. Crix is pretty tough because those glowing Necro vents are hell to paint.

 

 

Also.. yep.. another also, I have limited funds so I need to paint some models that I can sell. T&A seems to work as the ones I have sold are ones with minimal clothing. So I do a bit of subsistence painting.

 

I sold quite a few minis on ebay back in 97- 2000. After a while it really drug me down because I never had time to paint my own stuff. Good way to force yourself to practice but watch out for burnout.

 

 

I guess it also can't help that for 3 weeks its been 105 in st. louis and me and high temp don't get along very well.

 

Yup I live in Warsaw, near the Lake of the Ozarks. It's been very nasty the last few weeks. Been sapping me as well.

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7) I don't paint enough. I get home from work at 10pm, I could paint for an hour or assemble for an hour, instead I friggen surf the net, or watch mindnumbing TV. Or worst still, stay up till 3 am playing BF2 for no reason whatsoever. I am afraid of sleep cause its non-productive time and that is horrifying to me. Then the next day, I am tired and fall asleep at dinner or what not, further pushing me back. I am probably do it right now.

 

I face similar issues, but, given that I have a 4 1/2 year old and want to spend a bit of time with my wife as well, my time is pretty compressed. Sleep is a productive thing for me, and I don't do well below 6 1/2 hrs of sleep (except in GenCon like situations, but I'm paying for it now), so cutting back on that is out. So, I'm lucky to get 4-6 hrs of painting time a week and sometimes only get a couple of hours a week.

 

The other thing that I try to keep in mind about my lack of painting time is that I will have more painting time before I know it because some of the things that eat up my time (usually bathing my son and holding his hand while he goes to sleep) will be gone soon enough, and I'll miss them terribly.

 

I often find myself thinking "oh, I only have 15-30 minutes, it's not worth painting". Well, most times when I do start painting, I find that, in fact, just painting for 10-30 minutes is productive and worth it.

 

Sometimes I'm just not in the mood to paint, but I often find that just starting painting is enough to get me in the mood. I usually don't work on things that may bring a high frustration level when I'm not in the mood, but painting something helps. I ought to keep a set of "paint while not in the mood or don't have the right light" minis handy in addition to the ones where I want to take some time.

 

Also, it helps me to have everything set up to paint. If you can't keep things set up, you probably don't need to pull *everything* out to paint for a short period of time. You could set up a small "ready box" containing additives, brushes, the next colors that you'll use and the most recently used colors (sort of like a predictive cache for you tech types) that you can quickly grab and be ready to go.

 

Ron

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I can completely sympathize as well. There's never enough time to paint and get everything else that needs doing done.

 

Also, I too am finding that I'm pressuring myself about the quality of my paint jobs compared with the masters - and even the talented regulars on these forums - far too much. It's actually robbing me of the joy from painting and making it feel like a chore. That and the color composition and selection thing has been driving me nuts since getting back into painting as well. 25 years ago when I was painting figures, granted I was using enamels and didn't know anything about shading/highlighting, etc., but I had no trouble deciding what colors something should be and I actually enjoyed the process of painting the figures. I really need to stop pressuring myself about quality or perfection and start looking at it like a kid again. I need to re-learn how to just let go and enjoy it again.

 

Definitely take heart in the fact that there are others here (I'm guessing we've pretty much all hit this point at least once) that know exactly the funk you are going through. I know I certain do. Mine has lasted for months, but I'm finally getting there, I think.

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The answer to the question of what kind of painter am I is this. I want to win a GD, it has always seem to me to be the ultimate even though there are alot of competitions now a days.

 

This is the goal that got me to competition level. You CAN do it. It's not difficult so much as it requires attention. If you have trouble sticking to your goal, try looking through your issues of WD with the GD winners in 'em (I'm guessing since you worked for GW you have a collection?) when you feel yourself losing focus. ::):

 

As someone else here noted, painting for gaming is going to sap your energies, because it's the same kind of creative energy you're drawing on to do that as you would need to improve your competition style. I went through much the same thing, and eventually just realized that I would rather paint a few figures to my highest standard, and get better with each one, than paint 30 figures (many of which I wasn't all that enthused about) to a so-so level.

 

--Anne

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