In an effort to resurrect my energy for all things hobby-related, I’ve decided to spend a little time thinking about the little pleasures that we can all enjoy.
My passion for all things 40k hasn’t dwindled in the slightest. I’ve been devouring the Gathering Storm books with great enthusiasm, and I still keep up to date with all the gossip and rumours (I have a couple of those myself that I may be in a position to share later), but it’s actually doing the painting and modelling that I’ve been neglecting. The will just hasn’t been with me, though I’m starting to do a little more – one hopes said will is indeed returning.
One of the things that I’ve been using to gently encourage myself back to my work bench is to think of all the little pleasures that come from painting. And, doing so has been very enjoyable, so I thought I’d share those things with you here. If you think I’ve missed anything out, stick a comment down below. Here’s what makes me quietly smile when painting.
The Great Desk Clean
We’re all guilty of letting our desks get a little messy from time to time. And on rare occasions, a painting area can end up looking like a miniature version of the Somme with plastic sprues sticking out of it. Mine has recently been doing a very good impression of that mass of plastic that’s floating in the Pacific ocean and killing all of the fish. There was no space to store anything, no space to move and barely any space to paint. So, I had a bit of a cleanup. You can see the results here:
And now it looks like an inviting new realm where anything is possible. This is a good desk, and I shall prosper here. And in fact, I’ve even had a little bit of a paint since this has been done. It was very pleasant. Oh, I dare say it will clutter up again soon, but for the moment, I shall enjoy the neatness and tranquility.
The New Brush
There’s so much promise in a new brush. So many possibilities. Within that brush is the potential to paint masterpieces. Combined with my fingers, entire armies could rise from those bristles. Aside from being excellent brushes, one of the reasons I like using the Series 7 brushes from Windsor & Newton is because the opening of a new brush is made even more of an event. Sliding it out of its tube, taking off the guard, dipping it in my water pot for the very first time… it’s an occasion to be enjoyed. It’s like the painter’s equivalent of peeling the protective plastic off of a television or phone screen. Never again will it be in this pristine, perfect condition. Enjoy that moment, people.
Being Ambitious, And Getting It Right
Even though many of us develop a style we like and use often, pretty much all of us like to learn something new. Of course there are plenty of guides and tips videos to help us, but when you’ve been painting for a while, you begin to be able to work things out in your head. You start going off on your own a bit. This can either be something big or small. As an example, a long time ago, when I painted my Hrud gunslinger for my INQ28 retinue, I got to try a couple of things that came from my mind. From the colouration of his lips going in to fur, to the dirt on his coat and shoes, much of what went into that model was new to me. In fact, nearly everyone in that retinue features a technique, combination, conversion or idea that I’d never tried before. I’m not saying they were invented by me – there’s nothing new under the Sol – but they were new to me and I didn’t watch any tutorials. It was my crazy brainchild, and, I think, it worked. I’ve gotten better since I worked on these guys, but I still look on them with pride.
Putting The Brush Down
Whether you’re working on a single miniature, a squad, a tank, a titan, or a whole army, there’s that moment where you finally put the brush down and say to yourself ‘I’ve finished’. There is then, invariably, the moment when you notice some detail you forgot to do and so you have to pick your brush up and fix that, but then when you put the brush down again you can say ‘I’ve finished’ again and the feeling is a good one. It’s a great one actually. That feeling of completion is wonderful. You’re allowed to look smug at that moment.
But one thing that I also make sure that I take time to enjoy, is the moment when you put your brush down at any point in the project. If you’ve found a spare evening to get a couple of hours in, or a lazy Sunday afternoon, when you put your brush down after these times, you should feel just as happy. You’ve progressed. You’ve got a little closer to the end. And you had fun doing it.
So with all of this in mind, I shall be heading back to my painting desk with a little more enthusiasm and I shall be making sure that I spend a little more time appreciating the little joys that painting can bring. I hope you find the time to do the same. As ever, dear readers; onwards.
Too right – I think it’s important to appreciate what you’ve achieved whenever you paint something, take five minutes to just sit back and look at what you’ve done, admire it, assess it and learn what you could do better next time.
I don’t ever like to look at painting as a means to an end, taking joy in the process is its own reward and you’ll be more inclined to do it more often if you find it enjoyable. Sometimes it’s just a matter of finding that joy!
“You’ve progressed. You’ve got a little closer to the end. And you had fun doing it.” This is what painting is all about, I think I just found my new hobby mantra!
Good call to have a little clear out and tidy up now and then. Look forward to seeing what you produce.