It’s such a nice day today at my place, and I have the house to myself for a few hours. “What can I take pictures of in these perfect photography conditions, to put up on my blog?” I thought to myself.
Then my eye was caught by two command bases in my display cabinet. These two 28mm Wargames Foundry sets were both painted back in 2002 (what, 12 years ago already?!). “Aha,” I thought, “it would be interesting to look at these to see how my painting style has changed or stayed the same over the years.”
So, firstly, Napoleon and his staff …
This command base is based on the famous painting by Vasily Vereshchagin, depicting Napoleon and his staff at the battle of Borodino in 1812.
Well, the first close-up shows one thing that I hope has changed – those EYES! Oh my, oh my, how couldn’t I see at the time that they were far too big and Tunderbirdish?! These days I have given up painting eyes at all, just hinting at them with dark wash.
My basing style has remained remarkably the same since 2002. I still use natural sand and crushed shell sprinkled over a thick coat of PVA [or white] glue. Unlike most wargamers, I don’t paint the sandy surface at all – I just leave it the natural sand colour. Then I finish off with patches of several shades and textures of static grass and flock. So this basing technique has stood the test of time.
Now, the Duke of Wellington and his staff …
I think by this time I had begun to use the rubbed oil-paint technique for horses. But white horses (or greys, to be exact) can be really difficult, and I’m not sure I carried it off well here. The horse furniture came out great, though.
Check that horse on the right with the human eye?! Nowadays I paint horses’ eyes plain black. I add the tiniest spot of white I can do in the middle to give a sense of gleam.
Back when I painted these figures, I hadn’t leaned about shading or highlighting. And, actually, I think these simple block colours come out tidier in photographs than my current three-levels of shading.