|Detailed whites on the Colonel of the 24e Ligne|
However I do credit myself with thinking about why I am doing things the way I am doing it as I am in the zone as they say, and a thought came into my mind about what I was doing with my current project, the 24e Ligne.
|The first seven figures on the left show what I was doing before changing the process at figure eight with grey straps and lapels ready for the next session.|
The pictures, I quickly grabbed at the end of a session show progress on the first battalion. I should say that I haven't painted French line infantry for years now, and as with all new subjects it takes me time to work my way around a figure working out what needs highlighting and what colours to use. When it's new, I am constantly stopping to refer to picture references, that I don't do quite so often as the subject becomes more familiar. I think I can now paint British infantry in my sleep!
I use a three colour system that starts with a basic process of applying the base shades in a block painting process, and I always start with the flesh areas, the coat colour, then other major colour groups, muskets, back packs, greatcoats, trousers, water bottles/canteens. The final block shade is usually black, where I get to tidy up the figure and lay a base for the metal parts that usually sit on another colour.
What follows then is a highlighting process with two increasingly lighter shades. I would usually break this process up into sessions of one to two hours depending on what else had to be done and how good my pod-cast list was.
I happened to be in the second session of these chaps, which had all the principle block colours done, the black, the first highlights except the white bits. I then started on the Colonel pictured above, shading over the grey and buff areas with off white, and then moving on to the other command figures and the first fusiliers. Working the white, as I call it, can be very intense as the small detail of straps and waistcoat areas is quite precise and my progress slowed dramatically.
I then thought, hang on, when I finish this session, I want to come back to a completed section, and I was not going to be able to do that at this pace. So I decided to just focus on the large areas of white that were relatively easy to get done, namely the trousers and shako covers, and leave the lapels, straps and turn-backs to the next session, after all I would be doing white lacing last and that is even more intense.
When I finished the last shako cover and put the work down I had an immediate feeling of success and completion, looking forward to coming back with just the detail work to do, which I know will "break the back" of the project.
Now I am relaxing and thinking about the process, I realise that is what I would normally do with other figures I have painted but I guess the novelty of the subject matter threw me off my SOP (standard operating procedure), but it has made me realise why I do things in a certain way to get that feeling of achievement by finishing a section of painting and if you find this useful it might help you.
So on with the 24e and I hope to get these chaps done in the next couple of days.