GD 2011 Squad Gold, what is good painting?

Games Day Chicago 2011 Squad Gold winner
Image from Games Workshop

As most everyone well knows, this is the squad that won the Gold medal at this year's Chicago Games Day. Let me start by saying it makes me so happy to see this squad win. Not because it's Grey knights, not because of how accurate it may or may not be as it relates to their background, not because of anything else other than it was painted.

What? Of course it was, it's a painting contest in case you forgot.
Nope, I didn't forget and neither did the judges this year. Now I must confess that I did not go to Games Day so all I have to base my judgement on is what this year's judges tell me is the "best" squad.

You see, I'm happy this squad won because of what it's missing just as much as what it has. Confused? Look at the unit.
Do they appear to be the hyper-realistic stuff you see out there all the time that people fall head over heals for trying to achieve? Or are these guys painted up (fairly well I might add) in a very professional style?

And when I say professional, I'm talking about the level of attention to detail that is given to every little aspect of the models. Nothing is left undone or unfinished.

That's why I love them so much. Because they are not the hyper-realistic stuff we see that is elevated and placed on a pedestal as the one thing we should all be striving for. They are painted up in a style that is NOT that. Sure there are elements in there like source lighting and focused highlights, but this unit is painted in a way as to evoke a feeling and not just achieve a photo realism to the painting.

I'm glad they won, it makes me smile knowing that there is more out there than the photo realistic approach. Painting a model so it looks "real" is not a bad thing, but it's not the only thing. That's what we need to remember.

Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
What do the words "pro-painted" mean to you?
Painting your models, love to or hate to?

Ron, From the WarpIf you've got any questions about something in this post, shoot me a comment and I'll be glad to answer. Make sure to share your hobby tips and thoughts in the comments below!