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Al Capwn

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Everything posted by Al Capwn

  1. Silas, The Ranger (ReaperCon 2018-Current) Here is my reference picture of what I thought was a "good" Silas that I saw on Pinterest (Note: Not My Work): I was like "dang that is a mighty fine Silas". Well ReaperCon approached, and I had saved three heroes left. Silas, Clovis and Nelly. So with my stash of paints, a deep sigh, and a helping hand from James Wappel's airbrush (thanks again!) - he got them primed for me, and I got to work... Hours in con, hours after con, hours back at home...and I finally get to this stage...(still not yet done) This piece is probably my piece de resistance. It is my best work so far, and I am incredibly proud of it. I tried to apply the concepts of darklining from classes, layering and feathering from Kuro, shading the metal of the blade from Proctor, highlighting and shading the face, highlighting the hair, applying the dark line at the hairline like Derek Schubert mentioned, highlighting the knuckles and places where the skin is going to be the lightest as Corporea mentioned... There is still some work for me to do on him, such as adding a bit more detail to the boots - but that really is if I am feeling froggy. At this point, he is at what I would consider a more than acceptable tabletop piece...once the base is complete, of course. This catches us up to present day! So moving forward, I will try to capture more details for those interested. If anyone has questions, comments, advice - by all means, chime in! Things I learned: A lot. Too many things. All the things. Layering and feathering and brush control, how to airbrush highlights, how to darkline and add separation, highlighting hair mo' bettah (though I still consider myself a noob at this), how to do eyes (still not perfect, but they are slowly getting better) and getting better at shading skintones. Things I could do better next time: Model prep. I am not showing the giant mold line I missed on the back of his cloak, as it would bring shame to my entire family. I am too lazy and proud to go back and try to fix it at this point. It will serve forever as a reminder that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I am not sold entirely on his red kilt/cape/skirt thing. It is ok, but I just..ehhh...compared to his green cloak, it just seems off. He is wearing blue jeans. He probably should not be wearing blue jeans. It was an experiment that went a little awry. Oh well, its fine, and seems like a pop color at this point.
  2. June 16-20th, Baldric the Wizard Baldric starts out with the typical zenithal priming technique to establish our light source, general shadows and highlights. At this point, I am using very thinned down glazes of Citadel's The Fang, which is this blue-purple color. My khaki is a little bit more opaque and ends up covering up a little bit of my pre-shading work. Whoops! So at this point I kinda had to fake-it-till-I made it regarding the fabric of his inner robe...I rough in the shadows and highlights. I also layered a bit on the large folds of his blue cloak to boost up the contrast a little bit. I block in the skin tones at this point as well. His eyes are just too tiny and he is squinting, so...yeah, that a'int happening. I highlight the eyebags of his to at least let the viewer know he is a sleepy old man. "Wait wait wait, what happened to his cloak? Where are his highlights?!" Yeah...uhh...about that...I don't know. I goofed up and then went back in with the *ahemcoughahemairbrush* and smoothed out the highlighted areas. Looking back, I think the previous work was much better - it just needed smoothed out a bit. The staff with inked with Scale75 Inktensity Inktense Wood. Like Vince Venturella said, it does a great job of keeping the texture and contrast. I will say in photos it pushes more towards yellow, but in person, it really does look give a nice wooden appearance. The bottle was glazed over with ... something. I think it was Badger Minitaire Ghost Tint Plasma Fluid? Maybe Inktense Blue? Folks, this is why you should *always* keep notes on what the heck you are doing for future reference. Also, here is Anne again, with a bit more shading on the metals from previously. I went out on a limb and tried some "magical mithril sword" on him. To be honest, I am not crazy about it - but hey, sometimes you break eggs making omelets. What I liked/learned: I liked some aspects of the undershading, such as the staff. The glass bottle thing came out neat as well. Sometimes your first instinct is the right instinct. What could I have done better: Take. Your. Time. Don't let perfect become the enemy of good. This model I rushed through a bit, and it shows. There is a lack of contrast in some areas, the airbrush spider-webbed on his knee and looks a bit rough. He isn't patently bad, but he certainly doesn't showcase my best work.
  3. June 12th, Anne the Nun Using the same zenithal priming as before, I prep Anne in the same fashion, applying basecoats of color to her. With her I wanted to apply @Clever Crow's Shaded Metallics techniques I picked up last year (great class). The key takeaways I learned was that metals need to be dull where they are in shadow, and this can be done via glazes. Now, I am a serious n00b at the technique - and Proctor is an expert at making the True Metallic Metals (TMM) look amazing. My goal was to try and employ some of those concepts into this model. I added darker metals where the shadows would be, and added brighter Vallejo Metal Color Aluminum to the highest highlights... Then I began to refine the face and armor, adding more shading along the way, and adding the highest highlight along the leg armor to give that polished reflection appearance. I highlighted the face and then added a little red glaze to the cheeks to give a more feminine appearance. I also added a little bit of purple and blue to the robe to give it some subtle visual interest. Not sure if I succeeded, but I like the sheen it gives instead of a stark black: Things I liked: I really liked how the blades turned out on this and (spoiler) I ended up using this same technique on another model to give contrast. I was also really happy with my first real forray into detailing regions of the face, such as adding red to the cheeks and highlights to the forehead, chin and nose. What could I do better next time: Eyes. Did I mention eyes before? Because eyes. Not quite as madman as Samson, but still not precise. Also, some of the blending on the metals is not nearly as smooth as I would like. I also think that the model is still lacking contrast in a few areas. Namely the robe and the cloth around the neck. I am not sure how to do so, but I feel like it needs to work more through the range of light values. The belt. It just looks flat and boring, like a solid band rather than having that interesting color variance.
  4. June 4th, Zombies (Part 1 of what will be many I am sure) These are my experiment fodder. Most of them were done using zenithal priming + layering inks on top. Right now Matt DiPietro calls it Sketch Style, Vince Venturella calls it Value Sketching and Mr. Coulson's class on Underpainting went over the same concepts as well - all rooted in grisaille. The second-to-the-right was actually done by my stepson and I am well impressed with how he turned out! The aqua-gal on the left I really liked - that was done with a thinned-down turquoise, and I spent some time applying some thin layers to establish some contrast.
  5. May 20th - Samson, The Blacksmith (Pre-ReaperCon 2018) Using an airbrush with some Stynlrez primer, I give Samson a a coat of black followed by a quick zenithal application of white primer: Unfortunately, I wish I had taken lots of photos in between, but here he is after a few basecoats and roughing in some of the highlights of the muscles. I know, his mouth-beard looks like he had a bad ice cream accident. Again, I wish I would have taken more pictures, but I wasn't initially thinking of posting progress pictures...so here he is in his final form: I ended up using some thinned down glazes to smooth out the blending of his muscles. At this point in my painting journey, eyes are still a problem (they get a little better as we go), so Samson does have a bit of a wild-eyed look to him. Probably OK given the madness going on. What did I learn: Pre-shading with zenithal priming can really help, and in fact, can "cheat" some aspects of the lighting process. I added a little bit of wash to his apron, but aside from that I pretty much left the undershading completely alone. I learned to soften the rough blends of the skin tones with thinned paint to help ease some of the transitions of color. What could I do better next time: I feel like contrast is the big one, a bit more time on the skin tone, and eyes...those madman eyes...
  6. Howdy y'all! I know I am rather new to the forums but I thought I would introduce a bit of what I have been working on pre and post ReaperCon 2018. No doubt I have met with some of the forum denizens here, most notably @Green Eyed Monster for sure. Hopefully my presence here will be a welcome and fruitful one, and I look forward to talking and learning from all of you! A few months back I decided to pick up Zombicide: Black Plague, and before I knew it I was neck-deep in medieval zombies. I told myself I would save the heroes for after ReaperCon to employ some of the techniques and improvements I would have learned. I... uhh... sorta did that. Let's just say I quickly became tired of the derth of zombies and wanted to focus on more...noble...aspirations. The Goal: Get 'er done. Preferably by the end of October. Because what better way to say 'Thriller' like a box o'zombies. I am shooting for tabletop standard for the standard fodder zombies, with tabletop+ for the heroes. Not quite display level, but certainly a cut-above your bog 40k Guardsman (ifyaknowwhatimean hashtag don't_tell_the_commissar). I am loosely following the box artwork along with Sorastro's YouTube series, but I certainly am not married to everything. I will try to make a note of any techniques I employ that I have learned either from class, trial and error, or from online tutorials. Since this is my first original content post here, please let me know if I am doing anything incorrectly or against forum etiquette, as this is not my normal venue for sharing! So grab a cup and buckle up, cuz we are fixin' to see a whole lot of pictures of the scenic countryside of Zombicide: Black Plague.
  7. Invariably you will discover more far too late during the latter. I think what @Crimson_king_of_the_tower is getting at is with the contrast of the primer having the effect of making the mold lines stand out more. For example, in the autobody repair industry to highlight defects on a surface, a fine light coat of paint called a "guidecoat" is used and then lightly sanded to show the hills and valleys of the surface. The surface can then be treated (either with additional sanding, or using filler). I would imagine the same can be applied to minis as well.
  8. Skin tones have recently been my own personal quest. I have tried: GW's Citadel: I honestly quite like but find very one-dimensional and overall a little dark, so not great for fairer skin tones. Cadian/Kislev are ok, but there is a quite a jump from the red-pink Cadian to the yellow-ish Kislev. I do love Bugman's Glow as a base coat. Nice deep plum color with fantastic coverage. I consider it a satin finish. Vallejo Model Color: Basic Skintone ran into the yellow tones, devoid of quite a lot of pink. Somewhat of a semi-gloss finish, even more-so if using their glaze medium. Truthfully, never particularly cared for it. Reaper Rosy & Fair Triads: Rosy Shadow is great, love it. Fair/Rosy highlights tend to build up a rough texture. Like...1000-2000 grit sandpaper. Dries matte. For what it is worth, of all the triads, like @Cyradis mentioned; the Golden Skin triad I have oft heard mentioned as probably the best of the bunch. I may still pick up that triad to play with to give Reaper another shot at the title... Scale75 ScaleColor Skintones: Incredibly matte. Like...dusty matte. No sheen whatsoever. Much thicker consistency, smells ...different... than other paints (I know, weird anecdote) and behaves oddly. However, the tones blend into each other like some weird voodoo on a wet palette. I was able to thin them with just water down to practically nothing and glaze over, and they still dry matte without any grittiness, even with something as high concentration of white as Pale Skin. Rumor has it you can add some Flow Aid and it turns it more-or-less into the consistency of Vallejo/Reaper, but I have yet to test that out. Colors tend to run a broader spectrum, from a deep plum to a pale yellow. A little more effort is required to put together a "recipe" compared to Reaper / GW's system. Tends to run a bit more into the tan/yellow if anything. There are still lots of paints I haven't tried, so obviously I don't consider this all-inclusive and I have the least amount of experience with the Scale75 stuff as I am still trying to learn particulars of its unique behavior and application. So far though, I really do like them for glazing. I will see if that continues to be the case over time.
  9. You aren't the only one. I view Blending as "establishing a gradient" regardless of technique employed. I consider Layering/Feather/Glazing as all blending techniques;, but I consider them "dry" techniques compared to "wet" blending. I.e. it requires the previous layers to be dry during application of the next, whereas all forms of wet-blending methods (to my knowledge) operate with wet paint interacting with each other.
  10. Yep, that is how it was this year. Kuro's class clicked the most with me, and I struggled in Aaron's and Mocha's. That is nothing against the instructors, I just discovered what worked for me in my present skill set. I am sure that I will circle back to wet blending at a later season. Working in a way I enjoy is a perfect summation of how I felt. When I came back home, I did some layering/glazing on my work from Corporea's class and refined things and felt much better about putting the knowledge into application. It is a tough situation to be in, but I think the current "advisory" of informing potential class takers of the skills employed is probably the best solution. Maybe if a student is particularly struggling in a class and feels way over their head they can be offered an alternative class instead? I do know the logistics of this might be rough as seats are already pretty limited. As ReaperCon has grown (and likely will continue to grow) I think *maybe* having a very limited number of "high level" classes (say 1 a day) that have a requirement such as a previous placement in the MSP, attending a previous class, or earning some painting technique ribbons, for "the hardcore" could be an option. Otherwise, without a type of "earning your belt stripes" type of skill evaluation, self policing and giving a heads up seems like the best thing that can be done at this time.
  11. Made it myself - I followed a tutorial from DIY Perks. I made sure to get some good CRI LEDs, but the actual construction was fairly straightforward and cost roughly $40 when it was all said and done. I opted to use a single pre-cut length of aluminum instead of buying a sheet and making strips like in the video. Very happy with it. Tutorial Followed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5uycGosYq4
  12. Here is my setup circa 3 months ago. The paint storage rack I made is not completely full, and I mayyyyyyy have bought just a few paints at ReaperCon. So, yeah, going to have to make another one.
  13. I think it would be useful, especially if broken into Blending, Textures, Contrast, etc. I have found during my own "painting journey" is "the devil is in the details". I think @Wren pointed this out accurately with dabbing excess liquid/paint off the brush during glazing, as an example. Or as I learned from both you and @Corporea this year - to feather/push/pull perpendicularly to the surface. I now have a better understanding of brush control, and how truly important it is. I now understand what it means to push or pull paint in the direction you want it to go. It could be just me, but I imagine there are others as well, who have watched YouTube tutorials and have an idea of how glazing, wet blending, and layering works; but get confused when things don't work out how we expect them. I would get frustrated trying to layer or glaze a highlight (read:contains white) color on top, particularly with highlights, only for the paint to have a stark watery highlight. Combined with loading my brush too much, it would often run off into recesses, and effectively be the total opposite of what I am trying to achieve. It took me a while to understand the opaque nature of white and the critical importance of intermediary tones. You can't just "thin down a white glaze" or even "add white to your mid tone" and paint over top of a blue and expect it to blend in. So yes, maybe my paint consistency was good, but my application was not. I also discovered that I am better at some techniques over others. I wanted to be a "wet blender", blending the colors and getting wonderful transitions on the miniature itself...but it just doesn't work well for me. Layering/Feathering/Glazing? I achieve much better results.
  14. The off-whites are pretty great (Linen White, Ghost White, Leather White) and @Kuro Cleanbrush recommended the Martial Blues triad. It is a dusky-greyblue set that ties really well into Ghost White as the highlight. I "accidentally" found that it works really well for blue jeans/denim (not entirely the effect I was originally going for, consider it a happy accident) but I could also see it being used potentially in some NMM applications as well. Liners. Super saturated and has almost replaced my washes in most applications where I want more precision. Clears. Basically along the lines of inks, but not nearly as glossy as FW Daler Rowney, Scale75 Inktensity or Badger's Ghost Tints. No personal experience, but I have heard good things about the Blonde Hair triad. I'd love to suggest the skin triads, but I have mixed feelings about them - in my albeit very limited experience, I have found the lighter tones (Fair Highlight/Rosy Skin Highlight) tend to become a bit chalky/textured. I don't get the same texture buildup with Vallejo or Scale 75. It could be user error, but just my .02 worth - I am sure others have and can produce great results with them. All in all, I think the Liners and Off-Whites can be used extremely frequently as your darkest shadows and highlights - very versatile.
  15. So first and foremost, I enjoyed all of the classes I took this year and walked away a little more knowledgeable than when I started, which is obviously the goal. While the primary focus has been on painting, I'd love to see a couple more basing classes (since it is a weakness of mine). Pushing past the basics of using cork and drybrushing, and with more of a focus on how to develop a theme. What tricks/materials work well for an aquatic theme? What works well for a barren wasteland? What about grasslands and forest? Some kind of Greatest Hits of tips and tricks and materials for developing an idea. Another class I'd like to see is intermediate to advanced airbrush; when and how to use it for more than just base coats, zenithal priming, and large objects/vehicles. It seems like such a good tool for larger models/busts with a lot of skin tones, or even color transitions on capes/robes. Can it be used for detail work? If so, how small? As far as the resin casting; resin can cure rather quickly - in a matter of 5-10 minutes. The working time of some is actually very short. The bigger issue is the mess and potential toxicity of it - spilling water based paint is not as a big of a problem compared to hard curing resin. However for making walls, maybe using those Green Stuff World texture rollers + that blue foam would be something that could be included as a demo/class as a quick example?
  16. Even something as inexpensive as nail polish racks can seriously help with the organization of paints. The biggest advice against disorganization is you have to give your things a home. If there isn't a dedicated place for it, it will simply end up somewhere. Lighting is also the big one - having adequate and accurate lighting is incredibly useful. I made my own LED light arch (DIY Perks on YouTube has a tutorial) and that helped immensely, and saves a lot of space in the process. My mini storage is probably the most lacking - those minis simply go in the drawers of my desk, which are quickly becoming overfilled. Some dedicated pegboard racks + bins might be a more elegant solution.
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