Friday, January 9, 2015

The 5 Ws of painting (finale)

Hey guys,

I know this week has been full of me talking and giving my point of view on the creative process and I want ot truly thank all of those who stuck by this entire week with me. It means alot and I am really grateful. Next week will be a totally different week with some new stuff and at least  one painted miniature. So if you want to see painted miniatures and were turned off by my ranting next week will be a good week to come and look at what I am doing. Okay enough of that, lets finish this week off with the last W. So let's go!


I have been over the four corner stones of the creative process with the past four days. This is how I think when I am in creative mode. I am not saying that this is the perfect method and that all other methods are wrong. If I gave that impression, I apologize now. It's just to me, it is easier to start a project with a clear layout of what I want to do and what I have in mind. It's helps keep me focused and in line or I end up getting distracted like a cat with a laser pointer attached to its head.

I mentioned yesterday that today's topic would be different and it is. The Why is why all of this stuff goes into the creative process and if you want to approach a project this way, why all of the research and work and planning goes into it. It's because and again this is only my opinio, it gives a complete picture into what you are painting. You can easily paint a beautiful miniature without any of this thought in mind and It won't be any less skillfully done or detailed as if you follow this method. I am not going out and saying that every way is stupid or dumb but this is my way of doing this and I wanted to share with everyone.

This method for me at least adds as I said over this past week, depth.  Instead of a miniature on a base, you have a character in a scene. You have a knight defending a kingdom or a woman dressed up for a fancy ball. When you take into account all the work you put into the planning and if you want to take it to that sort of realism then you have painted a story in a tiny little statue.

That's what this whole idea for me  has been about.  Adding depth and context to what can very easily simple idea. It turns miniature into a character and hopefully adds a level of fun and creative aspect to an already fun and imaginative friendly hobby.

So that's it, hopefully you enjoyed the ride as much as I have enjoyed writing it. Any questions, feel free to put it in the comments. Again thank you all and if you liked this series, if you think it can be improved or just didn't like it. Let me know in the comments!

Until Next Time,

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The 5 Ws of painting pt. 4

Hey all, thanks for sticking with me through this. Tomorrow will be the last day of this discussion. So thank you to all who read it. I promise no long intro today. Lets go!


Yesterday I spoke about the idea of "where" and how it ties into miniature painting. That and today's topic "When" Are pretty inter-twined. Everything happens somewhere along a timeline, whether its in an age like the Middle Ages  or if you measure it millennia,  like the 41st millennium. Whatever you are painting belongs to some point in time. Like how I spoke yesterday about where something happens affects your color pallet so does "When". If you are painting an ancient roman, some colors were more available and had certain meanings and that concept in some way still affects how we dress today.

In the past reds, blues, purples were all seen as colors for royalty and nobility because they were so hard to come by either because they came from a certain insect or rare flower at the time. Even today, the concept of the Power Tie is usually red. So being familiar with the time period that your miniature is supposed to be from and what certain colors meant adds some realism to your already beautifully painted piece.

Not only are colors important when taking into they killed. One soldier can have the finest crafted steel in all of the land, while another hunts account what time period your model is from but material is as well. While one culture may be thriving with silk and cotton and the finest wares money can buy, another may be wearing wool, and skins from the animals with sticks and sharpened stones. If you choose to go the route of realism, make sure you know what materials were available to that person at that time.

Like I said yesterday, knowing when as well as where are equally as important and should be considered at the same time and with the same weight. You can't have one without the other. Remember when you are painting something, you are painting a frozen moment in time but in miniature form. The Who, What, Where and When are the corner stones of the creative process.
And with that I leave you until tomorrow. Tomorrow's thought is "Why?" and it's not going to be the same kind of post as these past few days. I will be talking about Why would you go through all this trouble for a tiny little metal or plastic figure and I promise not to be judgmental in any way.

So until next time,


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The 5 Ws of painting part 3

 Hi Folks,

This is part three of the 5 Ws of painting. We have gone over Who and What over the past couple days, so if you missed any of those, please feel free to go back and read them. Yesterday's post was I felt abut the right size of where I want to keep these little thoughts of mine. so I hope you are ready to continue along this road with me for today's section. So, Here we go!

So as you know if you have been following along since I started this week, we have covered the who, being who is the character, squad or army  we are going to paint. I also went over the What? What are they doing? What does the sculpted pose tell us about that character and how we can make it unique to the story you are trying to tell.  So now that brings us to where? This is a pretty easy one to explain at first. Where is where do you want this person to be at? Are they  chilling out in a frozen wasteland? Are they covered in sand from a dust storm in the desert?

These ideas can add another dimension to an already beautiful painted figure. Having a brave knight in his armor with sword raised and his shield in front of him can be a pretty awesome sight. Now add castle ruins or swords at his feet, paints a story. A story of possibly a heroic knight, protecting his king from a ruthless conqueror who wants to pillage and plunder all that he can. Or they can be that conquering force, storming the castle for their kingdom and honor.

Let's go back to my example about being in a desert. Someone isn't going to be in perfectly clean clothes. Depending on how long they have been wandering the desert or living there, their clothes  or vehicles will be weathered. It will look drier due to shortage of water supplies. Knowing where your character is or where you want to put them can add realism to the piece.

Now mind you, this just doesn't end with weathering effects either. Lighting is also a big part of explaining where "Where" is. If they are standing near a lava flow, there will be a glow from the molten hot rock. Shadows can be cast upon your character from trees, rocks  or even tall weeds or grass. It's good to think about how the area around your piece will affect the miniature itself. Does it add light? shadows? Or does it just get them a little dirty or muddy. Knowing this and understanding its effect on something is a great skill to learn.

I am going to leave this here for today. There is more to where and how it ties in with our next subject "When". So I will keep that for my next post and hope you all enjoyed and learned a little something.

As always, if you liked what you read please let me know in the comments. If you didn't let me know why, the negative comments help as much as the positive. Also, this series is coming to an end here in the next day or so. If you have any topics or questions you think might make for an interesting rant, let me know. I will do my best to give you quality content.

One last note, I apologize for the lack of pictures in these posts. I am in the middle of renovating a new work station and once that's up and finished, I will have photos of stuff I am working on and as well as any that are relevant for the current topic.

Until next time,


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The 5 Ws of Painting Pt. 2

Hi everyone! For those who tuned in yesterday for the first part of this, thanks for sticking with me. I will try and be a little less long winded this edition. If anyone is reading the blog for the first time, please go back and read yesterday's post. It will explain where I am going with this dicussion and will catch you up with today's topic. So without any further ado, let's get this started


Today we are talking about the second of the five Ws. The concept of what "What?" is in my opinion is describing a moment in time. If you look at your project, the "what" is the pose. What is this character doing? Are they posing in some bad-ass way, daring their foe to attack? Or are they charging into battle, sword drawn with rage in their eyes. What motion, if any that miniature is doing can tell you how to paint it and even base it.

For instance,  if you look at the Malifaux 2nd Edition version of Rasputina and the Children of December box set. You can see she that she is standing in a position of power. Almost daring anyone to try and take on her crew. It could also be seen as a victory pose after a battle.

Von Schill on the other hand has his gun drawn and appears to be in an aiming stance. This can be interrupted as a pre battle stance or mid battle. If you decide that this is a mid-battle stance, then he could have splatters of blood  on his tunic. Or his gun could have scorch marks  near the muzzle of the gun.  If it's pre battle, then his clothes and weaponry will be cleaner but not factory new.
Just from looking at the pose on the box art itself, you can draw these conclusions.

If you want to add to the scene and I am sure I will go over this again when I talk about "Where" on my next post, is to add distinct basing. If you want to paint a picture of a battle, then you can add  a fallen victim with a bullet wound  or a sword slash on their body. You can add wounds, burn marks or other small details to your character to show that they in the midst of something fierce and are showing the wounds of war.

You will see me saying this a lot during this, that your imagination is key. If you can translate what is in your mind's eye to the miniature than anyone looking at it can see the same thing with little or no explanation. "What?" is a powerful idea, it can tell a story without any motion or words. So next time you are about to paint something, look at it and ask yourself. "What is this character doing?". When you have an clear idea of that, you now know who your character is and what they are doing. And that my friends is a strong foundation to any project.

So with that thought I will leave you for today. I promised myself that I would try and be less long winded this time around and hopefully still as informative and engaging. As always, if you liked it, please comment below and share. If you didn't like it, tell me why in the comments.

Until next time,


Monday, January 5, 2015

The Five Ws of painting pt. 1

Let me start off this post by saying that this is my opinion and my thought process when it comes to painting a display piece. Whether or not it's a single figure, squad or even a larger group. Yes, this same process can be used when batch painting your army for tabletop and it could give your army a nice background story if you choose to give it one. So take my thoughts with as much weight and merit as you like and if I have given you a new way of looking at something then I'm glad.
If you are familiar with the 5 Ws of journalism then you have a small head start on this. For those who don't know, The 5 Ws are pretty much the framework journalists, researchers and investigators  use to get the backstory on an event that has occurred. They are:

  • Who?
  • What?
  • Where?
  • When?
  • Why?

Now there is also a sixth word that can go along with these and it's 'How?'. With these, you can get the background and a more complete picture of something. Most of us as kids know a simplified form of this in the game Clue(Cluedo for the UK folks). In Clue, the object of the game is to find who killed Mr. Boddy (Mr. Black for the UK), with what weapon, in which room. So hidden in this board game are the basics of this concept.

The Who, being the murderer. The What, being the murder itself. The Where, being which room it happened in and the How being the weapon of choice. When is applied since it happened at a party. So by the end of the game you have a complete picture of what happened that fateful night.
So how does this apply to painting? Well you can take these same base concepts and apply them to a character or squad or even an army if you want. you can break down your project each of the five Ws and by the end of the process you may have a better idea of what colors, basing material or terrain you may want to surround your miniature with.

The Who:
Who, without the Who there wouldn't be anything to paint. This is the focal point of the entire project. So before you paint anything else, look at the miniature. See what they are wearing or if it's mechanical look at it's armor or outer shell. Usually there will be a theme already in mind by the company who created the miniature. Next thing to take into account is "Is this a named character with a pre-written backstory". This can can be your biggest ally or a hindrance depending on your mindset.

You can take the route of following the fluff in place. This can be anything from famous battles if they are a soldier to if they are from a certain time period the materials of what they are wearing. For instance if they are from a genre like steampunk, you will see alot of brass, copper, deep woods and leather mixed with Victorian style clothing. If it's your standard Space Marine, you can look at what legion they belong. This can make the process alot easier for some but for other's it may hinder the creative process since the information is there and you are just interrupting it in your own way.
On the other hand, there could be no background to the character at all. If this is true, do not be afraid of making one up. Use your imagination and give them a back story. Maybe they are an assassin dressed up like  nobility or a ruthless space pirate out to pillage what it can from unsuspecting cargo ships. The world and the universe around it is at your finger tips. You can choose to paint it yellow with pink polka dots or very neutral colors. The only thing limiting you is your own imagination,your skill and  your color pallet.

Whether you decide to follow the fluff or go out on your idea, research what you can. If they are from Victorian era, look at the fabrics, the colors, the way the ladies put on make-up. Even if you are going with your own backstory, this can add a great deal of realism to any project. The smallest things can turn a lord into a street rat, a monk into a cultist, A lady into a farmer's daughter. Like the saying goes, The devil is in the details. Once you have the details of who this character is supposed to be, you can choose your colors and go onto the next step.

Now, this is only the first step of the project and the "Who" ties into each of the next steps. So if you hear me going back and mentioning the "Who" again, it's because its a piece to the puzzle and all the pieces interlock and form the final picture

Okay, wow this  post ended up being longer than I thought it would be in my head. So now this will turn into this weeks topic! The Five Ws of painting week. So as always thanks for reading and if you liked it comment below and share with your friends. If you didn't still comment and tell me how I can make this blog better.

Until Next Time,


Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year! New Beginning!

     First off, HAPPY FRICKIN NEW YEAR EVERYONE! It's 2015 now and that means fresh beginnings and new hopes. Until recently I wouldn't consider myself one to say January 1st is a good time to start anything new, I mean any day can be the first day of something new. Even now there is that small part of me that thinks its a little silly but like I said, it's time for a change. A new year, a new change, a new outlook...WOOT!

     So a few of you who are close to me know that 2014 was kind of a trying year for me, that old saying "When it rains, it pours" comes to mind. So during the later months of the year I started kicking myself in the rear to start the gears of change in motion. I started out with an idea, an idea that simply read "2015 will be different if it kills me". Now mind you, I hope it doesn't kill me, I have too much to do in 365 days to let something like that happen. So as the days passed the idea started to form into something more, it decided activate the interlock, connect the Dynotherms, turn infracells up, fire the Mega Thrusters and form into a plan.

     So that brings me to here, reviving what I and probably a lot of you considered to be a dead horse. That's right! The blog is back! *cue dramatic music* The blog will be the base, the torso of this plan you could say. It will be where I write a lot of the ideas down in my head about painting and well general silliness of brain. It will be the central hub of everything in the Mystixsphere. When new videos (yes there will be new videos!) are posted, I will announce it here. So tell you friends, tell your family, heck go and tell your neighbor's dog and stayed tuned to this blog for future updates.

     Now then, I mentioned the re-emergence of videos. Yes those will be coming, no it won't be more episodes with Mario. That show is gone in the history books and bringing it back would never do it justice. It should stay, just the way it is in our memories. Good bye SS & MB, you will live on in our minds.

     "So what will the videos be about then?" He heard them ask impatiently.

     Well, there will be two sides of my video making and I want to be fully transparent with my plan so all of you know whats going on. I currently have two Youtube channels, one is the hobby channel you all know and love and the second is my other hobby, vidya games. Now don't worry, the video game stuff will stay out of the blog unless I see a request for it and then it will be put in it's own separate page. As for a timeline of the video making, I am in the process of getting a new work area that is big enough for painting, filming and recording and once that is completed there will be painting videos. So look forward to that middle January - early February.

     I think that's all I wanted to get off my chest for today. I will try to update the blog at least twice a week but would love to go to a full 5 day schedule and save the weekends for filming and and editing and getting the next week's topics and post written up for all of you fine people.

     Finally I leave you with a question, What would guys like to see not only on this blog but on my Youtube channel as well. Throw out ideas, comments, etc. If I like it and make it into a video I will be sure to give you a proper shout out on the video. also Don't forget to post critiques or complaints. I am open to those as well. The only way I can grow and make this plan successful is if people want to see the content I put out. I want to interest you and hopefully entertain you with my thoughts and sometimes....weird sense of humor.

     So that's all for now. Tune in Monday for my first real blog post, I hope you all the best this new year and let's all strive to make 2015 a year that none of us forget for all the right reasons! Mystix signing out

Monday, January 6, 2014

The new Greg!

Hey all!

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend and are all ready for the new week.  So over the weekend, I had a weekend of painting ups and downs. First I nearly wiped out my miniature by giving him a bath in Cherry Cola and had to repaint some parts. Next I gave him some very questionable choices and made him quite colorful and after some advice and suggestions I have finally given him his final form. Now I am aware of some of my mistakes, one of the big ones is my priming job. It is not the cleanest so it gave it a very textured look and ends up making the paint look quite thick. Of course I need to practice my blends and highlighting but that is stuff that will come with more practice.

So I pose this question to all those who read my blog. I want you to give me your honest critiques and opinions and let me know where you think I can improve my painting and my techniques and anything else you feel I should know!

So below are going to be two pictures. The first was the pre midlife crisis Greg, who wore bright colors and believed that he should try to wear as many colors as possible. Then will be the final piece, where he ditched the purple and green for black and and more metallic looks

Alright then! There you go and I hope that you enjoy to see where I currently at with my painting. Again any suggestions or comments are welcome

*~Transmission End~*
Jed (Myst1x) Rudy