As my birthday and Christmas approach, I’m not meant to be buying myself anything, but after work today I took the train to Dhoby Ghaut and purchased a paintbrush, and a pot of green paint:
Then I bought a pack of kitchen roll (more on this later) and went home to paint my toy soldiers.
Well, toy fantasy football players, but you get the idea. One big thing that has changed since I last painted a miniature (at least 25 years ago, and probably more) is the adoption of wet palettes and thinning paints. I used to just dip my brush in the pot of acrylic paint and then daub it on, and that was really not the optimal way to do it. Applying several thin coats allows you to be more accurate (as there isn’t a huge glob of paint on the end of your brush ready to muck things up) as well as making sure the detail of the model isn’t obscured.
Hence the kitchen roll. A wet palette is pretty easy to make: you get a plastic sandwich box and line the bottom with kitchen roll, then you put a piece of baking parchment on top, and then pour on enough water to keep the kitchen roll wet. Then you transfer paint from paint pot to the palette, and thin it there with water, and then you paint it onto your miniature.
I put on some music and painted all the fleshy parts of my 12 orcs (which I sprayed gray earlier this week to act as a base coat). On inspection, they seemed still very grey, so I painted another thin coat on the first. And then another, and perhaps one more. That got me to this:
Now this chap is very drab looking right now, but one wonderful feature of Facebook is it’s easy to locate an entire community of people who will look at this and tell you whether you’re going mad, and offer helpful advice and encouragement. So not only was I reassured that my thin coats were not too thin, I have further clues on what to do next.
It was very restful to take an hour and a half to paint thin coats of colour onto some small plastic people. Certainly during that time I didn’t feel lonely or stressed, and after the last few days that’s something. Now to bed. (It has been raining since 5 this morning and shows no sign of letting up. Perhaps tomorrow Singapore will have been washed away, which precludes me going and buying my second pot of paint…)