donderdag 21 oktober 2010

Another day, another rant

At work at the moment, so time's o-plenty for writing something for the blog. I'd like to dedicate this post to some of the great artists out there in 2D art. Why 2D in a wargamers blog? Because I like it, but more importantly we can learn more from looking at other, but similar art disciplines then we can from looking at other miniatures. This is because, and thats especially true for those art forms you have little experience in, you have to take a fresh new look at techniques.

All too often painting miniatures is all about brush techniques. How can you dry the brush just enough to drybrush easy detail without getting a grain. How do I thin my paint just enough to blend different colors into each other or how can I get the tip so fine that I can paint a multi colored iris? What miniature painters forget are the basic art principles that trouble a 2D artist. Because he has no small annoying to reach corners, nor relief to but a wash or drybrush on, he has time for the other problems. What colors do I use, what composition do I like, how do I give the painting a feeling of comming to gether rather than an individual on a backdrop. Looking at these and more such problems, and seeing what insights other artists have to offer changes the way you look at painting miniatures to get that feeling of it all comming together. If all your colors come from the same palette you can create figures that really capture the essence, the ambience of what you have in mind.
To often good or even greatly painting figures still portray figures rather than composisitons. If you look at the current top 10 at coolminiornot, you'll see the images have a certain rightness about them which sets them apart from other well painted miniatures. It are mostly diorama's with great compositions, completenting colors of a similar palette and somewhat of a story to it. Looking at the high elf, we see that chose a color on the flag and clothes that matches that of his ocean; this is a common technique, bringing back a color in different parts of the image, to truely bind the image together. We also see work ahs been done on artificial structure on the rock. Patterns and color diversity is common in nature, while mini-painters tend to think and paint in surfaces. Adding a grain with toothbrush splatter or a sponge will greatly enhance the sense of realism. Thats what makes pigments so sucsessful, as they attach less reliable to the surface you get a random, natural look.
Another thing that great images have alike is that the artist had one or several lightsources in mind and stuck to it in such a way that light direction gives it a natural feel. But I digress, I meant to focus on 2D artists and yet again I averted to the wonderfull wargame hobby.

In my 2D art I prefer gritty over clean, heavily ages over tight, misterious over grand. My favourite artist in that aspect is Paul Bonner. I know him from his work on the Rackham confrontation line, although the other art is great as well. It is similar to an old Dutch artist Rien Poortvliet, who, besides farmyard and natural illustrations, drew the early gnomes with the pointy hat. Another artist I greatly admire, Steve Argyle, has a more clean and modern style, although his methods are chaotic and more similar to the other styles then you'd think. What you can see in the images of these artists, and especially the digital works, is that the palette is carefully chosen, the lighting hits not just everything but those area's that create a more interesting composition. Stuying these images, and copying their way of thinking greatly enhances your look on painting mini's that now your technical training should try to equal.

Keep the juices running, IG out.

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