Building a Painting Habit

Since the beginning of the year my workplace has been encouraging people to share… not resolutions, but to set a target for something to improve and share progress towards that target. Most of these were about fitness (running, cycling, etc) with some interesting projects (recording an album, interior mountaineering). One of the fun things I chose to challenge myself to paint 20 minutes every day. Every day.

After weekly updates there for three months I realised I was doing a blog, and I already have a blog…

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One of the ‘fun’ things about this has been adding charts and tracking progress.

In the first quarter, I finished a Teraton team, Elmer & Dobbs and The Fixer. Although I bought the Magnetar Marvels for Dreadball, Ambots and Slave Ogryns for Necromunda, I finished 12 models and only purchased 8 so the pile of shame is moving (gradually) in the right direction.

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In spite of a last minute slowdown, the target was completely smashed; I’m pleasantly surprised that the 20 minute aim was (on average) achievable. In total, I went 845 minutes over the cumulative target! The overall goal of ‘paint more often’ is a success. Trying to hit more days (for a less spiky graph) would be nice, but there are too many external factors affecting time for that to be in my control.
This has been a very enjoyable challenge, and makes up for my occasional pre-pandemic habit of painting in my lunch break in the office. I’m still not sure that I’m painting as much as I’m buying, but it’s at least balancing the scales slightly!

Things that I’ve learned:
* Motivation can be difficult. Having two projects on the go helps with this, but often ends up with one being forever in the background while the other gets attention and rushed forward.
* Keeping good notes is good. I’ve been logging what colours I put on which models, so I can look back at what worked well previously and also so I know where I got to in highlighting if I take a week away from a miniature.
* I will never get tired of saying ‘two monkeys in a trenchcoat

Next Quarter I will:
* Up my target to 30 minutes a day. I think this is still achievable and probably won’t affect the streak counter much.
* Plan painting better. One of the things that I think saps motivation is not knowing what to do next; I generally plan the main sections and then get lost in details. If I take more time and plan this beforehand, I should be able to keep the motivation going.
* Be more ambitious! I’ve tried a few different techniques this quarter, some need more practice and others have worked really well. It’s given me confidence to go back to some half finished projects and know that I can get to the right end result with them, if I persevere.
* Be more ambitious II! Over the years I’ve bought some large, centrepiece models and then shied away from starting them because I can’t do them justice. I’ll try to finish one this quarter.

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