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Buglips and Guindyloo paint DHL 02017: Scorpius Rex Dracus

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10 hours ago, Guindyloo said:

Next I did another highlight layer of a bazillion more little dots with straight Ghostly Moss.

 

How long did each of these layers take you? 

 

Also, it looks awesome so far! 

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29 minutes ago, TheMandolin said:

 

How long did each of these layers take you? 

 

Also, it looks awesome so far! 

Oh gosh, I don’t know....it’s hard to say...if I had to guess, if I take out all the times that I stopped to mess with my phone or take a break or look up at my screen, etc. Probably somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes. 

 

And thank you! ^_^

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Do you have a special brush you use to make the dots?  I cringe at the thought of using a kolinsky sable brush to stipple...  (I actually cut the point off of an old synthetic 2/0 brush to use for abusive tasks like dry-brushing.)  

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I don't post as much as I should lately, because of life and adulting. I love that the two of you are doing these. Love watching your work progress. I am also a big fan of Reaper's back catalog. I've often thought of trying to start a challenge to paint an old miniature that doesn't have a painted example in the store. I would love to see all the mega skilled painters on here slinging paint on those old Guthries, and Ridolfi's, and Garrity's, etc.

 

Keep up the awesomeness. 

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1 hour ago, LittleBluberry said:

Do you have a special brush you use to make the dots?  I cringe at the thought of using a kolinsky sable brush to stipple...  (I actually cut the point off of an old synthetic 2/0 brush to use for abusive tasks like dry-brushing.)  

Sorry, I’m afraid you’ll have to continue cringing, I’m totally using a kolinsky sable brush. ::P: I tried a couple of different brushes and I didn’t like the results I got from trying to use something synthetic or splayed. It didn’t look right to me and I knew that it would be even less controlled than I wanted as I tightened things up for the highlighting. 

Keep in mind, however, that I am not in any way mashing the brush or putting it through any unneeded abuse. I’m very lightly tapping and that’s why it’s slow and tedious. 

 

I know, y’all are thinking “Why would you use a good brush and take 5 times as long to do something when you could just...” I get that, I respect it and I think it’s perfectly valid. This relates right back to what Buglips and I have said many times about there being no “right” way to go about things. 

In the same vein, someone could ask “Why not just drybrush on the highlights?” Or “Why not use a wash to shade it?” There’s nothing wrong with doing any of those things. They’re faster, they’re easier and they give you a decent result. But that’s one way of doing it and it’s not the way that gives me the result I’m looking for. It might seem insane, but if I have to sacrifice a few extra hours and a nice brush just to get the result I want, then that’s what I’m going to do. 

If you can get the result you want 5 times as fast with a junky brush that you dedicate to stippling, that’s awesome and I’m jealous. Hell, I’m jealous every time Buglips finishes one of these and I know I’ve still got several days worth of work to go. But that’s the difference in our methods and that’s ok. 

I’ve already cut my painting time down from about a month for one figure to about a week. Speed can come with different methods or with practice.

In my opinion, easier, faster methods are wonderful for the shortterm. They’re going to get your figures on the table faster and they’re going to get a lot of figures painted for you. But in the long term, going through the motions of the harder, slower methods is going to serve your skill set better overall. (I should probably point out at this point, in case it wasn’t already clear, that I’m speaking to the generic “you” here.)

 

I want to articulate this properly because I don’t want this to come off as “I spend more time so that automatically makes my painting better” because that’s not what I mean at all and that’s not true. I know that there are people who look down on techniques like drybrushing and I want it to be really clear that’s not what I’m about. What I mean is that if you avoid doing more refined methods and instead do less refined methods all the time, then you’re cheating yourself out of valuable methodical practice. Your speed at the slower method will never improve and maybe that’s a minor point to you. That’s fair enough. However, you’re also not getting that practice of placing a single dot exactly where you want it. Muscle memory is so important to painting well but I think it’s something that people take for granted. 

For example, people have asked me many times how I got so good at painting eyes and it’s 100% due to practice, but not just the practice that I’ve put into eyes themselves, it’s the overall practice of putting in the time to hone my brush control and build good muscle memory. 

Those skill sets are more important to me than finishing something quickly. 

 

But again, that’s just what works for me. If something different works for you, do that. For some people, putting a bazillion individual dots on something would kill their motivation and I’m not going to lie, it killed mine too. I’ve put about 2 hours worth of work into this guy in the past 2 nights, not because I didn’t have the time, but because painting all of those little dots was a tedious motivation killer. And that would be enough for most people to choose a different method and for them that would be the right answer. Certainly maintaining motivation is a good enough reason to not use a tedious method that has little to no benefit to the end result over a much faster method. But, hi, my name is Guindyloo and I am stubborn as all hell and sometimes I do terrible things to myself because it’s the right way to go about it for me. ::P:

 

Ok, that’s enough rambling. I just realized that from the direction of the questions today that I should have explained my madness better than “I’m doing it this way because I obviously hate myself.” ::P:

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27 minutes ago, Guindyloo said:

Sorry, I’m afraid you’ll have to continue cringing, I’m totally using a kolinsky sable brush. ::P: I tried a couple of different brushes and I didn’t like the results I got from trying to use something synthetic or splayed. It didn’t look right to me and I knew that it would be even less controlled than I wanted as I tightened things up for the highlighting. 

Keep in mind, however, that I am not in any way mashing the brush or putting it through any unneeded abuse. I’m very lightly tapping and that’s why it’s slow and tedious. 

 

 

Okay, I'm not really cringing, I suspected that perhaps you were just painting dots and not literally jabbing the point of your brush violently on the hide of that poor dragon.  ::P:  I just wanted to get clarification so that any newbies wouldn't ruin their brushes.  Sometimes doing tedious things the long way is really relaxing, so definitely whatever works for any individual is the way to go.  

 

It's an awesome thread as usual!  You guys rock for doing so many of them already.  ^_^ 

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Really sorry the updates on this one have been so sporadic. It's been an atypical week. I've only really been able to work on him for 5 of the 9 days since starting the thread. Buglips has also had an atypical week, causing his own delays. Y'all know how real life gets in the way of these things sometimes.

 

So I decided to go ahead and tackle the fins that he has and also the hair. I'd been thinking for a while about what I was going to do with them and at first I thought that I might paint them all the same colour as his belly scales and wing membranes but I decided that I wanted to bring a little bit more colour to him.

So I started out by basecoating with MSP New Copper which is not a metallic colour in case you didn't know. It's more of a peachy salmony matte colour.

6scorpius01.thumb.jpg.6201906df8cdcd1846c69a6e3dcc28ea.jpg

Now I actually really like this colour combination but obviously it's kind of jarring so my original intention was to take MSP Clear Blue, which was what I used to do the shading on the body, and shade the New Copper with that as well. Now I've had good success in the past with basecoating with a light colour and then taking a very different and much darker colour and creating a transition between the two colours either by slowly glazing or using a 2 brush blending method. Unfortunately, those methods are quite tricking to pull off in very small and varying textured areas. They work much better for larger, flatter areas, or at least they do for me at my level of experience with such methods. It wasn't too bad on the fins, but it was not working whatsoever on the hair and ultimately I decided that I didn't like how it was looking. Now I have to apologize because I thought that I had taken a picture of that stage, but unfortunately I had not. *insert sad trombone.wav here*

I apparently didn't think to take a picture until I'd done a heavy glaze of MSP Clear Blue over everything I'd previously painted.

6scorpius03.thumb.jpg.3442bf675452cc1a6a9c0601c45b056e.jpg

 

However, since I did like the look of the New Copper and thought it was really just the technique I'd failed at, I figured I'd go about it via a more traditional route of layering. So I started out by mixing a very small amount of the New Copper into the Clear Blue.

6scorpius02.thumb.jpg.18293f9e99788312859b3bf2056b299a.jpg

Y'all know how this goes, I left the pure colours up top there.

Seriously though, a very small amount. The thing about Reaper's Clear colours is that there's no white added to them to make them opaque so when you introduce any other paint to them that does have white in it, it's going to lighten it very quickly. I thought this made a really pretty very dark cornflower blue sort of colour. So I took that and rebasecoated.

6scorpius04.thumb.jpg.7f0ce4813c4bbadb8253fa6d20697d67.jpg

A situation like this is a really strong argument for working with thinned paints. Had I gone in and basecoated with New Copper straight from the bottle without thinning it a bit and doing 2 thin coats, I could already be running into issues with having to re-basecoat it in a different colour. So it's always something to keep in mind.

 

Next I added just a wee bit more New Copper to the previous mix.

6scorpius05.thumb.jpg.fcdfb6545d69469093f4f043bc26a4e2.jpg

 

And I'm going to very slowly work my colour up in smooth layers.

6scorpius06.thumb.jpg.8e3e4381945c6d6c42f0fb9b3d6f3b65.jpg

 

A little bit more New Copper added to the mix.

6scorpius07.thumb.jpg.de8bc7da7a72271a10849b8b4109dde0.jpg

6scorpius08.thumb.jpg.c5e4a5bc0d24bb171315f2f1bc6aa5bd.jpg

 

And a little bit more...

6scorpius09.thumb.jpg.50f832c769dc906dc82357669ffdaee6.jpg

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Remember when you're layering that you just want to very gradually decrease the surface area of the next lightest colour.

So a little bit more New Copper added to the previous mix and now we've reached a more traditional cornflower blue colour which I think is really quite lovely.

6scorpius11.thumb.jpg.e9a6eadbf18e0f2bbf975e1e522fe207.jpg

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And a little bit more New Copper to the previous mix and you can see the pink pigment's starting to dominate the blue now but it's still harmonious because I've mixed it so gradually.

6scorpius13.thumb.jpg.5ee23fae70a5b93ff576ab369a42023d.jpg 

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Then a little bit more New Copper to the previous mix and you know I really love mixing paint in a gradient like this. It's not the right choice for everyone. I am genuinely "wasting" a bit of paint like this... but honestly, it's so pretty and soothing that I don't really care. ::P: Have you seen those paint mixing videos from instagram? If you haven't, artists take paints (usually heavy body artist acrylics) and just record videos of them mixing the paint on their palette. They do really widely varied colours and there's at least one artist who actually puts paint into silicone molds and freezes them to present these really interesting objects and then she chops them up and mixes them. When I first heard about this, mind you, I was told that it was really soothing to watch and I scoffed at that because it sounded like a huge waste of paint to me, especially with freezing it, which destroys acrylic paint so you can't even use it afterwards. Then I actually watched some of the videos and you know what, it was totally soothing. ::P: But actually seeing it in action changed my mind about it being a waste of paint. If the paint is serving a purpose, and in those videos, it's serving a purpose of creating visual art so even if it can't be applied to something later, it served its purpose so it wasn't wasted. Creating these gradients on my palette makes me happy so it's serving a purpose even if all of the paint isn't going to be used on the figure. Maybe I'm just justifying a questionable habit but hey, that's life, isn't it?

Anyway, with that bit of rambling out of the way, here's the actual picture. :lol:

6scorpius15.thumb.jpg.0bf6ce461e9a53310ae50305699cd28a.jpg

So lovely.

6scorpius16.thumb.jpg.a316644e1505ca29d2a752035bb4c06f.jpg

 

Lastly, I took just a touch of straight New Copper for the final highlight.

6scorpius17.thumb.jpg.87ea0d0af1bb2c7a1aa6c53e68e37331.jpg

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I definitely think that this was a much smoother and less jarring approach for the fins and hair.

 

And you know what I realized while I was typing up this post? I forgot about the fin on his tail. *double sad trombone.wav*

But, hey, at least this will create a good opportunity in my next post for me to discuss how I go about re-mixing up paint colours when I realize later that I needed more but either the paint has mixed on the palette (the wet palette will release enough moisture into a gradient like this to completely mix all of the paint together) or I've changed out my palette paper. I know that mixing paint on the fly like I do is kind of scary territory for some people for exactly this kind of situation so it's not such a bad thing that I'll get to demonstrate how I tackle it.

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Wonderful Dragons!

 

As for the inside of animal mouths, I use Vallejo Heavy Warm Grey, which is actually a great soft pink, looking quite natural.

Maybe this can be of use.

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1 hour ago, Glitterwolf said:

Wonderful Dragons!

 

As for the inside of animal mouths, I use Vallejo Heavy Warm Grey, which is actually a great soft pink, looking quite natural.

Maybe this can be of use.

 

That's an interesting and useful colour.  There's a certain look, somewhat difficult to describe, that is in my head that I'm going for.  The pink and inks method is close to it, but I think what I really need is Monster Maw plus flesh wash.  That's an experiment I've had in mind for a while, but I forgot to add Monster Maw to my cart when stocking up before winter.  Before the year is out I intend to do the metal version of the Reaper Purple Worm, so as that one has a rather prominent mouth it might be a useful test of this combination. 

 

I think basically what I'm going for with monsters, on account of them not usually using toothbrushes or mouthwash, is a real ripping case of gingivitis.  Nobody ever talks about what a beholder's breath smells like, but I'd bet it's so nasty it could almost count as a breath weapon.  :zombie:

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6 hours ago, buglips*the*goblin said:

I think basically what I'm going for with monsters, on account of them not usually using toothbrushes or mouthwash, is a real ripping case of gingivitis.  Nobody ever talks about what a beholder's breath smells like, but I'd bet it's so nasty it could almost count as a breath weapon.  :zombie:

I'm sure it's fine.............:

 

20180219_113449.thumb.jpg.b2896272d261ec0d08e6d045b641f21d.jpg

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