Saturday, 20 August 2011

In Praise of Artmaster Studio

Does anyone else watch the painting videos run by Artmaster Studio? If you don't know what I'm talking about go to:

and all will be revealed. Essentially it is approximately an hours worth of a figure, a brush, a desktop, an occasional flash of paintpot and two hands painting a random figure. It is accompanied by a quintessential English voice giving you the viewer a run down on what is happening. And that's it. Put in those terms it doesn't sound very promising but it is remarkably addictive.

First off, the presenter (a chap called Toby) is a great painter and he turns out a very presentable end product. When you consider the scrutiny each figure is under when the camera is presumably right on top of it for the whole time then the quality of painting is remarkable. I find it difficult painting with two desk lamps perched over the desk, how on earth does he manage with a camera wired up to a computer? All I can say is that it must be rather irritating.

Second a figure is painted before your very eyes without you having to do a single thing apart from hook up to the internet. No stiff neck for you, no vacillating between whether to use 'burnt umber' or 'leather belt', no shaky white line cutting across from the crossbelt to the water bottle strap, no looking across at your shelves to see the 35 other French infantry you have to confront before the Battalion is finished. For an hour you can just switch off and let Toby deal with all that.

But best of all is the whole quality of Englishness about it. It's very simple and straightforward and I mean no disrespect when I say that it has an air of quiet soap opera about it. I can watch it while sitting in some hideous third world air terminal and I'm back at home. The earlier shows used to have the sound of a train passing every so often. More recently there was the saga of the squeaky chair (afficionados will know this). Wherever you are in the world, the sound of a VMC bottle being shaken will take you immediately to your own little painting cubby hole. I long for the day when I hear the whispered 'thank you' as somebody delivers a cup of tea to the table (followed by the accompanying drama when it gets spilled whilst reaching for the Warlock Purple bottle tucked away at the back).

Can it be improved? Probably. I have yet to hear a frustrated shout of 'This figure, its crap isn't it?' or '£2.50 for an unpainted foot figure? You're having a laugh'. But perhaps strong opinions are for other places and in the meantime I'll just enjoy the sound of a paint brush being swished in a cup of water.

The frequency can be erratic. Normally its on a Friday evening at 20.30 ish but there seems to have been a bit of a hiatus recently. I hope it returns and I hope that others enjoy it too. And get this, its all for free. Hats off to Toby for a great piece of marketing and I hope that AMS thrives.

No comments:

Post a Comment