I've always maintained that I'm an epically slow painter. Miniatures tend to take me forever to complete even thought my talents only produce a figure that could be considered tabletop quality. However, I'm quite OK with my tortoise-like speed. For me, painting is a hobby itself and a way to relax inside out of the tropical heat rather than a means to an end...such as fielding a new army in a short amount of time. But I can't help being somewhat awed and jealous when watching videos of painters whipping out a miniature in a short amount of time. Plus, I've always wanted to enter a speed painting contest at a convention even though I know I wouldn't win. So for something different, I decided to speed paint a miniature to see what the outcome would be like.
For my test subject, I chose a miniature that has been sitting around for quite some time. Kruff the Swift (02034) from Reaper is a great little sculpt by Sandra Garrity. He's an interesting character, able to pass for either a thief or a ranger type. I'm still unsure of the race though. When scaled next to other Reaper miniatures he seems rather short but he is much too tall for a halfling and a bit too stocky for an elf. Perhaps the size difference is due to his slightly crouched posture or maybe he was sculpted to represent a younger person. Whatever the case, Kurff become my victim for my speed painting test.
Since I have never taken part in an official contest, I was unsure of the amount of time given to participants. So instead of randomly choosing a time limit, I decided to simply paint as fast as I possibly could and time the duration. As I started the clock, I had no idea how the miniature would turn out or the amount of time it would take.
Painting was fairly straight forward. I chose colors that I could easily blend together to reduce the number of options on the palette. Greens and brows where the predominate hues and most every item on the miniature was painted using some combinations of those basic colors. And unlike my normal painting style, I made heavy use of washes. Though I'm not a fan of washes for most applications, I must admit that using them made the painting much easier and faster. The only part of the mini where washes were not used was the face. I spent some extra time there using my normal technique since Kurff's face was really the center point of the model. Most every other aspect is somewhat receded within the cloak and only his facial features and his cloak clasp protrude forward from the shadows.
I will not bore readers with the rest of the details and get right to the point. The total time from beginning to end was around 35 minutes. That time does not include prepping the miniature nor priming. Though certainly not my best effort, I was rather pleased and surprised at the outcome in such a short period of time. I don't think I'll switch to this style on a permanent basis, but to mix things up a bit, I may try to speed paint other miniatures from time to time.
So I was wondering...have any of you participated in a speed painting contest? And if so, what is the usual time limit given? Also, what rules are associated with such a contest? Must the miniature be in a pristine state (no prepping and priming) or is that usually allowed? Thanks in advance for any information you may have.
Thanks for reading!