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Everything posted by bailey03

  1. It's been a while since I posted here, but I wanted to share one of my current projects. I started on this 70mm orc from Yedharo back in October. I took a break from it for a while and just recently got back to work on her. When I first saw the sculpt, for some reason I immediately pictured a blue orc. I know a little untraditional, but I like to switch it up from the standard green. One of the things I wanted to work with on this piece was the use of ambient color/light. I pictured her standing over some beast she'd killed and wanted to show the light reflecting off of that and onto the orc. Since she's blue, I decided on red for the beast. It's not the easiest thing to see in the photos (the effect is more obvious in person) but you can see it most clearly from behind. When I start on the armor I'll be doing the same thing and it should be even more pronounced there since metallic objects can pick up a lot of light/color from the other objects in the scene. I'll be painting her with TMM, so there's going to be some experimentation as I work matte colors into my metallics for the reflected light. My latest progress has been to build the base. I'm not much of a sculptor, but I've been getting some practice in over the past year and feel a bit more comfortable tackling something like this. Overall I'm pretty happy with how the base sculpt turned out. Now I'm curious to see what I'll think of it when I finally start to paint it! Having the base is also nice as, when I start on the metallics, I'll have a more precise reference to work from for the reflections (instead of just the vague idea I had when I worked on the skin).
  2. Thanks, everyone! Taking this guy one part at a time. Most recent work was on his pauldrons. The sculpt has a random mix of equipment cobbled together from various sources. So I envision it all as pretty beat up. So I'm giving the metal a pretty heavy dose of weathering. I'm working with the Secret Weapon weathering acrylics (their rust and verdigris shades) to create the effect. Started by laying down some undertones of the rust shades (red/oranges for the iron, greens for the bronze) and then applied the metallic paints over it. Finally I went back with the rust/verdigris colors applied them liberally over the metal. Plenty of stippling to create a mottled pattern and then some streaks here and there.
  3. This past weekend I started painting Brom, the 54mm scale dwarf from Enigma. The sculpt has got a mix of equipment and, to be honest, I'm not even sure what all of it is. It gives him a lot of character, but presents some challenges with the painting. I've been putting a lot of thought into how I want to approach the piece and finally decided to pick a color scheme and let that tie the figure together. I started with the face. Considering most of it is hidden by the hair, the beard feels almost as important as the rest of the face. I used a mix of Reaper's Ruddy Leather, Secret Weapon's Orange Rust, and Reaper's Burnt Orange and Fair Skin Highlight. I find the light skin tones are nice for highlighting hair, I'd do the same with brown hair. For the blood stained cloth on his head, I used a mix of Carnage Red and Walnut Brown. I wanted it to be darker near the center, so more brown, and the moving to pure red near the boundaries. I applied the red as a glaze over the white cloth to give it the right look. Instead of using the well palette that I'd normally turn to for glazes, I ended up mixing them directly on my wet palette. Normally that produces a mess, but I used a bit of paint and then added a bunch of matte medium (plus a little water). The matte medium is thick, so it creates the right transparency without causing the glaze to flow all over the palette. Then I then it down slightly with water for a consistency that's easier to paint with. The effect is the same as a regular glaze, but since it's on the wet palette it's easier for me to mix paints and create different colored glazes. It's also easy to vary the consistency/transparency by changing up the ratio of matte medium and paint. So I can quickly make a section more opaque and another more transparent. Not something I do for all glazes, for in situations like this it's a nice option to have in my tool kit. And here's the full figure. Still a lot left to paint!
  4. Here's the updated figure and the painted base. I still need to paint the spear, which will be sticking out of the base. But everything else is essentially complete.
  5. Reaper used to have a couple 54mm female figures which I think would make great showcase pieces. Unfortunately it looks like they have mostly been discontinued, so you'd need to find a secondhand source to pick them up. Two that I remember are Finari and Monique De Noir. Both of them have been turned into 28mm figures, which are still sold by Reaper. But I think the 54mm versions were much neater.
  6. Thanks! Got the main figure mostly finished, just a couple little details still to do and then the base.
  7. If you've seen my other posts here, you know I normally work on larger scale figures. But recently I took on a commission to paint the 28mm version of Kingdom Death's White Speaker. I actually painted the 54mm version a few years back, so I thought it'd be an interesting exercise to see how I could do on the 28mm one. So far my focus has been on the skin. The other sections just have some dark undercoats. I played around with my mixes a bit on this one. I started by base coating her with a 2:1 mix of Rosy Shadow and Bronzed Shadow. I then used a 4:1 mix of Chestnut Brown and Rosy Shadow to create the darkest shadows. From there I worked up to a 3:1 mix of Rosy Skin and Bronzed Skin and finally added in Fair Highlight for the brightest parts. Although she's a female figure, I still went for a more dramatic contrast range and brought out some of the muscles more than I might on a different female subject. This one is a badass warrior, so she should be pretty fit.
  8. Thanks, SGHawkins! That's the plan. Though I believe they've switched the show to every other year, so it may be a little bit. I've got my fingers crossed they'll find a different venue so they can go back to every year... though I don't know if it's been sorted out yet or will be in time for the 2018 show. :/ In the meantime, here's a quick update on the knight. I finished off the chain mail on his legs and took care of a few other details. Only thing left on the knight itself is to paint the dagger handle (not sure what it's supposed to be... best guess is metal), the arrows in the shield, and then do a bit of glaze work to add color variation in the face and a bit of subtle color on the armor. And, of course, there still needs to be some weathering. But that will wait until the base is done so I can do it all together.
  9. Thanks, everyone! Glitterwolf, I'm not sure I have a simple answer. For the blending, I'm mostly layering. But I will certainly make sure of stippling from time to time, especially on transition that's giving me trouble (the stippling breaks the transition up and helps make it at least look smoother). I took some images as I painted the left arm/shoulder, which you can see below. I started with a base of Violet Red and then sketched in the shadows with Burgundy Wine (1st image). Then, through layering, I gradually work from Burgundy Wine back up to Violet Red in order to blend in those shadows (2nd image). From there I continue to get brighter, mixing Fire Red into my Violet Red (3rd image). Finally I'll mix my top highlight color into the Fire Red. This could be an off-white, light yellow, or skin tone (in this case it was a mix of Linen White and a bit of Buckskin Pale). I went a bit more extreme with this than I might normally, but typically I try to keep this stage very limited and only apply it to very small areas (4th image). But, overall, I'd say it's not just the blending but where you apply the shadows and highlights. I think a lot of people understand zenithal lighting in theory, but aren't as exact when they apply it to a figure. Especially with cloth, where the folds are unique to each piece. You can't just go into auto-pilot mode. There's definitely a tendency to want to highlight every raised portion, but you should be highlighting the tops of the folds and shading the undersides. I think the front of the sleeve and definitely the back show this. At this point, I have a good feel for it, so I can just sit down and start painting. But, when I was just starting out, I'd make use of reference images (specific to the figure). Sometimes the box art can be a useful guide, seeing where that artist placed their highlights and shadows. But you can also create your own reference. On a number of occasions I took a figure (after priming, but before painting) and placed it under a strong light source. Then, with the other room lights dimmed or off, I took pictures of the figure from the front, back, and sides. These then provided a great reference on where the light was really hitting. You still use a bit of artistic judgement (for example, a helmet might put the face in shadow and you want it to stand out more so you still highlight there), but it gives you a good place to start. You could create the same sort of reference using zenithal priming (prime black, then white from above and at slight angles). Before you start painting it, just remember to take photos so you still have the information to reference after it's been covered up by the paint.
  10. I realized I had yet to post any pictures of my latest project here. A few months ago I started working on this 54mm scale knight from Romeo Models. The figure is from the era of the 3rd Crusade, but I decided to paint him up as a generic knight rather than one of the crusading orders (like the Templars). This gave me a lot more freedom in color choice and for the design work on his clothing/shield. In my mind, he's an English knight traveling with Richard the Lionheart on crusade. That steered my color choice a bit, as red and yellow were colors used by the English king. But I opted to replace the lion with a griffin on this piece (just to do something a little different). He's come a pretty long way. I wanted to push for a higher contrast on this piece. It's similar to how I've done fantasy figures, but I wanted to see how I could make it look on a historical figure (since we naturally expect to see a more realistic overall look). I made a few very minor changes to the figure. I shaved down the noseguard a bit so it hid less of his face. And I inserted two arrow shafts into his shield. Painting has all be done with acrylics, primarily Reaper though I did use Scale75 for the metallics. I have a couple small details to do on the knight, along with the chainmail on his legs. Then all that's left are the base and weathering the figure. I don't expect a ton of time to paint over the holidays, so hopefully I can finish him up in January. And here's a look at the base (keeping it pretty simple just to focus on the figure) and a sense of scale for the piece.
  11. I've heard from a number of people that, for an American painter, my work looks more like the European style. I'm not sure there's a strict definition, but I always thought of it as the European painters tended to use higher contrast in their work. I think the European painters may use desaturated colors more, but certainly use bright colors too. Perhaps the American style shies away from desaturated colors. To be honest, with the internet you tend to see work from all over and many of us learn and develop our own work from what we see online, so it's hard to define a specific style to just one region. But there are European shows and American shows, so if you compare the work on display in each, perhaps you can say there are distinct styles. As for NMM, I've heard that referred to as the French style, since it was made popular in France with the Rackham painters. But it's common enough around Europe and the US that I don't associate it with European style painting (but again, no strict definition so others may feel differently!). As for shooting for more realism in your work, try to minimize things like black lining. Work on improving your application of zenithal lighting. Getting the light placement right on cloth can be especially difficult. But take the time to really think about how the light would hit the surfaces, which areas would be bright and which would be in shadow. Convincing placement of lights and shadows goes a long way towards getting the realism look. Using glazes for color variation can also help. On the face, for example, you will get more red in the cheeks, blue in the stubble area (not actually blue-blue, but a blue glaze over the skintone will tint it grey to look like stubble), etc. These sorts of little touches will help make your work look more realistic. On top of that, texturing is nice. Leather that is just a constant brown looks cartoony, but adding color variation, cracks, etc will move you towards realism. And weathering (dirt, dust, rust, etc) where appropriate is also good. Since you asked about books, you might consider finding an inexpensive copy of Shep Paine's 'Building and Painting Scale Figures.' It's an older book, published in 93 I believe. But is a classic for historical figure painters and certainly embraces a realistic style. In terms of something more recent, Figopedia is a fantastic reference. The book is more on theory for how you use color and paint light. It's not going to show you how to blend or specific techniques. But understanding how to choose colors for shading/highlighting, the overall look, directing the viewers focus, and various lighting looks is the sort of thing you'll get out of it. The other book I've found to be very useful is 'Color and Light: A guide for the Realist Painter' by James Gurney. Be aware, this is a book written for 2-D painters. But the majority of the material covered can be applied to figures. If you just want to paint for gaming, probably more than you need. But if you want to do display work, it can come in handy. You will often find this in the art section at Barnes and Noble or other bookstores, so it's something you can actually check out and see if it'll be useful to you before you buy it.
  12. The first figure is Tiet-Khebi from Arena Rex (part of the Morituri faction). And Clearman is right, the second piece is from Aradia. They're starting delivery on their kickstarter rewards, but only on the earlier pieces. A number of the stretch goals still need to be completed. So it's possible pieces like Medusa will be available through their online store soon or they might wait until all of the kickstarter rewards have been shipped, in which case it'll probably be a few more months at least.
  13. Well, looks like I wasn't so diligent about updating this thread. Sorry! Anyway, the piece is finally finished. Here's a look at how he turned out. I've entered him into the Eadbanger Competition Master's Category over on Eavier Metal and I'll be bringing him along with me to NOVA Open next week. Perhaps I'll see some of you there!
  14. It's been a while, but I've returned to work on this figure. Last time I'd gotten stuck on what color palette I wanted to use for the leathers. So I set the figure aside until I came up with a good solution. Fast forward a few months, I was working on another project and used a mix for leather that I thought would work well here too. It's a mix of browns and teal. The resulting brown looks a little on the green side, instead of yellow, and more like a pale weathered leather. I also worked some dark purple into the shadows, as that shade was also used in the skin and the red sash, so it helped tie the leather in with the rest of the piece. When painting the leather, the focus isn't just highlight and shadow. Texture or the impression of texture is also very important. I tried to bring out scratches in the leather and make the surface look uneven in spots.
  15. I've probably spent 20 or so hours on this one so far. I don't get track of it that closely, so it's just a guess. For something this size, I'll probably spend 40-60 hours on the piece. I'm probably about halfway through painting the figure, but I will also create a scenic base for him which takes time too. So 40-60 seems like a good guess.
  16. Thanks. I'm continuing to work on the orc. I'm taking the skin one section at a time and have now just about finished the upper body. Still want to do some fine detail work on the hands, fix some of the scars, etc. And, of course, I still need to do the legs and feet.
  17. Thanks, everyone. Here's an update. After working on the head, I moved on to the left arm. Still want to do some more color variation on the hand, but I'll probably spend some time working on the back first. Just covering him one section at a time. For comparison, I took out another orc I started painting last year but haven't finished yet. I put them side by side on my painting station. Different color palettes and sculpt styles, but similar painting approach to each. The earlier orc is the standard I'm trying to hold myself to, so I wanted to see how the new one stacked up. And here's a closer look at the current project
  18. Thanks, everyone! Xherman, yes, I try to make a note when I use paints from other brands. For this guy it's going to be pretty much all Reaper. I normally use Scale75 for metallics, but since I'm drawing inspiration from Warhammer's savage orcs, I'll be trying to avoid metal bits. I might use some Scale75 inks for glazing, but that will be about it. I did a tiny bit more work last night. Took care of the bottom of the jaw and did the teeth.
  19. Thanks! Yeah, I'm happy to share colors if people ask. I should probably save the step by step breakdown photos for the journal, but I'm happy to answer any questions if people have them! I'm working with reaper paints. For the skin I used a mix of colors to get a green I liked. The main shadow tone is a 50/50 mix of Peacock Green and Marine Teal. For the darkest shadows, I switched to a 50/50 mix of Peacock Green and Ritterlich Blue. For the basic highlights, I used a 50/50 mix of Meadow Green and Surf Aqua. Then I mixed in Ghost White for the top highlights. I didn't have a true midtone, so I guess it'd be an even mix of my basic shadow and basic highlight mixes. And, of course, the colors on the figure are various combinations of all those (going slowly from the darkest shadow to the brightest highlight with intermediate mixes). I experimented a bit on my palette beforehand, but I ended up liking the mix of green and teal. It shifted the green a bit more towards the blue-green but without going all the way there. And, of course, you can adjust those mixes further. Maybe you use 40/60 or 75/25, etc. The result could be more green, more blue, whatever you want. It might also be interesting to swap out the Ritterlich Blue for a dark purple like Burgundy Wine. Plenty of combinations to explore!
  20. Having finished up my historical Dragoon, I decided to switch gears work on a fantasy project. A while back I'd agreed to help out with the Ouroborus Tales Kickstarter and provide a 'painting journal' describing how I went about painting one of the orcs from that project. The figures arrived a few weeks ago, so I wanted to make sure that was up next on my to-paint list. The official painting journal is only for the project backers, but I can still share work in progress and info online. But the painting journal will have more detailed step by step photos and a more in-depth discussion (sorry, gotta save some secrets for that! =P). Because I like to get the most out of this project, I'm also planning to enter the piece into the 'Eavier Metal painting competition over on their facebook group. For anyone not familiar with the sculpt, here's what the orc brave looks like: It's a nice sculpt, roughly 54mm scale (though smaller than the Black Sailors figures which look closer to 75mm). The title makes me think native american, but there aren't any overtly native american features (features, headdress, etc). The weapons and clothing are primitive so I'm leaning more towards the savage orcs from the warhammer fluff. There's a lot of skin on this guy (no armor covering it up), so I wanted to do something with the green to keep it interesting. I decided to go with a two-tone skin. So green on the back/sides and an off white on the belly. Helps convey a more primitive animalistic look to him. I'm also going to work in more color variation in select spots. Still at a very early stage. I've base coated a lot of the piece and sketched in the shadows on the body. My main focus has been the face, where I've done the green portions and details like the eyes, nose, and lips. I still need to do the teeth, inside of the ears, white on the bottom of the jaw, and add some glazes. But, this gives you an idea where it's going. I'm taking the skin one section at a time, so after this I'll probably try to tackle that left arm and then move on to other parts of the body. I'm enjoying the piece so far, but still have lots to do!
  21. All in all it's looking very nice. I'd try to smooth out a few of the skin transitions. For a female figure, you want it to look as smooth as possible. For me, once I've got the basic blend in but need to tweak it a little, I'll mix a gradient of colors on my wet palette (from shadow to highlight for the skin) and then focus on just one spot. With the whole range from shadow to highlight, I can just back and forth between shades quickly and try to find the right intermediate tone to smooth the blend. You can also use stippling to break up a tricky blend so it's harder for the eye to pick out the transition. You can also try using some glazes to help smooth the final blends. This goes for both the skin and the stockings. On the stockings I'd be tempted to increase the top highlights beyond where you want them and then glaze black over the whole stocking. This should smooth the blends and also knock down the highlight (back to where you'd intended it to be). If you haven't done much with glazes, I'd try it out on a test figure before you used it on this competition piece. Oh, and with all of that, keep in mind where the book and other pieces will be. No point spending your time trying to get a perfect blend on an area that will be hidden by the book! Hope that is helpful!
  22. Very cool figure and a great choice for the competition. I've got a copy and just thinking about assembling it is intimidating, much less painting the figure. Best of luck with the competition, I'm looking forward to seeing how this one turns out.
  23. Since my last post I've finished off his other boot. Following that, I turned to the base. As you can see from way back at the start of this thread, I'd created a scene involving a gate and a column. I wanted to have the column look like a white or light grey stone, so I began by basing the bricks in different shades of grey (so not every brick would look the exact same when I was finished). I then started to paint several bricks at a time. It's a slow process, but the column is starting to look like how I envisioned. Here's a more recent picture of the column shot with my phone this morning. I've got 5 stones left to paint on the front of the column. Unfortunately the whole back still needs to be painted as well. I might take a break and work on the wrought iron gate just so all that stone work doesn't drive me nutty!
  24. Thanks, Metalchaos! The full tutorial is now up. Here's the link in case anyone is interested: http://figurementors.com/painting-a-shiny-black-with-matte-paints
  25. I've been keeping busy with the Dragoon. Finished off the lace details, epaulets, and then started to work on the boots. Finished one, but the other just has the lights sketched in. I'm writing up a tutorial on how I do the shiny black look for the boots. I'll share the link once it's posted in case anyone is interested. Here's a close up of the boots. The image on the left is just the sketched in lights. The one on the right has the finished version (of the right boot).
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