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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. Thanks for the question! I sculpted Nanuranidd and had some input into the backstory and design. It was 2007, and Talin had drawn a very rough concept sketch for a dark elf sorcerer for the DHL line. I forget whether ReaperRon (art director) had asked Talin for a sketch, or whether Talin had drawn the sketch and Ron said "good idea -- let's make that miniature". The sketch already had the skull-topped staff, most of the outfit, and the pouch made from the preserved head of a vanquished Bathalian, but a confident and intimidating pose. I asked for the commission to sculpt the character, and Ron said OK. (I had sculpted only a few figures before that.) Talin asked me for ideas to flesh out the character, so we riffed on what it might be like for males in a dark elf society dominated by priest-/warrior-caste females. Even though he may be a powerful wizard, he is still a "mere male" and always has to know his place. We added the ankle shackle and even took away his shoes to make him go barefoot. In the revised sketch, the pose was hunched and asymmetrical. A few years later, the Warlord game expanded with several new "Savage North" factions. There was already a dark elf / spider / demon faction, but Wayne Reynolds designed the new Darkreach elves to be all skinny angles and spikes, like icicles and frost crystals. There was no drawing for a wizard or sorcerer, but ReaperRon asked me to redo Nanuranidd as a Darkreach character. I was able to reuse most of the original sculpture, but made some conversions -- re-posed the limbs and neck, swapped the staff to the other hand, and sculpted a few bits (right hand, open mouth, etc.). In hindsight, I should have found more ways to add spikes and icy accoutrements to fit the other Darkreach figures. So it goes. Enjoy! Derek
  2. dks

    Morihalda Bust

    All right -- bold! The red-orange hair makes her skin look grayer or greener by comparison, even though you haven't changed the color of the skin. Do you see that? When you start putting the shadows into the hair (dark red-orange = brown), there won't be as much of the red-orange showing anymore, and those shadows will moderate between the red-orange and the skin color. You'll also probably be able to glaze more red/pink/orange into the skin, to keep it looking alive and vibrant. Keep going. Derek
  3. dks

    Morihalda Bust

    This is a tough question. As @Cyradis noted, you have the skills to do smooth blends. But I suggest that it doesn't need to be smooth at every step of the way, unless you have the final result in mind so perfectly that you know how much of an area each value needs to cover. The colors of her hair, for example, will affect how we perceive the skin, eyes, ears, dress, necklace, etc. It's all linked. Will the hair be dark, light, midtone? Paint over the hair with some of that color, and the face will probably look different. If you "finish" the face before you've painted the hair, then you might get paralyzed when you realize later that it really needed higher contrast and you'll have to paint over your hard work making that intermediate stage smooth. Instead, you might try painting on the rough highlights and shadows all over the bust, jumping up a few steps with each layer, just to block out your colors and extreme values. Squint at it to see whether you like the contrast. Refine by enlarging/shrinking/moving the patches of each color. Then smooth out the transitions with intermediate layers. But here's your grain of salt: I've painted lots of 30mm figures, but never a bust. If I need to repaint a face at 30mm scale to get more contrast, it is small and quick (an hour or less). I imagine that it would take a lot longer to repaint a face on a bust. Question for @Cyradis: How did you work out the values on your blue lion bust (if you even remember)? Smooth layered progressions from midtone down to shadows and up to highlights, or darkest-to-lightest, or lightest-to-darkest; or did you block in the rough values and then smooth the steps in between; or something else? Derek
  4. dks

    706 Chaos Toad Savage

    So cute! The finishing touches on the skin will be some stippled white hotspots like the ones that we see in the photo of the newt, and reflections of other colors from the environment (like the cool highlights on the newt's back), to really sell the slickness/sliminess. It's the famed Non-Slimy Slime (NSS) technique. And/or just Gloss Varnish. ::P: See you soon, Andy! Derek
  5. dks

    Eyebrows

    @Valthorn_Illian: What figure are you about to paint the eyebrows on? Male or female? Human or a fantastical race/species? What color skin and hair? A face can look more "masculine" or "feminine" depending on the shape of the eyebrow and the contrast with the skin color -- and you control these details on your miniature. More feminine eyebrows usually are more tapered and arched, and sharper/higher-contrast to the skin. (In our culture, it's typically women who pluck and shape their brows, or redraw them with makeup.) If you do an image-search for people (celebrities or otherwise) whom you consider "handsome" or "beautiful" (or conversely "rugged" or "homely"), and focus on their eyebrows, you'll probably see a great range of shapes and colors. Pick a person you think your miniature resembles, and try to copy their eyebrows. When I teach my class on "Painting Expressive Faces and Eyes" at ReaperCon, and I get to the part about eyebrows, I pass around some pages of headshots from a ballet company, for reference. Anyway, good luck! Derek
  6. Thanks, everyone! Glad you like what I've done with this figure. I did the woad spiral in the speed-paint class, just to show how striking a bit of simple freehand can be ... but then I neglected to do any other freehand with the finishing hour, such as woad on her face or tartan patterns on the cloth. (@vhaidra: Yes, Derek Schubert here. Thank you, and welcome back to the Forum! I am also looking forward to my future paintjobs and sculpts. ) Derek
  7. This Bones figure was the demonstration model in my 2-hour "Good Fast Painting" class at ReaperCon 2017. I got her about 2/3 done in the class. She stood half-painted on my shelf for a year and a half. This past Sunday, I just needed to paint something, and this was it. An hour later, I was ready to call her done. As always, I spent a lot more time per square millimeter on the face & eyes. Enjoy! Derek
  8. Thanks, everyone! Glad you like my rendition of this beast. @Metalchaos: I've fixed the link to my WIP thread. Derek
  9. I really like Julie Guthrie's rendition of the peryton, a monster (part deer, part eagle, all vicious) that casts the shadow of a human instead of a bird, and eats the hearts of its victims. Reaper released the peryton in metal (03702) and in Bones plastic (77392). When I taught my "Fur, Feathers, and Scales" class at ReaperCon 2018, I used the Bones version of the peryton to demonstrate techniques for painting feathers, inspired by real-world birds. And recently I decided to paint the whole thing, as I had intended to do all along. I ran a WIP thread about it -- read it here. [edited link 3/29/19] This is the result: (No, I didn't paint in a humanoid shadow under it. I just think it wouldn't have been legible on this small base and rocky terrain. Idea for a diorama, free for the taking: 1 or 2 perytons attacking adventurers on a plateau, with the humanoid shadows of the rest of the flock unseen but implied above.) Anyway ... Enjoy! Derek
  10. dks

    77392 peryton -- a WIP by DKS

    @Sanael : Thanks! Glad you like the rocks. Hope you like the feathers... Next step, a few days ago. As described in my previous update: higher highlights and deeper shadows, striped patterns on the outer (primary/secondary) wing feathers, and more work on the rocks. I also painted light edges on the dark wing feathers, since my photo-reference on real raptor wings showed this detail. ... and then today I went on a basing extravaganza: "winter tuft" grass, loose hair grass, and oregano leaves. I shaded and highlighted the basing materials, painted over any shiny exposed glue, and did some more glazing and stippling. I chose the yellow grass (not green) and dead leaves to enhance the forlorn and menacing quality. I placed some grass to be growing among/through the skeleton, to show that the bones have been there awhile. There are probably other skeletons lying around its hunting grounds. I am ready to call him done, but I'll wait a few hours and check with fresh eyes later. Thanks again for looking, Derek
  11. dks

    77392 peryton -- a WIP by DKS

    Another 2 hours this afternoon. I put some new paint on most parts of the peryton -- mostly intermediate smoothing tones, and textured highlighting. I also added some higher highlights on the skeleton and rocks, and painted the rim of the base. In the small on-screen view here, it doesn't look very different from my previous photos -- so maybe that means it was already "tabletop quality"? -- but if you zoom in, you can see some finer brushwork and blending. Not much left: deeper shadows and higher highlights; hawk/falcon-inspired dark striping on the primary wing feathers; more blending & glazing on the rocks; then grass/foliage.
  12. dks

    77392 peryton -- a WIP by DKS

    Thanks for the lively discussion about pronunciation, mispronunciation, and myth-pronunciation. Um ... skewered venison medallions plus spicy wings on the grill? With tzatziki sauce for dipping? Or just fireball it dead and pick off whatever meat gets cooked through. I blocked in the colors with rough wet-blended transitions, and dabbed some other colors into the basing, all with my #0 filbert brush. I switched to a small round brush for finer work on the red eyes. I glazed crimson over the "black" antlers, to hint at their bloody purpose and draw your eye. The Monster Manual didn't say what color to make the lower body and legs, so I went with a purplish black, fading to brown on the feet. I might shift more of the body to a brown-black instead, and/or with a paler underbelly, as a more naturalistic "deer" color. Enjoy, Derek
  13. Sorry for being away from the Forum for so long. So ... how does one pronounce "peryton"? I've usually said it like "keratin" (stress on the first syllable), but I suppose it could rhyme with "enlighten" (stress on the second syllable) instead. I realized only weeks ago that I had been mispronouncing "wyvern" all my life, and the first syllable is long like "five", not short like "shiv". Anyway... I taught a class called "Fur, Feathers, and Scales" class at ReaperCon 2018. I used the Bones peryton as a demonstration, because of the big feathered wings. The first-edition Monster Manual gives the coloration of a peryton as blue-black head, black horns, green wings, and blue chest (male) or drab chest (female). I showed my students pictures of real hawks and falcons, most of which have dark tips on their wing feathers, and sometimes a series of dark stripes. Then I painted one of the peryton's wings to have stripes like that (black on green). Now I've decided to paint the whole figure, to at least a good tabletop standard. I attached it to a 50mm round base, sculpted some extra rocks, and sculpted the skeleton of a past victim (a Reaper pewter skull, plus bones made from putty). Perytons bite the hearts out of their prey, so I made the skeleton's ribcage open/broken in front. Here's how my version looked after I spent 2 hours slapping on Black Brush-on Primer and White Brush-on Primer, to establish the overall values. The primer didn't fully cover the striped green wing from my ReaperCon class. Enjoy, Derek
  14. dks

    Several misc minis from December 'break'...

    Strong work for the month! You have a good sense of contrast and of placing highlights & shadows, so you get striking results from quick paint-jobs. And congrats on the new workstation organization. My suggestions for photography: 1) Shoot against a darker background. On a background this light, all of your paint looks "dark" by comparison. A midtone background would let your highlights appear lighter. I use gray or blue Canson artist paper for my backgrounds. 2) Crop tighter. We all want to see the figures more than the background. I crop my photos tight and usually resize them to 600 pixels high for my Forum posts. 3) Include in the original photo an object with a set of basic colors, so you can auto-balance with the object in frame, but then crop it out of your final photos. I painted squares of red, yellow, green, blue, black, and white on a white index card, and I include this card in every shot. These were pieces of advice that I got 10+ years ago from Reaper's staff painter (and paint guru) Anne Foerster, and I haven't changed my setup much since then. You can search through my Show-Off threads and my Inspiration Gallery posts to see how my photographs turn out. I like the results, anyway. And Reaper likes my photos enough to include them in the online store. Keep up the good work, and keep sharing. Derek (Schubert)
  15. I am playing in the Pathfinder "Ruins of Azlant" Adventure Path campaign. A few of the PCs have some healing magic, but we didn't have an actual cleric until a PC recently took the Leadership feat, and an NPC cleric joined the party as his cohort. (Click here for the Show-Off thread about the figure that I use for my character.) The new cohort-cleric, Father Kurvis, is middle-aged and acts like a curmudgeon but has a kind heart. He worships Abadar, the god of cities, law, merchants, and wealth. Abadar's colors are gold and black, and his holy symbol is a golden key. Our GM has an extensive collection of prepainted plastic figures (D&D and Pathfinder), and this Village Priest seemed appropriate. It is from a 2005 D&D miniatures release. I offered to repaint it to be specifically Kurvis. Two hours of slinging paint got me to "finished" ... and after I took the first set of photos, I saw how bugged and asymmetrical his eyes were, so I just spent a few more minutes touching them up. Before and after: Enjoy, Derek
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