Hello and Welcome!
Still Life Miniatures is a custom painting service, specializing in miniatures and model of any genre and size, as well as creating other assorted works of art.
I was introduced to miniature painting back in 2002, when a good friend and avid gamer asked if I could paint some Ultramarines for a client of his that he could no longer paint for. I was handed a case of 60 space marines and the paints needed to complete the job. I was able to knock those out within a week with just doing a basecoat, ink, and highlight. I also needed to make a skull and lightning bolts on the shoulder pads.
They looked awful. My skulls looked like Pac Man ghosts and the red eyes of the marines were pretty much in the right place but not really done that neatly. The client was looking to get a whole chapter done in a timely manner, and the quality was good enough for him. Every week for months I picked up a case of 60 space marines and flew through them. As I got better, he would give me a handful of Eldar or some minis from other gaming platforms, and I became more interested in miniature painting in general.
I started to seek other clients in gaming stores. I was somewhat successful and got hooked on doing commission painting.
Sometime after that, I discovered CoolMiniorNot and was blown away by the amount of painters and miniatures out there. From that site, I was led to Jen Haley’s work. This was the first time I regarded what I fell into as an art. Jen’s work inspired me to learn more and try harder for better results.
For a while, I painted on and off. Local gaming stores had closed, I had no web presence, and commissions were lean, so I decided to try my hand at eBay. My boyfriend at the time had a Black Templar army he had started but lost interest in. He gave me permission to paint them up and sell them. I started with the characters such as the Chaplain and it sold pretty quickly. I was able to sell a handful of minis and picked up a large Black Templar commission through eBay, as well as a few other army commissions.
In 2004, I was wandering around a renaissance faire and found a pewtersmith that had painted items. My eye was drawn to a large scale jousting knight and my love affair with 54mm+ historical models was born.
I struck up a friendship and business partnership with this man and started to paint for him and even did the vending at the local renaissance circuit for 7 years or so. He introduced me to the historical side of model painting, providing me with an endless amount of kits to paint for him. While I don’t vend anymore, this friendship still lasts and I still receive plenty of historical models to paint.
In 2005, I officially launched Still Life Miniatures.
During that time, I had the opportunity to work with a professional sculptor to paint the mock up sculpts that were shown to the companies before going to large scale production. That experience taught me the importance of photography, taking direction without taking offense, and working under tight deadlines¦.. all on top of a full time job.
Shortly after that, while I was inspired to find more painting jobs, life pulled me in several directions, and I wasn’t able to paint as much as I would have liked.
In 2010, my current guy helped me create this website. Since then, I’m always busy with commissions and I’m more eager to ramp up my quality as well as share as much as I can about the process.
My start to miniature painting did not start with gaming as most painter’s histories do, nor did I ever have a collection. My joy comes from taking a customer’s description and making their model look like what’s in their imagination. My first miniatures were for commission and I believe that’s where I belong in this art. I love the mental challenge as well as the physical act of painting something specific. Occasionally, I’m given artistic license and a few vague guidelines, which provides me with an outlet to paint something as if I was keeping the model for myself.
I had no formal instruction on how to paint miniatures. It was only a few years ago that I started reading tutorials and watching videos. I don’t always use the same techniques or go through the same steps for every miniature. They each have their own personalities and demand individual treatment.
I mainly paint with Reaper Master Series acrylics. I like the durability and quality over the others I have used and they flow through my airbrush nicely. I also use Vallejo Air, P3, Tamiya, Vallejo Model Color, and a couple of GW paints, but not as much as the RMS paints.
I’ve grown to enjoy using oil paints over acrylics for some applications. I also make use of earth pigments and Pearl Ex pigments when needed.
Sometimes I’ll use a mixture of these materials to achieve certain effects.
When I start a model, I make sure all heavy parts are pinned and will fill with Green Stuff or Milliput.
I use an array of primers, depending on what size and type of material I’m working with and also make use of my airbrush.
Every model gets coat of gloss sealer, then a couple of light coats of matte sealer. I use both brush on and spray on sealers, depending on the type of model I’m protecting.
The customer, of course, has an opportunity to request materials and modes of sealing when contacting me about a commission.