Ask the Pros: Derwish

Hey there ladies and gentlemen, dear painters!

Today we listen to the words of Stephan Rath known as Derwish in our interview series. Let´s hop right in!

Hi Derwish, first of all, tell us something about yourself and your life in mini painting.

Hi, in my normal life, I'm a shift working technologist in a papermill. As compensatory for my job in the paper industry, I started painting miniatures in late 2005. Next to my work in the papermill and the miniatures, I am a husband and father of two children (5 and 13 years).

Tell us about your painting habits, are you a professional painter or just for the hobby?

Meanwhile I'm a proffesional painter. But I try to seperate the proffesional part from the hobby part. I tink, if you are very successful with something, you should share your skills with the community.

How did you manage to evolve your skills, how do you learn or improve?

Practicing. Thats the only rational explanation. You can read or watch thousands of toturials, but this won't improve your skills. You have to apply these things yourself on your painting table. Nature and other pro painters are the best teachers. Apply what you can see, with the skills you have = practice = improvement of skills.

You are known as the "Kringelmeister" for perfect blendings and incredible free hands. How do you achieve your results?

I was working thousands of hours with paints and brush in the past years. To do color blendings became more and more automatic. It's just a question of time. You have to have a lot of patience. The freehands are a bit more difficult, cause every motif needs a new and special strategy. But one thing, I can say generally... in freehand works you can apply the whole scope of the skills you have.

Do you always wanted to paint neat and clean or did your style evolve from itself?

I think this is a result of my perfectionism :) sometimes I wish I could paint a bit more dirty for a more realistic atmosphere. But I'm working on it.

Lets talk about tools: What paints, brushes, minis are your favorites?

I am using several brushes... Citadel, Raphael, W&N, da Vinci... The manufacturer isn't very important. But I think it's an advantage if you are accustomed to your brush. It's not a good idea, to change the brush, and also the brush size too often, while painting. The sizes, I use mostly are 1, 0, 3/0 and 5/0. I prefer acrylic paints, dilluted with water, which are high picmented and drying very fast... The old citadel paints for example. The new GW paints and Vallejos working as well, but I dillute them with airbrush thinner instead of water. There's not a prefered manufacturer, but I like fantasy and steampunk models most at the moment.

Do you have some Idols? Who are they?
Raffa from MV, for his well balanced mixture of clean areas + atmosphere + basing + detailed freehands. Goatman, I envy him for his unbelievable workflow ;)

And last, but not least: Do you have an advice for the painters out there, some nice words of motivation?

Every miniature painter out there can reach my level of skills. They just have to practice. So move your ass on your painting table and go on with your projects or start a breathtaking new one. To quote Morpheus: "Don't think about it... just do it!" Oops, plug. :)

Thank you for the interview! To all dear painters: be sure to visit and subscribe to derwish´s Blog!

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