Monday, 4 July 2011

Concerning style...

Over the last year or so I've been thinking a lot about personal styles of painting and sculpting. You may have seen quite a bit about my painting style revamp on here of late.

I'd like to talk a little bit about styles and something that rather surprises me. It's that painters and sculptors rarely work outside their tightly defined style. Personally I like to muck about with mine from time to time to give me a fresh perspective and generally keep the inspiration up. Of course that brings us to a related point: conscious versus unconscious style.

I think I'm a good example to use when it comes to this phenomena. I'm quite well known for reinventing the wheel with regards to my sculpting or painting styles. I'm the guy who was known for this...

and then suddenly went to this...

Quite a dramatic change and personally I don't see much of a style in common but I keep hearing that people can still see the 'Buddle aesthetic' in them and talk of clean lines and elegant forms which are both inherent in my process. But definitely an unconscious thing in this case as one reason I made this massive change was that people kept going on that my figures were undetailed and lacking texture and I'd always considered that to be my intention. Eventually I wanted to go ahead and sculpt something that was totally different.

Despite unconscious stylings bleeding through the change it does bring up an interesting point to ponder upon. That point is not to always do things in the way you always do them just because that's the way you always do them. For most this is a hobby and although you are free to do things in the same way, sometimes it's good to do something totally different. It's then quite fun to look at this totally different approach and see what unconsciously is still there from your normal style.

I kind of got onto thinking about this style issue over the last few days due to a few comments I heard about my new job working for Games Workshop. Obviously this is going to mean that my style will be mutating once more as I work towards adding my figures into a range produced by rather a lot of people and needing it to fit in. A few people seemed worried that my personal style would get lost in the shuffle and I'd end up sculpting cookie cutter figures. I really don't see that happening and, even with another style change, I thoroughly expect people to finally see my work for GW and say 'hey, that's a Buddle fig'. I mean, they've a large team of sculptors and I can still pick out Jes Goodwin's work from Brian Nelson's or Mark Harrison's or Mike Anderson's. They all work in the GW style but there's still loads of room for individuality.

Of course we never know where the changes might end. Five years from now maybe you'll see me sculpting a giant monster on a computer. Now THAT would be a style change...


  1. I think it would be VERY boring to see a sculptor always sculpt in a certain way.
    It's a natural thing that style evolves constantly.
    Im eager to see how your first miniatures for GW will turn out=)

  2. How much does sculptors personal skill-level affects his style? Beginners do simple stuff, before moving into more complex designs...