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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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  1. Thanks, everybody! I appreciate your observations. Yeah... although I try to avoid a paint-scheme whose back side has the most impressive work (like this shield, or a fancy cloak), sometimes it happens that way. Freehand that ends up looking crisp wasn't necessarily crisp at every step! I make fewer mistakes than I did when I was starting out, and even when I do make mistakes, I can fix them pretty quickly. The shapes on the shield aren't perfect, but all the imperfections sort of cancel out one another and add up to something else that's fine. Wabi-sabi. The scratches on the shield are thin lines of a dark color (Brown Liner), with thin lines of a light color (Creamy Ivory) following the bottom of the dark line so it looks like light from above is glinting off of an incised edge. Plus a few additional lines or splotches of the light color. I varied the locations, angles, and lengths of the lines so they would look like a random assortment of blocked attacks. @72moonglum: I've been enjoying your series of Show-Off posts on classic miniatures. Yes, start with something simple, such as a border on a sleeve or hem. Before you know it, you'll be adding freehand without a second thought! @Loim: Thanks. Take the plunge on one color scheme, and then just get another one to paint if you don't like it. Derek
  2. Very good! Lively and striking. Your management of the contrast keeps the diversity of colors harmonious instead of disjointed. Big figures deserve a few extra colors of paint, anyway. I like the black-and-white bare "cowhide" showing under the armor. Derek
  3. You've been productive! I like these. Great visual pop with those highlights. The Disciple's mask and staff (brass/bronze) looks especially good. Keep up the good work and please keep sharing. Derek
  4. I don't actually have a "Shelf of Shame" of half-finished miniatures like some painters do, but if I did, this figure could have been on it. I sculpted Ulf Gormundr for Reaper's licensed Pathfinder line in late 2012. Ulf is a character in the "Jade Regent" Adventure Path. Although I have painted almost every one of the figures I've sculpted, I neglected to paint Ulf and a few others, mostly from 2012-2014. Probably it was because Martin Jones was working as Reaper's staff painter and giving them good paint jobs for the gallery as soon as each figure was released. Several years ago, I prepped this metal casting of Ulf but then put it aside. I removed the moldlines, patched a little pit in the handaxe, clipped away and bent the wolf-pelt leg (which is attached to pommel of the sword in the original casting) to make the overall pose a little more dynamic, and twisted his sword slightly out-of-plane for the same reason. Despite the sheltering-in-place over the past eight weeks, I haven't painted or sculpted much (er... anything). My painting area had gotten even dustier than usual. I resolved to paint something this week. I poked around my painting area, found the prepped-but-unpainted Ulf, and spent a few late-night sessions painting him. The color scheme is the "official" one -- from the portrait by Wayne Reynolds on the cover of Adventure Path #51, plus the shield design by another artist in the interior of AP #50 (I don't know who, but there are several artists listed in the credits and I could rule out a few; does anyone out there know?). The figure has some complicated layering of clothing and armor and gear (but I actually simplified Wayne Reynolds's design a bit for the miniature). I made it even more fiddly with freehand textures. For the base, I glued the figure to a plastic base, sculpted a layer of putty over the top (including his last footprint behind him), painted it blue and white to look like snow, and glued on a "Winter Tuft" grass product. I cut the smallest tuft into 3 sub-tufts because I didn't want to hide his legs behind a big clump of grass, especially in the front view. Enjoy! Derek
  5. Thanks for sharing these, Jeff! I like seeing the range of character types that you're sculpting. I improved the most in my sculpting by using real-world or photographic reference, whenever I could. I still sculpt in Green Stuff (with ProCreate or Aves Apoxie Sculpt mixed in), so I can't give any advice specifically about polymer clay, but most of this should apply to sculpting in any medium. - Hands! They are hard to sculpt, or even to draw. Be specific about how all 4 fingers and the thumb are positioned, as well as how they all work together. Remember that the fingers have bones and joints, so the backs of fingers should show flat segments and angles, not continuous curves. I've sculpted plenty of unintentional "catcher's mitt" hands if I didn't keep this in mind. When I'm about to sculpt a figure with an open hand, I take a photo of my hand in that position. When I'm about to sculpt a figure holding a club, sword, spear, etc., I take a photo of my hand(s) holding an object of similar thickness, such as a roll of tracing paper or the cardboard tube from a roll of paper towels -- a little thicker than a real hammer or knife, because I exaggerate the proportions for casting. If the figure would be holding the object tightly, I told the object tightly. Then I keep these photos as a reference ("on-hand", if you will!...) while sculpting. When I sculpt a hand grasping an object, I start with a mass of putty, then use a clay-shaper or a knife to flatten the planes between the joints, then cut in the gaps between the fingers. When I sculpt a hand without an object in it, sometimes I use a very thin wire armature in individual fingers, or use a harder putty like Apoxie Sculpt to be self-supporting. This was one of my earliest sculpts (a derro, for Reaper), and his big chunky hands gave me more room for error, but I still think it has among the best hands I've ever sculpted: The hands of this vampire spawn are too big, I know, but you can see how I supported the splayed fingers: And this is one of my most recent sculpts, but I'm proud of the tension in his raised right hand. The fingers are Green Stuff with some Aves Apoxie Sculpt mixed in for rigidity in the final cured form. (Aves is a very light gray, and ProCreate is a mid-gray, so you can see the mixes in the different colors of the putty): - Clothing / drapery. I also often use photo reference to figure out a realistic arrangement of wrinkles and folds, at least if I have a shirt or trousers from my closet that is similar to what the figure is wearing. I stand in the same pose, take a photo, and then sculpt those folds on the figure. It's tougher with fantasy garments -- loincloths, cloaks, robes, etc. -- that I can't replicate with my mundane wardrobe. In those cases, mostly I look at other good miniatures for reference and I just try to copy/adapt what that sculptor did. Or sometimes I can use my imagination and make up a garment and folds, but sometimes the result isn't so good. Dynamic/action poses also make it hard to sculpt realistic drapery, because I can't get a photo of myself leaping through the air (for example). And if I just stand with my body in a similar pose but not moving, the folds in the cloth doesn't have the right lively quality. I also remember that a layer of putty or clay is much thicker in scale than an actual garment on a body, even if it's a thick fabric. To compensate for this, I usually don't sculpt the underlying body to its full thickness, but I leave it undersized, so then the extra-thick layer of putty "clothing" looks like a properly thick layer of cloth on a proper body. I used photo reference for this guy's trousers (myself as a model), for example: - Anatomy, especially of bare arms. Again, reference is my friend. I can use my own skinny arms to see how the muscles and tendons connect when I'm sculpting a thin human or elf or ghoul, but I need help figuring out a more massive and muscular body. Then I go to reference. I used photos of bodybuilders as reference for Kevoth-Kul: Small but specific suggestions for you, about arm proportions: Shorten the forearms (generally), and maybe lengthen the upper arms (generally), starting in the armature phase. On a given figure, make sure the left arm and right arm have the same shoulder-to-elbow length, and elbow-to-wrist lengths that are the same for left & right but slightly shorter than the shoulder-to-elbow. I use a drawing compass to compare lengths and proportions on my figures. I know, we are exercising artistic license and not trying to replicate realistic proportions, but it looks a little weird to me if the elbow-to-wrist length (ulna & radius bones) is visibly more than the shoulder-to-elbow length (humerus bone), or if the lengths are different on the two arms. I always make my figures' hands a bit oversized, but I try to keep the upper and lower arms in realistic proportions ... unless I want to have a grotesque effect, such as with this Pathfinder sinspawn's long forearms. Nevertheless, I used my own arms as the starting point for the bones and muscles: Anyway, keep working and keep sharing! Derek
  6. Yep! See, Andy and Christine and Glenn are excellent sculptors, and each has a different way of doing it. Even when we see how our peers do something, we still adapt and customize the techniques to fit how we work -- different tools, different materials (putty or clay) that behave differently in our climate zones, different handedness (left or right), etc. Derek
  7. Excellent! I like the way you juggled the hues and values of her outfit and makeup, to keep all those details distinct but cohesive. Sure, there's an "official" color scheme, but I think it's more interesting when you aren't bound to the original Pathfinder art. New renditions like this are fun to see. Derek
  8. I like your interpretation! I have seen the "official colors" of this and other Pathfinder miniatures for several years, so it is fun when other painters offer a new rendition. This figure has a lot of fine details that you picked out nicely with your painting. I hope the good paint job gives you good luck as a player! Derek
  9. Thanks for bringing us along with you on your time-travel trip! I agree, the shiny black hair works, I like the red-lined black cape, and the other colors coordinate nicely. He passes the "squint test" and I'm sure he looks striking on the table. If you wanted to take this to the next level, you could smooth out the transitions (by painting additional half-tones over the borders of the layers) and touch up some of the lining. I painted this guy as a Reaper studio model ... in 2003! I think Reaper was just launching the Warlord line of figures, and they had this concept art for Judas, so that's how I painted him. The lacy cravat is only barely visible from this angle. I look forward to seeing more from you. Derek
  10. Good work! I like what you've done with both of these. Advice from my very limited experience painting translucent/sheer cloth: Overall principle: The color of what's under the fabric (e.g. skin) will show through more where the fabric is tight against it, including the valleys of any wrinkles in the cloth. Conversely, the color of the fabric will dominate where the fabric is out away from the skin (the ridges and sides of the wrinkles), and where there are multiple layers of cloth (hems/edges). I can think of at least 3 ways to do this with paint: A) Paint the underlying material (i.e. skin, for your figure) as though there weren't any cloth over it, and then glaze over with the cloth color; use multiple glazes or thicker layers for the edges and ridges. Maybe the most intuitive -- you're actually covering the skin with the "fabric" (paint). Best if the fabric is really sheer/transparent. B) Paint the cloth as though there weren't any skin under it, but then glaze the skin color into the valleys and other areas where the underlying material would show through the cloth. Good if you're just giving a hint of what's under the cloth. C) Manage the skin and the cloth while you're layering/blending -- both sets of colors on your palette, mixed together and applied to the figure in whatever proportions give the right result. Probably the toughest option, but some people's painting styles may favor this one. Anyway, this is my rendition of a light blue translucent cloth veil, with "embroidery" and an abstracted lace texture, over dark hair. It's from 12-15 years ago, but I think I would do about the same now. Thanks for sharing! Derek
  11. Thanks for sharing, Russell. I've sculpted a few dozen human/humanoid figures for Reaper -- in Green Stuff putty, not Aves Apoxie. You can look for my figures in the store and/or forum, and decide whether to trust my advice. I also sculpt faces all in one go (like Andy explained), using a technique that I mostly stole from sculptor Werner Klocke. I exaggerate the eyes when I sculpt them, because I like painting larger eyes. I use a sharp #11 X-Acto blade to cut the inner and outer corners of each eye -- 2 cuts at each corner, so the result looks like < > ... and then light horizontal cuts to connect the tops and bottoms of the < > cuts. I'm cutting deeper at the edges of the eyes, and the cohesion of the Green Stuff makes the overall shape of the eye seem rounded/spherical without there actually being a hard sphere. There are lots of ways to do it. If I remember right, Sandra Garrity sculpted her figures' eyes the way Andy describes, with hard spherical eyeballs set into hollow sockets and then eyelids added as a separate batch of putty. Good luck! Derek (Schubert)
  12. dks

    03698 Tengu Rogue

    Thanks, Floyd! I like your blue and red accents with green cloth and brown leather, and the yellow-gold eyes are a striking standout on his face. I'm glad you like the tengus. I enjoyed designing and sculpting them -- Reaper's art director gave me a good deal of freedom. I look forward to seeing your renditions of the other 2. Derek
  13. Trying to plan my topics and schedule, I'm looking over the class schedules from ReaperCon 2018 and 2019. The putty-sculpting teachers, besides Bob & Julie and me, have been Andy Pieper, Tom Mason, and Brien Piersol; also Doug Cohen (sculpt-a-whole-figure intensive workshop). Most of the classes were in the 10am or 1pm slots. I'll diversify and offer my sculpting classes later in the afternoons. Derek
  14. For what it's worth... I plan to teach at least one sculpting-with-putty class at ReaperCon -- maybe 1 sculpting class and 3 painting classes, or 2 and 2. I'll try to coordinate my topics with what Bob & Julie (and any other putty-sculptors) are teaching. "Sculpting for Conversion/Repair" should have a very broad appeal. If people want multiple sessions but Julie & Bob want to teach only one, I could probably offer another one. I've taught a "Sculpting Faces" class for the past 3 years. I had 12 students in 2017 (Friday 4-6pm), 8 students in 2018 (Thursday 4-6pm), but only 5 students last year (Thursday 3-5pm). Maybe I've already satisfied the market and shouldn't offer it again, or maybe I need to offer it on Saturday this year. I taught a "Sculpting for Basing" class several years ago, including a lot of materials/textures, and I could offer it again. The classroom in the hotel was especially cold last year (below 68F), and that made my putty slower to cure and more difficult to work with. I'll try to solve that problem this year. Derek (Schubert)
  15. Good work! See?...no need for all that nervousness. Yes, there are a lot of fiddly details that require good brush-control to pick out -- laces, buckles, corset trim, etc. -- but you did it well. I like the plaid, too, and I see the hint of pink on her lips that you mentioned. (This was one of the first figures that I sculpted for Reaper, back in 2007 ... and the first one from concept art drawn by Talin.) Thanks for sharing. Derek
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