Wednesday 17 January 2018

2017 Looking back... and forward.

I caught a cold over Christmas (who didn’t this year?) and suffered a flare up of my asthma. So my painting motivation has been at an all time low for the last few weeks! Such is life and I’ve learned to go with the ebb and flow of enthusiasm for my hobby. Rather than beating myself up over my lack of progress, I can see that it all tends to even out over the long term.

As I’ve begun to feel better (but not up to painting) I’ve spent a little time on this blog replacing some of the missing pictures. It’s just as much of a slog as I’d feared, but I’ve worked my way back to the end of October 2014 and the start of Gutrot Spume!

It’s been quite nostalgic to go through my old picture and it’s heartening to see how my painting has continued to develop and, I hope, improve over the last few years. As I say in my bio on this blog, ‘there is always something new to learn’.

All this nostalgia reminds me that it’s time to look back and review the past year! Overall it feels as if I’ve been less productive in terms of finished miniatures especially as I’m now painting ‘full time’. However while this is true it’s not the whole picture.

The first half of the year was dominated by my workshops and the necessary preparation they involved. So when you factor in the Plaguebearers I painted ready for Copenhagen, my output is on a par with previous years.

This greyscale Plaguebearer was painted for my contrast workshop in Copenhagen.

My three workshops, in Copenhagen, Stockport and Hull, were a huge and thoroughly enjoyable part of my painting year and I’m looking forward to developing this side of things in the coming year.

Contrast in Copenhagen
Textured NMM in Stockport
Monster Flesh in Hull

2017 saw me finish three projects: The Orruk Megaboss, The Abyssal Warlord and the Death Guard Chaos Space Marine. In addition to these, and the aforementioned Plaguebearers, I’ve put a fair bit of work into the Akito bust and made a tentative start on my new Nurgle Predator.

I think the three finished minis represent a very distinct phase in my painting. This year I’ve explored and developed my approach to painting contrasting textures and that’s very evident in my work. I feel that, over the last year, I’ve greatly increased my range in this area. That’s something I’m especially pleased about because I think it’s bridged a gap in my skill set. Not so very long ago I was all about smoothness!

I’ve enjoyed continued success in painting competitions. They remain a great motivator to improve my painting and help to give my painting year some structure. Salute 2017 saw me take home a Bronze for my Abalam bust. The Golden Demon Classic in May saw me win a Gold in what was the most strongly contested Golden Demon I’ve attended! But it was the Warhammer 40,000 Open Day in November that gave me my greatest success with a Gold and my fifth Slayer Sword. I’m very proud but no one gets anywhere by resting on their laurels so I’m going to have to keep on my toes and keep pushing myself to grow as a painter!

On the personal side, I took myself in hand this last year and made a major effort to improve my health. Over the last few years I’d become quite seriously over weight for someone of my height, or lack of it, and my blood pressure had gone through the roof as a result. I got my diet under control and began to exercise regularly. By August I’d undergone quite a transformation having lost 44 pounds and ‘found’ a full head of hair! Most importantly my blood pressure is now good for someone of my age.

These photos are, give or take a week, taken one year apart,
it's quite a shock to see exactly how much I've changed!
So what of the future? As I said earlier I’m looking forward to further developing my painting workshops. I shall be returning to Element Games for my ‘Contrast in miniature painting’ workshop on the 2nd and 3rd of June and beyond that I’m looking into running a series of workshops by myself in Southampton.

On the painting front I have Akito to finish. This project continues to challenge and stimulate me, as it’s so different from anything else I’ve ever painted before. I’m looking forward to seeing Akito finished, hopefully in time for this year’s Salute.

Once Akito is done I will turn my attention to the 2018 Golden Demon season and consider my approach this year. I’d like to work on some long-term projects, as this is where I do my best work. But for 2018 I will probably try and get a couple of character minis painted and I already have my eye on some likely candidates.

In the much longer term there is the new Nurgle Predator and the recent release of a plastic Great Unclean One by Games Workshop has raised some very interesting possibilities and further fueled my enthusiasm for this particular project.

Although my plans for 2018 are a little vague, the year feels full of possibilities and I’m keen to see where it will take me!


  1. Congratulations, David, on everything. But especially on your personal transformation. I know how much goes into that. And that suit looks damn good on you. I'm looking forward to another year of following your work.

  2. An impressive 2017! Good luck for the year ahead!

  3. Workshops in Southampton? Ace. Im in Winchester so it'd be nice to get something down south for a change.

  4. Southampton? I'm also in Winchester. So that would excellent.

  5. Awesome personal improvement dude!

  6. I vote that a stylized version of the suit pic becomes your new avatar, the one one the home page now doesn't do you justice!

    Congrats on everything.

    1. My old avatar is certainly in need of an update!