OK, here is something that I used to do a lot back in the day.
That is, paint the same figure which I painted years before to see what kind of difference there was in appearance, time it took to paint, and so on.
The idea was, I could see what improvements there were in the technique over a given period of time. Since time was also very critical in getting things done sooner rather than later, conserving time was just as crucial.
If a figure looked about the same, but took 25% less time to paint, that was also a huge win!
Long gaps between attempts would yield some shocking results. I remember one of the first "Then and Now" projects not only had a huge visual result, but it took 3 days less to paint!
Most of you are familiar with the Celtos Fomorian Siren that I posted earlier this week.
However, unless you were looking at my Cool Mini or Not gallery in 2003, it is very likely you never saw this. Circa early 2003:
This was probably done in 2010, so a 7 year gap. I know it was probably a huge saving in time, but there were other advancements. Photography and basing would be two of them! I tried to keep the base as similar as possible to better estimate the effect.
This was also about the time that I was starting to do a lot more experimentation with various color combinations, such as the greenish brown hair with the purple flesh.
Give this a try yourself! You might be very surprised.