Saturday, July 25, 2009

Lost My Painting Mojo

I suppose that it was inevitable, what with the rate I was painting figures over the past two months, but it appears that I have lost my will to paint figures for awhile. I haven't painted any figures over the past week and nothing since we fought our BAR Napoleon game last saturday.

My plan was to switch over to painting some Suren SYW British Guards after the Napoleonic game and get the unit up to 48 or 60 figures in time for our next SYW game on August 1st. But alas, as I started to apply some paint to the Surens, I found that I simply did not have any interest in painting the figures. It may be a matter of the Surens being a little more difficult figures to paint - they don't have smooth surfaces - on the contrary, they have many sharp angles and cuts in the figure. As a result, the brush does not flow smoothly over the figure. In addition, the fact that they are red coats and require a second coating of red paint adds a complication to their painting.

So now I find myself sort of putting my nose to the grind stone and slogging ahead no matter what in order to get the 14 Surens to the point where they begin to be fun to paint. This means after the application of the basic blocks of paint on the figure: red coats, blue trousers and facings, flesh colors, grey shade for the gaitors and haversack, and dark brown for the hair, back pack and musket barrel. Once this stage, and a tedious one at that, is reached, then the application of highlights and details begins. I find this stage of painting to be my favorite, for this is when the figure begins to come to life. You begin to get an idea of what it will look like when it is completed.

On the otherhand, I could put the Surens away and pitch into some of the Minden SYW Austrian cuirassiers that are sitting on my painting table (only 6, or half a squadron in BAR rules). I think that painting some wonderful Minden figures might be just the ticket to getting back my painting mojo. I have enough for a 60 figure regiment and I'd like to get them completed in time for the Big Battalion Game in October 2009. I was looking at the one or two sample figures that I had previously painted, admiring them and thinking that they could the right tonic to cure what ails me.


  1. Hi there Jim. Sorry about your painting wall. may I recommend the Olley article *issue 3 of Battlegames was it?). personally, I love red coats, but I use a brown wash to shade, and a white primer, so one coat works for me. But over black is always tricky.

    Great news on the rounders match - my resident US manager is a fan so it was good to talk to him about "home".

    It was nice to see you and little one enjoying real family time away from the soldiers, and I trust that her medical issues are being sorted/gone.

    Keep up the good blog. All the best.

  2. Just switch what you paint, it's a hobby not work, your mojo will return in a little while.

  3. If you are thinking about the Mindens, then set the Surens aside for now and tackle the figures you're wanting to paint.

    In your current state of mind, you'll not be happy with the Surens (and they might not perform well on the table top as a result) . . . so set them aside for now.

    Besides, the Mindens are lovely figures and they deserve to get some nice new uniforms, don't they?

    -- Jeff

  4. Mindens, Mindens, Mindens!!!

    Best Regards,


  5. Jim, the painting block happens to us all. If you don't feel like painting, then just don't paint.

    It's supposed to be pleasure, so don't give yourself a hard time about it, because of the need to make a blog entry or whatever. When you are ready, your mojo will come back. Somebody as prolific as you won't lose it for long :-)

    Just relax and enjoy whatever you are doing instead.

  6. Everyone's right. It's a hobby. It's supposed to be fun. Sometimes you need a break. Maybe work on something else.
    I haven't been feeling much like painting lately myself (the hot dry summer here doesn't help). So I've been working on terrain bits and pieces, reading rules, planning another battle, etc.

  7. If you need a break take it. It will come back. There times I don't want to paint. Chance to catch up on free reading. It passes quickly.

  8. If you aren't enjoying it, do something is a hobby after all, and meant to be enjoyed. As said above, the unit will play poorly if you haven't enjoyed painting it!
    Regards and thanks for a good Blog,

  9. Maybe you need a period piece to get back into it? When in doubt or need, find some inspiration!

    Have you seen this?

    David S.
    Minnesota, USA