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So I've been slacking on both updating here and on my blog. Here it feels odd because I don't really paint minis these days (though I want to!) and the blog kinda died when I switched hosting away from wordpress.com, my views basically dried up. I'm active on FB but I keep my friends list very tight (no offense to anyone intended), I should open up my image folders to the public, but I hesitate to do that on FB. Here's a link to my thread from last year:
Anyway, I'll try to catch up a bit for year 3 (what!?!). Here's the YTD WIPs from oil portraiture class. Same model, same painting. Getting into some more advanced stuff with glazes, trying to add physical depth to the painting. At this point it's starting to get pretty luminous in some areas. The physical light on the painting can pass through some of the oil-heavy layers and pick up color from pigments along the way, hit the underlayers and shine or dull for the return journey. Cool stuff, I begin to understand the reason people say you can't appreciate an old master oil painting in a photo, you miss all the complex stuff the physical light does interacting with the layers. Each of these represents a 3 hour session, or about 2 hours of painting time.
I've also narrowed my focus in drawing to portraiture, so I can bring up my skills for heads. Since I want to pursue figurative works, having solid portrait skills is going to be crucial, and it helps me stay focused in my studies and hopefully avoid lulls between studies. I'm taking Stan Prokopenko's portrait lessons as a premium member, but he makes most of these lessons free on his Proko youtube channel. I like to make study sheets while I watch the videos, and draw as many examples as I can. I picked up this amazing habit from Patrick Jones, it's really helpful for learning and later reference. Each sheet is 18x24 charcoal on newsprint.
The final two lessons are charcoal portrait copies, where the reference photo is on one side of the screen and Stan draws on the other side, explaining his process as he draws. Here I've just about wrapped up the lay-in step. Charcoal on newsprint approx 11x14.
So I have gotten comments like this now and again:
so I thought I would start a thread to talk some about how I paint, because it works pretty well for me and maybe what I've learned and practiced can help other people too.
How I paint miniatures is grounded in how I paint paintings, so that's what I'm going to talk about here.
I have a series of WIP photos from a recent painting which I will use to demonstrate.
This is the finished painting:
"Nurturing the Phoenix", oil paint on wooden panel, approx. 18"x24" (would have to pull it out of the painting closet and measure to check)
Lithia surveyed her surroundings warily; the battle for this ship wasn't over yet. Thanks to the warning from that ELz-1 protection unit that their unusual passenger had, they were aware of the raiders almost as soon as they struck. The rest of the ship's security and crew had broken up into small groups to ferret out the attackers. Thanks to her background with the commandos, she was scouting ahead of the main group by herself, which was exactly how she liked it.
I found this figure on the melt table at Reapercon; she was headless and had some damage to her back, but I liked the figure and grabbed it anyway. I recently rediscovered her a few weeks ago while I was looking for something else, and decided to fix her up. Her head came from ShieldWolf miniatures plastic shieldmaiden kit, and I covered up the damage on her back by giving her a backpack/comm unit/tech thingy made from part of a GW plasma pistol, and bits of Bones sprue carved to shape.
Thanks for looking.
Elpagg glanced over over the unconscious woman; she'd make an excellent prize to deliver to the cap'n. They would probably get a decent price for her at the slave markets of Nepo-7. Well, if she lived that long...
The raider shook his head to clear his thoughts. Best to concentrate on right now, he thought, as he continued to loot her cabin. She had jewelry and some tech equipment that would bring in a nice pile of credits; all of this was haphazardly piled on the table as he continued going through the storage compartments of her cabin.
Suddenly, he heard a slight noise come from the other room. Damn! He should have made certain she was alone before he started to ransack her quarters. He drew his pistol and began to approach the other room. As he did so, he saw a small female shape outlined in the light coming through the open doorway.
He grinned to himself, this was getting better and better. "Come on out here, girlie. I promise I ain't gonna hurt ya"
The figure remained motionless for what seemed like ever, but was probably only 30 seconds, then took an uncertain step forward, rising it's hands at the same time.
Something screamed a warning in the back of Elpagg's mind, but it was already too late. The brilliant flash of light and the searing pain from his chest both registered in his brain within milliseconds of each other.
The ELz-1 personal protection droid scanned the raider and confirmed that he was dead. Performing the same scan on the body of her mistress confirmed that she was still alive, and only slightly injured. Ellie, as her mistress called her, set about securing the cabin against any further intrusion, before running it's first aid programs on the unconscious woman.
This is a Bubblegum Crisis robot figure from Ground Zero Games that I snagged out of a BoGW a while back, and finally decide to paint. I wanted 'her' to be a little old and dinged up looking, so I did a lot of weathering to the figure.
I hope you like her!
The bimonthly resolutionary challenge in the Reaper forums is to get about 4-5 minis painted each month, and also there are some bonus challenges. This February, like last year, one of the bonus challenges is to paint a minature with your fingers. No brushes allowed. And no fingers of other, smaller people either. And it needs to be a creature, not scenery.
Challenge accepted. Again.
Last year I fingerpainted this:
77368 Shadow Demon
This year, I am doing this:
The Bones 2 “77372 Burrowing Horror”. Basically a teeny tiny Tarrasque. Technically I probably should have done the primer with my fingers as well, but seeing as it was undercoated by spraycan many moons ago, there have not been any brushes on it. So there.
In preparation for this, I have let my fingernails grow a couple of weeks…since my fingertips are way to big to get at any details at all…but a fingernail, both edge and torn, does the trick!
These are the colours I used for this. I picked them as I went along, only having a vague idea of how this was going to end up.
The miniature was baseless, so I made a base for it:
Bespoke 3D printed 80 x 55 mm oval lipped base.
Starting by dipping my finger in a pool of Scalecolor Heavy Metal (=midtone silver) I wiped the finger a bit and “drybrushed” the whole model with a movement from front to back on the model. A few goes at this covered nicely:
This was followed by a highlight of Army Painter Shining Silver on the ridges and main plated of the head and tail, taking care to not cover up all the Heavy Metal.
After that, some Vallejo Game Color Glorious Gold on the claws
I mixed some heavy metal with the gold to create a highlight color, which I dabbed on the tips of the claws. I also tried to do the teeth in gold with the edge of a fingernail, but this did not turn out too well.
Tearing a fingernail, I used the point to paint the teeth individually, and also did the eyes in Vallejo Game Color Magic Blue, highlighted with a small dot of ancient Hobby Game Products Blue 005. The nail broke off, and I had to tear me a new one.
This I then used to clean up some areas with black lining and fixing bits I had missed or slopped the wrong color on.
I finished with some blobs of Vallejo Green Ink on the sides and underneath.
Then I had to fix all the spots of green that had gotten where they should not be.
And then I had to fix all the metal that had rubbed off here and there with my handling of the mini.
A thick layer of Army Painter Walking Dead Dirt Spatter, followed by Reaper Pure Black on the rim.
After this was dry, I marked where the feet would be by dabbing some lighter brown on the soles of the feet and holding it to the base. This was followed by a globbing on of thinned down PVA woodworking glue to the base surface with my finger again. A couple of tufts were added straight into the wet glue and then I dipped the whole shebang in my box of flockmix.
Gently clearing flock from where the feet were to go, I put some superglue in the general areas and placed the miniature on the base, and it was done:
Painted by hand. In the most literal sense.
All in all, a fun couple of hours of getting messy fingers. Mostly waiting for the paint to dry whilst frantically wiping at my tacky paws to get the paint off.
And at last I got to cut my fingernails down to their proper place again! Cardboard boxes being the sworn enemy of fingernails, they caused a couple of casualties at work today.
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