I have known Penny Meyer for half a dozen years or so now. I got to know her through the workshops she conducted at SCAHMS Shows. Since then we have become friends. Penny has mentioned the name Richard Taylor more than once. She would have had to for me to recognize his name in one of her posts. From that post, I took the liberty to contact him and ask for information about his interest in flat figures for the sake of the website.
Richard was very kind to engage in a brief exchange of questions and answers—and prompt I might add. I now see why Penny has mentioned his name so often, beyond the personal friendship she has with him. As you will see from some of the photos in this post, Richard paints more than flats.
I asked him to tell us he got into painting flat figures:
I started painting figures around 1989.I became more of a Flat painter in the early 90’s. So I have been painting flats roughly 25 years.
People that have influenced me as an artist are Greg Difranco, Bill Horan, Shepard Paine, Mike Taylor, Mike Blank, and Penny Meyer.
Greg Difranco has had the biggest influence on myself as a artist. I believe he has the best style for painting flats. He can achieve more depth than any flat painter I have seen in the world.
Penny told me something about Richard’s technique that she found fascinating, but could not recall precisely what it was that impressed her. I asked Richard if he knew what she might have been referring to:
Steve, I have a great love for the old masters techniques. As with most flat painters I try to undercoat my figures and then grey scale the flat.
I then blend the basic areas on the flat with Humbrol enamels. I find oil colours seem to bond well to the enamel undercoat. I then seal the area with Windsor Newtons Acrylic flat varnish through an airbrush straight from the bottle. Then dry the flat with a hair drier. I use oil paint to tint highlighted areas and shadow areas.
My technique allows me, if I make a mistake, to remove the excess oil paint with thinner.—sometimes staining the area painted. If painting with Acrylic you cannot remove the Glaze or stained area.. Oil seems to be removed rather easy with mineral spirits or white spirits. I usual seal in stages my glazes.
Very time consuming, but I control the areas glazed better. A Techinque similar to Mike Taylor flat painting. As in all flat painters we all go back and touch up our flat for hours till we get the right finish. I think my technique gives me more time to study the flat I am painting.
I use Winsor Newton Liquin Detail to glaze the areas I paint on a flat. The oil paint seems to mix well with Liquin Detail. The areas I do want to remove of excess oil are removed with mineral spirits/white spirits. You can never fully remove the oil. It seems to leave a coffee stain effect…? This is done as I said in stages till I get the appropriate affect!
Here is the advice he has for aspiring painters:
I would say the best advice I would give to others is to have a mentor. Someone who will discuss there techniques. Two people come to my thoughts are Penny Meyer and Greg Difranco. They both are great teachers and spend time during shows and through the internet helping up coming artist. I also teach and help up coming artists. I can be approached at shows or the Internet also to give advice.
When asked if he has favorite engravers or particular pieces, Richard writes:
My Favorite engraver would be Karl Mohr or Valdmir Nuzhdin.
I like a lot of the Segom 30 mm Knights, and St George and the Dragon, by Valdimir Nuzhdin.
I asked Richard if there was any area of the flat world he wanted to comment on that I failed to ask about:
I think the direction the hobby is heading. As most of us are getting on in age we worry about the hobby! I think for the hobby to suceed we need to promote the hobby in better ways. We need artists that are willing to spend time with young up coming artists. Most young people now adays do not have the time to sit down and learn a old art..
The up coming World Expo in Chicago might be the most important event to happen in our hobby to continuing in following years to come. The show will give a chance for young artists to see that there is a lot of good in painting and forming new friendships for a lifetime.
Considering the question about his technique mentioned by Penny, Richard added:
A quick thing to add I make my own flats and reliefs. Maybe that is what Penny Meyer is talking about.
Examples of Richard’s work:
(Marie de Medici engraved by Richard Taylor)
(Space Marine 50% scratch built)
(Steampunk figure scratch built/conversion)
(Spanish Nobleman engraved by Richard Taylor)