This past Saturday I painted up 50 Ghouls for my AoS Flesh Eaters army and I had a couple of friends ask me how I did it? Well the trick is to just do it!
Now, as some know, I did commission painting with my own company for about 9 years up until I decided to take a break this year from the business. I would always take large commissions in and it would not be unheard of to have at least three paint commissions on the desk at one time. I would always hit my 4-6 week mark that I promised my clients. Many of my customers were very impressed in the turn around time and that's what kept them coming back.
So what was my secret? Well much like the Nike commercial, you need to just Do It! Meaning that you just have to sit down and do the work, that's it, just put your head down and paint! I would spend at least three hours a day painting, and hour before I went to work and two hours in the evening after getting home from work. But I always painted! I stayed on track by not letting other things get in between my painting time, like Facebook, Twitter, video games, binge watching Netflix or other time sinks. I also only worked on those commissions that I had deadlines for. So if I got tired of painting, I prepped other commissions for paint or got them assembled. But I always stay focused on the project at hand and just put forth the effort to finishing up the current project.
Now, as a commission painter, there are tricks that I have used for painting, here are a few things I do which are not in order.
- Know what and how you are going to paint. If your doing a Space marine army, and you know its going to be blue, then why not use a blue primer for them to start?
- Work on one section of the model at a time, if you have a hundred 15mm models to paint, do all the boots at once and don't think about painting now 200 boots, that will drive you insane!
- Set your self some goals, say after painting 200 tiny boots, you get up to grab something to drink from the fridge, then go back to the paint desk to start on the next thing.
- Make sure you have everything you need before you start, if you know you are going to need two bottles of Strong Tone wash, make sure you have them before you start, nothing worse than having to stop to run to the store!
- Have a good chair to sit in, your going to be sitting for a while, might as well have a good comfortable chair to sit in.
- Have a dedicated space to work, nothing kills the urge to paint then having to get everything out and put it all away.
- Listen to music, TV, Podcasts or what ever. I find music and pod casts are the best for me, I used to have a TV in my area, but I found I would just start watching it and did less painting, so now its music or podcasts.
- Enjoy what you are working on, as a commission painter, I had to work on a few commissions that I was not super excited about, that kills the mood and turns painting into a chore. So enjoy what your working on.
- If painting a certain project starts to become a chore, then paint up one miniature out of the blue for no reason. I found that doing a figure at random for nothing I am working on helps me to stay focused on the job at hand.
- Last but not least, keep the end goal in mind, at the end of this, your going to have a painted model, unit or army to show for it!
So there you go, there are a few of my secrets and tips to painting large amounts of models. I find it very satisfying to get my painted armies onto the table and it is a feeling of accomplishment. Every weekend I go into my local game shop and I see the same tired looking armies that have not had anything done to them in weeks or years. Part of this hobby is all about painting and it really is not that hard to do, but you just have to Do IT!