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Rob Dean

Painting time — how much, when, and how to get more?

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I expect that most of us are painting as a break from busy lives. I’m interested in knowing how much painting time people find, regular or binges, time of day, and if

you’ve had any success in finding more...

 

Personally, I tend to paint in blocks of several hours on weekend days when I

can, which isn’t that often. I’ve long tracked painting completions (since ‘95 continuously now), but not how often or how long I spent painting. I started a habit tracker this month to see, inspired by my brother who set a goal of 30 minutes a day. So far it’s been an unimpressive 5 of 11 days. At home I do most of the painting between breakfast and lunch, which is often quiet time on the weekends because my SO is able to sleep in and I am not. 

 

My best found time technique is to have a second paint set at work, and paint at lunch if there isn’t a work crisis. 

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For me, oddly enough it's having a "tidy but not" desk...  Enough room to work (one on of several different projects, so that way I can use whatever mood/muse comes up), my more common paints already out (even if it's tidier to have them in the rack), and probably the one that has helped the most but seems kind of silly? 

 

Fresh water in the rinse cup in the morning, or the night before.  This obviously doesn't work if you have pets, or are prone to knocking things over, but it's helped me get to the table a lot more often as of late. 

 

I've also found having tasks that can be done in 15-20 minutes prevents the whole "ugh, I have to do THIS next, but it's at least an hour's commitment" - this is partially why my Wyrmgear keeps getting delayed, whereas basing seems to get done a bit every night, or even just one colour on a particular mini. 

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I have to set it all up on our dining table or during good weather on the table in the garden.

Mostly this means I paint in binges during weekends or days off.

When I get time I will paint for 4 or 5 hours in a row then.

 

On rare occasion I will set it up on an evening where I can squeeze in 2 to 3 hours.

But most of the time I lack the energy to do that.

 

I wished I had more time.

And I would love a dedicated painting spot, so I could paint for an hour every day or less.

This will only happen when one or both vixens leave the nest or when we buy another house.

 

 

Edited by Glitterwolf
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The best method I've found for myself is to look at miniature and try and do some of the boring bits or quick stuff after work throughout the week then the more difficult stuff I dedicate to the weekend. 

 

During the week it's more about, "Hey you need to paint even if you don't feel like it. Just an hour, get this done." Making it a mandatory minimum of 2 days during the work week has helped keep motivated and spring boards into more. The weekend is pretty free flow; stopping to snack and what not. ::):

Edited by Arc 724
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Retired.

 

Only painting around 4am, when there's actual peace and quiet around here. :rock:  I don't find painting *that* enjoyable, so will work for 15 minutes or under an hour each time.

 

Working on four sets of miniatures at once. Similar to assembly-line painting, I'll have excess paint from one project and use it on the others. We'll see how well orange is an undercoat for brown... ::o:

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I try to do at least a little every day. Like playing the piano or welding, I think you need to have regular practise to keep your skills at their highest level.

 

At sea I manage to get an hour in most evenings, not painting anything very challenging and it does help me wind down from work.

 

At home I do an hour or so as soon as I wake up and then a long  session (4-5 hours) in the afternoon or evening to try to tame the Lead mountain.

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I personally tend to work in 2.5- to 4-hour blocks dispersed between weeknights and weekends.  However, I have found that I generally cannot get motivated to paint more than two days in a row, so (even if I am super invested in a long project) I generally paint two days, take a day or two off, paint two more days, take a day or two off... and repeat until the project is done.  At that time I tend to take a longer break.

 

The hardest motivational thing for me is to get that first bit of paint on the mini.  Once that has transpired, everything gets better!

 

Lastly, I try to remember that discipline is more important than motivation and start painting even when I don't much feel like it.  Even on those days where motivation is lacking, just getting started is generally enough to make it enjoyable again!

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In the past I have found that scheduling a day to be a hobby day has worked well.  I do not do housework, or yard work, or errands.  If I have to cook it will be something simple, maybe in the crock pot. I put music on, sometime tv. I look forward to it all week, which helps keep me motivated. 

 

Coincidentally, today is a hobby day. It's raining, I'm staying in, there will be nothing but quilting today. 

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Since I got an area for all my stuff I've been much more productive. I can leave things set out and work on them in spare moments. I try to do at least a little every day. Don't really have a set time right now. Theoretically I've got a lot of spare time in the winters but in reality it's been getting taken up with odds and ends and babysitting. Generally speaking my painting time is about 9 pm - 10 pm. Older kids are getting ready for bed and the yearling is with mom. When I've got energy and nobody bugs me I occasionally sneak in an hour or two at other times in the day. 

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I try to spend at least 1-2 hours at least twice week and on weekends, I'll try to dedicate at least one day to painting or hobbying. I just have to make sure that I can get in the mindset of "I want to get this piece done" vs. "I need to get this piece done". When I get into the need mentality, I find I'm not performing my best work nor have the motivation to get something accomplished. 

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I moved offices last year, and we were "between" campaigns while one of our players was taking classes for his job.  That totally destroyed my painting mojo.  I've only picked up a brush a few times in the intervening year.

 

But, when it was going, I had a portable kit that I would use at lunch and while on break--that probably got me 45 minutes a day during the week.  I'd paint at night or on the weekend if I felt like it.  That was very helpful in getting things done and on the table.  I need to start doing it again.

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A few years ago I started the habit of sitting down and painting every afternoon for 10 to 45 minutes after getting home from work every day. I did that for about 2 years, and I noticed a marked improvement in both quality and speed of my painting.  I haven't done that for about a year now, I think painting only Mal for 6 months made me have a bit of a burn out.  I should try to get into that again.

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My best time to paint is after my daughter is asleep in bed and other half is off doing his own hobbying thing. So that's usually between 8pm and 10pm for two days during the week, if I'm not too tired. Then I generally get a chunk, a morning or an afternoon of one day of the weekend, and I genuinely don't know how much time that is because I don't count it, but it does mean I get to take advantage of natural light to pick up on things that may not have been as evident during the night time painting. The weekend chunks can happen when everyone is home so it tends not to be uninterrupted, but the interruptions are usually small and don't have too much of an impact. I try to have a plan before I sit down, but I currently have something like 14 mini's in progress... :unsure: if I sit down without a plan I tend to grab a mini to try a technique or something and before I know it I have another half done one. So a lot of my current goals are finishing the works in progress.

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I can usually squeeze in 90 minutes once or twice a week in the evening, and a couple of hours on the weekend, usually in the afternoons.

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