I'm high on Bob Olley. My latest foray into his world are two of the 4011 Adeptus Mechanicus Servitors he sculpted in 1989.
Painting Olley miniatures is often challenging, but these two were a joy. The facial expressions -- by turns crude, servile and sedated -- emerged from the brush without any specific intention on my part. The wonderful details (like the wires, implants and bionics) were crisply carved and easy for me to delineate. The two miniatures seemed to paint themselves.
It's a reminder that part of the miniature sculptor's art is to help the painter. After all, it is the painter who will have the most intimate, the most delicate experience with the sculptor's efforts. Indeed, few other visual artists can console themselves with the notion that there is someone out there who will spend hours and hours contemplating the most minute details of their work. (I just spent some time in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence where I was confronted with some of the greatest sculpture in human history. But with the crowds seething around me, I couldn't spend more than a few moments looking at each individual piece).
I wonder whether miniature sculptors often get feedback from their customers on the experience of painting their models. I hope so!
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Here is the first of Mr. Olley's magnificent miniatures. This is "Servitor" 4011-06.
Excellent looking minis.ReplyDelete
Love the magic of your style!
Great work Matthew, on some truly classic sculpts. In my experience I get very little feedback on the models I've sculpted that people purchase, when sculpting a model I always try to consider that multiple different skill levels will be painting a model, so don't try to over complicate the sculpt with intricate details, to make different areas well defined, and have lots of texture to play with, so if your a drybrusher, there is enough to be picked up by the different layers, the same with washes and now contrast, or if you are a competition painter there are enough areas to work with.ReplyDelete
That's a thoughtful approach, Dave. I hope you do get more feedback in the future. It would be nice to have more of a dialogue between the two arms of the hobby.Delete
Your painting work on the two servitors is truly fascinating. We too share the positive opinion on Bob Olley's sculpture, which has its own character: we have some miniatures made by him, both Iron Claw and Ral Partha, but unfortunately we are still at the beginning of the painting work to express an opinion on the ease with which they paint themselves.ReplyDelete
Perhaps, within the sphere of sculpture, similar attention to detail could be found in the small gold, silver or ivory sculptures of the medieval era, even if the one who paid attention was only an observer and did not intervene further on the object.
By the way, for the Uffizi you are absolutely right, unfortunately ... We only add that last year R had the privilege of accessing, for study reasons, that museum while it was closed to visitors due to the pandemic: it was an incredible experience, with a direct and intimate contact with the artworks that perhaps only their ancient owners had! After all we are lucky that the miniatures are much more affordable to anyone ...
Rodor - you are so right that devotional sculptures from the Middle Ages would have also received the kind of one-pointed attention that miniature painters give miniatures. That's a really interesting observation. I will be thinking about that for a while!Delete
I don't think I had ever thought before about the close relationship between sculptors and painters, and I believe you provided me some food for thought (which I thank you for). It is an interesting topic, and any answer will obviously depend on the context, as we all accept that fantasy sculpts (anything "heroic", such as fantasy, 40K or whatever) are totally different from historical ones, and so. Then, the painting experience will be enormously different depending on the very own expectations from the painter.ReplyDelete
Well, I didn't expect to go this deep today, but I'll certainly give it all a thought!
I am really happy to know I gave you some food for thought, Suber. I've also been mulling this topic over quite a bit ever since it popped into my head. I hope miniature sculptors appreciate how lucky they are to have such an intimate relationship with their fans.Delete
Superb painting! The stripes on the second model's trousers are just awe-inspiring to me, and the overall look of both screams late-80s 'Eavy Metal.ReplyDelete
I've got a few Olley sculpts — some trolls and zombies by Reaper — and I have to admit to finding his models a bit of a pain to paint as they're so gnarly, with deep indentations and bits you sometimes can't identify. But there's no taking away from his skill at making cool looking minis and you've done this pair justice with your painting.
The "Mad Punk" looks like an early Eldar model to me :-)
It took me FOREVER to paint Olley's Black Orcs because they were so heavily textured. I wonder whether beginner painters might enjoy them because you can achieve a "good enough" job just by giving them some sloppy drybrushing?Delete
Kev White :)ReplyDelete
Btw the Watkins article made Jessie cry, twice! Shame on you.
I like trying to make you cry (mainly with my FANTASTIC dice rolling), but Jessie - not so much.Delete
Lovely work! I really like all the detailing of the wiring and the striped pants. Great works!ReplyDelete
I've become a fan of Olley's work, particularly with his genestealer cultists. I was even trying to collect them all... before I was turned off by the second hand markets. I'll definitely be painting what I have in due time!
Those cultists are incredible - some of his best work. Can't wait to see what you come up with, Hobbs.Delete
Great work, and what a wonderful reflection on the appreciation of the art involved!ReplyDelete
I am gratified that you enjoyed it! Thanks for letting me know!Delete