Ok, so Ron just posted an article on From the Warp that got me thinking about my painting skills, which have been lacking for years. He talks about how it's a great idea to get out of your painting comfort zone and paint something you normally wouldn't paint to imptrove your skills, as you're trying something new.
Reading through it, i had an epithany as to why I never seem to be able to improve my painting skills: I always paint in the same way
To show you what I mean, lets us take a look back on my past few projects. In the last three years most of my painting has been focussed on the following projects
On all of them I applied basecoats, then used liberal amounts of washes to make them grimy and to create the shading (which I fail so much at doing the old fashioned way) and 'grime up' the whole model, then pick out minor details to finish. No wonder my skills havn't improved!
With this in mind I am going to branch out and explore new ways of painting, starting with my Deathwing. Apart from on their guns and armour joints I'm going to avoid washes much as possible through the entire project.
Then I'm going to trawl the internet for as many painting articles as I possibly can and apply them to as many different models as I can, painting up my entire collection and selling those I don't realistically see me ever finishing. The 'Eavy Metal Masterclass book I picked up back in December should help too. I don't ever see myself getting to that kind of standard, but if I study the techniques, it should at least help me improve.
Finally, when I get paid I am going to start buying those models I absolutely love, but would never do a full army of - like Harlequins, for example- and paint up some nice display pieces for my new flat, which will have room for a cabinet to display them in.
Hopefully all this will help me out and improve my overall painting abilities, we will see...