Twenty years ago I walked into a GW store and spent my pocket money on a box of necron warriors, you know the ones that looked like Terminator and King Kong had a very angry baby. That box had been mispacked: one of the ten warriors had been replaced accidentally by a goblin (actually the model known as the "Head Honcho" for the much regretted Gorkamorka game). I found that goblin fun. I painted the goblin. I still have not painted the necrons...
Since then I have always had a soft spot for orkish brutality, goblin trickery, and all manner of greenskin outrageousness. They really have no creative limit! Nowadays greenskins are my "time out" models, to be done in between bigger projects and commissions.
I have had the good fortune of meeting and sharing with a number of extrememely gifted painters who have sent me down so many different paths to improve my skills. Listing them would be too long, but concepts such as "harmony", "composition", all things relating to "colour theory" and much much more, all became clearer and clearer the more I exchanged with others. So don't ever be scared of sharing your work with friends and other painters, even if the criticism can sometimes be harsh it will help you improve.
I keep trying new mixtures, new ranges of paints I had never heard of: there is always something interesting waiting to be discovered for those who work to find it... There is no secret: if you want to improve yourself and your style then pick up your brushes, a fresh model, and try a new thing! I will always buy a couple of pots from a new range to try them out because only fools never change their ways! For bizarre effects I will buy from any company that has what I need, or I’ll make my own mixes and store them in dropper bottles. Test things, experiment, do silly things that don’t make sense: as long as you enjoy yourself it will never be a waste of time!
I am a snob when it comes to paintbrushes. For my own pleasure and showcase pieces I swear by Winsor & Newtons’ Series 7 pure kolinsky sable brushes. They cost a fortune but I have never been disappointed with them and they are a real joy to use. For my everyday projects I use Raphaël 8404 acrylic brushes. These are very good and sturdy brushes that will last a very long time as long as you treat them decently and clean them regularly.
For all the weird and dangerous products that damage brushes (glues, pigments, enamel based paints etc…) I use a variety of cheap synthetic tipped brushes that are easier to clean. I could not recommend a specific brand, I just buy the cheapest brush that I can find when I need it.
I think one of the hardest crunch moments came when I turned towards commission painting. When you paint your own pieces, for yourself and your own pleasure then you have total freedom, and that freedom includes the possibility of leaving a project to one side if it isn't going the way you hoped. Commission work is the exact opposite, it is a different challenge, and has a single all important goal: customer satisfaction. This very nearly ground me down at the start, until I reorganised myself and my projects to always leave some room for personal work just to keep the illusion of freedom going.
I hope you find inspiration and motivation in these galleries: keep on enjoying your Hobby!