So much to paint, so little time!

I am developing two habits to help me paint more. First of all, I seize the moments I have available. I might not be free all afternoon, but I can find half an hour or just fifteen minutes between the other things I have on in my life. If I painted for fifteen minutes every night just before going to bed, I would get a lot done in a month!

To make that possible however I have to be able to set up and pack up my painting table very quickly. So I’m developing a system where I have the box of troops I’m currently painting, my paints, a paintbrush, a water cup, stanley knife, painting guides and a messmat; everything I need to paint, in one box in one cupboard. When I see a fifteen minute gap, I can pull out this box, lay out the messmat and paint away. Packing up is a cinch. Set up and pack up would take me five minutes, tops.

It takes me about 5 minutes to paint a 20mm infantry figure. I’ll probably get faster with practice. Medieval figures take me longer than more modern armies because with modern armies it’s easy to get a production line going because all the figures have the same paint job. All the pants, all the coats, all the hats, all the guns etc. The variety of medieval or ancient dress means I spend more time hunting for the right place to use each colour, and I change colours a lot more. It slows me down. But my general rule of thumb is 5 minutes a 20mm infantry figure.

With five minute setup, my paintbox system means I can do 2 figures in a fifteen minute painting session, and in 30 minutes, 12 figures. If I could find half an hour before bed four times a week to paint, I would have an entire box (50 figures) painted a week. I could paint an entire army in a month or two. Filling those gaps in my day (esepcially in my night-time) could increase my painting stocks massively.

My second habit is to listen to audios while I’m painting. This helps me feel that I’m not wasting time, and I essentially do two things at once. My Kindle has an excellent text-to-voice feature which sounds almost human and works on most books. I just plug in some headphones and listen as I paint. If I choose my books carefully I can be enrichening my mind and pursuing my hobby at the same time! Double-win! This also works for family read-alouds and family movie nights- paint while I participate (of course, that won’t always be appropriate).

I need to paint more, and I’m starting to find ways to make it happen. Now, I just gotta do it.


About Joshua Letchford

I'm a 23-year old Christian from far north Western Australia. I'm interested in philosophy, logic, politics, history, military history, strategy, board games, wargaming and reading. I recently completed a Bachelor of Arts in politics and ancient history through Macquarie University, which I studied externally so I could stay connected with my family and my small town community.
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