Monday, 8 April 2019

Hobby Update ... What Sproket did next.

Not so very long ago I’d resigned myself to a quiet low-key sort of year for my hobby. I’d had to cancel a couple of workshops while my partner Mark was recovering from his illness and it didn’t look very likely that I would be making it to any painting competitions either. I was OK with this; after all you need to get your priorities in order. The unanticipated benefit was that I became totally free to paint for the love of painting again and, as I gradually get back up to speed, I’m finding that extremely rewarding.

But now I suddenly find myself with lots to talk about because over the last few weeks the pace of life has really picked up! I’m planning to revisit some of these topics in more detail in subsequent posts. But for the time being this is a round up of sorts, to get this blog up-to-date, before things move on any further.

Artis Opus Series D

I’ve been associated with Artis Opus for about a year now as one of their ‘signature’ artists. This means that I’m among a group of well-known painters who have been using their brushes and have agreed to lend their names and reputation to promoting them. I do that because I really do use Artis Opus brushes and I think they are excellent.

A few weeks ago Byron from Artis Opus contacted me with a very interesting proposition. He’s been working on a new range of brushes (series D) designed specifically for dry brushing. Byron wondered if I’d be willing to try the brushes out ‘on camera’ as part of the promotion for the new kickstarter campaign. Now I’ve always been a ‘fan’ of dry brushing and feel it’s much maligned in some circles. So I agreed to go up to Stockport for a day of filming.

I had a bit of an ulterior motive, as this would give Mark and myself the opportunity to have a little break. Since Mark left hospital we’ve been restricted in how far we could travel or how long we could stay out. But we felt the time was now right to be a bit more adventurous. If you can really call Stockport adventurous!

The weekend was a great success on all accounts! Mark coped well with the travel and unaccustomed activity and I had a great time painting and filming. Not least because I was filming alongside Bohun an artist I’ve long admired. I’d anticipated a day of dry brushing but what I actually got was the chance to see Bohun’s individual take on the technique and have my mind opened to it’s potential which goes well beyond my own rather pedestrian notions!

I will definitely be posting more about dry brushing and series D in the near future.

You can find the kickstarter here.

Salute 2019

As the trip to Stockport went well we decided we could venture out again and the most obvious thing was a trip to Salute 2019. Unfortunately when the day came I had a bit of a cold and really wasn’t operating at 100% but we’ve done Salute enough times now that it has the ease of familiarity. We both found the day extremely tiring but were glad we went. It was so good to see old friends and acquaintances and in many ways the day felt like a return to ‘business as usual’ after a long interruption.

Of course one of the main reasons for going to Salute was the painting comp. My choice of entries was limited to two. My Isharan Tidecaster and my Sloppity Bilepiper. I was well aware that this might be my only painting comp this year so my choice was an important one. I’m very pleased with both minis but unfortunately they were eligible for the same category so I had to choose.

In the end that was fairly simple as I think the Slopity Bilepiper is the stronger of the two. It’s the model I painted to get back into my hobby and I lavished a lot of time and attention on it. As a result I’d been able to finesse the details to a high standard and it was the mini I was most confident about. This isn’t to say I’m not pleased with the Tidecaster but I think she will benefit from a few tweaks. But that’s for another day and, maybe, another painting comp.

As I said I wasn’t quite feeling 100% and I managed to miss the start of the awards ceremony for the comp. That definitely wasn’t very cool because my Sloppity Bilepiper won Gold in Fantasy Single Figure and I missed the announcement! In spite of that I’m very happy with the result and glad I chose the right mini on the day!

Sproket does Troggoths.

Now it’s time to look ahead and to something I’m eagerly anticipating! On Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd June I will be returning to Element Games to run a painting workshop. I had several ideas for a subject model but the new Rockgut Trogoths from Games workshop are ideal. There will, of course, be the chance to explore the painting of textures and ‘lifelike’ flesh tones but these models also offer the chance to get to grips with painting volumes and forms in a way that many smaller minis don’t. I’ve been busily preparing for the workshop and my own take on a Rockgut Trogoth is coming along rather nicely.

Booking details will be available from Element Games very soon and I’ll publish them as soon as they are confirmed.


  1. That sounds like quite a journey you had these past few months, in terms of experience that is of course.
    Also, congratulations on your win: totally deserved!

  2. I am painting troggoths too :D

  3. could i get your skin recipe/ color guide for this skin tone?

  4. Hey David, I wanted to say a big thank you, I know you didn't get any say in it but your partner was kind enough to let me take a look at your model case and the amazing bolt idea. (Figuring out how to get models to Nova so am researching options!). Thanks again to you both and many congrats on the well earned successes this year :-)