Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Paint Journal

One of the recurring themes for me lately has been the effect of an adult life on my hobbies. As I have mentioned before, it is more difficult to get games to happen...etc.

As the time between patining sessions stretches for weeks or months sometimes before you revisit any particular project, the limits of memory are tested as I stare at a blank model (or more often, base) and wonder how on earth I painted it last time. Trying to create continuity over an extended period of time, with life and career in between has become a real challenge. 

Reflecting back to a younger self being tutored by a more experienced painter, he had made a case for keeping a record of your paint schemes. Being young at the time, I tried it out, but lost interest, and eventually the journal, and figured I could remember what I painted on my models. As it turns out, it was of the best lessons he gave me.

The concept is simple, but the execution takes discipline. I have restarted my paint-journal, so that I can pick up on projects as I have the time and motivation, and make consistent and continuous units of miniatures. Since I tend to work in 2 or three color layers, I write down what each layer color is, from left to right, and paint a small swatch of the color, in case the manufacturer discontinues my shade, or changes its name.
As an example, here's my African explorer, now with a completed savannah base, painted to match the tribesman's. As I continue with my Africa series, I can always come back to the same basing system.

I am also thinking of making a library of color effects in this journal. Basically, this means that when i find a way of painting red that I really like:

I can be sure that I will be able to replicate it exactly later on. I think of this particlar method as having a lego drawer, where I can grab out parts that I know will work, instead of reinventing redcoat red every time I pick up a new set of British troops...

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