In this series of Interviews with the Artists, we will take an in depth look into what it took to create their winning entry, any struggles or challenges they faced, their concepts and new techniques they wanted to master!

How did your journey into miniature painting start?

I started painting miniatures back in the mid 1980s when there was a big craze for playing
Dungeons and Dragons at school. That introduced me to miniatures and I quickly moved from
gaming to painting.

“Lob it, don’t drop it!”

How did you approach painting your entry? Did you have a concept or initial idea you wanted to work to?

I first chose the model because it strongly reminded me of one I painted back in 1988. I decided to use it as a demonstration model for one of my painting workshops but I also wanted to make something more out of it. My idea for the basing came before I started painting but, as my painting progressed, I felt the Troll needed more of a context, which would
create a stronger narrative. This is where the Goblin came in and, as well as providing a reason the Troll’s actions, it adds a nice touch of humour.

Did you take inspiration from any other sources?

My colour choices were initially inspired by some of Paul Bonner’s paintings. I think the Troll’s design has something of Paul’s Bonner’s work in its DNA and I wanted to reflect that in my painting.

Were there any techniques you wanted to try on your entry?

I love to mix multiple techniques when I paint a miniature. I think this creates a more visually satisfying result. It also adds to the illusion of contrasting textures. On this model I’ve used stippling, glazing, layering, dry brushing and washes. I also experimented with zenithal priming on the base, which is not something I often do.

How did you plan your colour choices?

I built my colour palette around a blue/red colour contrast. However, because I wanted my
Troll to be in a natural looking environment, I created a fairly desaturated feel to the overall
palette. I achieve this by using browns and greys. The brown in particular unifies my palette
as I’ve used it in all my shadows.

How did your colour choices influence your basing ideas?

The colours for the base are a part of the overall colour scheme. The Troll is predominantly warm toned, with elements of red in the most saturated areas. To contrast with the reds and browns I’ve used a green as a spot colour. On the base the green tones are dominant but
desaturated for the most part. I also wanted to use the same colour of green/grey rock for the base as the rock that the Troll is holding. This helps to tie the Troll into his environment.

Did you have any challenges (new techniques, concept, colour) you had to overcome?

The base was very tricky to make because I used a mixture of materials. There is a combination of plastic, plaster, epoxy putty and MDF and it was very hard to achieve a smooth seamless blend on the back and sides.

The biggest challenge for me was to create a strong narrative as opposed to it simply being a nice looking model posed on a base. This is something I try to be mindful of because I sometimes overlook it in favour of technical execution. I think the addition of the Goblin and the overall composition of the models on the base helped me to achieve this.

What is next in your painting journey?

I have a couple of projects lined up including a huge Nurgle tank conversion. Overall, for the next year or so, I think my painting will be focused on creating textures and contrasts as a part of an overall composition.

Do you have any miniature artists you really aspire to or look up to?

There are so many inspiring painters but for me the two that jump out are Roman Lappat and Ben Komets. Their work showed me how miniature painting had become so much more sophisticated, both creatively and technically, since my early painting days.

Thank you David, your entry is truly stunning and congratulations on not only winning Gold but also the Best of Show at the first IronSkull!

David has a fantastic blog in which he details in great depth his hobby, it’s a must read!

Blog – https://sproketsmallworld.blogspot.com/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/davidr.soper/

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