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24 minutes ago, Guindyloo said:

Awesome post with amazing advice.


Holy smokes! Thanks for all the info here, I think you really hit on a big part of my problem, especially with the skin. I wasn't really feeling it, but I couldn't put my finger on why if that makes sense. Your explanation though really helps and gives me something great to work with. Now to find something in the spectrum of mustard yellow or something close. I'm sure I can come up with something. 


I also really appreciate the comments on the robe. I agree that I really started to lose it on the highlights, and also think I was starting to rush a bit (stupid need for sleep before going to work) and just really failed to ease the transition on the highlights enough, especially since that triad gets particularly light real quick. So if I understand what you are suggesting, keep the deepest shadows on the robe still fairly deep, just not all the way down to the Nightshade Purple (the shade of the triad) but darker than Imperial Purple which was the mid-tone? Then I can still very gradually continue to work my way up, but it will give me a bigger contrast between the robe and the cloak so that each can "shine" so to speak. 


I really, really appreciate you taking the time to write such a thoughtful critique, especially on color choice as admittedly, a lot of color theory has gone right over my head. I've watched a lot of tutorials and read a number of articles, and use my color wheel, etc., but I think its one of those things that I am just going to have to learn by doing, but getting such thoughtful advice will give me a huge boost. So really, thank you a bunch for all the help you gave not only here, but which you give throughout the forums. Its one of the reason I love these forums so much, everyone is very kind and helpful!


And thankfully, I have plenty of minis to experiment on!


Now to find time to paint while dealing with a busy work schedule and getting my house ready to go on the market. :P

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Alright, so after reading, and rereading, and reading yet again Guindy's awesome advice (and failing to fully comprehend it as you'll see in a minute) I finally got some more progress in. For the skin, for some reason, as I read her post I was thinking she was talking about the mustardy yellow with a greenish tint to be used as a shade, not the midtone . . . Ooops. Upon reading her post again, I see she was saying midtone and it somehow went completely over my head. :p


Anyhoo, I started with a shade of Thrall Flesh mixed with HD Mustard Yellow and the result seemed a bit . . . too yellow for the shade. I fixed this though by adding in a spot of Tanned Skin to give it a bit of a brownish tint. This actually kind of worked with what I had and even helped with some of the bruised appearance as some of my former non-bruise shades when toned down with the new shade actually appeared to look a bit like a bruise too. Unfortunately photo quality here is not great due to a different background having to be used after I had cleaned up my work area:




I think it still needs some greater contrast in there to really pop, but its certainly better than it was, even with the same skin tone in there.


I next went back to work on the robe and started in on the rest of the cloth. I lightened the color of my shade on the robe and brought it back up to the same Amethyst Purple I had before. Its definitely better than it was. Glazing over with the midtone has softened the blends a bit too. They are far from perfect, but much better than before. For the rest of the cloth I used a new color (to me): P3 Moldy Ocher and surprisingly, actually kind of like the color with the robes. I'm still base coating it but the hands were getting very tired last night by the time I stopped and I was finding I was spending as much time correcting mistakes as I was laying down good base coats. The joys of spending all weekend on house work.






As I said, far from perfect, but a heck of a lot better thanks to the wonderful advice of @Guindyloo. I'm tempted to use my better understanding of her advice now on the skin and use redo it, but I think I will start by simply doing a bit more shade first and see how that works. The good and bad of the camera being that I really see the areas needing improvement when I take the pictures. :)


Anyway, thanks again for looking and for any comments!

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I've painted him too! it's on "show off" ^^ 

I love your purples, it's a color that somehow always works with lichs :d looking great so far! 

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First of all, you're very welcome for the prior critique! I wish I had more time during the day to comment on posts more often but for some silly reason, I end up with a lot of work to do at work. ::P: I'm sorry I didn't get back to you sooner to answer your question about the purple robe, but the good news is that I think you did a great job with it! You'd lost the midtone previously, but now it looks really rich and lovely. Finding the proper balance can be really tricky but once you find it, it's a really lovely thing.


Now don't you dare redo that skin! Forget about not doing exactly what I said, what you did has worked out just fine! More than fine! What you needed more than anything was to tone it down and bridge the gap between the base skintone and the shading. I think you have a really great thing going now. I admit I wasn't really feeling the bruises before, but now that you've got them integrated more, I'm totally on board. I'm excited about them even - I really like the variation that you have going on now and that was a good instinct to add a touch of skintone to the colour to warm it up just a touch so now he looks alive. Be gentle with your shading, whatever you use, just glaze it in slowly because this skintone is still so pale that it'll be really easy to go in too dark and throw the balance off. Same thing with the highlighting. Go very gradually with thin layers while keeping your light source in mind and I think you're going to have some really beautiful skin as a result. That's really the trick to skin, I find, is you just have to find that right balance to transition the colours gently.


That P3 Moldy Ocher was a fantastic colour choice. It goes really well with the purple, but it also goes well with the skin. You've got a really harmonious colour scheme going and I dig it a lot.


Don't be hard on yourself, you're doing a great job. Just have patience with yourself and work thoughtfully. Even if something doesn't go as planned or it doesn't look as good as you thought it did once you take pictures (I'm regularly plagued by that phenomenon myself) use those moments to think about how you can do something better, whether that's going to be reworking what you already have or taking that knowledge to the next figure.

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Wait, you don't just sit around all day waiting for somebody to ask a question?


Seriously though, no worries about answering questions. I never expect answers, just hope for them. :) Same with critiques and the like. I ask a lot of questions mainly because I don't have any art background and frankly, was never a good artist to begin with. (even my stick figures are hard to recognize). 


Your point about remembering the light source is very well taken. Its one of those things that "I know" but as you said, it often gets forgotten as my eye wants me to bring out the details more. 


Also, I don't mean to come off as being really hard on myself, more just being realistic. I haven't put in the thousands of hours that many of the great artists here have, and frankly, with my work schedule, family activities, and myriad of other hobbies, I never will. As such, I know I'll always be a bit limited in that regard, but I still aim to improve. Seeing improvement is what I strive for, even if its minor. The good thing with this piece is that what I generally strive for is a tabletop quality (which I realize is subjective as some people's "tabletop" is my "holy crow! I need to enter this in a competition right meow!"). With Vordekai, right now I definitely feel as though I am headed in the tabletop quality direction, but I still always aim to do my best. I also aim to learn new techniques along the way which in turn, helps with doing my best, etc. Its clear to me that I still have room to learn with the layering aspect (mainly I think I don't cover enough of the mini with each successive layer and this gets me into trouble when I start getting into the whiter tones). 


And yes, I was very pleasantly surprised with how the moldy ocher looked as admittedly, I was largely going with the yellow color because of the color wheel (again a symptom of my lack of art and color theory background). Now I just have to carefully finish the base coating on it (as there are still a few areas that are bare but I was simply too tired last night to get them without also getting stuff that is already a different color). Hopefully I can then shade and highlight it real nice. That's my main goal for this week is to get the yellow done, then likely move onto the little details and then finish with the eye (in part because I'm hoping for a particular paint to come in, but if it doesn't I will improvise . . . FOR SCIENCE!).


All of this is really just a roundabout way of saying how much I appreciate all the fine folk on these forums as I have learned a ton from so many people. I occasionally look back at my early figures and can see how far I've come, and a great example was in your glazing tutorial. Before, even though my glazes were translucent, they were still easily too thick. Now, if anything, they are too thin, but they are making everything a lot better!

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