Award-winning artist Victor Hardy reveals what it takes to become a miniature painting master.
An art form stemming from tabletop role-playing and war-games, miniature painting is an intricate process that has evolved to form the basis for numerous high-profile international competitions, including Games Workshop’s famous Golden Demon contest. Multi-award-winning artist and miniature painting master Victor Hardy offers a closer look at what’s involved.
“While an artistic streak and an eye for detail are vital if you’re to become an award-winning miniature painter, I’ve subsequently also learned lots through trial and error since taking up the art form almost 30 years ago,” says Victor Hardy, speaking from his home in Austin, Texas.
It’s with this in mind that Victor Hardy is keen to share a number of top tips centered around becoming a successful miniature painter. “Start with the best equipment that you can afford,” suggests Hardy.
A miniature painting master, Victor Hardy is, of course, talking primarily about brushes. “High-quality brushes will not only make painting easier, but they’ll also allow for cleaner highlights, for example, which will give you an edge over other artists using cheaper equipment,” he explains.
Similarly important, according to Hardy, and the basis for his second tip, is cleaning. “I cannot stress enough how important it is to take care of your brushes,” says the expert. This is especially true, Hardy goes on to point out, when using expensive equipment. “If you buy quality brushes and take good care of them, they’ll last for years,” Hardy explains, “ensuring soft bristles, a neat point, and much more, every single time you paint.”
“You simply must take care of your brushes,” he adds, “if you’re to become a miniature painting master.”
Hardy‘s miniature painting trophy case is today fit to burst with awards won in the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere over the course of more than 15 years of competition-level artistry. These awards, Victor Hardy suggests, are a testament to a combination of both his equipment and an inherent level of skill within art.
Finally, and on the subject of skill, Victor Hardy turns to a more technical matter. “Color theory,” says the award-winning artist. “Experimenting somewhat with color is fine on occasion, but understanding what truly works, known as color theory, will save countless wasted hours contemplating and tweaking color choices which aren’t, or weren’t, optimal from the outset,” he reveals.
Victor Hardy says that without an understanding of color theory, even the most eager aspiring artists will find themselves throwing away or awkwardly repainting models where a mistake with color has been made.
Learning how colors work on a fundamental level is reasonably straightforward, according to Victor Hardy, and can save new and more experienced artists alike countless wasted hours in their miniature painting pursuits. “As little as an hour of learning about color theory can, I believe,” he adds, wrapping up, “save potentially hundreds of hours of deliberation and mistakes down the line, so it’s well worth looking into at the first opportunity.”
About Victor Hardy