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Mother Nature Bust

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I'm getting to the point where I want to start adding a few important features. Eyebrows!

On smaller minis, I may not even have to paint in the eyebrows. But again, busts are large, so I don't want to waste the space.

 

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I'd also added a few crows feet by her eyes, and I started in on the eyebrows.  I tend to place them above the brow line.  Eyebrows can come in a variety of shapes but they all tend to start and end at the corners of the eye. After sketching these in, I changed my mind.

 

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Maybe a bit over the top, but I plan to add a bunch of leaves and flowers to Mother, so might as well do a fern-like eyebrow.  As you can see, I did the one side, then I'll try to match it up fairly close from the other.

 

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Here's a close-up.  You can see it still isn't as neat as I can make it on our right.  But I'm going to break the pattern-making down. Doing things step-wise is really the best way to simplify a pattern.  So above, I've begun to make leaflets on the top.

 

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All the leaflets are dark.  I touched up a bit around them in the skin section.

 

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Filled in the leaflets with white. See where I've overstepped and crossed my midline? Fixable!

 

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Still have to clean it up a bit, but I've washed the viper green/flesh mixture over it to soften the transition and also added a few veins.

 

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There we go! Leafy brows.

 

I should probably go ahead and mention the whole zones of the face things, because I'm at the point where I need to make sure I incorporate the right shadow colors in the face.

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You can visit James Gurney's blog for more info- or check out "zones of the face" from his Color and Light book.  It's awesome.  At any rate, if you look at most painted faces, you'll see how based upon our anatomy, certain parts of the face have a slightly different mix of colors.  Our forehead is very thin skin over bone, which gives it a more yellowish look from the bone color showing through.  There's a lot of capillary action going on in the middle section of our face, and the flesh is denser, giving us a pinker or redder look. In men we can blame the gray or green chin on tiny hairs, but some of the color can be attributed to shadow as well as hair and veins.  

 

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Check out this Vigee Le Brun. Although here she's painted some blue under the eyes as well, but around the lips you can see the blue-green shadows.  It's subtle- it doesn't have to be over the top, just a touch and it makes all the difference in the world for realism.

 

Actually, after doing face research, I need to fiddle with Mother's lower lids and change my highlights and shadows.  Soon!

Please let me know if you have questions or need more information.

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Wow. Always a pleasure to see one of your tutorials, and this is going to be a great one to watch! Thanks as ever for being so giving of your knowledge.

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This is such an extremely helpful thread, thank you so much for sharing all of this! :wub: I've wanted to start working on a bust I got as practice before tackling the Morihalda bust I got at ReaperCon, but been kind if intimidated. I'm more used to approximating facial features due to the scale on 28mm minis, so your excellent face painting tutorials you've done give me courage! ^_^

 

Huzzah!

--OneBoot :D

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I've got some pics of my old busts from before photobucket ate all my wips.  I can try to post some of them here and show where I put things if it would help.  I feel bad- I'm trying to replace all my old tutorials but the sheer number of photos is killing my desire to repeat all the work.  Plus my hard drive died and took all the edited photos, so I have to go back to the original camera cards.  Which since I'm a hoarder, I haven't wiped yet.  yay for hoarding!

 

One place I go to look at how people paint busts is cmon.  kiril (yellowone), pepa, jarhead and nakatan are all in the top artist section and they do really stellar work on skin.  I go look at their eyes and textures especially.

 

thanks everyone!!!  

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Might I suggest to take a look at Putty and Paint?

Many great artists there who painted busts.

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The one picture of yours that I know I've seen but can't find is the one where you have a bunch of non-standard flesh tones that you demonstrated on the Bones cloud giantess.  This tutorial is probably enough to compensate on it's own, though.  

 

As always, thanks for being so generous with your time.  Your tutorials are amazing!  ^_^

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hmn. I don't remember taking one of all the yephimas.  let me see where I put them...

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I do use these for my faces class. I tend to do a lot of weird skin tones.  I think I might like purple...

Skin can be done with just about any colors, but the feel you get from the mini varies. One nice thing about colors labeled as "skin" is that they tend to be desaturated and have some fillers or opacifiers in them.  The benefit of this is that these colors are less translucent, so they cover well and are designed to already read to our brains as skinlike.  Whenever I use a weird color for skin, I'm going to see how it thins and how it plays with other colors first before potentially messing up a mini I care about. Which brings me to why bones are awesome- I can test things out on them without fear. One thing that changes the feel of skin is the choice of shadow colors.  Take a look at Reubens- he always uses warm shadows, which give his paintings a soft feel- very full of life.  Blood is life, right?  If I'm painting a zombie, I'm not going to use pink.

 

Ok, back to Mother.

I'm making a tree!

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I usually start with some jewelry wire because I went through a jewelry-making phase and have a bunch.

 

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I happen to have a bunch of greenstuff I need to use up right now, so... greenstuff!   I've done trees with milliput and sculpey as well. Greenstuff seems to hold better detail, milliput is a bit cheaper, and for a big tree I'll do an underlayer of milliput because it's rock hard and supports weight well.  I do trees in stages. I've got my hemostat to keep my fingers off it and I'll put about that much greenstuff down, then add my bark pattern and let it dry. Then when I can touch the part I've already done, I'll add more greenstuff.

 

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Once the limbs are done, I like to test the fit and figure out where to place the leaves.  As you can see, I'm using etched brass leaves here, but birch seed catkins are good, as are paper leaves.  

 

A note on the etched brass:

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I actually prime and put down a basecoat before I free it from its surrounding because I think it's easier.

 

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While it looks like I might be trying for some subtle shading, actually I just used paint leftover on my palette that was getting watery from age and I wanted to use up and not waste! My first art teacher taught me frugality.  Waste not!

 

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So, here's the tree.  Oh- I leave some wire free at the end of the branches and attach the branch of the etched to that and trim if I need to.  This is usually my most painful step because for whatever reason glue and I are not friends. I won't attach the tree until I get more painting done and at least basecoat the tree itself.  I don't like having to work to get a brush in places. But, I'm planning a pattern on the chest from the treeroots into animals and plants, so I need to attach it soon!

 

 

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Gorgeous work as always! I know it’s super time consuming to make a detailed WIP; thank you for sharing your process with us! I’m excited to see where she goes!

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