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Midnight Lurker

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About Midnight Lurker

  • Birthday 05/08/1968

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    Greeley, Colorado
  • Interests
    D&D , sewing, making chain maile, cult B movies, camping, fishing, cooking and the shameless worship of domestic felines.

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  1. I'm a little late getting in on this discussion... I've gone through just about every magnification option mentioned here and a few others. They all have their goods and bads, but for my situation I finally settled on the headband visor style. I use the optivisor brand with a #7 lens most of the time, but it can get heavy and occasionally the strap around my head gives me headaches, especially when I'm short on sleep. When I get that, I toggle to my mageyes. Reading glasses were not strong enough for me, so I tried going the route of getting a pair of clip ons to boost the magnification of my regular glasses, but anything I found that gave me enough zoom to be worth it put the focal distance so close to my face (I would have had to hold the mini about 3 inches from the tip of my nose!) that it would be impossible to paint. In order for it to work, I needed the additional lenses to be offset a good 3 or 4 inches from my glasses, and at that rate I may as well stick with optivisor and mageyes. For the record, I am near sighted and have an astigmatism, and just graduated to my first pair of bifocals.
  2. Wow! Thanks for the tip Laszlo! I've been using beeswax for years in my sewing, how come I never thought of it? Jen
  3. I have to wonder if anyone will be daring enough to show up with a unicycle.
  4. Welcome to the boards Mrs. F! First off, allow me to say congrats to you. This is very very good for your first works. Not only painting, but sculpting too? Bravo! I am not a sculptor at all, so I can't comment on that part much. I do see a marked improvement when you switched away from the ash clay on the mushroom man. Perhaps the ash clay has a porus nature that contributed to the rough surface texture? I love the mushroom guy too. I think the next step for you would be to play around with highlighting and shading. I agree that the body needs something more. Perhaps try painting in some darker ivory or brownish tones into the recesses on his trunk to simulate shadows and emphasize the detail of the sculpt. I could even imagine a little bit of traditional pinkish flesh tones around the face. The spots on his cap look a little gray. If that was the intended color, awesome! If they were supposed to look purple then they might need a touch up. The leech looks great too. I think what you need here is to go more yellow on the teeth like you said. The pink cast that have right now makes them blur into the flesh of the gums. A medium yellowish or yellow-greenish tan color right up next to the gums, and then just the tips in a lighter ivory or white color will do wonders. Your cloak monster seems to be headed in the right direction. Since you mentioned the tentacles I will point out that you can still make the suckers pink if you want to. Give them an undercoat of white to help neutralize the purple and you will have a fresh canvas. This is really impressive stuff, Mrs F. You seems to be off to a wonderful start in our squirrely little hobby. I look forward to your future work. Jen
  5. I think my personal favorite part was hearing Michael ask Jason if he wanted to suck on his shirt...
  6. Oh wow.... Yeah, I agree, this is my favorite take on this mini so far. She's dark and moody, but sensual and rich. Her face is beautifully done, full of expression. You achieved a perfect balance of red and green. It's so easy to make that come out looking Christmasy. I love the purple glazes in the shadows. The occasional splashes of clear strong color (blue and red gems, yellowish green on her sleeves, the center front of the bodice, gold trim here and there) keep your eye dancing without seeming out of place. Nice warm to cool lighting shift from the front to the back... The base work doesn't disappoint either. Very well done! The only thing I wish for would be a little more bright color on her face to draw me up. I keep focusing on her amazing dress and the base. Perhaps some brightly colored gems in the roll of her head piece or clear red lips? Your work just keeps getting better and better. Thanks for sharing! Jen
  7. And now a word from the peanut gallery... In my opinion the RMS paints are one of the best out there for the hobby, especially with the triad system and all. That being said, they are a bit of an investment for a beginner and not they only way to paint. Since you are interested in primarily doing tabletop minis for RPGs at first, it might be a good idea to play around a little more before you start buying specialty supplies to help determine if you are really going to enjoy the hobby and actually stick with it enough to justify the more expensive stuff. At least for a month or two. If you are on that tight of a budget and want to explore with more colors, I suggest going to walmart or hobby lobby and picking up some of their cheap-o apple barrel hobby paints. I know, I know... they are not the best thing, but they are only like 50 cents each when you catch them on sale, so you can get a lot of variety for under $10. I painted with them almost exclusively for like the first 3 years. Then... once the hobby has you by the throat has become a true passion, you can start to invest in the more hardcore supplies. Start with synthetic brushes. Brush soap is a great thing to have, but it's not critical at first since it doesn't really do much more than standard liquid dish soap for synthetic brushes, so you can save some change there... (Once you buy some kolisky sable brushes you might need "brush soap", but not for sythetics IMHO) When you're really ready to invest, I strongly believe that the first thing you should buy is a kolinsky sable. That is the single most important tool I own. True NEED items: Something to attach the mini to while painting it like a pill bottle or a chunk of wood or even a bottle cap poster tack or double sided sticky foam tape to stick it down with brushes and paint something to put your paint on like a plastic plate, CD or a welled pallet from hobby lobby if you want to be fancy good lighting primer an old toothbrush hobby knife sealer miniature files (not a true need, but nice) Nice stuff to have, but since so many minis out there have integral bases, these are by no means critical for the beginner: sand of some sort (salt, sugar or kitty litter works) spices from the kitchen super glue and white glue You really don't need all that much "stuff" to get started. Most of the stuff you actually need and will find yourself using every day in the house right now! I was like you, I went out and bought all the toys thinking that it would make me more "prepared", and thus improve my chances of success. 90% of them were wasted purchases, used once and never again. Just go for it! Paint up two or three of the practice figs you have and then evaluate how you feel. If you are breathing fast and jonesing for more then you can slowly begin to upgrade. I hope I haven't been a wet blanket, that isn't my intent. I am only trying to get you to slow down (just for a little while) before you buy too much. That way you will have a better grasp on what you need. Jen
  8. Nice work Dude! Nice blends and contrast in the skintones, and you did a great job on the blends merging his dark lower half with his torso! I vote for a few glazes of red or pink around the nostrils, mouth and eyes. It would bring them out more and give them a fleshy look, and generally help to draw focus to the face. Beauty stuff... Jen
  9. Are you talking about washes or glazes? Washes are applied to the whole surface in a rather uncontrolled manner (very good for fur) and glazes are applied in a tightly controlled area. If your glazes are coming out grainy it could be a couple different things causing it. It could be that your paint is old and funky (has it been exposed to freezing temps?) or it could be that you are thinning so much that the binder is breaking down. If thinning is the cause, try mixing in a little bit of brush on sealer. It's clear so it wont change the color, but it will help to hold the pigment together and lessen the "baby powder floating on the top of the water" effect. I use this all the time in my blending, and I go pretty far outside the standard triad. I usually add in at least two extra colors both on the highlight and on the shadow ends, mixing intermediary transitions as I go. First I layer in my basic colors, then I feather and glaze the transitions. And I thin my paints very aggressively. The key is to not overload the brush. You want the bristles to look damp, not saturated. Then apply it to the transition areas, dragging from one color zone into the next. If you have color number two in your bristles, start in color zone number one and drag into color zone two (or start in three and drag backwards into two). Basically you are pulling into the zone that your brush is loaded with and lifting away there. Just peat and repeat until you're happy. Jen
  10. Howdy CP! Check out these threads: linky and linky number two. Derek goes into a fair bit of detail on the colors he used. The NMM recipe he gave me worked out fabulous! Good luck! Jen
  11. You might be able to convince the newbies that you don't have anything to offer, but those of us who have been around a few years know better! Heck, there's stuff I want to learn from you myself! But we shall "discuss" that at another time.... <evil laugh> Actually the timing for this thread was pretty good for me. About a month ago I finally bought a table top tripod for taking WIP shots right at my desk. I've been shooting pics of my Gen Con entry in different stages as I went along, "and now we add another layer of highlights... and now we deepen the shadows... Pushing the contrast.... Yeah, I don't like this color anymore so let's change it..." That kind of thing. I had planned to make it conversational and bloggy, discussing the random thoughts that ran through my head as I painted, including the hows and whys I chose certain colors. It had been my intention to post it on my website as a SBS about the general process, but if I ever get it finished I could put it up here just as well. And Jabber, you will be happy to hear that it's another scantily clad chick. :) Just for you. Hopefully I can get her finished in time for the Con... got a couple commissions that I wasn't expecting and a short time table to complete them. After that I will start up again. Give me a month or so and I will see what I can throw together for ya. As far as shaded metallics go, hands down your best source would be Michael Proctor. He does the most amazing things with metallics that I have ever seen! I'll drop him a line and point him this direction. Laters, Jen
  12. Yeah, I would be more than happy to offer up info if I knew what you guys were looking for. Is there anything in particular that's on your wishlist? Jen K
  13. Wow! Really, really nice Josh! Rich colors and I love the blends. Good to see that your new laid back life in Mexico has not dulled your skills. Great to have you back, Jen
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