Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Workspace: Setting up your painting area

Miniature painting, wargaming, roleplaying
We all work in different ways, and often not in the way we would prefer.  Personally i'd like a much bigger desk and i'd like to be able to leave it all set up all the time.

But that's just not going to happen. When you share your painting space with a wife, a couple of kids and a really inappropriately curious cat that's not always possible.  I thought it would be interesting to show how I use the space I have and some of the tools and tricks that make it work for me.

First is my computer. I find its such a huge benefit when painting to be able to see how someone else approached a paint job, to watch a quick video guide on blending or basing techniques or to have reference photos like Lizards when your painting dragons.  One tip though is not to make a habit of putting any paints or liquids on your computer desk if you can avoid it.   

Miniature painting, wargaming, roleplayingNext I have my painting table, the observant amongst you may have noticed its on wheels.  That's so when the In-Laws come round I can wheel it out of the way and act like a grown up.  It also means I can paint in the living room while the Mrs watches TV without making it look like a students bedsit 24/7.

On my painting desk I have the usual collection of figures that are finished, about to be started or are currently being worked on.  I find I work better if I concentrate on 3-4 miniatures at a time, it saves having to wait ages for each stage to dry and with the deadlines i'm setting myself for completion it means I can be pretty productive.

I try and keep my painting area very tidy, horrible disasters with spilt acrylic have taught me that a tidy desk is a safety feature I can't do without.  I've got a collection of swiss files (very small), craft knives and probably too many brushes.  I like to use a size 0 or size 1 for base coats and large areas, a size 00 for most things and a size 000 for really close detail work.  You can get smaller but my eyesight isn't good enough anymore to make it worthwhile.

Now there is something missing on my table which would really help me and my terrible eyesight.  I'm waiting for a new angle poise magnifying lamp as I stupidly broke mine recently.  I can't stress highly enough how useful these are to the aging painter!

I'll talk about paint and brushes next time. 

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