As I've been working on my Empire General Christmas present I've been giving further consideration to the direction of my painting style. I'm very keen to develop my skills but I'm no great fan of the hyper-clean, comic style that's favoured in-house by GW, or the 'realism' that seems to dominate other miniatures sites (and as my brother says, whoever saw a 'real' Chaos warrior anyway?).
The work of gothic punk extraordinaire John Blanche is becoming a constant reference point as I look to evolve as a painter. Blanche's style is perfect for capturing the tattered, torn and tainted appearance that I want to give my miniatures, thereby placing them in a hard and harsh fantasy world, where life and war is a nasty and grimy affair. To my mind, this grubbier version of Warhammer fits the narratives of both the WFB and 40K universes far better than the slick presentation provided by the majority of what is currently offered in the GW promotional material. There are still bold highlights in Blanche's miniature work - shade is nothing without light - yet he limits his palette brilliantly in order to emphasise the contours, contrasts and details in his models.
The pictures featured here are from the Gothic Punk blog, which is a fabulous fan-created resource for all things Blanche - highly recommended.