One of my goals every year when entering Curts Analogue Painting challenge is to try and get better at painting. We can all learn and improve over time, but it takes a lot of time to paint the best we can, so most of us don't do it often. I try to paint my best for the theme week entries that Curt has throughout the challenge, and see if I can do some new things on them.
My goal in the theme week entries is to come in the top 5 each time, as past that you really have no control. As with shows like the Golden Demon or Crystal Brush (of which I will never even qualify for either!) the top group are all amazing, and then which wins comes down to the judges preferences of the day. Any of the top 5 are really good, so even though this is a much smaller pool of painters, that is my goal here as well. If I can get into the top 5, I have done well.
This year I managed to win 2, place 2nd once, 4th once, and 6th once over the course of the 5 themes. Not bad considering 1 of those pieces I decided on 2 days before the closing of submissions (obviously the 6th place). So, almost met my goal of top 5 each time, but I think 2 wins can almost let me count the 6th as ok, right? It is the closest I have come so far, so I think I can safely say I am getting better, which is what I am aiming to measure anyway!
Theme week 1 - Armour - Sedition Wars APC (5th)
This one was a very cool piece to work on, and while the photos wash it out a bit, it still shows very well considering that it is mainly white. I used a lot of tips and tricks that Greg shared from his learning from Tacobat about hard edge highlight and shadow. I really thought it would place better than it did, but oh well.
Theme week 2 - East - Arena Rex Egyptian Gladiator (1st)
This is probably one of my best pieces yet. I finally learned to do NMM correctly, and learned that it is in no way worth the damn effort.... I also tried different skin tones, and glazes to a much higher degree than I have done before. I even tried crackle medium for the base for the first time.
Theme week 3 -Terrain (Home) - Middle Eastern Compound (6th)
I had so many plans for this theme week and kept delaying them and eventually ran out of time. So I just grabbed some of my Middle Eastern MDF buildings, coated them with stucco and painted them up. Nothing fancy, but I needed them done anyway. Over all though, pretty sad from a guy who loves making terrain! In my defense though I had just forced my way through several Napoleonic regiments!
Theme week 4 - West - Chinese Rail Crew from Malifaux (2nd)
I was pleasantly surprised with this entry, both in how they came out and how they were received. I played around with a super fine airbrush tip to do all the flesh on these figures and I was really happy with the result. It was a new way to do something so small, yet worked very well in my opinion. It was also probably a very good thing I didn't win, as I was the sponsor for this round and gave away a western MDF building to the winner.
Theme week 5 - Movie character - Mary Poppins & Bert - for Kim (1st)
A really fun set of characters to paint, and one that I used a new glazing method for the dress on. Apparently I have been going about glazing all wrong in the past (according to an excellent new painting book by Arsies anyway) so tried to learn the "correct" way (I am sure there are many ways that work just fine, I just mean correct according to the guide I read). The results were super smooth on her dress and the faces. I was very happy with the result here, and another of some of my best figures (I think).
Overall, I am pretty damn happy with how my entries did. The only slacker being my 2 day terrain project, which was my own fault, and I am actually lucky it came as high as it did! Oh well, until next year, were I will try to learn more and improve my painting level yet again.