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dks

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dks last won the day on December 27 2018

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About dks

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    Oakland, CA

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  1. Very nice! I used to own this figure ... I think I painted her as a fire giant, but sold her 25-30 years ago and I had forgotten about her til now. I painted her in my first year or two of painting, before I realized mini-painting involved any highlighting and shading! It continues to be great fun to see you taking these classics and giving them good "modern" paint jobs. Thanks, too for the links to your hill giant and centaurs. And the comparison shot to the 25mm human. Some of today's scale-stretching 35-38mm heroic figures would be near-giants themselves! (Good clean NMM. Adding a few judicious glints of pure white on the armor and sword should take only a few more minutes but would really sell the metallic effect.) Derek
  2. Great! Goblins that are both green and orange are even more disturbing. I like what both of you did on these -- the variety of markings, the variety of metallics (especially the patchwork scale coat), the use of neutrals to keep the emphasis on the colorful skin. Beware their dreadful warcry, "NORK NORK NORK!" Singers sing, drummers drum, and norkers nork. Derek
  3. Sure, @Metalchaos ... since you got such nice smooth results on the gloves and skin, I would suggest a slight change on the beard and eyebrows. I can believe that you may want the paint to make them look scruffier than the smoothly sculpted shapes, but I think the shadows of the areas higher on the figure (eyebrows, mustache, and top part of the beard) would better fit the rest of your painting if they weren't the same dark brown as on the lower parts of the beard -- say, a warm mid-gray instead. Still a shadow, just not so dark. It's our perpetual challenge to paint hair and beards where the sculptor has exaggerated the valleys running lengthwise between the locks of hair. Deal with the overall volume of hair/beard first, and then deepen the shadows and raise the highlights of the locks. The shadow and highlight won't be the same color all along a strand, or for all strands. On some figures, the shadows in one part of the hair/beard (the higher/lighter areas) will be the same color as the highlights in another part (the lower/darker areas). You can see it to some extent on my rendition of King Axehelm (link), though the sculpting isn't as exaggerated. The lower mustache and beard have dark brown shadows, while the upper mustache and beard have mid-red-brown shadows. If you can attend RVE next weekend, Geoff Davis is teaching a class on hair twice: https://reapervirtual.com/classes Sue Wachowski taught her 2-hour "Hair with Sue" class many times at ReaperCon and other conventions, and I think Rhonda Bender and other painters have also taught classes on hair. There's a lot of nuance to painting hair but it's a rich subject to focus on. What do you think? Derek
  4. Thanks, everyone. I didn't paint much in 2020, but I'm really enjoying the time I've spent painting in the past several weeks, and glad to share it with you. @R2ED : I don't often paint figures with this much skin, so I don't usually spend so much time on smooth blends! But I thought it was important here, especially her left leg out in front. @Rigel and @Kuroneko : When I was planning the reef diorama, I spent a lot of time looking at photos of underwater scenes, and I used most of the same colors here that I used back then. The blue shadows, blue-glazed midtones, and lack of strong orange or yellow colors all help sell the underwater effect. I also glazed some Cyan Blue into my midtones and shadows, which is a color I almost never use but Anne Foerster talked it up a lot on some of her recent shows, so I decided to try it. It is a really nice blue! @Glitterwolf : That image is a nice pull! @Metalchaos : Thanks for remembering the reef, 13+ years later. Yes, I spent about 8 hours painting each elf on the reef, but about double that on Quoralei here because she's the main attraction. I enjoyed designing and sculpting those details, so I'm glad you mentioned them. @billeecats and @Darcstaar : Glad you're enjoying the "deep dive" into the details. I enjoy putting in those little glints and specks of colors that you can find. Skin colors: I painted the whole model with a monochrome gradient from Blue Liner to Polished Bone. Then the "real colors" were Clouded Sea (9194, discontinued, but it's a greyed green-blue) mixed with a little Highlands Moss, up to Pale Lichen; down to Blue Liner in the shadows; Leather White (cool highlight), plus Linen White for warmer highlights on the face; Intense Brown and Rosy Skin for the pink tones at the ears, nose, cheeks, and hand webbing. @zoroaster100 : Thank you! Aaand.... Because I can't leave well enough alone, I just did another couple of hours on the figure, mostly on the hair. I didn't like how electric-blue it was, and how flat/monotonous some of the strands looked. So I glazed more green into the midtones, and I darkened the shadows (especially toward the back) and raised the highlights toward the front. This gave more depth to the overall volume of hair, and took the emphasis off the strands. (I also glazed some green into the conch shell to fade out that bottom blue streak, added white to the pearls on the headband, re-lined some areas that had lost it, etc.) Before and after comparison. Hmm... maybe I lost too much of the blue! But I like this contrast better. Her eyes look bluer by comparison, too. Face and hair detail: And a group shot with the duo from the reef diorama: Derek
  5. Nice! I like your rough "cast iron"-like metal textures, the gold on the shield, the yellow-orange tint on the hammer, the baggy buggy eyes, the pallid purple skin. Offstage: "We just killed some giant geckos. Who can help us tenderize the meat?" This guy: "Yo, right here!" Derek
  6. Creeeeepyyyyyy. Again, your skillful staging of the groups to make it look like there were only 3 figures and they were moving, and then that reveal in the 4th photo! If you pit these against some players, you could also start the figures with their backs turned ... and then ... surprise! I like the subtle mottling and speckling, the added bell, the book scriptures. Thanks for the share. Derek
  7. @72moonglum : Thanks! I like to paint my sculpts, but I also enjoy seeing other painters use colors that I never imagined for my sculpts. You can paint her bare-faced or masked, as you prefer. If you want the mask to leave her chin exposed, you could build out a bottom edge with a thin strip of putty (blended into the upper face), or just fake the edge with paint. @Loim : I hope you get to see her in person at a future ReaperCon! Derek
  8. Quoralei the sea elf bard (03631) is one of my sculpts from several years ago that I'm finally getting around to painting. Sharing the base with her is a sea ray, one of the aquatic familiars sculpted by Julie Guthrie in the Familiar Pack VII (02948). Pics first, then some more words: Reaper released several underwater figures around 15 years ago, including Bob Ridolfi's Slithe Queen (02902), Julie Guthrie's aquatic familiars (02948) and Werner Klocke's mermaid (03078). I was inspired by the way they simulated the underwater setting and buoyancy, with coral or seaweed on the bases, dynamic poses, and floating hair and fins. I extended Reaper's aquatic offerings by sculpting a male and female sea elf in 2006. In 2007, I made a diorama of a coral reef with my 2 elves hiding from the evil mermaid and her Slithe Queen hunting-beast. I intended to populate the reef diorama with at least one of the aquatic familiars, and I prepped and primed Julie's manta ray, but I ran out of time before painting it -- the diorama was a contest entry for GenCon. (It won Best of Show even without the extra creatures!) The primed manta ray went back into my bits-box. A few years later, in 2012, I sketched a few characters for ReaperRon to review, and he liked this female bard with the conch-shell horn and a boy-shorts swimsuit. I sculpted her, Reaper released her, and Reaper's painter at the time (Martin) painted her for the online gallery. Without the pressure of painting one for the gallery myself, I left my copy of the figure unpainted and went on to sculpting and painting other things. Now it's 2021 and I'm finding new motivation to paint. I've been watching / listening to Anne's Twitch show on most days, among others. I'm clearing my backlog of figures, with the added incentive of points in the Reaper Challenge League. I painted my Frost Giant Princess a few weeks ago, for example. The casting of Quoralei had some noticeable mold-shift around her arms and hair, but used a knife and gloss sealer to fix the problems ... not perfectly for competition-level, but well enough. She already has a seahorse under her arm, but I decided that she needed a bigger companion to fill the foreground space. I auditioned some other fishes and sharks for the part, but I came back to the ray. I did a web-search for photos of real rays, and one blue-spotted ray inspired the colors that I used here. I used many of the same colors on the elf and the base as what I had used on my Reef diorama (since I still have my notes), but my techniques and eye for contrast have changed a bit. I'm especially pleased at the interplay of the blues and browns on the base. I didn't have a result in mind, but I just put some colors on my palette and mixed and stippled and glazed for a while. The colors on the conch shell and the seahorse are also mostly accidental -- several layers of glazes and fine stripes with whatever was on my palette, until I decided "enough". Enjoy, Derek
  9. Sorry I missed your post until now, but here are some thoughts from a painter and sculptor who still uses Green Stuff: Yes, this is "shift", where the 2 halves of the mold got out of alignment. It is more common with old molds that have gone through the spin-caster many times, but it sometimes happens with newer ones. In case you haven't done it yet -- or you want to do your next one better: A) I usually reduce a shift-step like this somewhat by cutting down the high side, before I fill/patch over it. B) You don't have to use 1-to-1 proportions when you mix Green Stuff. The yellow and the blue parts have different consistencies, and you can make your green mix more like one "parent" or the other by varying the proportions: Using more yellow (like 3:2) will give you a lighter-colored mix that is better for fine details and blending at the edges, though it is more difficult to make smooth. Using more blue will give you a darker-/bluer-colored mix that pulls back into itself for more rounded shapes -- better for bulking and massing. C) If the Greenstuff refuses to be smooth when you're working it (the 2 hours after you mix it), let it fully cure and harden (24 hours) and then use a very sharp knife/scalpel to slice or scrape it smooth. D) If the surface still isn't as smooth as you like, paint brush-on gloss sealer over the rough spots. It fills pockmarks and divots and forms a self-leveling surface. A few coats of gloss sealer can fix a variety of imperfections from the casting process. Enjoy! -- Derek (Schubert)
  10. Thanks, folks! Glad you enjoyed seeing the result and reading about the process. @Darcstaar : Blue and purple were the main colors, with small stretches around the color wheel from purple to red, and from blue to green. I used some red glazes on the ends of her hair to make it more lively (and subtly menacing), and on the blade of the spear to simulate blood that had frozen in the cracks. I also spent a fair bit of time managing the value and saturation of all the neutrals (the browns and grays and off-whites) to keep them distinct from one another but not command too much attention, and painting subtle blues and purples to keep them from looking dull. @KruleBear and @Samedi : Yes, it's not too late to finish that Ogre and Barros on your shelves! @SamuraiJack : She's a nice paperweight in metal, with sharp detail. She got translated into Bones later. She doesn't have any base (integral or tab) so I made a handle by setting 2 brass rods and clamping them into my sculpting block, as you can see in the WIP shots. She must be a lot lighter and easier to hold in Bones, but I don't know how well the details held up. Derek
  11. Happy birthday, Ed! It has been great to see you over this past year on Reaper's online shows.
  12. Wow! Nice unexpected choice of colors, with the juxtaposition of cold and hot. I like the textured brushwork on the metal, the variation of hot colors in the runes and details of the weapon, and the smoothness of the blends on the wings. Your WIP thread says you were going to do object source lighting from the ground, and I think that's a good call -- getting those fiery oranges to contrast with the cool blue and the dark metal. I think I see some OSL in the photos, but it seems to be getting lost in the shadows cast by your strong overhead light. On the advice of Anne Foerster years ago, I set up my photo area with 3 lights: 1 on top, 1 at low-left, and 1 at low-right. The side lights go into my painted shadows so they aren't swamped by the real shadows of a strong top light. Also, I find that I have to take my OSL or NMM-reflections a step or two lighter when they are in the lower areas of a figure. I haven't tried painting orange OSL on a light-blue object. I imagine that it would be a challenge. On the cylindrical tail, I would probably want to have a dark core-shadow along the midline, with light-blue above and a slightly drab orange (orange light on a pale-blue object) below. Anyway, thanks for sharing! I look forward to seeing what you do next. Derek
  13. Forged in Fire, indeed! I like this guy. He passes my "squint test" (effective highlighting/shading/contrast) and the extra effort on the face pays off. I also like the bark and inner wood colors and textures, and your directional brushwork on the apron. I would expect to see another step or two up on the highlights of the anvil, hammer-head, and tongs -- about as light as the values you painted on the hair and beard -- where light is glinting off their smooth hard surfaces. Those lighter highlights might be on edges or faces, depending on how you want to simulate the light. It can be tough to paint convincing dark-shiny objects, but clearly you have the skills to do it! Derek
  14. Great! I like the sense of material that you got with your shading and contrast, including the brushwork details such as the ribbed bottom edges of their jackets. (And happy birthday!) Derek
  15. Striking result! A good study. Good to see how you're eating the "Bones Elephant" one bite at a time. My two cents for you to take to your next OSL: 1) Differentiate the materials and colors that the light is falling on, and remember that the source of the light must be lighter/brighter than the objects it's illuminating. If I wanted this black cloak to be wool, I would use dark green from most of the lighted area, and a medium gray-green as the highest highlight; if I wanted it to be shiny black silk or magical cloth, I would go lighter because it's partially reflecting the light. Pale skin goes to a lighter greenish color. Shiny objects (such as the gems around the mantle) would show small glints of intense pale green -- reflections of the crystal light source on the staff. 2) Where an object is curving from in-light to out-of-light (such as the top of the hood), make a more gradual transition, such as by stippling the green and black along the boundary. Analogy: the fuzzy twilight edge of the half-moon in the sky. When I've painted figures whose eyes were deep in the recesses of their hoods, I've put just a glint of off-white in each eye, to show that there's something shiny/wet back in those shadows. Derek
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