Zombies painted a la Goatboy

Last Friday, at our Santa Cruz Warhammer Invitational, I had to come up with at least 7 painted zombies. The wednesday before, in a spurt of inpsiration, I modeled ten zombies, using the Mantic Zombie kit, some GW bitz and lots of Apoxie Sculpt. Thursday night I had to paint at least 7 of them and I am a terribly slow painter. So I discarded all my previous methods and went for what I call the Goatboy technique. Goatboy (from BOLS) is extremely prolific and paints unlike anyone else I know. Without wanting to sound pretentious, I feel he paints like an impressionist. He not hitting every detail, he doesn't paint super neat, instead he gives us an impression of what he thinks the model embodies. Here are some of his recent models

At first I sniggered at it, because I have come from the White Dwarf School of thought, which focuses on detail and finesse and keeping all the paint within the lines etc. But slowly I have come to admire it; it's like an artist painting something and then letting us form our own image of it. Goatboy is on to something and his background as an artist is really helping him here.
Of course there are still big decisions needed, a chaos lord embodies something different than an Ork, and the palette chosen is usally strictly tied to the role the model plays on the tabletop.

So when I had to paint my zombies in no time, I spent more time thinking about the color scheme then the paintjob itself. Here are the models:

I must have pondered for two hours how I wanted them to shine during battle, while doing dishes, putting the kids to bed, reading....if only those girls knew. Anyway, finally I figured it out and thew on a palette of whites, browns, reds and yellows.

I tried hard not to hit every detail, instead keep the big picture in mind, a group of scary forms moving and crawling, full of dirt and menace. I stopped thinking like models as individuals, instead painting them as a group.

With extra bitz and some apoxie sculpt you can add a LOT of models cheaply. This one has 3 bitz.

Here are some I still need to do

I don't think I can change my ways completely. Zombies lend themselves well to this experiment and I will apply it now whenever I feel it's effective.

Here's Goatboy's personal blog, check it out: http://goatboy40k.blogspot.com/



  1. Hahaha - that really hits it on the head.

    Too much of the time the clean looks really out of place with any realism. I look at the whole picture instead of just one model - thus why the army usually has a cohesive look to it etc.

    It really works on certain armies or certain thoughts on the armies. It doesn't work for everyone and I do a more clean style if needed. It just isn't as fun haha.

    But glad you enjoyed it. It is a different look and it represents why I like art - that quick dirty feeling of hitting the theme versus making it nice and clean.

  2. Zombies look great and post is very worthwhile dude. Good work as always.

  3. Weird, I just wrote a big post yesterday about how I like this style and there should be more of it!

    Good job Goatboy that Kell in particular looks awesome, and Mike your zombies are great too. Let's hope we can tip the scales a little further away from the paint by numbers approach.

  4. that is strange....I saw that article yesterday. We must have had the same train of thought.


Post a Comment