Wargaming and Miniature Model Painting
Miniature paintings are one of the oldest art forms in the world. The term miniature, from the Latin miniare meaning a tiny illustration typically used in miniatures to decorate a medieval or early illuminated manuscript; usually the small illustrated prints of the early medieval codices were miniatures painted in this way. The first miniature portraits were made during the Gothic era around the 12th century. This period was marked by the proliferation of illuminated manuscripts and the creation of miniature masterpieces. It is believed that during the twelfth century miniature paintings started becoming more popular as the artists had better opportunities to make more intricate works.
Miniatures have traditionally been produced for the purpose of decoration and as historical monuments. They are also used in many arts related to science and technology. Art historians note the development of portrait miniatures from a hobby to an important part of European culture. Many companies and private individuals produce fine art reproduction of miniatures. There are a wide variety of formats and painting techniques used for the production of miniature paintings.
Miniature paintings are used for historical memorials, political symbolism and for collecting. In fact, a number of people collect only miniatures. Portrait miniatures are the most popular format for European-related subjects. Many people are fond of collecting figures painted during different periods in European history. Some even go as far as to specialize on the miniatures’ genre or subject matter. Others collect only official artwork meant for historical and educational purposes, which are commonly included in exhibits and catalogs.
Some people prefer the oil paints’ medium for producing their miniatures. Oil miniatures are painted using the same type of medium as oil paintings but, instead of using the oil paint, the paint is applied with a brush. There are also various painting techniques used on oil miniatures. One of them is known as matting, which is a method which prevents the image from appearing dull and blurred. Another technique of applying the paint is called chipping. This technique was used by the ancient Chinese and is still utilized by modern artisans.
Other types of miniatures include the watercolor miniatures, which are usually painted in the style of Japanese lanterns. These miniatures are made with the help of different color mixing techniques. The most common techniques used by contemporary painters include dry-brushing, pencil drawing, and watercolor. Some artists also employ a technique called sand painting, which reproduces the look and feel of a sandy beach. Some other popular hand-written books include miniatures produced in the style of medieval masterpieces, ancient mythology, nature and mythology, and works of art of famous French or Italian artists.
Some miniatures are also produced on ivory or vellum. Vellum is created from a natural product and so has a beautiful natural color. It is also highly prone to scratching, which makes it an unsuitable medium for fine paintings. Most artists prefer using acrylic paints because they have the ability to stretch to any shape and are non-toxic. It is also easy to clean the surface of miniatures on which they are painted, unlike vellum which needs to be cleaned and frequently vacuumed to avoid permanent staining.
In wargaming, players use miniatures to represent military forces and battle field scenarios. Miniatures range from one inch to forty eight inches in height and weight. Usually, these miniature models are produced in a scale that represents the actual battle field. However, there are some collectors who prefer miniatures produced on real battle field scenes that were replicated thousands of years ago using clay.
Miniature paintings also play a major role in wargaming. The players usually represent their forces with miniatures on the tabletop and pit them against each other in miniature war games. The game is quite fast paced and it requires constant analysis and consideration of how each miniature art piece will play out in the game. As such, miniature artwork has been a popular hobby for many people and it is gaining more popularity today because of its accessibility to people of all ages.