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Al Capwn

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About Al Capwn

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    Male
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    South East Idaho
  • Interests
    Painting, Woodworking, Music, Games (both Tabletop and Video).

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  1. So this is my first "chibi" like model, and something larger than the usual 28-32mm fare. I found it on Thingiverse, and thought why not. The front of her tabard failed to print, which is unfortunate, but I figured I would soldier on. I started blocking in a few tones, and working on blending the skin... ...then blocked in some of the gold trim and worked in some more yellow and brown into the hair, refined the eyes and an hour later here we are... For the skin I used a combination of Kimera Kolors Yellow Oxide & Red Oxide, and Daler Rowney White Ink & Black Ink. The addition of the ink, as well as a bit of satin medium, has helped the skin from becoming chalky. I suspect that the chalkiness has to do with the matte finish that some paints have. I suspect that the matting agent ALSO adds a bit of coarse "grit" into finish, which can develop into texture later on as more is applied and subsequent paint catches onto it. Applying a matte finish as a sealer might be the way to go, rather than working with inherently matte paints for lighter tones such as skintones/whites, but this is just a theory.
  2. Continuing with my trend and WIPs of Kickstarter extras was Norton. I decided to capture a few more inbetween steps for painting the face this time around. I wanted to see if the first time was a fluke or not, so here goes another attempt... First was the usual zenithal priming... Next was applying purple lake to the edges of the skin, process yellow to the forehead, flame red to the middle, and a bit of blue - though this last part is seemed really unnecessary since he has a big bushy beard. I then took my Kislev Flesh Ink... ...and began to glaze it over most of the face. This left some of the yellow and red undercoat to still show up a bit... ...and after a bit of blending, some additional highlighting, and adding in some other colors, this is the result. Total time spent on the face was probably 20-30 minutes. Technically, the tip of the nose I over highlighted and it should still be somewhat ruddy. A simple glaze can correct that later.
  3. I love how this particular model had so many creative versions. The DaVinci, the galaxy, and now circuit board. Very cool and great execution! I am amazed at all the freehand traces...incredible work.
  4. Very nicely done - good contrasting tones and visually interesting!
  5. Thanks! Actually surprisingly the primer is fine, just a bit more speckling of the white ink from the airbrush since I used the dirty 105 as opposed to the SOTAR for the application of the ink.
  6. While I am working on some of the other survivors, I queued up Eightball as a fairly easy and quick miniature to paint. He is mostly storm-trooper-ish. His picture gives some Tony Stark-ish vibes, but the actual sculpt looks a bit different - with no facial hair details actually molded at all. The eyes are also almost non-existant. I wish I took a picture before painting up the face, but oh well, here is a picture of the master from the kickstarter. Hmm...actually...where have I seen that face before... Skin was painted with inks, and here is where things turned out - 1, really well IMHO, and 2 - really interesting... One of the techniques I have explored is called verdaccio, or using a green-tone underpainting and then glazing flesh tones over top. What if...just what if...we took the same idea, and applied it to the zones of the face map? Hmmm... So, I took Yellow/Red/Blue ink and essentially painted a flag to mirror the topmost reference picture. I used Purple lake at the furthest borders of the face, mostly to act as a frame. This will be the "darkline" color that remains. It looked comically hideous, but so was the first step in Corporea's flesh class, so I wasn't freaking out just yet. I took Citadel Kislev Flesh and put it on my palette. After a few minutes of using Magenta, Cyan, Yellow and White, I mixed up a matching color in ink and put it in a dropper bottle. I then proceeded to glaze over the underpainting. Because the Yellow and Magenta are very transparent, and the Cyan/White are opaque, I actually had a semi-opaque ink. I simply glazed successive layers over top until I reached the above result; adding a bit of white to the original tone to push for brighter highlights. I also did take some Dark Green, very thinly, and glazed back over the 5 o'clock shadow region, and then added a touch of the original "Kislev Ink" on the chin for the highlight. ...and no chalking. No texture. No ripping up previous layers, and pretty smooth transitions of color. Time will tell of this process was a fluke - or if this process will become a staple go-to, but I am pretty pleased as punch with the results.
  7. Blocking in a few more colors: Leather bits are Sepia + Flame Orange. Collar and cuffs were where I cheated (shhh) and used Kimera Yellow Ochre (Yellow Oxide) because I needed a semi-opaque warmer undertone. I then used a wee bit of Vallejo Flat Yellow which has that precious (and toxic) Cadmium in it. I then applied subsquent glazes of Army Painter soft tone and highlighted with some White+Yellow inks. I desaturated the pants from neon green down to a more military green by using a bit of Golden Heavy Body Burnt Umber. Now, I wouldn't really advise this for a couple of reasons. The first is that it is VERY opaque and VERY dark, and the second is that it tends to have a fairly odd consistency when thinned down. I will need to experiment more with the HBAs. I ended up glazing some Green + Process Yellow inks to bring the color back up into the highlights a little bit. Zipper and gun is Vallejo Model Air Steel. Added a little more shading with the Purple Lake into the shadows of the jacket, just to up the contrast a wee bit more.
  8. Working on the box of Kickstarter extras, starting with Allyson. For Allyson I wanted to run the new (to me) FW Inks through their paces. 90% of the painting will be done with inks, instead of "paints". Now to be fair, the acrylics inks as essentially paints since they use acrylic binder and pigments, as opposed to dyes, but they are super concentrated and usually use pigments that are typically pretty transparent but have high tinting strength. For the inks, I now have the following: White Black Paynes Grey Purple Lake Sepia Turoquoise Rowney Blue Flame Red Flame Orange Brilliant Yellow Dark Green Process Magenta Process Cyan Process Yellow Whew, that is a lot! With these colors there is a fairly large range of tones that can be made. After an hour or so, I had blocked in some of the colors. Again, with the exception of the flesh tones, everything here was done with the inks and a added bit of Golden Matte Medium to reduce the shine of the inks. The pants were Dark Green (PG7) in the shadows, and Dark Green + Process Yellow (PY3/PY74) for the highlights/midtones. I am aware they are very bright, but I will desaturate them a bit later with some brown tones to bring it more into the "camo" spectrum rather than neon-green. I wanted to show that the ability to get a vibrant color with just a few glazes over a zenithal coat, having great intensity of color and contrast. The jacket was Process Magenta (PV19) with Purple Lake (PV23/PR122) added into the shadows. White (PW6) was added to highlight the folds. Her T-shirt was Payne's Grey (Pbk7/PB15), with a bit of extra Rowney Blue (PB15:3) added in. Highlighted with the addition of White. Boots were Flame Orange (PY83/PR9) and Sepia (Pbk7/PR112/PY83) mixed together, which give a result very similarly to Contrast Snakebite Leather. Highlighted with a bit of White + Brilliant Yellow (PY83/PY74). The knee/leg armor padding was somewhat of a mix of colors. Mostly Flame Red (PR112), but with some Sepia and Purple Lake and Process Magenta added in as well. Highlighted with White, and glazed back over with Flame Red. The hair and gloves were both done with Payne's Grey. Thoughts so far is that I really am enjoying this process and they are cheating for underpainting and rival Contrast paints in a lot of ways. Or I should say that Contrast paints took a play from acrylic inks formulation. I like that your initial values are preserved with the inks, and you can simply build up the color intensity and add Yellow or White to keep the contrast values where you want them. For the shadows, you simply glaze the dark colors directly on top and let that Pthalo Green do the work, glazing the transition areas.
  9. All About Pigments So we have talked a bit about the color wheel, color mixing, and paint composition. We also have talked about pigments as they are particulates that absorb certain wavelengths and reflect another set of wavelengths. As light enters paint, it is scattered all over. In a single pigment paint, this means that it will return back to the eye with the dominant wavelength that the pigment is "calibrated" for. Other wavelengths may be returned as well, but they will not be as strong as a certain frequency band of light. When mixing pigments, as the light is scattered, it will hit different pigments. Because light is being scattered, some of the wavelengths that "should be" returned to the eye, bounce to another pigment particle and wavelengths are absorbed/reflected again. Important Qualities for the Artist When talking about pigments, there are a few qualities that we as artists are concerned with: Opacity: How much does this pigment cover a surface? Lightfastness: Will this pigment degrade with extended exposure to light? Tinting Strength: How "strong" or how much will this pigment affect another pigment? Finish: Matte or Glossy? Toxicity: How safe is this? Pigment Size: How large/small are the pigment particles? There is a massive database out there called the Color Index which lists a vast array of pigments, and their properties. The best website I have found that covers the properties of these pigments is over at Artiscreation. Artist acrylic paints, such as Winsor & Newton and Golden (and notably Kimera Kolors specifically in the miniature painting line), list the exact pigment(s) used in the formulation of their paint. They use the Color Index (CI) and will also often list the opacity, lightfast rating, finish, tinting strength, and toxicity. Pigment size I have not seen ever declared, but this can be commonly seen in the difference between inexpensive craft paints which are more coarsely ground and contain more fillers, than with more expensive artist-grade paints. Some pigments are naturally opaque in nature, such as Titanium White (PW6) and some other pigments tend to be very transparent, such as what tends to be the case with several Yellows (PY3) and Reds (PR112/PR122). An unfortunate flaw in our hobby is that many paint manufacturer's do not list the pigment(s) used in their paint formulations. This means that it is really difficult to know exactly what pigment is being used and fully understand the properties therein. However, given the commercial popularity of many pigments, there can be a few assumptions made that many popular pigments are used even in the hobby paint realm. The downside is that some pigments are not lightfast, also called fugitive, which means they can rapidly lose their intensity over time with exposure to light. A common example of fugitive paints are typically Fluorescent paints, which may have optical enhancers, that will lose vibrancy with too much exposure to light. This is something that I hope changes in the future within our hobby, listing the pigment CIs on the paint. I know most folks won't care, but for the few that do, they will be able to be rest assured that the pigment being used is of a high quality and provides the properties they are looking for.
  10. 3/29 - Wrapping Up Black rimmed the base, touched up the skin one final time, added some pop highlights to the sea creature, some final glazes to the back of the wings and a few final highlights to the beads and hair and Sophie is now complete! Her show off pics have been posted in the Show Off thread.
  11. As part of my goals for this year, one of them was to actually paint a Sophie - so here is my version of the 2017 ReaperCon Sophie. She was fun to paint, but was she fiddly to put together and I had to fight paint chipping all the way through. Next time I will remember to give the model a good wash before priming! You can click on the pictures for the larger versions, and one day I will invest in a tripod and get the exposure settings dialed in properly as well! For those interested, the WIP thread is located over here.
  12. I don't have a blog, and I am not veteran or post enough content to justify making one - so while these musings may be better served in that format, I will leave it here for anyone who is interested to view and chime in. It just so happens that my best friend happens to work at Rustoleum as a colorist; so lately I have been picking his brain since he has an extensive knowledge about pigments, paint make up, and the chemical intricacies therein. As I have delved further and further into the hobby, I have been looking more into the deep subjects of color theory and how paint is made/composed. After reading James Gurney's Color and Light, as well as Michael Wilcox's Blue & Yellow Don't Make Green, I was really intrigued about what exactly paint is and how exactly color interactions work. Now I am guilty as the next person in owning WAY too many paints - not to say anything about minis! While color mixing may seem irrelevant to some, understanding how paints function can help even those of us who own a complete gamut of convenience mixed colors. This post is about exploring more of the technical and "scientific" aspects of paint and color theory to hopefully assist others in understanding the what and why of paint. Rethinking Paint Colors - Subtractive Color: Up until recently, I have always viewed the primary colors as Yellow, Red and Blue, and with those you can mix secondary colors; Green, Orange, and Purple. While this is technically true after a fashion, the difficulty lies with pigments themselves. Pigments do not actually *contain* color. Instead, they absorb most of the light spectrum *except* a specific wavelength of color. As Michael Wilcox states, "Of all the pigments available to the painter, none can be described as pure in hue. There is simply no such thing as a pure red, yellow or blue paint." That means chemically, there isn't a paint pigment out there that returns a pure Red - unlike in say digital art where a specifically purely calibrated hue can be made, paint is limited by the properties of the physical pigments themselves. As Michael Wilcox theorizes with a colour bias wheel (bottom-right), primary pigments almost certainly lean towards secondaries. This follows the concept of the Munsell Wheel (bottom-left). You may have heard of a split-complimentary color palette, and this is the reason why. Artistically, these have been described as "Warm" and "Cool" versions of the primaries, but scientifically, they are colors that absorb or reflect more of a particular wavelength. There are Violet-Reds (Cool Reds, often called "Crimson") and Orange-Reds (or Warm Reds, that lean more towards Orange), Violet-Blues and Green-Blues, and Orange-Yellows and Green-Yellows. One the concepts to understand when mixing paints is that you are not creating a color, but rather you are effectively destroying colors and what remains is what is returned to the eye. Referencing the above color bias wheel, if you were to mix a Violet-Blue and a Violet-Red together, both containing pigment(s) that return a great deal of Violet wavelength, the little remaining Blue/Orange and Red/Green wavelengths in each pigment would cancel each other out, leaving the Violet behind. This would yield a more saturated or more pure hue of Violet. Conversely, mixing a Green-Blue and a Orange-Red ("Warm" Red) would be a very desaturated Violet, with more of a gray tone. Keep in mind that this doesn't make a color "bad"; desatured tones by including more complimentary colors is a very useful tool! In fact, for making shadows, using a great deal of complimentary colors to desaturate is a great technique. The problem is when these colors come about unexpectedly; after all, you can have a very "intense" Red and a very "intense" Blue, but mixing them may not produce a very intense Violet if they are "moving away" from each other. Now that is all being said, it is time to forget it...sort of. RGB is based upon the concept of Additive Mixing, or how colored light interacts. With additive mixing, fully saturated Red/Green/Blue light will produce White light. However, in paint pigments, it should be pretty obvious that mixing pigment primaries of Red/Yellow (or Green)/Blue together will not yield White. This is due to Subtractive Mixing, where pigments effectively destroy each other ala Thunderdome in Mad Max, and only the survivors reflect light back. A more modern approach to color theory and pigments is CMYK or Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and "Key" (or commonly known, Black). Adding these colors into the standard primaries gives us the "Yurmby" wheel. If you have looked at a color printer, for example, the colors used are NOT Blue/Red/Yellow, but rather Cyan/Magenta/Yellow. This is because due to the subtractive nature of pigment/ink mixing. These colors present a larger printable gamut (i.e. range) of color; for example, without White, it is difficult to produce a Pink tone with Red vs Magenta. A thin Magenta will read more Pink than a thin Red. Printers do not use White ink and instead leverage the paper for white, effectively printers are printing in an underpainting style. However, we as artists DO use White pigments and this makes things a bit more complicated as we do work with Tints (White) and Shades (Black). Like most science, the direct answer regarding an accurate color wheel is: it is complicated. For observable light, there is a bit more consistency and repeatability. However, when working with "tiny wavelength absorbing/reflecting mirrors" of pigments, things become a bit more complex. Additionally, there are other aspects that that go beyond the basics, such as the effect of specular and perception of color. It gets really heady when you start dipping into Kubelka-Monk Theory and K/S. Paint Composition: Most paint is made up of 3 parts: Pigment - particles that absorb and reflect certain wavelengths of light. Binder - The 'medium' or 'glue' which holds the pigment in suspension and forms a film. For acrylic paint, this is the actual acrylic part. Solvent - The liquid that allows paint to be viscous; as it dries, it allows the binder and pigment to harden forming the film. For acrylic paint, the solvent is water. Adjusting the ratios of these can have some interesting, and sometimes disastrous effects in terms of the stability of the paint. For example, introducing too much solvent, and the binder and pigment lattice structure can break apart. This can cause "coffee staining" or splotchy spots where the bonds pull apart, leaving areas without a film at all. The pigments in paint are held in a suspension. Like hot chocolate mix, there are tiny particles that are suspended in a liquid. Given enough time or evaporation, the liquid will leave these granules behind. If you have ever mixed a packet of Swiss Miss cocoa, you know that the mix can settle at the bottom - and that attempting to add dry powder to a liquid is more difficult than adding a liquid to a dry powder. This is another reason why mixing your paints is important because it is easy for the heavier pigments to tend to settle out of the binder/solvent solution. Speaking of solutions, that is the main difference between paints and inks. Inks, specifically alcohol inks that use dyes, are a solution. The staining dye actually becomes homogeneous with the liquid. Just like dissolving sugar or extracting coffee/tea, there isn't any particulates that separate out. However, most dyes are not lightfast - a property that will be discussed in more detail further. Acrylic inks that use pigments are not "true" inks insomuch as they are composed just like an acrylic paint. The difference being the smaller size of the pigments and the viscosity of the binder/solvent being much thinner. Paint Additives Outside of the 3 main components for paint composition, there are also some optional additives that some manufacturer's include in their paint. These can be things such as: Extenders/retarders, which delay the setup of the paint film, allowing for more mixing to occur before drying. Thinners, which dilute the pigment to binder ratio, usually increasing translucency and viscosity - commonly this is done with water for acrylic paints. Flow Aid, which reduces the surface tension of paint, allowing it to flow more easily and level - Reaper is known for adding a bit of flow aid into their formulation. Opacifiers, which increase the opacity of a paint - usually some type of calcium or bicarbonate. Matting agents, which reduces the glossiness of acrylic medium. Fillers, which are commonly used in student or inexpensive paints to reduce cost and add mass without adding more pigment. You can add some of these additives yourself to your favorite brand of paint to adjust the handling qualities. The most commonly added is solvent/thinner in the form of water to "thin your paints" to reduce the viscosity and lower the overall density of the paint, building up multiple thinner layers of paint films in a "layering" fashion.
  13. 3/25 - Touch ups and spear So lots of little things were done. Blocked in the spear, and shaded the spear point with a bit of Scale75 Inktense Blue+Black. Added another glaze of sepia + orange to the wings to bring it down from the yellow and more into the leathery brown spectrum. Added another sepia glaze into the shadows to darken them up to compensate a bit. Added more orange + white + sepia in the spines of the wings, especially the top-most ones leading towards her face. Touched up the teddy bear; coloring in the button eyes and highlighting the stiching. Added additional edge highlighting to some of the dress scales to give it a bit more pop. Used 2:1 Vallejo Metal Color Gold/Copper + 1 drop of FW Orange ink to make a nice warm gold. Put that on the shoulder pauldron, and glazed some sepia ink into the shadows. Added in some Scale Inktense Violet to increase the saturation of the purple top, and added a touch of Kimera Magenta to push it more towards a warm purple. Glazed her hair (again) with a thin Magenta, then added a tiiiiiiiny sprinkle of white to add in the hair reflection line.
  14. 3/22 - Painting with a cold... No, no COVID-19 for me, but still fighting off a cold. Managed to muster up enough energy tonight to put in a bit more work. There are a few areas that I have touched up with primer since there are a few areas where the paint rubbed off that I will have to come back and finish up. Added some more magenta to the hair, but will need to blend it a little more.
  15. Tonight was adding some more colors to "Flounder" which, I am keeping some of the same tones but muting them a bit as to not take too much away from Sophie. I added a bit of Pthalo Green to the FW Turquoise Ink to his head and gill area. Added in some purples into his fins, and worked on basecoating his teeth - still trying to decide what to do with his huge bug-eyes.
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