Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Iron Painter!

Over at one of my favorite internet hangouts Wyrd Games, I started this little painting competition that is blossoming into something pretty cool.

We are now in the '4th' Season of the contest, although that only means we've done three others. There is no real time frame, just whenever it comes about.

Here is basically how it works: I do a signup sheet of interested participants, randomly match them up in one on one pairings, give them two weeks to finish a miniature and upload a picture. At that point a team of impartial judges (not me!) scores each mini in three different categories. I then figure up the results, announce the winners, and redo, until there is a single champion.

The twist is that with the announcement of matchups, I also announce a specific 'theme' ingredient that the painters need to incorporate into their work. Some themes are painting techniques such as NMM (non metallic metals, using non metal paints to represent metal items), some themes are more mundane, such as the 'Green with Envy' theme where painters were required to use green prominently, some are rather esoteric. We had a theme once of "angry". The artist are asked to represent that somehow in their work. Not as easy as it sounds.

Another feature of the contest is it's gruelingly short deadline periods. Two weeks seems like a long time, but to do that consistantly for what could be 4 or 5 rounds really takes its toll. Real life has a way of butting in, and only the toughest painters can scratch their way to victory..thus the name IRON Painter.

Here are some THEME examples:

vincegamer's version of Object Source Lighting (OSL) Object Source Lighting basically means that the miniature is painted with a 'light source'. All highlights and shadows are emphasized to give the illusion the light source is real. So the light you see coming from the candle, and the shadows...all painted on. Vince is a master of theme interpretation, always well done, always clever.

Another Theme from Season One was 'weathered'. Skya (The Champion from Round One) interpreted the theme to show her character in 'weather'...Raining in this account:Skya aka Noel, is a fantastically talented painter, and her ingenious themes and fantastic brushwork makes her a favorite for the latest competition as well.

Here's another, this one from Season Three. The theme was PAINT IT BLACK, a take on the Rolling Stones song, the painters were required to use the color black prominently. This is OrkyDave's vision.

That's just pure genius!!

That's just a small sampling of some of the clever and inspiring painting. Come on over and watch from the sidelines, or get yourself involved in the next one.

The contest started out as just a fun 'community activity' for the denizens of the Wyrd site. To make the contest fun, we ask each participant to pony up with a fee of either 5 dollars, or a miniature to go directly to their victor. Also, during the two week 'paint period' painters are encouraged to show Work In Progress shots, give points, try to bribe judges, and talk good natured 'smack' to their opponents...all in all it makes for quite a spectacle!!

Oddly enough, the past three Iron Painters have been women. A fact not lost on anyone. Skya, Wren, and Cdukino all now can claim to be true IRON PAINTERS! The rest of the contestants have fallen short. Both Wren and Skya have entered the latest version, but there is some stiff competition already. Only time, and judging will tell. The grand prize is a tidy little sum of $100 cash and a gift certificate of $50 to the Wyrd store! Random prizes will also be available.

The Iron Painter is something that has become very popular, and I hope it continues to grow. I am very proud of it, but moreso proud of the people that have made it what it is..

A special thanks to Nathan (frustrated father) for allowing the webspace and judging, EricJ and Ritual for judging and support, and a very long list of helpful and generous painters and contributors. A special thanks to Duende for sending me a spreadsheet to help me with my math...LOL She also sent along oodles of minis to be given away for prizes, as well as competing and brainstorming on how to make it an even better event.