I’ve been watching a lot of miniature painters and wargamers on YouTube do 24 hour challenges where they attempted to get an entire army done in well 24 hours. the thing I found strange is often they painted their figures in basically the same way they always had but attempted to do it faster.
Now to crawl up inside my own pretentious ass for a moment I don’t paint miniatures, I make small works of art. The thing about art is art has millions of different styles and expressions. Miniature painting seems to have about three? There’s painting things properly – picking out all the details in the correct colours. There’s ‘old school’ which is basically the first style but how they did things in the 80s and 90s and then there’s Blanchitsu, which is probably my favourite of the styles, it’s about texture, rust, making things extra grimdark with a side of grimdark. If you don’t know what I mean I’d recommend a quick google image search. But that seems to be it. Everything else isn’t really a different style it’s just varying degrees of skill and realism applied to the first two styles.
So now combining those two streams of thought I’ve been considering speed painting minis and picking a distinctive style. Impressionism was a kind of speed painting style, just on canvas instead of figures. Impressionism was more about run and gun, capturing a fleeting moment. The artists often used smaller canvasses and painted out in the world rather than in a studio. I wanted to take some of the features of Impressionism and apply them to my mini painting.
First though I had to start with basic Blanchitsu, and that means slapping Typhus Corrosion over the entire figure, and then painting it black, I then started dry brushing details, not worrying too much about accuracy.
I almost wanted a monochrome look, sticking to reds and oranges.
Then some details were loosely picked out with a bone colour.
Then I went back in with a red-orange and picked out the key features of each figure. This normally meant the weapons and the helmet. It seemed fitting that the weapons were entirely red since red traditionally means danger.
After picking out the odd details on my heroes in yellow so they stood out from the crowd the whole force got a thin black wash to reestablish the shadows and a light bone dry brush to finish most of the details off. I did after that go back in with an orange on the weapons to make them pop a bit more.
A friend suggested adding green but I really liked what I had and didn’t want to mess with it, so I worked the green into the bases instead.
Here’s everyone finished:
All in all I probably spent a few hours on this, and now fifteen blight kings and two heroes that were stuck in a drawer are done and ready for battle.
I think as you look at your mounds of grey plastic or piles of metal, you might consider working some miniature Impressionism, and seeing how striking and also how quickly you can paint figures.
I had formerly considered Cubist miniature painting, but having to render a three dimensional object from multiple angles on that same three dimensional object might rip a hole in space time itself. Just thinking about it gave me a nosebleed.