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Found 5 results

  1. Corporea

    Athena: FeR bust

    Ok Reaper Buddies! Since I can't go outside on account of Monster Hurricane and I still (squee!) have power, I'm painting a bust. I thought it might be fun to try to do another "how to" hopefully to give some insight into busts and how I approach them. I may ramble a bit like usual! So, my standard bust approach to to pick something I want to work on and pick a photo to use as a guide. This bust is Athena from FeR miniatures. I can't seem to find a good unpainted example and since I'd already basecoated mine, here is the box art from Pepa: Please note- Pepa is truly awesome and the painted example above is NOT mine! As you can see, it's the Greek Goddess Athena complete with her trusty owl. I'm tired of light skin though, and I need to practice my darker skintones. I'm using this bust to do that. The bust comes in several pieces: main torso, owl, owl wing and front arm. I drill all my holes for pins and deal with my mold lines, attach her to a cork and prime. Then I find more mold lines and tackle those. I wait on assembly until most of the painting is done to make it easier. Next I pick colors I think I might use and try to remember them. If I'm smart I write them down somewhere. I highly recommend that! Hmmn. This is one where the swatches don't really reflect reality. Walnut brown is dark, and mahogany brown is a nice deep red-brown but much lighter than walnut. At any rate, I'm also using Anne's fancy red shade yellow which is like a bright golden yellow for the cloth and some ochers. I'll try to list those later when I get into the cloth. But those are the skin tones I want to use. Initially I mixed a fun shade for my basecoat thinking I wanted to go more greenish in my shadows, but I changed my mind. For completeness sake, the basecoat below is a mix of: Ends up fairly gray due to the red and green together, which is why I decided to just go warmer. I think I'd fight too much working in the green. I may just glaze it in later in certain areas, but I'll get to that. Ok, next I want to pick a light direction. This is super important on larger minis, because they add interest. It allows me to go deeper with some shadows and higher with certain highlights. This makes the viewer's eye bounce around. This is a good thing. We want to keep the viewer interested in the mini, so all out little tricks are designed to do just that! Here I've held the mini up to a bright light source and taken the pictures. I could choose to use this as a reference as I go, to make sure I make the light look natural as it flows over the form. This brings up a good point. See how certain parts of the mini are brighter? Like the SCM muscle in the neck and the collarbones? They stick out when the neck is flexed in one direction and the collarbones have very thin skin over them. They catch light. Like the nose and the cheekbones, the area above the top lip and the chin... all of these either have thinner skin or stick out farther, catching most light sources. Using the idea of "volumes" in the face helps paint it more naturally. Knowing where things go and how they fit together helps paint the larger faces. Here's an example courtesy of google: See how they've broken the surface up into geometric shapes? We can do that with painting just like drawing. I decided to play with my olive skin and disliked it immediately. At this point I was playing around, and didn't have a model to follow. I wasn't sure what skintone I wanted. But as long as I use thin layers, I can always paint over it. I decided after this to go back to google like a good Erin and pick someone to copy. Isn't she gorgeous? Naema Hossain from Bangladesh. Yay! Inspiration always helps me paint, and it's a lot easier to follow a map than to make it up as I go along. The light source in this photo is more or less what I want, and it's a high resolution photo, which means I can zoom way in to get the eyes the way I want. Now I've worked in a bunch of the mahogany brown in glazes over the basecoat and added in highlights where I see them on the photo. See how that starts to define the face more. I've also decided on painting a yellow patterned sari and I'll go with black hair. Note- I am NOT using a pure black here, just the walnut brown as my off black. puttering along, pushing and pulling. The blends don't have to be smooth and I'm really only worried about making the anatomy make sense at this point. All minis enter this weird ugly stage almost up until the point where they're finished. This is normal. It doesn't mean you're doing something wrong. I worked in some shadows and cleaned up my lines and decided her eyes were just too blank. I can only have dead eye on a mini for so long. I still have to straighten up her gaze and clean the eyes, but at least they're not staring at me anymore. I also love how gaze helps develop personality in miniatures. It really changes then feel of the piece. Not sure what I changed, but I tried to make myself stop and take photos every now and then. It's hard because I get in a groove and want to paint while I have energy and direction. When I stop I lose focus. Sigh. Ok I played with the blending and the lips for sure. Probably a bunch of layers I don't remember. The key is layering and keep referencing the photo to make certain I'm following my map. I decided to take a break from skin and work on the hair. Hair is fun! See where I've taken the walnut brown and mixed it with the olive skin? I did a stark layer to show where I'd put the highlights. When anything bends in relation to light, you'll get a highlight on the bend- more or less. This is a good rule of thumb to tackle hair. Notice, I'm not painting individual strands, but blocking out my highlights? Same on the crown of the head. I like this photo- it shows how I've blocked in a lot of volumes, but haven't bothered with the blending yet. This will keep me from getting lost later. Then I worked in some linen white. Black hair is, well, dark, but it still has high highlights. Not all of them are the same. Again- I go back to my light source. Parts that sitck out further or are close to the light get higher highlights. This is probably another one of those sneaky tricks I should mention. Varying the intensity of both shadows and highlights add interest and make the mini more natural. Sometimes when we harp on contrast, we don't mean taking everything up to white and down to black. We mean contrasting the depth of our shadows and highlights- making some pop more than others. This is a gold-level trick I think. And I started to work on the highlights on the braid. As long as most of the hair stays walnut brown, it will look black. It just has some very narrow highlights. That's all black is- being very careful with how much highlighting I do. Ok, more when I'm done with my ice cream break! Or maybe after I clean out my Diablo stash... maybe tomorrow... fingers crossed for power! Let me know if you have questions or if I can explain something better or differently to make more sense.
  2. Corporea

    Mother Drow Bust

    Although now that I edit all the pics to fit in the post I see things I want to fix... sigh. Well, anyway I "finished" her! I learned a lot working on her skin and I'm happy with the colors. This is the Mother of Dragons bust from Nuts Planet. I opted not to paint her as Daenerys. My WIP is here, and I should have all of the color information there, but if anyone has questions please let me know. I'm always happy to explain or try to break the process down. I'm always trying to improve so C&C welcome! I like the walnut base. Here she is up close: and a few other angles. I had fun with the spiderwebs! Here's one to try to pick up the dragon's texture: It wasn't as successful as I wanted but I have to stop painting it and work on something else. Or I will probably wreck it! Enjoy! I'll see y'all in just 5 months!!!!
  3. I bought the Mother of Dragons bust at Reapercon last year initially with the idea of painting it up for my dad (who is supportive of my painting but ambivalent towards painted miniatures in general) as a present since he loves Game of Thrones. But, I just couldn't get in to painting it as Daenerys. It didn't click. So, dad will have to wait for me to find something equally cool. Although I did buy him some of those charity water-dot-org chalices which I'm thinking he'll like better anyway... plus charity! And beer! Right, at any rate, I've realized something about my painting. I'm not satisfied with my skill set. I always want to add to it or work on something new or learn different technique. Otherwise I feel bored and I can't get motivated to paint. So, in my never-ending quest to expand my mind and go all Neo on this bust, I'm tackling darker skin. It's something I am not good at... yet! But, I also wanted to play with the platinum blonde Daenerys hair since it's also new to me. Blonde is not intuitive and I have to think when I paint it. ...and we all know what dark skin plus white hair means... So, I went in search of inspiration. Khoudia Diop is just gorgeous. I loooooove her skin. Hints of purple and red... beautiful! Now this pic I like for the frontal lighting reference but her skin looks much browner. You can still see the purple, but it's more muted. So I'll go with the lighting on the second and the color from the first. I picked my colors and am documenting them so in three months when I get around to working on this again I won't forget! I couldn't find my ghost white when I started painting so I settled on spectral white. And I'm glad I did. It kept with the theme of the purple. I did find the ghost white later, never fear. So, when I paint skin on a bust, I have a huge surface area to work with. Which means I can add a whole lotta depth of color. I can glaze different shades in to my heart's content. I think this is some of what makes skin look more realistic. I've said it before but it never hurts to reiterate- skin is all about layering. Underneath skin lie bones, tendons, muscles, fat, vessels, nerves finally covered by layers upon layers of translucent cells. Which means there's a huge variety of colors in skin itself, not to mention any shadows or light cast upon it. I like using the photo reference because it makes me really look and see where the colors are and where to put all my highlights and shadows. When I basecoat my skin I wet blend. Basically, I take my paint, mix it to about what shade I want and apply, adding a few areas of dark and light to get a sense of the form and the volume. Since I couldn't pick one color to match Khoudia's skin I mixed a bit of the mahogany with the dark elf skin and the nightshade purple. I used a big brush. I have a #6 series 36 (the cheaper ones) Davinci just for big projects like this. Once I got the base down I switched back to my #1. Oh, and I forgot- I sanded the resin bust USING MY N-95 PROTECTIVE MASK, glued the head and the support on (waiting on the hair, etc until I get father) and washed the while thing with dish soap. I filled in a few areas with greenstuff and primed it with reaper brush on primer. Here's me working on figuring out where the highlights go. Faces have planes that form geometric shapes like circles and triangles. Get these highlighted early and it really guides painting later on. I added a bit of the oiled leather in with the spectral white to keep it on the warm side. notice how I may blend a bit, but I'm focusing more on shape. I can always blend later. Besides, the more layers I use, the more realistic the skin looks. And I might earn my 1K Layering Achievement Badge. If only that existed... Not sure I like the eyes. Not sure what color eyes I want but they were just staring at me. I wanted something different that would stand out. Meh. I'll think about it. I used brilliant blue with the spectral white for reference. h ugh, focus off on that one. I glazed in a bunch of the mahogany brown to de-purple-ize the skin. It was getting a bit purple. I also want to have the left side of the photo (right side of the face) be darker since the head is tilted to the side. So I used more brown and less highlight on that side. I put a hint on pink in the lower lip as well as the tear ducts in keeping with anatomy and all that. In typical Corporea fashion I took a break from skin and played with the hair. I had a hard time figuring out the colors for it. I almost used the ghost white, but settled on a warmth using the oiled leather and some linen white with the dark elf skin as a shadow. The three mixed together make this lovely gray. So, that's where I am right now. Hmmn... maybe about 4 hours of work I think, With a few Skyrim breaks here and there. She still needs more red and brown. Waaaay too purple. But that's for next time! Hooray!!!
  4. Pingo

    60079: Lyrie Akenja

    This is one of the last figures from my year-end Conga Line of finishing up half-done minis, Reaper's 60079: Lyrie Akenja, a Pathfinder miniature sculpted by Julie Guthrie. She's a special figure to me. Lyrie Akenja is the first figure I bought after a twenty-year hiatus from minis. I spotted her somewhere, thought "Wow, an African wizard! Things sure have changed," and bought her, along with a few other minis. I then proceeded to give her the worst paint job I had ever given a mini in my life. I hadn't realized that I needed glasses nowadays, and I was too nervous to focus properly. So after some angst, I soaked her paint off and started again. And set her aside for a couple of years while I developed a new skill set. And then picked her up again to finish with the Conga Line. I like her little pushing the hood up with the wand gesture.
  5. Decided to practice dark skin tones on Goldar, and to go with that skin tone choice I went with some African folk art inspired free hand. And I can say orange is a tough color to paint, I hated working on the orange on his skirt thing.
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