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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Looking to Improve

I enjoy painting these Reaper Bones figures (  I can spend a few minutes at a time during my day putting a little bit of paint on a figure.  I feel comfortable experimenting with different colors, brushes, and techniques.  This will become a nice hobby as I get better.

I learned a lesson about learning this week when I decided to go seek out an expert painter to critique my work and give me pointers on improving.  It is not as hard as I worried it would be.

Our local comic shop ( for those of you in the Dallas area) has a few guys that paint minis.  They have a great display of miniatures right by the front door.  I figured I could take a few of the Bones I recently painted (those I posted here with stories) to figure out if I'm even moving in the right direction on them.

I was afraid.  Fear told me the guy behind the counter would look at my work and laugh, or tell me how far I had to go in the land of learning to paint.  I prepared myself for complete rejection.

His reaction relieved me.  Now don't get me wrong, he didn't shower glowing praise on my work.  I recognize I'm a beginner and I have a lot to learn.  Still, I think the painter at the shop was excited to get to talk about the craft with someone.

He looked over my work and commended the good start.  My base colors were done pretty well, and he showed me a few techniques (using "wash" for shadows, and "dry brush" for highlights) for taking my work to the "next level" with additional detail.

He then showed me several examples from his case to explain the techniques and what they should look like when used properly. 

The whole conversation took about ten minutes, but it was fun!  I learned a bunch, and I got to talk shop about a budding passion with someone who has walked this path already.  It was great.

In the process, I also learned a lesson about what I need to do next with my writing.  I think it is time to seek out and talk to other writers.  I know writing is very diverse and subjective, but if I want to really improve, I need feedback on what I am writing.  I need advice on how to take my writing to "the next level." 

I recognize I also need to be prepared for rejection.  I know my writing needs work.  That's why I continue to practice in the hopes of mastering it one day.  But, I expect that writing the same way over and over without direction will not help me improve.  In the same way, if I had not sought out an expert in painting I would not have learned the new "wash" and "dry brush" techniques I used on the miniature below.  I can see the obvious improvement in his style from my previous work, and I continue to practice to perfect these new techniques!  I hope that seeking out writers will have a similar effect on my writing.

This mini is also Asa from my previous blog.  This is early in his adult life. 

Thank you for reading!  Leave me your comments!

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