Dennis is a talented young painter—and busy. For those reasons, I appreciate the time he took to answer a few questions about himself and his painting. The first part of the interview can be found here: http://www.flattinfigures.com/dennis-mitschke-painter.
I asked Dennis, “What advice do you have for aspiring painters, and why did you choose to paint in oil rather than acrylic, or some other medium?”
It´s difficult to give particular advice if not having seen the results and the painting style of people who are looking for advice. Therefore I decided providing some tips that supported me finding my way of painting.
1. Don´t start with too difficult miniatures.
The miniature does not need to be a brand new cast. This will reduce costs and save some money for paints and brushes.
Sometimes old figures show even more character than new ones and are seldom at exhibitions. Most important is a very close look at the miniature. It needs to soak up its character to get into an “unexplainable dialogue” with the figure. This assures creating a special character and then it makes even more fun painting it.
2. Secondly try different techniques, colours and tools. The best way to learn other techniques is to have a close look how other people are painting their arts. Depending on the colour you are using, you have a full variety of techniques. Your experience will show, what fits you best.
Note that there are not only acrylics and oils. You may give a try on Guache, Aquarel, Humbrols and other paints!
Best results can be achieved with good and highly pigmented colours. For masterpieces paints needn’t be too cheap. Believe me, you can see the difference.
3. Hint: Painting is art and handcraft, so train yourself in drawing, as well.
4. For checking your own results have you already tried to turn your miniature upside down. This is especially important if you are painting flats. Even the light engravings are causing shadows and may result in a change at different light situations away from your workbench.
5. Keep the basics in mind: Use zenithal light for round miniatures and light from 11 o´clock for flat miniatures. And when deciding against it pay close attention on the light and shadow of the complete arrangement.
6. Spent time in art museums and learn from the old masters. You´ll meet interesting persons.
7. Get help from usual (outside) persons, as well. Be sure they give you an unprejudiced view on your work and may tell you basic mistakes.
8. Always look for constructive critiques wherever possible and especially when showing your results at miniature-shows or exhibitions. It is more productive, receiving advice on a model in live. In the last years I often saw artists very disappointed not receiving the prize or recommendation, they were struggling for. The work of the jury is extremely difficult and honorable! Please never feel offended and disappointed but try to understand their decision. Ask for feedback.
Therefore visit miniature shows and meet artists and their presented works.
9. Make use of the internet and study the wide selection of videos and workshops at youtube and figurineT, aso. to get in contact with new techniques.
I strongly recommend to find an experienced painter as a coach, giving advice, help and support.
There are many, many more tricks of the trade available.
Always look for them!
Why did I choose oil colours for most of my artworks?
When beginning to paint, I didn´t like oil colours very much because of their glossy glaze.
Since I learned to soak the excessive oil out of the colour and to heat the miniature (after painting) on 50-70°C with a bulp in a box I got rid of this effect.
To me personally, oil colours mean “a more relaxing way of painting”. I particularly like to blend the colours together, to get smooth gradients and having longer drying times. All Acrylic paints I tried, so far had been drying too fast for me. I often use them for airbrush-works concerning bases and groundworks, the same with Humbrols.
Don´t give up if your first results aren´t the expected masterpieces. It took me a lot of time and experience to get on a certain kind of level. Still striving for getting better results.
And as Bob Ross said: “We don´t make mistakes, we have happy little accidents.”