Painting Posture

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Painting Posture

Postby Primarch on Sun Sep 04, 2016 10:18 pm

Due to self-imposed targets and deadlines, I have been spending more time than usual at the painting desk this past month or so. While this has helped me get through a fair number of minis, it has had an unforseen side effect. This morning I awoke to agonizing pain in my left wrist which I think has come from spending so much time painting.

Being right-handed, I hold my minis in my left hand. I brace my elbow on my knee and my left wrist on the edge of my desk. The point on my wrist where I brace it is visibly swollen and currently covered with a couple of muscle soothing pads that people usually use for stiff shoulders. Any movement of my wrist sends stabbing pains up and down my arm.

So, how do the rest of you hold your minis when you are painting? I have seen stands with clips on them, but they really seem more for airbrushing than actual brushwork. Any hints or tips I should know about?
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Re: Painting Posture

Postby The Other Dave on Sun Sep 04, 2016 11:49 pm

I have seen people use stands for actual painting, yeah - seems you could nicely adjust the height and use a support rest for your painting elbow too, so you wouldn't have to hunch down to table level either.

Personally I'm very much in the hunch over and screw my back up school of painting, and sit pretty much how you describe you do, although I brace my left hand on the table edge rather than the wrist. Not very ergonomic!

Or you could just do what Michael Perry did. (Too soon?)
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Re: Painting Posture

Postby Spevna on Mon Sep 05, 2016 12:12 am

I have a chest high bar counter that I paint at, so all my painting is done standing up.
Left elbow rests on the counter and I hold the minis in my left hand.

Paining like that is much better for my lower back.
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Re: Painting Posture

Postby YellowStreak on Mon Sep 05, 2016 3:52 am

@Prim You've seen my painting area, I paint like you I guess except I brace my left elbow on the table so I'm sitting more upright? Having the magnifying glass for painting changed my posture (probably for the better?).
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Re: Painting Posture

Postby me_in_japan on Mon Sep 05, 2016 4:27 am

Unless you have an unusually sharp edged desk, could it be that your chair is the issue? If your chair/desk are too low you'll be having to hunch over more to get yourself down to the right height. That'll shift your weight forward and put more of your body weight onto your wrist. Ideally, the only weight on your wrist should come from the mini. That should hopefully ensure a reasonably comfortable painty time.

Ps, i also attach my minis to lengths of old curtain rail (about 4" long and 1 1/2" diameter) and paint them on that. It may be that that helps with weight distribution, I dunno. Useful to avoid getting one's greasy fingers all over the mini, in any case.

pps - I wrote a description of how I paint, but then when I actually sat down I realised it was nonsense. This is how I sit:

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elbows on arms of chair, both hands touching the curtain rail (for a solid base), back reasonably straight. lots of light (see how the mini is lit from my side, too).
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Re: Painting Posture

Postby Primarch on Mon Sep 05, 2016 5:22 am

Thanks for the advice. I'm hoping to get a new chair sometime this month.
Attaching models to a stand might be a bit tricky as I have about 50 minis on my paint desk at the moment. :D That's a lot of curtain rails.
I'm going to have to do something though, I have a lot of painting to do and I can't very well do that if I can't move my arm. Maybe ToD isn't too far off with his Perry comment.
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Re: Painting Posture

Postby me_in_japan on Mon Sep 05, 2016 6:23 am

I don't know if this might be useful: when I'm painting many bases at once, I'll stick some strong tape (the tearable stuff with threads through it) upside down (=sticky side up) on a piece of wood. Then I can just plonk my minis on (bases and all) and it sticks well enough for airbrushing. Not sure how it'd hold up to regular brushing, though.

That said, while you have 50 minis on your desk, are you actually painting them all simultaneously? What about half a dozen or so wooden holders (or corks, if you can get em.) and do them in batches?
2016 totals
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brushes, books, paint, etc
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Re: Painting Posture

Postby Primarch on Mon Sep 05, 2016 6:45 am

Yep, it's currently a batch of 50 models. Smaller batches would allow for them to be stuck down to something I guess. I've tried using double sided tape on a stick before, but it doesn't always hold models perfectly. Nothing worse than having a nearly finished model drop off and break as it hits the floor. :cry: I've used PET bottle caps for cavalry riders and other baseless minis before as they usually have a raised surface which helps grip them. Not enough to brace your hands on though.
I'm going to have to ponder this a bit.
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Re: Painting Posture

Postby ashmie on Wed Sep 07, 2016 9:47 am

It sounds like you have RSI. Probably best to give your body a rest for a week or two and try to keep the muscles relaxed. Try a massage if it gets bad. A lot of office workers get trouble with bad posture because they are slouching or leaning down to see their PC screen. Basically think of your mini as a PC screen and that it should be at eye level, keep your shoulders relaxed and your spine straight so that you aren't in a stress position. Use the chair so that your bottom is taking the weight of the rest of your body. Have regular breaks as well. I find anything over an hour and I start to tense up. Don't paint when tired, easier said than done. Hope it gets better gradually.
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Re: Painting Posture

Postby YellowStreak on Thu Sep 08, 2016 3:34 am

A new chair may do wonders. I've been wanting to get a kneeling chair, but haven't seen any here that aren't crazy expensive compared to OS.
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