Chris Spotts – The Spotted Painter – Ask The Artist

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Chris Spotts - The Spotted Painter - Ask The Artist - Featured

There’s an interesting story about how I first came across this weeks featured artist, find out more as we talk to Chris Spotts – The Spotted Painter, in this week’s Ask the Artist. Let’s be fair though, you’re mainly here to look at sexy miniatures! Good, there’s a load below!

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The (somehwhat) Interesting Story – So I first came across Chris’ work about a year after FauxHammer launched on its own domain with a dot.com and everything.

After I finished my research and proudly completed my Best Brushes for Miniature Painters article – I shamelessly spammed as many Facebook groups as I could to share the link. I had some great feedback but this one guy came in all “those aren’t the “best” brushes, they are the “most popular” brushes eth etc. That guy was Chris. (he was actually really nice in his comment, this is just an example of how I felt at the time).

So I thought, who does this guy think he is that he can tell me what’s what?! So I followed the link to his Facebook profile and was immediately greeted with some of his artwork.

After removing my foot from my mouth, I receded back into the bowels the FauxHammer office (my dining table at the time) and updated the article with a whole paragraph explaining that the title of the article is somewhat a misnomer and why I’m keeping it the way it is though “technically”, It’s wrong.

I’ve been taking small cues and advice off Chris ever since and he’s yet to steer me wrong…

Chris Spotts – The Spotted Painter

Chris Spotts - The Spotted Painter - Ask The Artist - Profile Pic

Chris has been one of the most helpful and influential painters for me in my miniature painting career thus far. (YES MUM, IT’S A CAREER. I GET PAID DON’T I. I’M 37 YEARS OLD LEAVE ME ALONE!)

Through sheer osmosis and following his posts he has inspired me to try so many new things. “Try Raphael Brushes”, yep he’s right, these are Fantastic. “Pro Acryl paints are Great”. Yep agreed, in fact, they are my personal favourite range. “Try watercolour pencils for details and texture” -come on mate, you’re joking right?! No, he isn’t, also, he’s right!

So, have a quick read below and get to know Chris (a master of OSL) and what he’s about, chances are he could be your next miniature painting mentor.

Who are you / What is your place in the hobby?

Commission Painter, Competition Painter, and a bit of YouTube live streaming.

How long have you been promoting your brand?

About 2 years.

What are your social media channels?

What was the moment you realized this was something you wanted to pursue as more than a hobby?

I was showing my work at my FLGS and people offered money. 

How long have you been in the hobby in general?

I’m pretty new to the hobby really, only about two and a half years or so, with 2 breaks of 2 months.

Chris Spotts - The Spotted Painter - Ask The Artist - Artisan Guild - Gino Brewmaster

What initially drew you into the hobby?

We were in the campaign and we all had figs, but they were just white Bones figures.  I was like “So…do people paint these or..?”  And low and behold, it turns out they do.  So I did and well, next thing you know I’m painting like crazy.

What do you enjoy most about the hobby?

Teaching – I love to see somebody struggle with a technique and finally “get it” when they didn’t for so long.

How did you refine your skills?

Deliberate practice – doing a specific technique over and over till its down.  And a TON of classes with some world-class pros.

What types of models most interest you?

I most enjoy larger figures and busts these days.  Something where there’s a bit of a canvas to create more visual interest.

Chris Spotts - The Spotted Painter - Ask The Artist - Werewolf Queen Oleana from White Werewolf Studio

What is your favourite tabletop game?

DnD / Pathfinder

What advice would you give someone struggling to find the motivation to finish a project?

Often times we struggle in The Gap – its a small version of Ira Glass’ famous quote – this is the point where the visual we have for the mini and the point we are at in the execution just isn’t the same. 

You thought it was going to be easy and go great and it just…..doesn’t look like it’s there yet.  Unfortunately, for many of us, this happens almost every mini to some degree.  Its why many folks have large piles of half-finished minis.  Generally, I believe the only way past the Gap is through it.  Push through and finish the mini. 

Often times you’ll find its not as bad as it was looking halfway through.

What resources would you recommend for inspiration?

I can’t recommend taking in-person classes enough. There are so many little things that painters do that don’t translate well on camera. Seeing somebody live and learning from them is such a huge shortcut.

What is your greatest achievement in the hobby?

Doing studio work for several mini companies.

I wanted to ask more about what studios you have painted for? can you tell us?

A few pieces for Reaper, Tomb Guardians, 3dPrintedTabletop and then several kickstarters like Vikings, Pirates vs Cthulhu, etc.  I’ve been approached by others, but I’m very picky these days about studio commissions because they’re very stressful.

Chris Spotts - The Spotted Painter - Ask The Artist - Anne Bonny Lovecraft

Depending on the company, you’re given either wide open creative control or VERY SPECIFICS.  Here’s some of those specifically.  What’s interesting is that for the most part, I’ve grown way past these pieces.  I feel like my later work is much stronger.  

What has been your most memorable obstacle?

My first competition, I thought my mini was fantastic.  I showed up, dropped it off and looked at my competition in person.  It was the first time I’d seen high-level work in person.  My mouth dropped.  I felt embarrassed to even leave my piece.  I struggled a bit feeling like a failure and such, but eventually realized I was still so new and most of those painters had been going 10+ years.

What is something you feel you need to improve on?

Sculpting and conversions.  I really need to do more modifications.

What tools do you use & why?

[Brushes] Raphael 8404 size #2/#1/#0. Raphael 8408 size #2 for dark-lining.  ELF makeup brushes for dry brushing. 

Chris Spotts - The Spotted Painter - Ask The Artist - Reaper Estra, Iconic Spiritualist

Airbrush – Priming is a GSI PS-290,  Other work is either a Grex TG-3 or a Harder and Steenbeck Infinity 0.4mm v2

What paints do you use & why?

About 80% Monument Pro Acryl, 15% Reaper for skin tones, 5% Kimera Kolors

If you had to pick one paint range, what would be the all-around best choice?

Monument Pro Acryl 

Do you have a secret weapon, Tool or Technique?

I tend to sketch in volumes and textures roughly, often with a makeup brush, and then refine with glazes and airbrush.

Chris Spotts - The Spotted Painter - Ask The Artist - Last of the Immortals - FeR Miniatures

What do you feel is the next step/goal for your brand?

Setup more formal teaching.

What is the first thing you consider before starting a project?

“Will I enjoy doing this?”  I don’t *need* to commission paint, so I’ve become picky and really only work on projects that I’m really excited about.

How do you keep your project(s) organized?

Generally first come, first served

Have you ever walked away from a project?

No, but I wish I had.  I had one customer make entirely unreasonable last-minute changes and then take *forever* to pay.

What is the biggest mistake you’ve made? How did you recover?

Customer asked me to a commission on a piece.  I thought it was 2-3 inches tall based on the picture, so I quoted one price… turns out it was a crazy rare 12-inch statue, requiring FAR more work. 

I vastly underbid by about 10x.  It was a very good customer who I’ve done lots of business with, so I did it anyway though.

What aspect of commissions do you find most enjoyable?

Seeing the customer’s reaction to the paint job.  

Chris Spotts - The Spotted Painter - Ask The Artist - Darksword - Male Ranger with Sword DSM7403

Has the business mentality ever robbed you of your joy for the hobby?

Absolutely, its why I’m more picky about my choice of commissions. I no longer do things I’m hesitant I’ll enjoy.

Has there ever been a commission you struggled to finish?

ALL OF THEM lol.  For real, I think nearly every project has a gap that is a struggle to overcome, but you just have to finish.

What has been the most memorable commission for you?

Definitely the most memorable was the Limited Edition huge resin cast Ababbon. It was a massive undertaking that took like a month.

Chris Spotts - The Spotted Painter - Ask The Artist - Abaddon Forge World

What does your painting set-up look like?

Its a desk with vertical paint racks on the back, a shoplight overhead and a Daylight Triple Bright LED movable arm light.  

What advice would you give someone interested in becoming a commission painter?

Consider if you just want the money, or really *want* to be a commission painter.  Many find that it robs them of the joy of painting.  You no longer get to lay down a project you’re not happy with.  You no longer get to choose all your colors and themes.  Decide if it’s really worth it to you.

What advice would you give someone interested in starting the hobby?

My biggest thing… It’s just paint. If you screw up, paint over it. Don’t be afraid to try new things.  It’s virtually impossible to permanently screw up anything.

Chris Spotts - The Spotted Painter - Ask The Artist - Water Dragon Asian Adventures

Chris Spotts – The Spotted Painter – Closing Comments

Thanks, Chris, Some amazing work there and such an amazing journey in such a short Tenure.

I hope you keep churning out such quality miniatures and we’ll be following along for more tips and advice from you!

Click this link & buy your hobby stuff from Element Games for the UK & Europe to support FauxHammer.com – Use Code “FAUX2768” at the checkout for double reward points.

Our Affiliates / Hobby Stores

Support FauxHammer.com on Patreon

Become a Patron!

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  • Self-appointed Editor in chief of FauxHammer.com - But I need to thank the team for existing and therefore enabling me to give myself role - without them, I'm just a nerd with a computer and a plastic addiction.

About FauxHammer 220 Articles
Self-appointed Editor in chief of FauxHammer.com - But I need to thank the team for existing and therefore enabling me to give myself role - without them, I'm just a nerd with a computer and a plastic addiction.

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