Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Troels Kirk's Realistic Color for Railroad Modelling

[If you are searching for Troels Kirk's store front, there is a link in the side bar of this blog. . . ]

Something everyone can learn from. . .  

I had the pleasure last night of watching Troels Kirk's video on Realistic Color for Railroad Modelling.  As someone who normally has a distaste for model railroad videos (at least the ones I have seen), I can say that this is something different and special.   It is less about any particular result, and more about an approach to color, and as important, to understanding color in the world we are trying to represent.

Troels plainly lays out his palette and approach in a way that is more like my time in art school than a how to video.  He describes some important concepts that model railroaders have been aware of, but using the terms and the approach of an artist--which in the end makes them simple and clear. 

You will not learn to paint like Troels Kirk in an hour. . . . however, I can guarantee that you will get a great deal from the video: I did.  If you do not paint with acrylics or adopt his techniques, his observations from life will still be useful to you.  Even if you are very experienced with acrylics (or attended art school. . . . ) I can say that seeing someone else's palette and methods is always an eye opener.  

In general, the hobby literature and videos tend to focus on achieving predictable results quickly.  There is certainly an important place for that.  However, what Troels Kirk has done is make a video that encourages people to develop and explore color for themselves--to take a journey and to develop as an artist.  If you are just starting out, his tips on choosing and mixing colors will jump start you to success much faster than might otherwise be possible.  While mixing color for yourself may sound intimidating, doing so will create a relationship among your models--making your work more cohesive over all.  And of course, there is more too. . . .

Although the techniques and approaches illustrated do not promise instant results, they are an invitation to approaching the entirety of your railroad models in a more artful way--without fear.

Troels has done a great service to us by framing railroad models in the terms of the artist.  While there are many important aspects of the hobby, he has given voice to the more painterly and imaginative aspects, which I care about deeply.

There is a link to Troel's store front just to the right in the sidebar. . .

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