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Everything posted by dks

  1. This is wonderful, Anne. I needed the refresher course after not painting anything for 2 months... and having a lot to paint in the next 2 weeks. Derek
  2. ...an idea stolen from my betters, that is. Sandy Garrity's female drow figures, for example, have interesting stone floors and spiders sculpted on the base. Bobby Jackson's nosferatu-style vampire has rats. Many of Werner Klocke's bases have an abstract rocky texture. And so on.... Derek
  3. Re: conveying motion: I haven't tried using paint for blurred/speed effects, but you should be able to put a lot of motion into your figure with some minor reposing/conversion. Try thinking about what parts are actively moving (changing direction) and what parts still have momentum. The arms (or even whole body) of the chain-wielder are moving one way, but the chain is trailing behind, following whatever motion the arms/body were doing before. I've just converted a figure to look like it has suddenly stopped moving, so I've reposed the hair and added some jewelled tassels that are hanging away from the body -- still trying to move the way they were, a split-second earlier. Good luck! Re: broccoli bases: An integral base doesn't have to be broccoli, of course; I sculpt non-broccoli integral bases on my figures, so it can be embedded in a scenic base seamlessly and you don't have to cut it off. And even if I don't like the texture of a model's integral base, I can often embed it in some putty and blend it in, usually without doing any careful cutting. If you're putting figures on cork or rock and you need the base completely gone... well, you're just making it hard on yourself. Derek
  4. Thanks for organizing this, Ming-Hua. (repeating my message of thanks from 1listsculpting) I've forwarded the information to some other sculptors, in case they missed the announcements. See you there! Derek
  5. Just echoing the congratulations, Tre'! You translate your 2D art so well into sculptures; it's great for the Colonel to recognize you like this. Derek
  6. I'm going to send the pic to Bryan so he can post it in his next Greens update. And it won't be my only new figure, either! Yep, been busy since ReaperCon. Derek
  7. Easy E, Thanks for sharing your journey. I sculpted my first figure from green stuff about five years ago, relying on two tutorial-articles by Phil Lewis in the short-lived magazine Forge (mid-1990s). The articles show a figure being sculpted step-by-step and they describe many of the basic tools and materials. Some things can't be taught through the printed word, such as how different strokes will create different textures -- and I don't think the articles even mentioned how the putty changes over tow hours of curing -- but the articles allowed me to start at Square Two or Three, so to speak. I have scanned them to PDFs and can forward them if you would like. Just PM me with your email address. I sent them to Meg (fieldarchy), too, when she said recently that she was going to start sculpting. And, FWIW, I spend about 4 stages on heads: 1. sculpt a tiny featureless head in the correct position but detached from the torso, to give myself a rigid core when I sculpt the face; 2. sculpt the face; (2.5. cut the head off the armature and reattach it in a more interesting position, if needed;) 3. fill out the rest of the head, the neck, and the ears; 4. add the hair. On my first few figures, I couldn't keep the face from ending up off-center, so I switched to sculpting the face separately on a stick of wood and then attaching it to the figure. But in that case, I couldn't gauge its size relative to the body and usually made 2 or 3 oversized faces before sculpting one at the right size. After a few figures like that, I went back to sculpting the face directly on the figure with the tiny hardened head-core underneath, and things have worked out better. Derek
  8. Would it be OK for me to post a photo of my green of Elisa Anya, DYOM Vampire Hunter? Derek
  9. Here I am, able to dash hopes with a single paragraph. Sorry, I don't know the term that Aryanun is looking for. My knowledge of (building-)architecture is limited; I studied landscape architecture (plants, parks, and other outdoor construction) so my knowledge of it is considerably larger but still small, all things considered. But I can ask around... Derek
  10. GreyHorde just asked me about the colors on Alistrilee's armor, so I figured I would share what I told him: I set out to paint her as a cool, Pacific Northwest sort of elf (with bluish greens and gray-browns), rather than using more typical elf colors (yellow greens and warmer browns). You might notice the sculpted pinecone on the base. (Thanks again for the suggestion, Ron.) - I started with the cloak, using Highlands Moss, shaded with Stormy Sea and highlighted with Pale Lichen. - The colored part of the armor was Stormy Sea highlighted with a little Pale Lichen -- basically a few steps deeper and bluer than the cloak. - The dark bronze (torso, greaves, and edges) was Woodstain Brown, shaded with Brown Liner and highlighted with Bone Shadow and Driftwood Brown and Leather White. I might have added a dash of a warmer brown (Muddy? Earth?), or glazed with one at the end. I had to keep darkening it because it quickly became lighter than I wanted. - The lighter brass/gold was Driftwood Brown, shaded with Earth Brown (or maybe Woodstain Brown) and highlighted with Yellowed Bone and Linen White. I had to be careful not to go too yellow with this (e.g. Buckskin Pale). - The pants and shirt were Shadowed Stone, highlighted with Leather White added to it. - The leather boots and kneepads were Bone Shadow, highlighted with Driftwood Brown. Enjoy, Derek
  11. Saw it at a matinee and enjoyed it a lot: action, humor, and pretty people and neato robots to look at. Having grown up with the toys and the cartoons, I was put off by the complexity of the new robot designs, but I can see how these reinforce their scale -- they are supposed to be huge robots with lots of moving parts, not just action figures blown up to 30 feet tall. Still, I thought that some of the gray- or silver-colored robots should have been different colors, since I couldn't easily tell who was who in the faster action sequences. It is definitely PG-13, though. Unlike some movies rated G or PG, where the child laughs at a joke for one reason but the parent/guardian gets the hidden meaning, this one had jokes and situations that a kid just won't get and that the parent might not want to explain. It was an odd decision, I think: was the movie aimed more at guys like me who played with Transformers 20 years ago, or to kids today? (The matinee show was full of parents and young kids, many of them probably still in elementary school.) I saw the Transformers cartoon movie (rated PG) in the '80s when I was 11 -- Mom bought the tickets, but she let my friend and me see it by ourselves while she and my brothers saw a different movie -- and I loved it. It was more serious than the TV cartoons (because several Transformers died), and Spike even said the S-word (deleted from the DVD release), but it wasn't so different from the TV cartoons. And the Transformers movie soundtrack was probably my introduction to heavy metal! Anyway, I wonder what the parents of the young kids thought about it. Now, go out and buy a new GMC car. One lucky winner wins a real Autobot! Derek
  12. re: singing... <breaks paintbrush> "Enough! Pour molten pewter into my ears, and put an end to this torture!" (Huh, I wonder what a casting of an ear canal would look like. Not easy to remove from the mold...) Derek working on selective-deafness training in the meantime
  13. Yay, Meg and Phil! And thanks for the kind words, Tre (SIGIL). Now, if only I had sent my pics of the five derro figures a year ago (winter 2006), when I painted them... perhaps they would have sold better! Maybe they'll have some life-after-death through online sales. Anyway, on to some new figures... always something to learn. Derek
  14. I'll be there, defending my speed-painting title on Friday evening in Aces of Painting VI, which Sue has been organizing (and will compete in, too). Sue, Jester, Noel, Amy, Marike, and four other excellent painters are looking for an upset. Come and join the hecklers. Just be sure you heckle the right ones. Gen Con is the one time all year I get to play D&D with my old gaming buddies, since we're scattered across the country now, so I'll be doing that for most of the rest of the weekend (after teaching two painting classes on Thursday). Looking forward to seeing you folks again! Derek
  15. To respond to the original thread... My painting (or sculpting) time is streaky: sometimes nothing for a few weeks, and then every night (3-4 hours at a shot) and all weekend (6-10 hours each day) for a week or two, especially when a deadline for a contest or commission is imminent. I painted a lot in high school, then not so much in college, then almost not at all for a few years, and now more time as I'm learning and trying new things again. Having just spent the past week with my brother's family (including my 3-year-old and 1-year-old nephews), though, I can see how painting-time would be even more limited for most parents. And, to ride the 'jacked thread a bit... A burlesque show in San Francisco a couple of years ago (the first of the two I've seen) included a girl in a silver costume who danced to "Mr. Roboto" (in a double-feature, followed by "Mr. Cellophane" from "Chicago"). Very clever. Domo arigato. Derek
  16. The skin is a dark-to-light progression: Brown Liner ("warm black"), highlighted up to Bone Shadow (several shades with varying proportions of Brown Liner & Bone Shadow), with a final highlight using Aged Bone added to the Bone Shadow IIRC. You could, instead, basecoat with the first or second highlight up from Brown Liner, use washes of Brown Liner in the shadows, and then continue up to Bone Shadow and beyond. The hair is Pure Black going up through the Stone Grays triad -- a little colder than the skin. Just remember to chop off his sixth fingers and toes (maybe his horns, too) if you want him to be an angelic figure. Thanks again, everyone -- and good luck finding the right figure for you, MonkeyHero. Derek
  17. That's a bit tall for my RPG wishes... I don't think I can pass that by the DM :) But that's a nice way to paint it. Very dark, and not too tacky. Thanks. Only slightly tacky, then? Yep, as Mengu guessed, he's about 50mm tall -- supposed to represent a demon lord standing about 9 or 10 feet. Derek
  18. The Brushthralls article gives good advice overall, but some tutorials lead to results that look more like a detonated paint-bomb than a lighting effect IMO. To avoid that, remember two points: 1. The color of the objects should still be visible in the lighting effect. Under a blue light, not everything is just white, blue, or black. An object that looks red under white light might look purple or brown or black under blue light. For your first tries, keep it subtle and use glazes instead of opaque paint to show the color of the light. 2. The intensity of light diminishes with distance. The farther from the source, the less light. Some people paint OSL with a sharp dropoff from lighted to unlighted areas, at some arbitrary distance, and this looks unnatural. Fade it out more gradually. As for how to paint a lighting effect... well, as always, "it depends". Here's what I do, in general: If the glowing thing is small or subtle or doesn't have a strong color, I just add a few extra highlights to the areas affected, and then glaze back down to tint those extra highlights with the color of the glow. If the light is stronger and/or has a more saturated color, I either add some of the color to the highlights, or do the whole basecoat-shadow-highlight process for the areas affected by the glow. I make sure, though, that each area gets its own set of colors -- e.g. "skin in the glow", "sleeve in the glow", "pants in the glow" ... not just "everything in the glow". That helps me avoid the paint-bomb look. Good luck! Derek
  19. Very nice work, Jubilee! I like the choices of value for the different areas -- enough contrast from one to another -- and the treatment of the materials. I hope that you enjoyed the experiment and that it proves useful when you're painting other figures. Maybe some variation in value (e.g. darker at the bottom, or darker in the middle, or a subtle pattern) would help keep the cloak from being that unrelenting field of scales... Derek
  20. Thanks for the link -- you've been prolific! Great to see all those pieces, many of which I hadn't seen. I'll just ignore the visual and verbal clutter around the pictures and your comments. Derek
  21. Wood comes in lots of colors, so there won't be any one right selection of paints. The colors on the rest of your mini will affect how the wood looks, too. The colors that Angela quoted from my class would be good for rosewood or mahogany -- very red or pink. You can use yellower or greener browns for newly cut wood, or the original Bone triad for old/weathered wood, or more orange or purple tones for the more exotic species. For a basic brown on my last few shield-interiors, I basecoated with Earth Brown; lined (between the boards) with Brown Liner; brushed some more diluted Brown Liner into the shadows; and then highlighted up with Earth Brown, Driftwood Brown, and Stained Ivory. Technique varies, from more realistic (woodgrain is merely hinted at in the direction of brushstrokes, since it's so small in scale) to more stylized (wider strips of light and dark). If the grain has been sculpted (well), then just follow the sculpted lines. If you're adding grain as freehand (since real woodgrain rarely has a prominent texture), then add wavering lines that are roughly parallel with each other, and throw in knots or Y-shapes occasionally. Don't forget that even the darker grain should have highlights; I usually shade and highlight the whole item in the darker grain-color, and then add the lighter grain... and then glaze and touch up, because it never looks right on the first try. Good luck, Derek
  22. I got my start painting for Reaper by stopping by their booth at Gen Con about ten years ago and showing some of my figures; ReaperEd gave me another figure to paint as an 'audition' piece, and I worked hard to make it good. Later, I sold them some of my painted Reaper pieces, and eventually they asked me to paint for them on commission. Several years later, I sculpted my wacky little Acid Beetle for a Visions in Putty event, and ReaperRon liked it enough to put it into Dark Heaven: my multi-year overnight-success entry into the ranks of Reaper sculptors. Since then, most of my sculpts have gone like this: Me: "Ron, what do you think of this concept sketch that I drew?" ReaperRon: "It's decent. Go sculpt it. If it's good enough, we'll put it in the line." So, it can work either way. Derek only part of that, and hold the chips
  23. Beautiful work, Marike! Interesting how the accessory and color palette turn this figure (sold as a dark elf) into a light elf. FWIW, Aryanun, my painted version of the shield is hidden away here: http://www.reapermini.com/gallery/album04/Peacockback_ds I'll ask Michael or Kit to cross-reference that pic in the DHL Painted Gallery, since it's DHL 2901 and Reaper owns it. Marike's Nienna (ReaperCon Masters '05, gold) deserves to appear in the DHL Painted Gallery, too. Derek
  24. For whatever it's worth... I have moments when I don't think a figure is working out, but I work through them. I guess I just trust that it will work out when I get to the end -- or that I can glaze or touch up to fix whatever bugs me. I didn't have any contact with other painters for a few years when I was starting (ages 12-15 or so), so this forum already prevents my outlook from being replicated. I paint individual areas to completion, because I make decisions about the other colors from seeing a finished surface, not just a basecoat. Although the photos in my few-year-old tutorials on the Craft page show figures wholly basecoated, then shaded, then highlighted, they don't represent how I really paint. (A hundred photos, showing how I painted each area to completion, wouldn't have fit on the page. I admitted as much in the writeups.) My wall is generally in not starting -- either not starting a figure at all, or just not sitting myself down at my desk to start another session. Once I start a session, I get into the zone and I just want to keep painting. (For some reason, 10pm on a weeknight is when I usually get started...) Once I start a figure, the thought of finishing it drives me on. A rare exception was when I stopped halfway through Pharess the Fire Sorceress last year. I put her aside for six months, finally realized that the undies should be ivory, not lavender, and then finished her without much trouble. Derek
  25. And congrats to Gus on winning Michael's: another one (person/Sophie) that we'll get to see at the con. Derek
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