Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Stress management

Just about every miniature painter finds themselves in situations where they are distracted by stress and other craziness, whether you are just doing it once in a while for fun or a million hours a day. :-)

I have seen lots of people become completely paralyzed by these distractions... sometimes whatever you try to do with the brush is not much more than poo, or the figure you are trying to work on has some difficult area to work through, etc.

You already know that I have lots of things going on at once, at many different stages, for a variety of reasons.  Usually, it is all about efficiency.  There are also those times where one has to extract one's head from one's posterior to move on to bigger and better things.

I try to have lots of 'easy' stuff sitting around just in case.  It might be pieces of terrain, or some bases that need paint, or even simple figures that have been sitting around for those times where I need to just toss paint at something.

The Reaper Bone minis have been ideal for this.

Low impact, low stress, and so on.

No plan here... just grab whatever colors were around on the palette, and spend a few minutes trying to work away stress.

The Shaded basecoat is normally liberating enough to jolt one out of any jam, but being able to slap just about anything on this did the trick.

I had no idea what colors this would be.  Whatever came to mind is what happened.  Even then, it still changed.

Had this been a 'normal' figure, there would have been the innate urge to do something more fancy, or get crazier about doing something exotic with colors, etc.

The point, however, it to step away from the painting table without stepping away from the painting table.  I think I might have messed around with this for an hour...

By doing a quick little exercise such as this, I could see some instant results, forget (for the moment) all the stuff that was making me want to crumple up the Universe and toss it in the corner of the room, and focus strictly on a brush and some paint... and a plastic fig.

For those times when whatever you are trying to do is not working out, throwing some easy short passes for completions will give you the little nudge that you need.  Making you feel in control once again.

Once you have gotten to that place, you can once again return to smashing your face into a wall of broken glass :-)


  1. Sound advice. I do this all the time when a project is killing me and feels like it's going to stall. Ironically some of the best Paint jobs I have done are the fun little one offs. Like this little dude was just fro fun when I was stressing out of over a charity project last year...


    Also, I just recently used somebody's shaded bascoat technique on a fun little stress free mini too!

    1. Huzzah!!! I am so glad that the Technique did it's job for you as well. ;-)I will go check out your mini!

    2. Obligatory link:

      and here are my first few attempts:

      Honestly man, it was such a fun thing to try and I'm going to keep practicing it and try combining it with my airbrushing too. Thanks so much for all the work you put into those DVDs. For a visual learner like me it was very helpful :)

    3. Fantastic! Yes, blend it into what you are doing, make it your own! That's what I did in art school, combining the techniques of all the instructors, and then touches of my own madness ;-)

  2. One of the things I have to remind myself sometimes...is that painting is a stress releasing activity. The act of planning and building an army creates stress when you see that wave of plastic stretched out before you...thinking about all the work.

    But a few minutes into placing paint on the model, and you tend to forget all those worries and just gleefully paint pants.

    I second Zab on the videos. They have been very helpful. Even picked up some filbert brushes. Now just have to practice practice practice!

    1. Practice really does make perfect... or darn near! :-)

  3. Did this exact thing 3 days ago when I ordered some Hasselfree stuff for Massive Voodoo's Bananalicious Contest. Got some cheap zombies for fun.

    Looking forward to another WWE batrep,

    1. Your wish is my command, since a WWX report is coming in about 2 hours! :-)

  4. Made my day good sir, its fast becoming a daily ritual for me to sit down with a coffee and check first the latest post, then work my way through your previous stuff.
    Also, have you seen any of the Warrior Nation set? You're figs inspired me to look up the game and the Legendary Sitting Bull mini is outstanding.

    1. A Warrior Nation starter set just arrived! Wait and see what happens with those lads! OOOOHHH

    2. They will be lots of fun. Tattoos galore!