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"What kind of camera do you use?"
    The current camera is an Olympus Camedia C-4000 with a separate macro lens and filter.  This is NOT a model I'd recommend.  My photos look rather unfocused and not sharp to me. Having to buy the extra lens for the (supposedly) "super" macro camera was also an unexpected expense.
    Other older pictures on my site were taken with an old long-gone Fuji Finepix.  It was easy and relatively inexpensive, but required a very specific light setup for decent pictures.
    I am seriously considering getting a better camera at this point.

"What is the photography area's lighting setup?"
   One standard room two 65W bulb incandescents on the ceiling above the area and two flood 65W incandescents off to the front on either side of the model.  There is a white sheet of fabric draped between the lights and the model that serves as a homemade light tent.  The background is a sheet of paper.

"How do you insert your backgrounds?.. with photoshop?"
    I tried that once to save on paper, it was a disaster.  I can't do it with photoshop, so I can't tell you how.  The background I use is either a piece of black construction paper, unbleached paper, or a piece of cheap photoquality ink jet paper with a blue gradient printed on it.  The model is placed near the edge with the paper sloping up behind.

"Do you offer classes or private lessons?"
   No.  Not until I'm allowed to use an electric cattleprod to discipline students. ;)

"I know you say you're not taking on squads or armies to paint, but surely could you do it just this one time, please?"
   When I've finished the armies that I have started on here in my own home, I might consider it.  At the rate I paint, that should be about the year 2060.
   Seriously, the closest I've come to painting a unit for a customer was when he sent me a wildly different model to do and paid after each single.  One by one, until there was 15 of them, it took almost two years.
   So, no...

"You say you're not painting private commissions, but could you do one for me anyways?"
   Ask me nicely, show me a beautifully sculpted figure I might like, promise to pay me well, and then I might find the time.

"Do you work for manufacturers?  If so, who?"
   Yes I do and have.  Lately I have been much too busy with my real life and three kids to work for anybody including myself.  However, in the past I've had a great relationship with the folks at Hasslefree and done a couple for Mr.Klocke at Freebooter.

"Will you sell your award winning Golden Demon entry(s)?"
   Unless you are willing to shell out enough to pay my home mortgage for a month or three, the answer is almost always no.  I have an fond attachment to these that goes beyond merely the (usually hundreds) of hours of work I put into those figures.  They are often an integral part of my own armies and I also severely dislike selling something that's been published.  Besides, they look nice in my showcase at home too. :)

"What color and brand of primer do you use?"
   Black or white, and sometimes black and white.  So far, Games Workshop's Citadel spray primer is the only one decent enough to use.  And it can screw up on occasion too!  Vallejo or Citadel brush-on primer is also useful for spots that the spray has missed or chipped areas that need a touchup.
    If a figure is bright and light in tone it will most likely be white primer.
   Black primer is useful for a darker, moodier model, or one that is just getting a semi-decent paintjob destined for the games table.
   For a zenithal lighting effect on a model I will often undercoat black and then use white from above to provide an easy way to figure out the highlights.  One must be careful doing this, it is very easy to put on too much primer, getting a grainy finish.

"Are you a brush licker? Do you recommend it?"
    No, and I don't recommend it.  After all, you are ingesting a small amount of paint and no doubt, some bacteria and other yuckies on the brush with each "lick".  Paint is PAINT !   It is not intended for consumption.  Even if the label says non-toxic that does NOT mean you should eat it in any quantity if you can help it.  Face it folks: Brush licking is gross!

"Do you use an airbrush?"
    No, never.  Though I might consider purchasing one for applying primer someday.

"How can I get better at painting?"
    This is the most common and vaguest question.  It's difficult to judge another's ability without holding and looking at your model in my hands.
    You can only improve by practice, patience, learning and practice, practice practice.  Other key points are good work area lighting, a steady hand, and thinning your paint.
    If you want to learn specifics, there a number of websites with tutorials.  The most comprehensive being coolminiornot.com 's article section.  A good few evenings of searching online will additionally find endless treasure troves of painting articles dispersed all over the internet.
   Some research, experimentation and practice will go a long way to improving one's skills.  I'm still learning too, and hopefully getting better in much the same way.


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Website, miniature art, and photography by A. Imrie. 2002 to 2007