Sha´un - Ram Tribe Warrior - Second Version

by Peter aka Baphomet

Hey jungle!

Today, I want to share some of my thoughts regarding the painting process on my second version of Sha´un the Ram Tribe Warrior (sculped by Raffa, sold by FeR Miniatures).

You will find him on PuttyandPaint.

Some of you might remember, that I painted my first version of Sha´un in 2014, which feels like a long time ago. I really love this bust (as I do the whole beastmen topic) and I was there when Raffa started the sculpt. We were joking back then, that this would be a bust especially designed for my painting style and indeed it felt like this. But sometimes feeling and reality differ from each other.

The first version of Sha´un was a hard piece of work. I struggled a lot while painting it and almost got lost, before I finally managed to finish it. In mid 2016 I decided, I would do a second version. I was triggered by the new Beastmen fraction in Warhammer Total War and the awesome artworks to find there:

Combined with the upcoming class in Arvika, its famous wildlife and dark woods, I felt to be in the right mood to get started. This was my result after three days of painting:

As you can see, the WIP and the final outcome are completely different. So, what happened? Deep in myself I was not happy with the result I brought back from Arvika. It had not the brutal, animalistic touch I wanted to achieve. It felt strange to look at the bust and I lost the motivation to carry on. And here, I made the great mistake: Instead of analysing my problem and work out a solution, I simply left the scene and put the bust back into the cabinet.

Today I know, that this point is my biggest problem, when it comes to painting. At the beginning of a project, I have a rough vision in my mind but often fail to carry this vision until the end. This potential flexibility can be a good thing as the basic vision is sometimes developing into something better, but often it can be a great risk, especially if you work on a complex project. To put it simple: without a map to navigate you get lost. This was a lection Roman always tried to make clear to me, but somehow the thought never put its roots into my mind.

I only really understood his words, when I was painting my Primaris Angels Sanguine. Thanks to my good knowledge of the Warhammer 40k lore and the heraldy of the different Space Marine Chapters, I had a clear road to follow and could invest more effort into the painting itself. In the end, the Marine was quickly finished on a pretty nice level with me smiling all the way. This was the way of painting I always wanted to have. Not the feeling of insecurity and the chaotic jumps between visions... As a result, I adapted a new process into my way of painting: For every project, I create a gallery on Pinterest and collect different artworks to have a guideline, in case I lose myself again. In addition to the digital version, I placed a paper folder in the studio, where I collect my notes and sketches for every project. With this "maps" I felt safe to navtigate and after some long years, Roman´s constant words might have some effect (thanks for your patience!).

About two months ago, I took Sha´un out of the cabinet and decided to finish him. So, I set up my gallery and chose an artwork as a guideline:


I felt much more secure, even as the bust was still representing a big challenge in my mind. But I still kept my flexibility and diverted a bit from the concept art to try a more "colder" version, but somehow it felt strange and boring.

After having another look a my concept, I realized that I needed more powerful colors on my bust. water colors (thanks for the hint Josua!) and inks (thanks Alfonso!) are a good way to quickly power up your colors again, especially if you are a painter who feels safe in his world of desaturated colors. But I realized that powerful colors are much more fun and with this in mind, I pushed Sha´un to his final appearance:

So, what did I learn from all this?
  • Get to know yourself and your habits in painting. Be honest with yourself and accept your little flaws as they are part of your unique character.
  • A good preparation based on your character helps you throughout the whole painting process. Make sure to prepare a simple solution for a "problem" you face again and again.
  • Being flexible in your painting process is important, but be sure to have a solid roadmap/vision in case you get lost.
  • Learn to analyse your problem. Most of the times you feel it in your guts, that something is not right. Listen to this feeling, lean back, grab a cup of tea or coffee and try to understand WHAT is the reason for your bad feeling. Then, simply find a solution for this specific problem.

I hope, that my thoughts might help some of you to easen their approach towards future projects :) Let me know what you think!



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