Mitch suffers from Parkinson’s disease, but has still kept at the hobby and does some incredible work. This video is full of amazing tips to help people who are suffering from tremors keep painting. He covers things like bracing, posture, methods, and tools to help keep you doing what you love.
His outlook is awesome and he is trying to help as many people as he can. To see some more of his work, he has a really great blog with all of his projects, go check it out here. He has been at the hobby since the late ’90s and is still going strong!
You can also donate to help with Parkinson’s research here if you have a few extra dollars. Let’s check out the Tutorial!
First, let’s hear a little bit more about the disease and the foundation:
Five million people worldwide are living with Parkinson’s disease — a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder. There is no known cure for Parkinson’s disease. But through your support of Team Fox, you can help change this.
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He is making these videos to help people with similar issues to keep painting and doing what they love.
Bracing While Painting
He uses canvass painters as an example to start. A lot of painters use Mahl sticks to keep their dominant hand off of the canvass and not floating in the air, giving them more control. If you are shaky it may not help, but you should always brace your hands and use a miniature holder.
Duncan Rhodes takes this almost the furthest of any painter and braces against the mini as well as both hands. Bracing is one of the most important things when painting with tremors. When you have involuntary tremors it helps reduce the movement when you brace correctly and stops paint from going places you don’t want. Even painters without tremors should always be bracing as it makes painting far easier.
The first posture is both elbows on the table, mini in the off-hand, and brush held like a pencil. This isn’t super helpful for him because there are so many different pieces of the body that can move. This is a normal posture for most painters, but with tremors, there is too much possibility of movement.
The rubber band method is another option. It didn’t too well for Mitch but he has seen it work for others. You take a rubber band and put it on your painting wrist then make a figure eight with it and then wrap it around two of your bottom fingers. It will keep your fingers stable but not the wrist. This method really works for people who have finger tremors, but if your wrist is shaking it does not help much.
For straight lines, he found a tutorial for caligraphers with tremors. The most common method to make a straight line with tremors is pulling towards yourself. He turns the mini whenever he can so he can pull towards himself and not away. Just make sure to turn the mini every time and point the brush straight down at the sternum. If every line is pulling towards yourself you will have better control.
The Mr. Brick Method! He wants to try his best to bring his wrists and arms out of the equation to stop the movement. He uses the brick so he is still braced on his wrists but the other limbs aren’t involved. This takes out the possible movement from other limbs and body parts. It also keeps him from staying hunched over and in bad posture. Because the edges are sharp, he took a hammer and knocked off the front edges and put down a towel. Even though he uses a brick, you can use any support block you want.
He uses a brick though because it is so heavy and portable. It just stops everything from moving other than your brush hand. If your little finger is shacking, this wouldn’t help too much, the rubber band method is probably the way to go.
Removing one hand all together is another method. He uses Alligator clips to hold the minis in place, so he only has to worry about his painting hand. This way you can double brace your hands while painting if you want as well. This may be the way of the future.
Hold the mini with your full offhand, not your fingers. A lot of painters put it in their fingers and use their wrists to steady themselves. With tremors, this only increases the amount of possible movement.
If you have tremors and you don’t know why Mitch says you need to go see a doctor right away! There is an effective treatment for certain types of Tremors, don’t let it go too far until it can’t be treated!
Putting it all together into Ms. Brick
Ms. Brick! He wanted to make something a little better and more usable than just a brick for this method. It has the same concepts, a flat top, a rounded edge, and a flat spot to put your hands and wrists on. It has some holes for tools and a bunch of little fun additions, like a paintbrush rack.
He also made some holes in the side to put sharp knives in. This way, you can put it in sharp end first and grab the other end. Even if you have a tremor you will be grabbing the safe end. His buddy JT really helped out on the initial model and did a great job!
Fundraiser For Parkinson’s:
It is considered incurable right now and there is just so much unknown about it. There are some treatments that help and can really keep you going but there needs to be more research done before we ever get closer to a cure. If you want to help, please donate, and let’s help get more research done about the disease! You can go donate here and help with the research.
That does it for this one! Be sure to watch the whole video above for all of his insight on painting miniatures with tremors and go check out his Youtube Channel! Special thanks to Mitch for submitting his wonderful video to us!