Saturday, 20 April 2013

A Retrospective (or "Orks through the Ages")

This week marks six months of blogging, and a re-branding of sorts. I have taken the opportunity to make the blog easier to remember by renaming from "The Far Seeing Eye" (an obscure Blood Angels special rule) to instead match the blogger url of "Heaven's Teeth" is also an obscure Blood Angels reference, but is a lot snappier, easier to remember and has minimal competition when entered into Google. I hope this makes me easier to find, and it seems blogger has done all the hard work in the background with renaming of blog entries, bookmarks and such. The header will probably change too, but that's for another day.

Most blogs reflect upon the progress of the blog itself at a certain milestone, but the proof is in the pudding (in this case by clicking on 'completed projects' above) so I want to talk about my painting progress in general and what a solid six months of it has done for my skills. Professional painters always talk about 'practise, practise, practise' and it's all well and good for them doing it 40-80 hours a week, and I would think that their skills but also speed would increase exponentially, probably at the same rate as their hobby enthusiasm falls away. (As a mechanic I have minimal desire to work on my own car on my time off, so I admire any professional painter who maintains the enthusiasm to collect and paint their own armies!). For my own part, even sticking to a once weekly blog post has forced myself to follow through on projects I may have abandoned in the past due to lack of enthusiam, and I often learn something along the way.

So by way of blowing my own trumpet (or tooting my own horn for those in North America) I'd like to share a selection of models from my past, inspired by a recent blog post of a fellow blogger. Orks have always been my 'go to' army of any games system, as they reward bright, quick and colourful paint jobs just as much as the gritty "grim dark" style which sometimes takes twice as long with half the tabletop visual effect. Above you can see the current test model for the latest reincarnation of my Ork army, and below how things have looked over the years.

As you can see, quite a change from my first few models while in high school, then jumping back into the hobby with a red armoured Kult of Speed. I increased the colour palette a bit in 2010 then started and handful of models in a pseudo camouflage with very bright tones, and now I am using some of the new weathering techniques I have been trying out on my Imperial Guard to give the Orks a more 'realistic' look (if you can really paint green skinned aliens realistically).

So where am I now? As you can see from the two top photos I have shaded my latest model using glazes, and mixed some pigments to weather the metals and leathers. I have also highlighted using blue on the skin in a daring attempt at colour theory (blue and green are next to each other, a lot of people shade with red but I thought of going the other way), and it has really worked quite well. I am also trying to vary my shading to reflect the type of surface, with broad soft highlights for cloth and leather, and sharper highlights for teeth and metal which would catch the light. These are all ideas and techniques I would never have attempted without setting myself some painting goals, so I challenge you to do the same! I look forward to the next six months and beyond.

Thanks for dropping by!

1 comment:

  1. It's great to look back and see all the progress you've made... it somehow makes all the growing pains and occasional setbacks seem worth it, doesn't it? I think part of the reason we're never 100% happy with our works is that, as we get better and get more knowledgeable about this art, we are more capable of seeing our own shortcomings. Our standards stay just one step ahead of our capabilities. It's a good thing in that we continue to push ourselves. It's a terrible thing in that we are always beating ourselves up, instead of looking back and taking pride in our progress.