Wednesday, March 28, 2012
My Son Paints Better Than I Do
My older son (9 going on 15) is an aspiring miniature painter, whose work I have previously shown here. Mr. Frodo, as he prefers to be called, loves to paint both metal fantasy minis as well as a growing collection of plastic GW minis ranging from Space Marines, Lizardmen, and Undead. He seems hell-bent on becoming a better painter than his old man, and will often ask me "Am I a better painter than you yet?" after finishing his latest project.
How do I answer that? Very carefully, of course (I can hear you fellow parents laughing). I tell him that he is an excellent painter, and that he is a better painter at his age than I was when I was around 10 or 12, and if he keeps practicing and learning, of course he'll be a better painter than me one day. He needs to take better care of his brushes, but I digress.
When I started painting, I had no teacher, no guides, no information, and not much to compare my work to, except for perhaps ads and pictures from Dragon magazine and the like. Frodo is lucky in the sense that he has me hanging around to show him the painting ropes. So far we've been trying to stick with the basics such as thinning your paints, brush control, basic coverage, washes, and drybrushing. I'll leave concepts such as color theory and blending for when he's a bit older.
Frodo recently finished up painting Reaper's Agramon the Pit Fiend. He went with the traditional red color scheme, augmented by a liberal wash of Baal Red and some orange highlights. I took some pics of Agramon and one of my oldest minis, Ral Partha's 01-003 Balrog, for a good old side-by-side comparison:
The results are obvious. Agramon's simple paint scheme is brought to life by the combination of washing & highlighting. My balrog looks downright one-dimensional and crude in comparison.
The one thing I hope Frodo does not pick up from me is my tendency to leave projects unfinished, along with a nasty case of procrastination.