Luther Davies – TheMightyBrush – Ask the Artist

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Luther davies - The Mighty Brush - Ask the Artist - Featured

In this week’s Ask the Artist we delve into the mind of Luther Davies, Aka The Mighty Brush. Come and see how this chap has become such a well-renowned painter and what he can offer so that you can possibly improve your miniature painting too.

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It was Luther’s Space Marines which first got my attention long before I knew who the man was. Just browsing Instagram one day I saw something which caught my eye and boom – instant follow!

Since then I’ve come to like more and more of Luther’s work, not just his paint jobs, but also his offerings within the hobbysphere.

Luther is more than just a renowned painter, though his paint work needs calling out for using a variety of media to create striking high-contrast work. Luther via The Mighty Brush website also offers some of the best premium painting guides I have ever seen along with his own custom decals & dice.

Seriously, check them out

After reading his interview of course.

Selecting images for this post was quite hard for me, there are just too many great models to select just a few. to see a gallery of Luther’s great work, check out his own projects list, you won’t be disappointed.

He’s also the guy who designed the logo for us in our Facebook Group – Paint Hub

Luther Davies – TheMightyBrush – Ask the Artist

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

I paint for my own personal enjoyment (and to build my own 40k army) but I also have a website where I publish some free tutorials and articles, as well as paid in-depth painting guides and my own custom-made waterslide transfers.

Luther Davies - The Mighty Brush - Ask the Artist - Transfers

How long have you been promoting your brand?

I’ve been more active in promoting The Mighty Brush as a brand for the last 2-3 years. The last year even more so since starting the online shop at themightybrush.com/

What are your social media channels?

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

To be honest that decision was only made after my first PDF painting guide became popular. I had no idea whether it would be or not, so it was a nice surprise.

Luther davies - The Mighty Brush - Ask the Artist - Dark Angels Guide

And the popularity of the products (guides and transfers) has grown as I’ve developed them and added to the line.

How long have you been in the hobby in general?

My first foray into the hobby was when I was about 13 (mid-90s!). I did have a fairly long break during the mis-spent youth of my late teens / early twenties, but I’ve been into it solidly now since around 2008 (12 years at the time of writing!)

What initially drew you into the hobby?

I was first introduced to the hobby in the same way that I think most people are – by a friend

Luther davies - The Mighty Brush - Ask the Artist - Blood Angels Tank

To be precise it was a school friend who had a small collection of metal space marines (Blood Angels & Space Wolves). He showed them to me and it was love at first sight. This probably had a lot to do with Blood Angels being my first army, and the long-held but never fulfilled dream to have a Space Wolves army too.

What do you enjoy most about the hobby?

Painting is definitely the thing I love most about the hobby. I used to find building models a chore but this aspect has grown on me – especially since I started trying minor conversions. I enjoy the odd game too if I can get one!

How did you refine your skills?

YouTube videos were probably the most major resource for me in terms of learning hobby skills – and the team at Massive Voodoo. Lester Bursley was a huge influence when I was learning. I have also attended a Cult of Paint course, which I found very useful.

What types of models most interest you?

I love 40k scale, but I am also building a small collection of larger scale (54mm, 72mm) models – still to be started!

What is your favorite tabletop game?

40k is the main one for me, and time has not allowed me to branch out much beyond that. I found Kill Team great fun when I tried it, and I also like sci-fi & fantasy themed board games such as Scythe, Zombicide and Star Wars: Imperial Assault.

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

My advice here would be to start small. When I first started I made the mistake of buying a large box of minis (RTB01!)| and ended up a little daunted by the task of building and painting them.

Luther davies - The Mighty Brush - Ask the Artist - Raptors Eliminator Squad

Start with a single squad and go from there J

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

When I’m in this situation I always turn to the work of other artists to get inspired. I find Instagram to be a great platform for this, because if you follow lots of mini painters it’s just image after image of hugely inspirational work on your feed.

What resources would you recommend for inspiration?

See above (Instagram)

What is your greatest achievement in the hobby?

Being featured in White Dwarf, the Games Workshop and Forge World galleries, and most recently the Warhammer Community feature of my Raptors are my proudest recognitions to date.

Luther davies - The Mighty Brush - Ask the Artist - Raptors Intercessors-Combat-Squad-II-Group-01
Luther davies - The Mighty Brush - Ask the Artist - Raptors Outrider
Luther davies - The Mighty Brush - Ask the Artist - Raptors Librarian
Luther davies - The Mighty Brush - Ask the Artist - Raptors Captain
Luther davies - The Mighty Brush - Ask the Artist - Raptors Dreadnought
Luther davies - The Mighty Brush - Ask the Artist - Raptors Stormhawk-Interceptors

What has been your most memorable obstacle?

Getting the hang of airbrushing has probably been the most pivotal obstacle I’ve overcome to really improve my painting game. It was a lot less common then than it is now, and there were a lot less resources available for learning. Thankfully it’s a lot easier for beginners to get into now.

I had to overcome a personal obstacle (many years ago now), which became intrinsically linked to the hobby for me.

I had a nasty accident in which I nearly lost a hand. Thankfully the hand was saved, but I did lose a lot of movement and feeling – it took a whole year of physiotherapy to be able to move my thumb!

Unfortunately, it was my left (dominant) hand, and I had to learn to do everything with my right. This was the point in my life where I had drifted away from the hobby, and it was this that made me decide to engage with it again, using painting as a form of rehabilitation.

Initially, I wanted to teach myself to paint with my right hand, but as I continued with physiotherapy and regained more and more movement, I was eventually able to paint with both hands and am now semi-ambidextrous.

This can be useful in getting to hard-to-reach spots with my paintbrush! I still have some limitations in terms of movement and feeling in the hand, and a pretty gnarly scar, but with the help of some extraordinary medical professionals, I made an impressive recovery considering the extent of the injury.

What is something you feel you need to improve on?

Green stuff, sculpting and generally miniature building skills are where I definitely need to improve.

Luther Davies - The Mighty Brush - Ask the Artist - Lieutenant-Cerrin Sculpt

Also, my hand glazing still needs work :D 

What tools do you use & why?

I have built up a large collection of paintbrushes over the years. Winsor & Newton Series 7 Miniature are probably my most used, but I also like Artis Opus, Broken Toad and Tamiya brushes. Airbrush-wise I started out with Harder & Steenbeck (Infinity) before moving on to Iwata (HP-C Plus) before finally settling on Badger as my favourite brand. I have a 105 Patriot, a Renegade Krome and a Sotar 20/20 V.

What paints do you use & why? not bound to one brand.

Vallejo is by far my biggest collection. I like the huge range of colour choice and I find the quality good too. Plus the different ranges for brush and airbrush. Andrea Color (another Spanish brand) is another favourite, and I have some Citadel – which are also great quality, though I dislike the pots!

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

It would need to be two – Vallejo Model Color and Vallejo Model Air ;)

What do you consider when choosing your paints?

Colour choice and consistency are the two main factors driving my decisions. Being a lazy sod I want to make things as quick and easy for myself as possible, so the less mixing and thinning the better ;)

Do you have a secret weapon, Tool or Technique?

Odd choice but the thing that springs to my mind is my three-sided scraper. It’s a great tool for removing mould lines – you can get into the tiniest of cracks and corners! And it’s good for marking pilot holes for drilling too.

I don’t have any [particular] ‘secret weapon’ as such, but there are a few tools and materials that I’ve found useful in improving my techniques.

The first is good quality brushes. If you’ve only ever used budget synthetic brushes, then moving to a quality Kolinsky sable brush will feel like night and day!

A wet palette is also extremely useful for acrylics and I never paint without one these days. Enamel (oil-based) paints and washes are also something not every beginner hobbyist is familiar with, but they open up a whole load of new possibilities for miniature painting.

Lastly I have found an airbrush to be an invaluable tool – both in terms of speeding up my painting and creating cool visual effects.

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

The Mighty Brush is still not my full time job, but it’s getting to a point where it could possibly become one – which is a very exciting prospect!

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

I pretty much always approach projects from a painting perspective, so the first things I consider are the colour scheme, tone, look & feel etc.

I think about the environment the model will be in and it’s history. Will it be clean and fresh from the factory, or (more often) battered and dirty after months in the field. I think about the paints, materials and techniques I will use to accomplish my vision.

Luther Davies - The Mighty Brush - Ask the Artist - Ultramarine

Things almost always change along the journey, but it’s still useful to start out with a picture in your head.

How do you keep your project(s) organized?

Unlike many, I don’t like to juggle many projects at once. I prefer to put all my available time and effort into one thing until it’s complete, before moving on to the next project.

Have you ever walked away from a project?

I don’t think I’ve ever not completed a project I’ve committed to.

My Ork army is still not started – but that doesn’t count because I WILL do it :D

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

Mistakes (or more accurately things that don’t come out quite as intended or envisioned) happen more frequently than one might think.

But I either correct these or build them in to the project. For example, a stray paint stroke can become a dent or scratch.

I rarely abandon something and start again – I prefer to put mistakes down to lessons learned, and try again on a future model.

Luther Davies – TheMightyBrush – Closing Comments

Thanks Luther, your work truly is astounding and I will keep a close eye on your site and will likely pick up some more from you in the future.

The painting guides are absolutely fantastic and your Raptors chapter looks incredible!

Really appreciate the time you took out of your day to speak with us.

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.

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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 211 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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