Wednesday 9 January 2013

It's about what you do, not how you do it!

It's that time of year again. A time for new beginnings and a time when the year ahead is full of possibilities. I don't go in for specific new year's resolutions as I think they are often doomed to fade and fail with time. I prefer to look at the coming year in terms of an opportunity to set out some broader goals. Rather than giving myself specific targets I try to set out the spirit in which I will approach the year ahead. I like to think of it as an annual tone meeting.

I do, of course, have some specific goals and targets but everything is negotiable and I see no point in beating myself up over things I've 'failed' to do. Life can, and will, throw many a curve ball but in the long run it usually provides as many new opportunities as it does obstacles. The trick is to be flexible and adapt to the situation.

So that's my goal for this year - to have a positive and creative attitude and make the best of the years opportunities whatever they may be.

With regards to mini painting and this blog the big thing for me this year is to enter the Golden Demon for the first time in 23 years. My Dark Eldar diorama is finally beginning to come together and will be the focus of my efforts for the following months. After taking a small painting break over the Christmas holiday I've picked up my brushes and begun painting the third of my Scourge minis.

The big challenge will be in pulling together all the elements of the diorama to tell a cohesive narrative and it's here that I really need to raise my game.

This is something that I may have mentioned on this blog before but I'll make no apologies for repeating one of the best bits of advice I was ever given. When I was fourteen I was way ahead of the other boys in my art class at school. As a result My Art Teacher Mr Oliver decided to put me in for my O level exam early (I got a 'B" grade). What he said to me was that I had all the practical skills I needed to pass the exam and no longer needed to worry about how I did something. The important thing was what I did and not how I did it. Mr Oliver's advice (along with his recommendation that I consider Graphic Design as a career option) has stood me in very good stead for the last 32 years and is as relevant today as it ever was.

It would be all too easy to get bogged down in the detail of painting my Scourge minis to a consistent standard. Achieving a high quality finish on all the detail is vital but I mustn't loose sight of the of the overall composition. As I bring together the base, Scourge minis and all the scenic and snow elements (I haven't forgotten those experiments with snow & ice effects) I need to keep Mr Oliver's advice firmly in mind.


  1. SO true. I also reached a point in miniature painting where i shall not worry about my technique but about the piece overall, so composition, colors etc. ;)

  2. Overall composition and appearance are a major pitfall for me. The number of times I have painted mini and base separately and then brought the two together only to find one is overpowering the other makes me sad. And when the base is nicer than the mini!? Ugh.

  3. We all can learn something from applying Mr Oliver's advice :)