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Painting Dog

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Posts posted by Painting Dog

  1. I have been looking on eBird for nearby painted bunting sightings. There was one is a smallish park area really close to the hotel,  but more recent sightings at the Clear Creek center mentioned above. That looks to be about 20-30 minutes away (I assume without rush hour traffic).


    Do we want to plan on Saturday or Sunday? Anybody have a preference?  If we don't  want to do crack of dawn, we could shoot for more midday on one of the weekdays. 

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  2. Whee!  Fellow birders!


    If you want to pick up the buntings, @TaleSpinner, dawn is going to be a better chance than evening.  Although there are other, different things possible in the evening.  I've managed to do OK just going out mid-afternoons on my previous visits.


    Let the coordinating begin!  :D

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  3. Oooo! Painted Buntings! I have actually only ever seen one once, so would love another chance! I was lucky enough to get some really good views of a Roadrunner when at the San Diego Birding Festival this spring -- he was up on a fence post, just hanging around in plain sight for a good 10 minutes. Very un-roadrunner-like. ::D:


    I'll have to check my notes to see if the Denton Nature Heritage Center is one of the ones I found. There was a park with a really nice lake that I found the first time I was there. Then last year I found the LLELA Nature Preserve and had a really good time there. 


    Thanks for the recommendation!

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  4. If you aren't a bird watcher, you can stop reading now. ::D:. But if you ARE a bird watcher...


    I'm coming to ReaperCon from Pennsylvania. And if you're a birder, you know that any trip is also an excuse to pick up birds for the life list that you can't see at home. My first ReaperCon, I got a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher in my hotel parking lot, and was absolutely chuffed. ::D:


    This will be my third ReaperCon, and in previous years I've found a couple of pretty nice nearby patches for birding. I usually go out at least once when I'm between classes, just to see what I can see. I've got a rental car, and would be more than happy to have company, if there are any other birders at the con who are interested in a nature break.


    Any takers?

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  5. I'm painting my first Drow for a friend's gaming character, and am finding the hair challenging. This is the old "how do you highlight white" thing, with the added complication that it's totally NOT ok to end up with a beige/yellowish result. Anybody have a recipe that has worked for them? Or suggestions for how to approach base color and shading so I don't end up with either gray or ivory hair?


    Thanks for any suggestions. 

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  6. On 5/1/2019 at 1:46 PM, Valthorn_Illian said:

    I meant that in terms of tools, paints, and techniques. Probably could have been more clear on that. The Jessica Rich video frequently uses a bunch of paints that are no longer available or the paints have shifted tones.

    The Jessica Rich DVD is still one of my favorites. I'm less concerned with the specific paints she uses, and more with her clear explanations and demonstrations. Even if the techniques are "out-of-date," they are ones I still haven't mastered, so are still worth working on for me!  ::D:


    Likewise, the Darksword DVD with Anne Forster and Jen Haley is also fantastic for it's clear explanations and examples. Although obviously aimed at more beginner painters, the information is great and well worth the price. 

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  7. 3 hours ago, Heisler said:


    Right now I would say the size is just about perfect. it just depends on if you are going to add anything and how big those pieces are.


    Thanks so much for your input!  Not planning to add a lot more, figure-wise -- just knowing this seems about right gives me a better idea what I'm looking for.


    You guys are the best!

  8. OK, take two on finding the right sized base for my diorama!


    I like this shape -- kind of a fat teardrop.  The little fremen guy who is currently standing on a holder for painting would be on the top of a sand dune that's standing a little taller than the other sand dunes that will be on the base.



    This is a more traditional square base.  The winged kitty (borrowed from my wife's chotchki shelf) is standing in for a possible second fremen figure, who would be standing near the thumper.  I think there's also room to add him to the first base above.





    (And, as usual, thanks so much for your help and comments.  ::D:)

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  9. 1 hour ago, Pragma said:

    Right now my eye is drawn to what the worm is looking at - the thumper/paint pot. If you want the focus to be on the fremen, then maybe have the summoner staring down the sandworm? That might also add a little drama to the situation.


    @Pragma -- That was actually my first instinct (to have him staring at the fremen).  Maybe I'll revisit that.  Thanks!

  10. 1 hour ago, eldamir said:

    Perhaps running a long pin through the wing, then bending it the way you want it?  (disclaimer: I've never tried this sort of thing!)


    I thought about pinning -- not sure I have the skill to do it.  This is the mini in question.  He already has a bend at the joint, and I don't know how I'd get a pin past that.  Maybe try inserting a pin from either end?


    1 hour ago, Doug Sundseth said:


    I've tried similar things, mostly with similar results. To the extent that I've had any success at all, heating, reshaping, and then cooling slowly (not quickly) has given me the best results. The slow cooling facilitates releasing the internal stresses caused by reshaping (annealing). If I could figure out how to keep the shape I want while the figure is still in the hot water (without standing there and holding it), I'd just turn off the heat and allow the water to cool naturally.


    I've actually got insulated gloves that allow me to keep my hands in the hot water.  Maybe I'll give this a try and report back on how it works.

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  11. 2 hours ago, Heisler said:

    I'm going back to my mantra, that base looks way to big for what you are trying to do. Based on your description there is going to be a lot of empty space that adds nothing to the story itself.


    Thanks, @Heisler -- that's exactly the kind of feedback I need!  It's not that I WANT this particular base; this is part of where I dont have a feel for what really fits. One of the things talked about when I was learning about composition at ReaperCon was giving the minis "room to move."  In other words, space to give the impression that things moved into / out of the scene instead of just being stuck there. My thought on this was to have some evidence of a wake in the sand to show the worm's passage to this point. 


    @Clearman, while part of me likes the image of lassoing a sandworm, it doesn't really fit the lore I'm trying to stay with. ::):  


    This is great feedback, you guys!  Let me put together a different base set up, and I'll get back to you. ::):

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  12. I'm familiar with the practice of boiling / cooling a Bones mini that has a part (spears, swords, legs, etc.) bent out of shape due to packing or whathaveyou.  But has anyone tried reshaping a pair of wings into a shape different than their original cast?  I'm trying to re-contour a pair of wings for a gryphon, to give them a more natural-looking sweep (as opposed to just sticking straight out).  While I've gotten a very nice shape following boiling, and they hold that shape for a while after cooling, by the next morning they have settled back into their straight-as-a-board original shape.


    Do I need to heat them longer?  Cool them faster?  Has anyone successfully re-shaped wings like this?

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  13. Inspired by @giyomuSan and all the great information generated on his diorama thread, I thought I'd appeal to the Forum Groupmind for advice on a diorama I'm hoping to bring to ReaperCon in August.


    I'm trying to depict a fremen (from Frank Herbert's Dune) calling a Maker.  I'm using Goremaw for the sandworm, and one of the Reaper Nefsokar minis (a little modified) for the fremen.  This is the first diorama I've tried to construct after actually learning something about how to design one at last year's ReaperCon!  ::D:  So while I'm trying to use some of that information, I still don't really have a "feel" for what I'm doing.


    This my basic mock-up:




    I've stacked the cork to give an idea of the height / placement of the fremen; for the final piece, I want to have the rockface sweep around to the left behind the sandworm a little, yet sort of disappearing off the edge to represent a length of cliff of which this is just one end.  Maybe also angling down on the right to meet the sand.


    The base itself will be sand dunes (Vallejo Sand Texture paste).  The sandworm will be coming up out of that (not on his current base, which was just there for the painting).  I will probably shift him a little more toward the front, so there isn't so much open space.  The paint pot is standing in for the thumper (which I'm still constructing).


    I want the focus to be the fremen, and the front of the sandworm.  With that in mind, I'm trying to arrange angles and such to "point" that way.  Am I on the right track?


    Thanks for any input.  ::):

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  14. I'm back!  Not because I necessarily think anybody is dying to see how I'm progressing with my (now) ReaperCon 2018 diorama, but because I feel really stupid having a WIP hanging out there without a conclusion.  So here we go!


    When last we left our hero (i.e., our Giant Sandworm aka The Tootsie Roll), it had some very basic blocking-in of highlights and a base coat on teeth / spines.  I ended up going back and trying to lay in more dark in the areas I expected to be shadowed by its own body, including segments of the tummy.  I also got the first round of color on the interior of the maw, where I was trying to capture the impression of a furnace (fueled by spice!) deep down inside.




    From there, I felt like I needed to punch up the highlights more.  Then darken the shadows more.  Then punch up the highlights...


    There was a lot of back-and-forth going on.



    Also got some additional glazes / shading on the inside of the mouth.  I ended up pretty happy with the final color.




    You can also see here where I started work on staining the teeth.  I did multiple glazes of GW Seraphim Sepia and Agrax Earthshade, with glazes of Reaper Yellowed Bone to soften things together every now and then.  I used pretty much the same technique on the spines down the back.  While I'm really happy with how it turned out, it apparently doesn't photograph particularly clearly!




    This is probably the biggest model I've worked on (not having been brave enough to tackle some of the really huge dragons yet), and it was challenging in more ways than one.  Yes, I got tired of working on it.  But it also just felt like no part of it was ever finished!  No matter what I did, I'd come back and look at it, only to find I'd managed to miss / mess-up / overlook something really obvious.  I finally cracked down and committed to finishing the thing over these past couple weeks.  And I'm glad I did.  I told my wife when I showed it to her, "I'm not saying there's nothing more to be done with it -- I'm not even saying I won't touch up stuff between now and ReaperCon.  What I am saying is that it's done."


    On to the Fremen!  (He was already mostly painted before last ReaperCon, but there's plenty of touch-up, etc. to do on him yet.)


    Now I just have to worry about diorama design...  (Which I'll stick in another threat, in the interest of minimizing clutter.)


    Thanks for listening!


    P.S.  I'm going to to try to figure out how to hide all the pictures behind a cut, at which point I'll come back and do that.  Just wanted to let anyone who peeked in before that was done know that it was something I was working on.  :)

    • Like 5
  15. My Super Power (which is really only a super power in very select circumstances) is that I don't have a sense of smell.  At work, we refer to it as the Zookeeper Super Power, because I can scrap ANY raptor enclosure, clean up ANY mummified and rotten mice, and hose poop all day.  So in zookeeping, it's crazy useful.


    Around the house, where gas leaks and fires are sometimes an issue, not so much...   :huh:

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  16. I got some Stynlrez primer with the Patriot airbrush starter kit I bought at last year's ReaperCon (Badger offers a VERY nice bargain for ReaperCon attendees, making it well worth purchasing it there).  I've used the primers on all kinds of materials, and it does in fact shoot through the airbrush just great without thinning. I've been very pleased with it. 


    On another note -- The compressor Badger included with the starter kit is also quite nice and not that loud. My painting area is on the 3rd floor loft of our not-huge house, and my wife doesn't notice it at all when she's downstairs. 

  17. On 6/27/2018 at 7:49 PM, Dragoneye said:

    My mom took me when I was a kid... full props at the Oriental (Mke). It was great. Weirdest movie ever. And... it has Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon... and Meatloaf. 


    Tim Curry in spike heels!!  What's not to like?  ::D:

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  18. The subject of faces, and where to place highlights / shadows, has come up in the forum a couple times recently.  Of course, this has led me to staring at faces at the store, on YouTube, in magazine ads, trying to get a feel for where said highlights / shadows are falling in real life and photographs.  This morning, however,I ran across an unexpected -- but surprisingly useful -- set of examples:  court drawings.


    While a newscaster was talking about some court proceedings, illustrations by a court artist were being displayed full-screen as part of the presentation.  Just like I've been doing for everything else, I found myself looking at the faces, noticing where the illustrator had placed highlights / shadows -- and I came to the realization that the quick simplicity of court art is actually a great place to see this!  There's really minimal fussy details in these works, but things like shape contour and lighting are used extensively to quickly capture a sense of the scene.  By definition, court artists are working quickly, so have to distill what they're seeing into the most minimal (yet still realistic) depiction of events.  All the pictures, then, boiled down to just about nothing but the use of highlight / shadow for defining a face and an expression.  I've now watched (but not really listened to) the same news report three times; studying the court artwork is proving really interesting and useful.


    I pass this along for the good of the many.  :poke:

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