Ask any of the contemporary greats of Battletech painting, from inside and out of Camospecs Online, "Who inspired you?" One name rings out in all of their answers: Joe Frazier. His work both laid the ground work for technical proficiency--the standard practices of painting--as well as set the bar for what's expected of Battletech painters for years to come.
Bold, clean lines that define panels are and create rich contrast are the defining hallmark of Frazier's style. Using a fine touch and black ink, Frazier carefully traced the panel lines of his pieces. From his inspiration, many later artists adopted the use of micron pens and brush ink to line panels in miniatures. This is most apparent in the early works produced by key Camo Specs Online artists, such as Savage Coyote's white paint and black micron pen Ghost Regiments. These pieces bear an uncanny resemblance to Frazier's work, showing a definite force of inspiration. Though over time styles have changed to more rich and blending colors, the art of panel lining remains a key skill that every 'Mech artist must master.
In an ironic Old is the New New sort of way, Frazier appears to be one of the earliest airbrush painters amongst the Battletech artists. Viewers should notice that, despite his use of different tools, his basic style of contrasting colors and bold lines remains consistent.
Sadly, Joe Frazier passed away over a decade ago--as his hobby stood on the cusp of a resurgence. Inspired artists, hobbyists, and the global battletech community came together to mourn his passing with heartfelt tributes and "21 PPC Salutes" of their own works inspired by Frazier's.
As miniatures change, models undergoe seen, unseen, reseen, re-unseen, and new-seen statuses, and the Battletech community grows, Joe Frazier continues to stand as one of the great defining pillars of Battletech art and miniature painting. There may never be an artist with neither quite the legacy nor long lasting inspiration as Frazier. His work inspired many of the contemporary greats and eith each new artist they inspire, a little bit of Frazier's influence continues on into the next generation.
Below are a scant few of his exceptional works. Please enjoy and find your own inspiration in these!
With the painting legend's permission, Dave "Hauptmann" Fanjoy's website www.heavygauss.com is now listed on the links page.
Before Camospecs, Fanjoy was one of the early notable painters and electronic publishers of Battletech minis. Pieces like this Cerberus from 2003 were some of my earliest inspirations to get into miniature painting. I remember spending hours at work during university years studying the images on his website. Though it may not be readily visible in my current work, his style is an important influence in my aesthetic.
It's also worth noting that he is one of if not the first airbrush artists of Battletech minis.
Be sure to check out his page, www.heavygauss.com!
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