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By Sophie was taken
The third and final mini from the Layer Up! LTPK, Julie Guthrie’s Hajad the Pirate:
Not gonna try for any better images, because then you would see how badly I messed up the eyes...
Mostly by the book, but I skipped the lining as my little brush was becoming temperamental. Of the three minis in this kit, this is the one I was most looking forward to, as it has the most exposed skin of the three (one of my problem areas). Think I oversold the abs a bit too much though.
Based on issues with the previous minis, I elected to basecoat both weapon blades with Ebony Flesh before applying the metallic. The Filigree Silver included in the kit was too watery to play nice with bare Bonesium, and in any case it was difficult for me to see where the paint actually stuck. Plus, it makes lighter metallics pop.
It was nice to see darker flesh tones included in this kit. The darkest (non-dark elf) skin tone I had available before was Tanned Skin, but my attempts to mix in darker paints always resulted in a weird shade of sadness.
All in all, this kit was a good learning experience. The instructions were clear and easy to follow, and it was neat seeing the colors build up with each layer. The cartoons were cute too. I just hope that my technique improves moving forward. And that painting eyes gets easier.
so here's a mini I've had literally for years and years, probably around the time she was actually released, but didn't get around to painting her up until finishing her a few nights ago. I worked on her at the same time I did another half-orc, which I still have pending.
Anyhow, this is Rozmina, the half-orc pirate #3242, sculpted by Derek Schubert. I fell in love with this figure the moment I saw it, but such as life is, never got around to painting her. Too much love, not enough time.
She didn't take too long to paint, the longest thing was trying to figure out her actual color scheme. Didn't know what color two do the three pieces of clothing she has on. Once I got that figured out she moved along pretty quickly.
She has big, expressive eyes, and I was getting really close to wanting to put the white reflective dot in there, but chickened out at the last moment. I tried to actually do the "whites" of her eyes as a orangy yellow, but I kind of think it made the eyes get lost a bit in her green colored skin.
Anyhow, reasonably happy with how she came out, let me know what you think!
EDIT: so after looking at the eyes and not being so satisfied with them, I worked on them again a little last night and I still can't seem to get a super good picture of them, but here is a bit of an improvement hopefully:
I added a little white dot to each eye (the one on the right hand side turned out better than the left) and tried to create a bit more lining around that eye, and a little less around the other eye.
Don't know if that makes a difference or not? Once again, it's always being unsatisfied with one's own work....
I painted Xanthia from Hasslefree and am super happy with how she came out. I wanted to go with a dark skin tone. I used Reaper clears as glazes. I used Clear Purple to glaze in the shadows, clear red over the midtones and clear yellow on the highlights. It added a lot of depth and realism to her skin (I think so anyway).
I wish I could post photos here but she is definitely not safe for work So if you click the links, be aware she is topless and only wearing a loin cloth for bottom coverage (which does little to cover her bottom).
She might be the best mini I have painted so far. Definitely the best skin!
NSFW photos in the links! Proceed with caution!
Xanthia - Front View
Xanthia - Back View
There are also more photos of her on my Wee World Miniatures page (link below).
C&C welcome. Thanks for looking!
This fun little guy is from Bombshell's Kritterkin line and is the first one of them that I have painted. I started him at our paint group last Saturday and finished him up over last few days. I wanted to go for more of a pirate type look than naval officer so I decided to play around with textured leather. It was a challenge keeping all the brown from not looking the same but I am happy with how he turned out.
(apologies for large sections of text- I like trying to explain what I'm thinking as I'm going, but I promise it will have lots of pictures!)
Right, so I need to get started on a few new projects and one of the things folks expressed an interest in after reapercon was busts. I went and bought this bust:
…planning to see if I could use it for a class. And when it came, I realized it was a bit larger than I expected, even with the description. Also, the mold removal didn’t seem to go very well for the sender, so I wasn’t as happy with it as I might have been. However, I got to thinking I could use it for a WIP at least, and that that might be more helpful to start with anyway. I still might do a class, but the bust called to me and I had an idea and it ate away at my resolve… so here it is.
The plan is to make her into Mother Nature. Originally I’d planned to do a bunch of the sculpting first, but I felt like painting. I’ll get the face mostly done, then do the sculpting and finish painting. She’ll have a tree growing out of her shoulder, a bunch of leaves and flowers in her hair and probably some other natural and unnatural things to make the whole a more interesting story. I may attach a few animal companions as well.
Right. When I decided on the theme, I knew I’d need green skin. One important thing to think about when it comes to skin is that our brains are hardwired to recognize varying shades of tan, ocher, rust, etc as skinlike. The more saturated and intense the color, the less we believe its skin. So no matter what color I want the skin to look like, I need to chose a softer more desaturated color. Green yes, but it has to be a nice quiet and pleasant green.
I went to my stash of greens, took a few deep breaths and asked myself why I had so many greens, and proceeded to pick the warmest ones. I played around with a few of them on paper. I find when working with colors I haven’t before, if I make a few washes on watercolor paper, I can see how they thin, how transparent they are and how they play with each other. See how the pthalo looks cooler compared especially to the viper green? I wanted to compare and knew that one was cool. I can tolerate the peacock even though its on the cooler side comparatively,
You can see here the ones I was looking at. I ended up going with these:
I added the fair skin mainly because it adds more warmth to the whole. Alone, the green will end up looking too weird, but adding a touch of flesh makes a difference- I'll explain with pics in a bit. The peacock green is still fairly cool. I couldn't find a really warm dark green. But I can glaze the viper over it in places to warm it up. Next, I slathered some paint on the bust to get a sense of how the colors look.
Two things. I must decide early on where my light source will be. For a bust, this is probably even more important than a smaller mini, because there’s so much surface area to work with. I have to add enough interest to keep my viewer’s eye moving. Since the bust is looking down and to the viewer’s right, I’ll make the light source come from the top left. Second thing, I need a model to help me place all of my highlights and shadows appropriately on the face. You know how the phone/digital camera has that cool “face recognition” thing these days? (…showing my age…) We people have the same thing. When we look at a face we expect to see certain familiar features. At 28 mm scale, there’s not much space to work in, but at the bust scale, if I don’t paint the highlights and shadows in a familiar fashion, it’ll look weird.
What's with the Picasso? Ah hah! The face is made up of a bunch of planes and mounds and shapes that flow in to each other. When we’re babies, the division between the shapes is less defined. Our baby fat fills in all the gaps. As we age, we can start to see the skeleton behind the flesh. When painting a bust, I make a choice (often based on the sculpture itself) about how old or young I want the figure to be. In this case, I’d like mother nature to have fairly smooth features, but maybe a few lines to make her matronly. I’ll get to that. But whenever you choose to paint a bust, think about things like that ahead of time and it will make the process smoother. Cubism among many other things breaks down the human into basic geometric shapes. Learning what those shapes are will help you build up a basic volume in each area. Once you have an idea where each of the highlights go in each basic shape, the rest is all blending. But if the bulges don't match the anatomy, it will seem off. If that makes sense. This was a hard concept for me to pick up at first.
Ok, I generally choose a model for my bust. In this case, I chose Scarlett Johansson. She has lovely clear skin.
Now, using her, I can see in great detail with a larger blown-up pic where highlights tend to live and where shadows tend to fall. See how her cheek are sort of square or maybe triangular? The forehead and chin are circles? I grab a variety of pics from hollywood, because I can zoom in and see where all the little fiddly bits go around the eye and whatnot. Having a high resolution photo is helpful as a map to follow.
here's me debating gaze direction.
and playing with the eye. I've sketched in the basic parts.
I did some blending and smoothing.
I put this one in to show the way the bust sits on the table. So the direction of gaze makes a bit more sense in context. It's hard to make eyes look directly ahead and make them match up, especially with this sculpt because one eye is sculpted larger than the other. It's a lot easier to have an off center gaze. I promise to come back to the eyes, but when I first start, I bounce around and let things dry while working on other areas. So it progresses more quickly.
I did some smoothing on the skin and cleaned up the eyes, chose where I wanted a few more highlights on the cheeks.
Worked on the lips. See how the top lip is dark and the bottom lighter? That has to do with the anatomy of the face. the bottom one bulges out and the top slants back and doesn't catch the light.
Also, just to give you a sense of scale, here's another bust and sir forescale:
She's ginormous. So, it stands to reason I have to put more detail into her features and work harder on the blending to make it smooth. That is one of the tricks with larger minis. You have to blend the heck out of it or it won't look like skin.
Ok, it did more work on the eyes. I should explain eyes at this point...
My trust internet model! Take a look at the eye and see where all of the highlights a shadows fall. This is based on the anatomy underneath. The eye is a big oblong ball-like shape. The lids cover this, which means they bulge out towards us. Generally, that means they catch light at their outermost part, and are shaded below. Take a look at the corner on the left of the eye. That’s the tear duct. Adding that to a bust really adds a sense of realism to the painting. Adding the lashes and the iris lines will tuck in little details to make it more like a real eye. The sclera (white) of the eye is actually a more blueish in color, though in someone with liver issues it can look yellowish. I save pure white for the reflection so it’s the brightest spot and can still be differentiated from the scelera. Pure white in the sclera means we won’t get the full impact of the highlight and also pure white is colder.
see the palette here:
the two whites near the middle are linen and pure
I’m using linen because it has a hint of yellow in it and I want the skin to live on the warmer side. Also, see how the highlight on the eye isn’t directly over the pupil, but more over the iris? The eyes is constantly wet with our tear ducts, so it should always look shiny- that highlight spot helps sell the wet effect, just like light on a wet road or a metal sword edge
ok- must work. more soon! I'll probably edit this post and add a bunch more explanation and details, I just want to post in case the computer tries to eat it!
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