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Ferox

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Posts posted by Ferox

  1. I've been shading light to dark on my Carnivean, as my highlight colour in the base hue can get pretty chalky in thin coats. (That said, I plan to further highlight it with warmer hues, so we'll see how well that works out.) I'm also playing around with intermediate hues in the shadows: rather than go directly from twilight blue to brown liner, I'm taking a detour via imperial purple. The idea is that by making the shadows a bit warmer, the mid-tones will get even colder with the contrast.

  2. Here's a good walkthrough of highlighting and shading skin -- the focus is on faces, rather than muscles, but the principles are basically the same. The big difference with muscles is that they're bigger and rounder than, say, nostrils: you've got more room for error, but your blends need to be smoother.

     

    Olliekickflip's blending tutorial is (a) invaluable and (b) covers a lot of muscle and skin.

     

    Here's a step-by-step from Massive Voodoo that covers skin tones pretty thoroughly.

     

    Finally, a ridiculously in-depth walkthrough from automaton on skin tones and colour theory.

  3. Well, it took me about a year, but I've finally finished Jolie:

     

    post-5715-12983626755368.jpgpost-5715-12983626828596.jpgpost-5715-12983626880464.jpg

     

    I like the way the colour scheme turned out, although I'm not particularly pleased with the way I handled the phoenix red. Or that mould line on the left side of her dress. D'oh!

     

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    The freehand on the book was remarkably straightforward. The keys were a lot easier than I feared they might be. The scrollwork... was just as bad as I expected. Incidentally, all the fine work was done with my W&N S7 #2 brush, with which I've fallen hopelessly in love. If you'd told me a year ago that I'd find it easier to paint eyes with a #2 than with a #1, I'd probably have nodded politely and written you off as a lunatic. Well, I'm here to tell you that I find it easier to paint eyes -- by far -- with a #2 than with a #1. The extra body on the brush just does something magical.

     

    C&C appreciated.

    • Like 2
  4. Workbench update:

     

    Devout warjack (started)

    Carnivean (started)

    03462 Goblin Warriors (4)

    Gargoyle

    Norgol, Irongrave Knight

    Dwarven Warrior (primed)

    Young Swamp Dragon (primed)

    Jolie, Scribe

    Centurus Clones (2) (started/primed)

     

    Only took me a year to paint her, but Jolie's done. Pics in Show Off once the sealer dries. Hah! Finally!

  5. The original photos were pretty underexposed. I'm wondering if that could be the some of the culprit?

    I noticed that, too -- the first photo is fine, but the remaining three look a bit washed out. Unfortunately, that kills some of the depth of your shadows, particularly on the hair -- which is the focal point of Sophie's left side in this mini, so it really needs to pop.

     

    Speaking of which... there are four major orange things in this figure to contrast against the blue uniform: the wings, the hair, the ankle-plates, and the girder-and-wreckage. The wings have neat bony structure and striations, with shadows that go to green and claws and stuff. The ankle-plates are directly superimposed over bits of blue uniform, have yellow highlights (and a shiny effect of which I'm rather envious...) and purplish(?) shadows. The wreckage is mottled and rusty and has a lot of texture to it.

     

    The hair, especially seen from the left side where it's most prominent, just doesn't look all that special compared to the other orange things. Part of this, I'm sure, is the photos and the lack of contrast. But even in the first photo, there's not much that's special about the hair by comparison. No changes in hue in the shadows or extreme glossy highlights or streaks of ochre (or whatever) to frame Sophie's face, just... red hair. It needs something more.

  6. More progress!

     

    post-5715-12982730450685.jpgpost-5715-12982730511141.jpg

     

    I basecoated the skin with four or five coats of Snow Shadow. That's not going to be my midtone; it's more like the highlight within my general flesh hue. I plan to go down through twilight blue all the way, eventually, to brown liner, and bring the highlights up to linen white. The main reason I'm not starting with twilight blue like I did on the shredders is that I hope to avoid chalky highlights this way as much as possible. We'll see how it works out.

     

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    In all four photos I've basecoated and applied a few layers of a 50:50 Snow Shadow:Twilight Blue wash. I'm really trying to take my time and keep everything smooth here. It feels strange to be shading down from a highlight colour and covering most of the skin with what seems like it should be "shadow", but so far I like the results.

     

    It's a bit hard to tell what's going on with the paint and what's just shadows from my lighting setup here. I'm trying to include more fill lights to make it more obvious, but with a model as concave as this guy I'm gonna get shadows no matter what I do.

  7. Really? I'm pretty shocked at the reaction from y'all so far, because I felt he wasn't nearly as good as all that. He's just so very dark, with not nearly enough contrast.

    Yeah, really. ::): I can see your point about "not enough contrast", particularly from a value perspective, but I think you backed into a scheme that works well without big swings of light and dark. Kevis has rich reds, purples, and blues, and they're different enough to entertain the eye (or at least mine).

     

    If some criticism will make you feel better, I can't for the life of me figure out what's glowing green to his lower left. Is it radium slime on the base, or something to do with the dagger?

  8. You might have better luck with a more neutral colour on your photos. Very dark and very light backgrounds tend to freak out digital cameras, at least in my experience.

     

    Nice work on Mr. Hammerfist, there. I like the rugged, beaten look you got out of the shield, and the little blue details pop nicely. Welcome to the forum!

  9. Went over to the FLGS for their paint-and-take this afternoon. I had in mind that I'd mess around with some chromatic greys like MamaGeek's Gandalf. Anyway, this is what happened:

     

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    The nice thing about these events is that I end up (a) painting a lot faster than I otherwise would (this took me about an hour and a half), and (b) I use paints I otherwise wouldn't (the purple includes a 'sample' paint that looks like a slightly cooler version of Deep Red, and the basecoat for the cloak is a mix of twilight blue and muddy brown).

     

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    I "shaded" the staff with green liner. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Also, I have no idea what I did with the base: I grabbed a bunch of colours on my palette that looked appropriate and slapped them on, one after the other, because the store was closing in five minutes.

    • Like 1
  10. I don't know that there's one book that gives the sort of advice you're looking for... There are many books explaining color theory, and some do a better job than others.

    You mean I'll have to buy more than one book? Oh noz! ::D:

     

    Personally I like Color and How to Use it because it follows the KISS principal. Clear explanation of the theory of color, including the elements, color wheel combinations (complimentary, triad, etc.), and some simple methods to follow to get good color mixes without losing color intensity. Powell emphasizes value quite a bit (very important for any art) and I like that he shows real-world mixing between shades so you see the range achievable by mixing certain paints.

    Looks good, thanks. Between the three posts in this thread that aren't mine, I should have a good shot at finding something useful in the library.

     

    Likewise, making your colors work together may be as simple as desaturating them all (i.e. adding grey to give all the colors a common "base" hue.) This is why you sometimes see minis bordering on pastel - by tinting with white you desaturate all the colors equally. This makes even color complimentaries appear less contrasting. Some painters like to mix a tiny bit of the fleshtone shade they use into all the paints to get a similar effect - each area has a subconsciously-perceivable underlying tone. Sort of the like the old masters used to do with a toned ground over which they painted with translucent oils.

    That's rather clever. Thanks!

  11. Thanks for the links, folks. The Wilcox and Albers books both look like something I'll be able to use. With any luck my university library has them in the collection. ::):

     

    I present these more as a review (warning) than a recommendation. They are the typical texts that would be on the reading list for a college level course in the subject of color theory. I have owned (and may still possess) a couple of these titles. (But I forget exactly which...sorry...it's been awhile.) My guess (based on dimming memories of whatever older editions I have) is that none of them are what you are wanting. But they are some of the big-name titles in the field.

     

    Written by art professors, their approach to the subject was not exactly mathematical or technical.

     

    I think I might've mislead you with the "math nerd" title. I'm finishing up a PhD in computer graphics, so I'm well-versed in reflectance and transmission models for light transport and all manner of different ways to quantify colour. I've even done a little paint simulation. That doesn't really help me choose colours in a more artistic setting.

     

    I'm not looking for a way to derive colour palettes symbolically or anything like that. What I'm hoping to find is something that breaks down different principles (say, the interaction of complementary colours) and shows the effects that can be achieved. ("In Plate 26, Renoir used such-and-such colours in such-and-such a context to achieve such-and such effect. On the other hand, in Plate 27, Monet used the same colours to achive such-and-such completely different effect, using them in a different overall context.")

     

    Sorry if I'm being vague; part of the problem is that I don't really know what I want, though I assume I'll recognize it when I see it.

  12. I'm at a point where, aside from my blending, I need to bring up my colour-composition skills. I have a rudimentary grasp of colour theory (complements, analogues, and so forth) which I want to improve. Right now, I can look at a high-end miniature and notice that its use of colour makes it far better than what I've painted lately, but I struggle to articulate why the colours work the way they do and am nowhere near being able to synthesize something similar myself.

     

    So off I go to the library, and I pick up John Gage's Colour in Art, which is more or less a set of histories of colour from different perspectives, and Philip Ball's Bright Earth, which is a rather technical history of pigments. Both came highly recommended as "colour theory" books, and neither one is helping all that much. I'm looking for something a bit more systematic and technical, hence the thread title. I don't expect to find a Theory Of Everything Colour-Related, but I imagine there's better stuff out there than what I've found. Any suggestions?

  13. Whoa!

     

    Is this the staff from the wood-grain thread? I like the character the big, open grain gives it -- makes it look a bit larger than life, like it was carved from a branch of Yggdrasil rather than some mundane tree.

     

    The glowing eye on the skull in the base is a nice touch. ::):

  14. Looks great! You nailed the red leather, and the green eyeshadow is a stroke of genius. I would have liked a bit more contrast on the wings: the shadows look good, but the highlights on the back look a bit flat. And I agree with Jay: great job keeping all the separations crisp and neat, especially on the little details.

  15. I basically have to agree with WizardOne on this. The good news is that you achieved "aeons-old tomb dust" rather than "explosion of pastel chalk" like I did on Seltyiel's hood. I also think you're very close to making this work.

     

    The flame-sword looks like it could be throwing off white light (or cool white light), so the colours of your OSL highlights are okay. (That was my problem on the hood: blue light on red cloth does not produce blue highlights.) The problem I have with the OSL effect is that the highlights don't tell a consistent story about how strong the sword's light is.

     

    To start with, dark fabric isn't going to reflect big, broad, strong highlights from any but the strongest light sources -- that's why it's dark in the first place. ::): The big highlight on top of the right sleeve isn't so bad, since it's very close to the sword -- light gets weaker with the square of the distance from the light source. But the highlights on the right shoulder, especially on the swirl behind the shoulder, are just as big and if anything stronger in value than the ones on the sleeve, so they don't look right. (Also, in the third photo, it looks to me like the highlight on the right rear shoulder swirl goes beyond what's visible to the light.)

     

    The other issue is that the model has these big broad highlights on the right shoulder, which just... stop. Big highlights like that are perfectly reasonable if the sword's shining like a trapped star, but in that case the rest of the mini needs correspondingly strong highlights. Again, light gets weaker with the square of distance, so the folds of the cloak on the back (for example) need highlights that get thinner and fainter as they move away from the sword. The bottom-right quadrant of the back of the hood, for example, looks conspicuously un-lit, and the highlight on the back of the left shoulder looks no fainter than its mirror on the right (the vertical highlight between the big swirly one and the two horizontal highlights on the hood).

     

    Assuming you want a glowy sword rather than a nuclear weapon, I think all you need to do to fix this is to glaze over the OSL highlights to bring the cloak's colour back into prominence. (This is how I fixed Seltyiel, though I neglected to take a photo.) On a black cloak, especially one that's relatively matte, most of the highlights are going to be thin and dim. I'd suggest geting rid of the highlights on the left side almost completely, toning down the rest, bringing the shoulder-swirl highlights below the sleeve highlights in terms of value, and trying to get some sort of gradient on the sleeve highlight. The OSL framing his cowl looks great, but I don't think it needs to be super-strong to be effective. As long as the highlights from the sword are at least a little bit visible, it'll look gorgeous.

     

    Just my two cents until Derek comes along and gives better advice. ::):

  16. Liking it so far. The darklines on the shorts are a bit much, but I doubt you've finished with those.

     

    It could be the bright blue background washing out colours, but the boots look a bit flat to me. Shading's fine (rough, but you said "WIP" and I don't doubt that you'll clean it up), but I'd like to see more hues than just grey.

     

    The face is outstanding. I wish I could paint eyes like that.

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