|Champion of Tzeentch by John Blanche|
Vibrant warm tones, picturesque and easy-going brushwork, limited palette and fierce ambience. These are some of the trademarks John so well executes in his miniatures - and this one is no exception.
Now John is a man who needs very little introduction. The same goes with his unique and bold style of painting miniatures. But I felt that we too rarely get to see or read about the routines John does when he does his art, so I went and asked if he could tell us a little bit more about the process he went throught when painting the Champion.
It was really kind of John to reply my request with couple of lines, explaining some of the magic he did with this miniature.
"6 paints and three inks plus rub and buff gold on the armour edges and an all over shading wash in a muted brown i have mixed miself from devlan mud, nuln oil and gryphon sepia - " John writes. "fairly limited pallette and all shades and colours muted [ white, black, snakebite leather, orange, silver, tiny bit of green ] - that is mixed with another colour to take away the vivid artificial feel - " John continues.
Rub and buff is a wax base metallic finish for antiquing, crafts and decorating. You rub the wax onto surface with finger or soft cloth, then gently buff to so that it starts to shine. Very peculiar way to make metallics to your miniatures and it just screams to be tested! But lets get back to John, shall we...
"red ink with black, snakebite leather with white pretty much the main colours - other than the buff theres no gold or red used at all .... " John explains the basics. "2 varnishes - one matt the other surprisingly gloss - one brush a winsor and newton series 7 size 0 but worn a bit - faint white spray undercoat - hot radiator dries fast - only use daylight ever .... thumbnail and cartridge paper palette - radio 4 and the web as companionship ... " John lists and wraps it with couple of useful tips for bonus.
The miniature is part of a larger group that John is building for a Realms of Chaos anniversary game that will be played somewhere in the near future.
We, the Spiky Boys, have learned a lot about painting and art while we've been studying John's fantastic art. I have even got many great tips from the man himself when I've asked the guidance for certain techniques. Perhaps the most significant tip that John has shared with me is the use of inks, in both traditional 2D art and miniature painting. Maybe it was just a side note in something that John wrote to me about, but when I learned about the W&N inks, my painting has never been the same. Sometimes you just need someone to show you the right path to follow.
Maybe the use of inks and some other techniques is the reason why so many thinks that our stuff has much in common with what John does. This is, of course, both intentional an unintentional; We share some of the same mediums in what we do, even same miniatures and themes. We're adapting some of his techniques to ours to get the similar effects to what we do, trying to get our stuff in line with his, maybe even shaping the same universe.
But what I think makes our work so similar with John's is the enthusiasm towards the hobby and the art around it. We get inspired by the works of other talented people and want to put our own best in the soup, mixing our own visions with theirs and therefor making more or less similarly themed creations. I'm fond to what John does and want to create similar visions, even with the same mediums and techniques to get there. Sometimes the creations are more or less similar to what he does, heck, even I get surprised by the outcome for time to time!
But the main thing for me is this: I feel comfortable of what I'm doing and I'm enjoying it wholeheartedly.