Keeping A Painting Journal


Between a sluggish painting speed and the occasional hiatus I’ve occasionally found myself at a loss when trying to remember how I painted older models.ย  I can usually remember the technique I used but don’t always recall specifics like paint mixing ratios. ย  Late last year I finally decided it might be a good time to start keeping a basic painting journal.ย  There’s a number of electronic options out there, from Google Docs to a wiki (either personal hosted wiki or on a stick).ย  At some point I’ll probably transfer most of my notes over to some sort of taggable or sortable format but for now I’ve found it most convenient to keep a small notebook and pen next to my painting area so I can jot down notes or paint recipes as needed.

I keep each miniature to its own page, even if I’m working on multiple figures at once.  I start with the miniature’s name and the date (month and year) I began work on it at the top of the page, with the date I finished the figure to be added upon completion.

A typical entry might look something like this:

December Acolyte
Nov 2013 – Feb 2014

  • Overcoat
    • Base RMS Yellowed Bone, then AB Goosefeather
    • Shade mixing DC Dark Burnt Umber into Goosefeather via 2-brush blending
    • Highlight back up to Goosefeather
  • Pants
    • Base AB Territorial Beige
    • Highlight mixing in Goosefeather
    • Shade by 2-brush blending Dark Burnt Umber

… and a few more notes about the model.  I don’t jot down every part of every model I paint but anything I think I might want to match or reproduce later I’ll go ahead and make some quick notes.

I’ve already benefited from my journal a few times as I’ve either reproduced or only slightly altered earlier color schemes.  Wish I would have thought of this back when I was painting Warmachine/Hordes armies more.