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.
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.