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dks last won the day on December 27 2018

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    Oakland, CA

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  1. dks

    Several misc minis from December 'break'...

    Strong work for the month! You have a good sense of contrast and of placing highlights & shadows, so you get striking results from quick paint-jobs. And congrats on the new workstation organization. My suggestions for photography: 1) Shoot against a darker background. On a background this light, all of your paint looks "dark" by comparison. A midtone background would let your highlights appear lighter. I use gray or blue Canson artist paper for my backgrounds. 2) Crop tighter. We all want to see the figures more than the background. I crop my photos tight and usually resize them to 600 pixels high for my Forum posts. 3) Include in the original photo an object with a set of basic colors, so you can auto-balance with the object in frame, but then crop it out of your final photos. I painted squares of red, yellow, green, blue, black, and white on a white index card, and I include this card in every shot. These were pieces of advice that I got 10+ years ago from Reaper's staff painter (and paint guru) Anne Foerster, and I haven't changed my setup much since then. You can search through my Show-Off threads and my Inspiration Gallery posts to see how my photographs turn out. I like the results, anyway. And Reaper likes my photos enough to include them in the online store. Keep up the good work, and keep sharing. Derek (Schubert)
  2. I am playing in the Pathfinder "Ruins of Azlant" Adventure Path campaign. A few of the PCs have some healing magic, but we didn't have an actual cleric until a PC recently took the Leadership feat, and an NPC cleric joined the party as his cohort. (Click here for the Show-Off thread about the figure that I use for my character.) The new cohort-cleric, Father Kurvis, is middle-aged and acts like a curmudgeon but has a kind heart. He worships Abadar, the god of cities, law, merchants, and wealth. Abadar's colors are gold and black, and his holy symbol is a golden key. Our GM has an extensive collection of prepainted plastic figures (D&D and Pathfinder), and this Village Priest seemed appropriate. It is from a 2005 D&D miniatures release. I offered to repaint it to be specifically Kurvis. Two hours of slinging paint got me to "finished" ... and after I took the first set of photos, I saw how bugged and asymmetrical his eyes were, so I just spent a few more minutes touching them up. Before and after: Enjoy, Derek
  3. Thanks, everyone! I'm glad you like it. @KruleBear: Mwa ha ha ... yes, my evil plan to make you buy more minis has succeeded! @Dave Foley and @Iridil : Thanks for the comments about the colors and materials. I've spent a lot of time in muted-but-harmonious palettes, and studying how real-world objects interact with light so I can replicate them with paint. I often teach a class on Monochrome Painting, and/or materials and textures, at ReaperCon and other conventions. Thanks for the congrats, too, @Corporea. Yes, it feels good to see these two in the "Done" area of my shelves. I sure didn't imagine these colors when I started them. I always had a vague mental image in bolder colors -- shiny teal and emerald green and purple, with the orange flower accents. But maybe the two kitsune figures that I painted in September exorcised that idea. I hope someone else paints these two in saturated colors so I can see they look. Or maybe I'll do a second quick version some time. Now, however, it is time for me to get sculpting again! Derek
  4. These are two Reaper figures that I sculpted, from art by Izzy "Talin" Collier. All right, I didn't finish this in time for Day of the Dead (Dia de Muertos) 2018 ... or even 2017. But I'm ten months early for 2019. If you're inspired to buy these, you have ten (or 22, or 34...) months to paint them, too. You can see my Works-in-Progress thread here. The basing is more extensive than I normally do, but I decided to push myself and try something different. Enjoy! Derek
  5. Thanks, @Corsair ! Glad you're enjoying this thread. My image-search for "Day of the Dead decorations" gave me a sense of how prolific and exuberant the decorations can be... but I was trying not to cover the whole base in sugar skulls and offerings and papel picado. I wanted something on the column, at least. Here were my quick Photoshop studies of 3 options -- simple flower garlands, papel picado, or a wreath: Maybe I was just feeling Christmas-y, but I decided on the wreath. I mixed a batch of Green Stuff + ProCreate + Aves Apoxie Sculpt, to sculpt the wreath, a sugar skull, and some fallen flowers on the ground. Here is the wreath, propped up for the photo on a little piece of folded paper: I attached and painted the extra scenery. And here is the result: Sorry, @Glitterwolf , but I decided to leave her little skull-pendant without sugar-skull detailing. Anyway... finished! I will post a Show-Off thread and add these to the Inspiration Gallery. Thanks for reading. Derek
  6. I painted the base, attached the overhead structure, and attached Diego. Although I could call it done here, I want to touch up a few spots in the paint (the folds of her skirt, mostly), and add a few bits of Day of the Dead decoration/scenery. Derek
  7. @Glitterwolf: Thanks for the sugar-skull suggestion on her. Four weeks passed. I was out of town for two of them. I covered all the flat wooden surfaces with putty, and textured them with sculpting tools and/or spongy blisterpack foam, to make them look like plaster or tile or crushed stone. Next: attach the overhead wooden structure and then paint all the scenery. I'll probably add a few orange flower petals on the ground, and tuck in a sugar-skull or other set-dressing on the steps, but I'll save that until the scenery is painted, Diego is set in place, and I'm just making final decisions about composition. Derek
  8. Started the basing. I decided to put them both on one base. I wanted them to be on different levels, and then decided to pursue my idea of a column and part of an arbor/pergola/ramada (overhead structure), since I've never built a tall basing element like that. I had some balsa and basswood left over from a modeling project several years ago (er... more like 16) sitting in a bag at the edge of my room, so I dusted them off (literally) and spent a couple of hours experimenting with different arrangements, base sizes (could it work on a 30mm round? not quite), step locations, etc., and then cutting the pieces to fit and assembling them. I chopped off both figures' integral bases and patched up the soles of Diego's boots because I had cut off too much. I also accidentally rubbed off some paint from the back of his cloak with all the handling and posing, so I'll touch it up later. I set Diana into the lower level and patched up various things with putty. Diego will stand on the wide step behind her. I want all of these wooden surfaces to look like stone or plaster, so I'll use putty and/or paint (primer, sealer, thick base-coats) to cover them. As the last bit of work for the night, I assembled the grid of wooden elements for the overhead structure. Derek
  9. I stalled out on this WIP for a couple of weeks. Yesterday I pushed ahead. They just needed some blue. Turquoise blue complements all that brown and orange and dull red. I had figured this out in my earlier color-studies, but hadn't painted it on them yet. I also added the freehand on his shoulder (skull emblem) and boots (knotwork). Ready for basing. Thanks, Derek
  10. Sorry, folks. Didn't finish in time for a holiday debut. Guess I'll be very early for Dia de Muertos 2019. I got in a 2-hour session on Friday. Added color to the flowers; her chin/forehead makeup and skirt; his cloak, chest-sash, holster-ornament (red/orange), his sword and spurs (ocher/brass). Freehand on her front ribbon. Blending or texturing on various objects. The current status: Derek
  11. Thanks for the appreciation, guys. It would certainly be easier to leave them mostly muted/monochrome. Anyway, I shifted the monochrome warmer to a brown/sepia tone, using Woodstain Brown, Russet Brown, Driftwood Brown, and Aged Bone. (I left her hip-swags and his sashes in the cooler grey, figuring I would eventually glaze them turquoise. Might glaze them warmer anyway.) I glued the pistol onto his right thigh. The figure also includes a dagger (as in Talin's drawing), which you can attach if you want him to look more "fantasy" (or at least gun-free). (Before I sculpted the cobblestone bases, I expected Reaper to release these in the Chronoscope line, which has those other Wild West and modern figures -- and tabs for slotted plastic bases, not integral textured bases -- but then ReaperRon told me they would be in Dark Heaven Legends.) The back of his right boot, especially the ankle, is very satisfying to me. It looks like real leather. Next step: color for the flowers (red-orange-yellow marigolds). Probably higher yellow and white highlights for the brass bits, too. Derek
  12. Still equivocating over the costume colors, I pressed forward by painting their faces in the skull makeup, highlighting and glazing the hair to a more natural dark brown, and making the monochrome studies crisper and better-blended overall (gradations from Brown Liner to Weathered Stone to HD Solid White). Then I tried "glazing" over the pics in Photoshop. I made 2 separate layers for color overlays (1 for him, 1 for her), set the opacity for these layers to 30% (him) or 40% (her), and added color to the translucent layers, to get this: This is the same study, but with higher opacity (60%) of the color layers: And then with maximum opacity: Interesting exercise, but I'm still not sure. -- Derek
  13. Thanks, everyone. My judge-thoughts (for @Guindyloo and @Sanael): You can see the weighting of the scores in this recent post on the ReaperCon subforum. Painters Division: Difficulty 5% Creativity 10% Workmanship 10% Painting 70% Presentation 5% Having judged hundreds of figures over the years, I have an initial feeling of Silver for this one. And no, not because the figure is literally silver-colored! Painting your entry gold isn't going to make me think "gold medal". I start by looking at the painting quality because it accounts for 70% of the total. The painting falls within my spectrum for Silver quality. I don't think there is enough good or bad about the other aspects to bring it up to Gold or down to Bronze, but I'll go through the other points to make sure. I don't assign points to every piece I judge, but if I need to rationalize the numbers, I think of Certificate as 50% or less, Bronze 51-70%, Silver 71-85%, Gold 86-100%. If I think the painting is "Bronze-level", for example, I'll assign a score of 42 to 45 points, which is 60-65% of the max 70 points. I call the painting on this figure Silver, maybe high-Silver (56-60 of 70). It has consistent placement of highlights and shadows, good contrast, fair-to-good blending, good non-metallic metals (NMM), harmonious color palette. It has a lot of room for improvement: smoothness, neater color placement and lining, maybe some subtler techniques such as texturing or weathering. My standard for Gold medals isn't perfection, but it is higher than this. The other numbers... Difficulty is fair (3 of 5), since it is just a single figure, but still has some intricate sculpting to pick out, and a few different materials (skin, hair, shiny metallic leather, metal, water), including non-metallic metal and an attempt at "non-iridescent iridescence". Creativity is petty good -- the water theme is novel for a "dark elf" figure. (6-7 of 10) Workmanship (i.e. cleaning, preparation, assembly) is good. Nitpicks: the left bracer is indistinct and the left hand is chunky. (9 of 10) Presentation is low, for the simple gaming base. (1-2 of 5) Total 75-81% = solid Silver. Open Division: Difficulty 15% Creativity 10% Workmanship 30% Painting 30% Presentation 15% I think this is also a Silver, but probably on the low end, because the conversion isn't very ambitious and would actually bring the total score down from the Silver-quality painting. Again, I start by looking at the quality of painting for my baseline, because that's what I'm most familiar with judging and it is still one of the 2 main components of the score, at 30%. For this figure, silver-quality painting earns 25 of 30. (Note that a figure with even Bronze-level painting (21 of 30) could still win a Gold in Open if it gets most of the remaining 70 points, such as an ambitious and well-executed scratch-sculpt. Conversely, a figure with perfect Gold-level painting (30 of 30), but only simple or poorly executed conversions, could still rate only a Silver or even Bronze as an Open entry. I've seen that situation a few times, and I have checked whether we could reassign the entry to Painters and award a Gold medal there, but most of the time, the entrant already had a Gold-worthy entry in Painters so they got the non-Gold in Open.) Difficulty is low to moderate, since the conversion is simple (weapon-swaps, resculpting half of the face and hair, minor details (goggles), and tilting the stance) -- no major rework (5-6 out of 15). Creativity is also low to moderate, mostly a weapon-swap, but the "riding the wave" idea is interesting (6-7 of 10). Workmanship has equal weight with Painting (30%), and this also merits about 25 of 30. Presentation is low to moderate (7-8 of 15) but I would award a couple more points if the entry included some documentation/WIP shots. Total 68-74% = high Bronze to low Silver. I hope this helps! Derek
  14. The Mexican holiday Day of the Dead (Dia de Muertos) is coming up on November 2. These are two figures that I sculpted for Reaper, albeit very slowly -- starting in November 2014 and ending in October 2016 (with long periods of inactivity, and other sculpting and painting projects along the way). Izzy "Talin" Collier drew the character designs: Reaper sells them as "Day of the Dead Cavalier" and "Day of the Dead Duchess", DHL 03822 and 03823. If you search for them in Reaper's online store, don't use the words "of" or "the" because those words will blank out all results. Just look for "day dead". (I refer to them as "Diego de Muertos" and "Diana de Muertos".) At last, it is time to paint them. I don't know whether I will use vibrant colors all over or mostly subdued (black / brown) with limited spots of color. I've done some online image-searches, watched the Pixar film "Coco", etc. The traditional flower of the holiday is marigolds (orange-yellow), so that color will be part of the palette. I think I will put them together on one base, but I also don't know how ambitious I'll be on the basing around them -- a bare cobblestone plaza, an altar (sugar skulls, ofrendas, etc.), or more extensive structures and hanging decorations. My first step of painting is to work out the values with blends of Black and White Brush-On Primer: Thanks for reading, Derek
  15. You will paint her in a way I would never have thought of! Looking forward to it. Derek