As we know, Steve got hired into Games Workshop and he can no longer share his wisdom with us that freely anymore... which is good thing in a way because Steve's a skilled sculptor who is top choice in the continuum of turning the GW heritage into 3D form. Steve happens to be my friend and Im really happy for him about that matter =)
What Im trying to say, or write in this case is that I have always wanted to do something similar that Steve did before. Share some of my thoughts about this hobby, or in my case - the attitude towards this hobby. Im no true artist nor Im not very experienced one either, But still I wish to share these few thoughts with you anyway
- OK here we go -
There are many blogs out there where people paint and convert miniatures but then always have excuses why their creations aren't as good as they have wished. Very often it seems to be "horrible" camera that makes the paintjob look bad, and how "in reality" it is so different and much cooler. If only they would have enough money to buy better cameras or optics with prizes starting from 1000 ->
The truth is that these days you can do miracles with budget cameras or even with mobile phone's tiny cameras. Kari shot these with just an iPhone 4 on a bright day in Nottingham. If you just want to share your painted miniatures with your blogger friends, that quality should be all you need? Below you see my modest set up, that I use to shoot my Punk Moth material - 6 year old camera with very modest specs and couple of daylight lightbulbs to get good lighting.
Good lighting is VERY important in miniature photography. You can get bad shots with a good camera if you have poor lighting, but you can get pretty impressive shots with cheap cameras with good lighting.
The backdrop you see in the picture is The Emperor's Will slipcover! (you gotta be creative)
Im not saying that I take perfect shots with my cheap setup, Im saying that that gritty quality is perfectly enough to transfer my vision in to the interwebs for you to see.
|Smartphone camera, blister foam and good ol' daylight too expensive for ya?|
|Little men need little photo studios|
Painting the miniatures seems to be problematic for some people also, why? because all the skilled painters have gained their skills trough some dark ritual, where they sacrificed their souls for their inhuman painting skills. how can you compete that?! better just carry on with Chaos Black as shade tone and Skull White for the highlights right?? The key here is practice practice practice, practice when you had an awful day at work and no strength to do anything but watch Telly or play Ps3, practice when you are inspired and full of good spirit.
Most of all study different styles. I love how John Blanche paints his miniatures and paintings rough and gritty, but full of soul - that's why I study his style very closely, very very closely. You must learn to copy well before you can find your own style. I have not found my own style yet, that's why the GW artbooks in my bookshelf are always worn out from continous browsing! But again I know that someday I will get there and find my unique style to do these things.
The attidude is all that matters. You don't have to be super skilled painter/sculptor to make cool miniatures, just carefully study what others have done and you get there some day. Try out different mediums, write cool background stories, draw sketches, paint with inks or oil colour and be very inspired, all that stuff.
You want to paint or sculpt the good looking miniatures but be merciful on your self for you are not able to produce the coolest stuff in the Cmon right from the start...
But also don't let yourself on too easy either. stop only when you are sure that you couldn't have done it any better at that moment. If you doubt that something could have done better, do it again and again (just browse through my old plogposts and you see how I threw almost finished sculpts into trash with bloody tears running down my cheeks) you gonna get it right eventually.
Hope all this don't sound like some old master of the art speaking or anything silly like that. Im doing hard work every day to be good sculptor, but Im not near the skill demanded to be a GW sculptor, not yet I mean;)
I just felt that this needed to be written for my own sake.
I hope that you could see, that it's the attitude and hard work you need to get to the top. Not technology or supernatural Daemon gifts!
Be creative, be very creative