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Posts posted by Ferox

  1. Also, I am thinking of using liners as washes(as someone suggested in this thread)...in the past I've used inks for this successfully but in the Dark Sword DVD Anne and Jen suggest that inks will tear up your brushes.

    Liners seem to be a bit thinner and more transparent than standard RMS paints, so they work well as washes. They won't add rich colour as well as inks, but you can get RMS Clears for that. ::): I'm surprised to hear that inks are hard on brushes; what's the mechanism behind that?

  2. You can mix in some greens to get a different shade of brown -- mix in a brighter colour than you think you'll need. Browns tend to be darker, duller yellows and oranges, so mixing them with red (one one side) and green (on the other) will get you different hues, and mixing in purples and blues will get you less saturated, grayer colours. You could also try mixing up your own, starting with yellow or orange and adding black. Keep track of your experiments on index cards, with rough mixing ratios and a sweep of the paint. It'll look different on paper than it will on the model, but it's close enough for a quick reference.


    If you can't afford more paints at the moment, you probably don't want to drop $30 on a book, but Michael Wilcox's Blue and Yellow don't make Green is a top-notch colour theory book from the perspective of mixing paints.

  3. Nearly done....


    post-5715-13158924949503.jpg post-5715-13158925010767.jpg post-5715-1315892401346.jpg


    Okay, let's see now:


    - Highlighted the cloth with Intense Brown and poor two-brush blending skills, then mixed in some Linen White and crosshatched specular highlights, then did it again. Things got chalky and uneven so I glazed on some Cinder Brown. Now it's all purpleish so I may glaze on something orange like Intense Brown.


    - Highlighted the metal with a mix of Scorched Metal and Tarnished Brass, then some Tarnished Brass by itself. That's enough for a pre-varnish highlight. I really like how that came out, too.


    - Did the fur with what was left of one of my cloth highlights, then some pure Linen White... it was too bright, so I glazed on some VMC Smoke. It's too shiny now, but varnish will take care of that.


    - Hit the axe handle with some Khaki Highlight. Eh.


    - Blocked out the skin markings in a grey I mixed up from random crap, then added some Nightshade Purple and sharpened them up. Glazed with skin tone.


    - Glazed the upper torso with a mix of Rosy Highlight, a tiny bit of Clear Red, and a big whack of matte medium. Mixed in some Clear Blue and some Cloudy Grey and did the lower torso. Did a batch with only Cloudy Grey and Clear Blue and did the legs. Gonna have to work on the transition a bit.


    - The player wanted a big ol' facial scar, so I blocked one in with Tanned Flesh and a tiny spot of Clear Red, and did the edges with Rosy Highlight and Twilight Blue. You can kind of see it in the second and third pics.


    I have a bit of darklining to do and will probably work on the skin glazes a bit more, but otherwise I'm on to the base.

  4. 1) The more I prep my minis before painting, the better my painting gets. Model prep is a learned skill, just like anything else in this hobby, and it's worth investing time to improve your skills. A lot of it has to do with creating a smooth surface for blending, but I think simply going over the surface of the mini carefully and with attention to detail helps immensely.


    2) Buy, use, and maintain good tools -- but don't get stuck on what you have. A while ago I switched from a #1 to a #2 brush, and was amazed by how much more control I had. Now I'm branching out into two-brush blending, and find that my old ratty #1 that can't hold a point is excellent for the job. A year ago I assembled and based everything before I primed it; now I cut off every broccoli base I run into, pin the feet, and glue the half-assembled model onto a cork. Next year I might be airbrushing the first levels of shadows and highlights and back to full assembly again.


    3) Seek out comments and critiques relentlessly. I'm fortunate enough to have a friend who's been through one of the tougher BFA programmes on this continent, and I lean on him for advice all the time. I've also been able to get some of the great painters on this forum to give me detailed crits, and always come away better for it. On the flip side of this coin, I try to give respectful, civil feedback on other people's models every chance I get. If I can praise the colour variation in someone else's model (for example), it helps train my eye to recognize good colour variation and makes it easier to pull it off myself. I don't like to offer C&C unless it's requested, but at the same time I've been frustrated on more gaming-oriented forums by how difficult it is to get honest crits.


    4) Crawl all over galleries of models painted to a high standard and ask yourself what draws you to them. Some days it'll be their use of colour; other days it will be lighting and shadow, or basing, or freehand. Think about how to integrate some of those elements into your own work... but don't expect to pull them off to the same standard, or even at all. I recently started playing around with warm/cool tones to direct focus on a figure, only to mess up more important elements of the composition. In related news, when someone like dks posts detailed feedback on a model -- especially a well-painted one -- pay attention.


    5) Study colour theory obsessively.

  5. I like to use them as the darkest elements of my shading blends, especially on demi-metallics. Liners are transparent enough that they seem to go pretty well over related shades -- I wouldn't shade green liner over red unless I was in a hurry and wanted something really flat dark, but red to brown to green liner or red to purple to blue liner are just fine. I also mix a chromatic black from equal parts blue and brown liner.

  6. Thanks for the comments, folks. Jabberwocky, I'm right on the same page. ::):


    Today I finished off the leather bits and shaded the scorched metal, cloth, and wood. I also went over the fur with a couple washes of VMC Smoke, because I still couldn't figure out what to do with it and Smoke cures all ills. I'm starting to like where it's ending up, so maybe I'll just keep going on this random process. Also, I rediscovered the process for setting my camera's white balance correctly.


    post-5715-13158134885584_thumb.jpg post-5715-13158134943471_thumb.jpg


    The cuir bouilli leather armour started as Uniform Brown. I hit it with a liberal shading of VMC Smoke, trying to pick up on the idea that this sort of cured leather tends to have broad and rich/warm shadows with sharp transitions to highlights and the occasional mottled dark patch. Later on, I couldn't resist trying out my new Vallejo inks, so I hit it with some Sepia ink thinned with straight matte medium. I'm really excited about the results, although it didn't glaze the way I expected and I had to learn two-brush wet blending on the fly! ::o: As you can see, it worked. I highlighted it in streaks (trying to emphasize the grainy texture) by adding more and more Leather White to the Uniform Brown basecoat.


    The soft leather straps got some Green Ochre shadows, into which I mixed a bit of Muddy Olive for deeper shading. Highlights are again on the grain, this time with pure Leather White.


    The axe handle got the same treatment as the fur -- "I don't know what to do about this, let's just hit it with Smoke and hope it goes away." I'm kind of okay with it. Needs some highlights, maybe with Khaki Highlight or Linen White.


    I mixed up some Midnight Blue and Blackened Brown for a first shade on the cloak, and tried out my new-found two-brush blending skills. Not bad, but a bit too close to the base shade in value. Then I added a mix of blue and sepia inks... and holy s#!t is that blue ink blue! Eventually I got it sufficiently desaturated and did what you can see here to the cloth. I took the same final mixture and shaded the scorched metal -- because, hey, why not? It came out pretty well.


    Next I need to highlight the cloak, scorched metal, axe handle, and fur... and then figure out what I'm going to do about skin markings.

  7. Buy the best brushes you can comfortably afford, and then save for a really good brush or two. Kolinsky sable is what you will eventually shoot for. Winsor & Newton series 7 are one of the more popular manufacturers, but there are others. Davinci and Rafael are another two, iirc. If you can afford the kolinsky and take care of them with proper care and feeding (cleaning) than they will last you a long time. Don't spend the money buying a bunch of small brushes. A good quality brush will have a fantastic point, and will allow you to paint with just as much detail, and the paint will dry on those little brushes before you put it to the mini. Size 0 and 1 should be more than sufficient.


    Winsor & Newton Brush Cleaner and Restorer and Pink Soap are two popular and easy to find brush cleaner/conditioners. Michaels carries them both.


    If you're wanting Reaper paints, there are a few beginning paint lists floating around that will give you a collection of most frequently used and useful colors to start you out with. There are a couple different sizes too, depending on your financial flexibility. There isn't a need to buy everything, unless you're a completist type of collector. A lot of colors you will seldom need/use.

    I'll second the advice on brushes. If you pick up a learn-to-paint kit you should get a passable brush, and it's not going to screw anything up, but once you make the switch to a Kolinsky sable brush you'll be amazed at how much you're not fighting it. I'd suggest getting a #1 or even a #2 brush -- the point at the brush's tip is what you need to paint detail, not the overall size of the brush, and the extra volume in the bristles seems to make paint flow more predictably. I use a #2 almost all the time; it actually has a finer tip than my #00. The advantage of the smaller brush is that it is in fact smaller, and can be easier to maneuver in tight spaces. To start with you'll probably only need one brush if it has a good sharp tip.


    Get in the habit of cleaning your brush on a regular basis, especially if you pick up a Kolinsky. Paint accumulating in the ferrule is mostly what murders brushes, and even if you're careful some paint will wick up there. You don't need to clean after every painting session, but it can't hurt. I like The Master's Brush Cleaner And Preserver, but Pink Soap also has its adherents (and I think it's cheaper). W&N cleaner/restorer is more of an all-purpose paint solvent for fixing brushes that haven't been cleaned enough than a regular cleaning tool, in my experience. You can probably put off getting that until you actually need it, which may be "never" if you're better about cleaning your brushes than I am. ::):


    As for paint selection, I'd suggest you buy paints as you need them. If you're painting an army, start with the paints you need for your colour scheme. If you've bought a learn-to-paint kit, stick with those paints for as long as they last, and restock the ones you use more often. I've stuck pretty closely to this rule, and I don't have a lot of paints on my desk that I don't use.

  8. So I just picked up bottles of Vallejo Game Inks in red, blue, and sepia. My google-fu has let me down a little on how they're supposed to be used. I was planning to use them sort of like RMS Clears -- mixing them into colours to get a stronger, more saturated tone; glazing surfaces to tint them slightly; that sort of thing. My impression is that RMS Clears will brighten a colour, while inks will deepen it. Can anyone give me some advice, or should I just dive right in?


    One specific question: Do I have to worry about these inks reactivating in water once they're dry, or will they stay put?

  9. Got a bit more work done, shading the skin and the axe-head.


    post-5715-13157311518404_thumb.jpg post-5715-13157312460769_thumb.jpg


    I changed my camera setup a little bit and I'm not sure it's playing entirely nicely with the colour balance, but the skin is indeed significantly more blue because that's how I shaded it. I started with a bit of plain ol' Cloudy Grey, then mixed in some Clear Blue and some Khaki Shadow and some other weird s#!t I had on my wet palette, and eventually there was some Blue Liner involved... I dunno, it looks good. Then I highlighted with Rosy Highlight, using thin brushstrokes mostly in the direction of the muscle fibres; I don't know how well that comes across but it seems to give at least a little texture. Somewhere in there I framed the eyes with Walnut Brown and painted them in with Rosy Highlight + Clear Blue (Goliaths, bless them, don't have pupils or irises). Looks like the head could use a bit more in the way of highlights.


    The axe-head is dead simple, shaded with Blue Liner and highlighted (at least as far as I'm gonna go before sealing) with Tarnished Steel and Pure Silver.


    Right now he looks a little bit too blue for my liking, a bit too far towards Dr. Manhattan; I might glaze the skin with a neutral brown at some point.

  10. I picked this guy up a while ago with the idea of doing a study in skin tones. He sat in my box-of-unpainted for a while, and popped up again with the Yet Another D&D Campaign party -- one of our players is playing a Goliath Barbarian with a big honkin' axe. Goldar is, um, perfect for the role. So that guy kicked in for another copy of Goldar and I'm painting up the first one I bought for his PC. Here he is, mostly basecoated:


    post-5715-1315717484296_thumb.jpg post-5715-13157174891434_thumb.jpg


    I say "mostly" because I can't figure out what I want to do with the fur, so I gave it a couple coats of Brown Wash and decided to leave it for later. Everything's pretty warm in tone except the axe head; the skin comes out a bit blue because my camera is getting confused, but it's really a 3:2 mix of Cloudy Grey and Rosy Highlight. The plan is to bring the skin tones down through something blueish for their shadows and keep everything else (except the axe, natch) in warm tones. The heavy leather is Uniform Brown; the straps are Terran Khaki, and the axe handle's Khaki Shadow. The axe head is Blackened Steel, and the other metals are Scorched Metal, which is one of my favourite paints in the RMS lineup but somehow I never use it. Maybe I'll strip Nayl's sword and do it up in Scorched Metal with Green Liner in the shadows.


    Anyway, Goliaths are supposed to have complex skin markings, which I'm quietly dreading. The rest of the paint is going to be a lot of fun.

  11. Looks good! I like the camo scheme, simple but effective. I imagine that sensors in a grav-tank universe would be sophisticated enough that purely visual camo would have a low benefit:cost ratio, so a simple dazzle scheme like this one would be pretty standard. Nice work!

  12. I'm really liking the striated effect you're getting from the highlights, but the muscle fibres on the biceps and triceps are aligned the other way -- parallel to the humerus, from elbow to shoulder, rather than circumferential as they're painted now. Maybe it's a small thing, especially for a gaming model, but it really throws me off.


    Yeah, I know, but that is what he has sculpted into the model as skin folds there.


    Ah, I see. That's a shame, but you're making the best of it.

  13. I'm really liking the striated effect you're getting from the highlights, but the muscle fibres on the biceps and triceps are aligned the other way -- parallel to the humerus, from elbow to shoulder, rather than circumferential as they're painted now. Maybe it's a small thing, especially for a gaming model, but it really throws me off.


    Eager to see what you do with the mouth; even with the bare-primer teeth and horns the face is unsettlingly expressive.

  14. Thanks folks. I delivered Seoni to her player tonight and she was very well-received -- people kept picking her (and Nayl) up off the battle grid and scrutinizing them, so I'll take it as a compliment. Got a couple more PC mini "commissions" on the workbench for next week; the best thing is that they pay me in beer. ::):

  15. Thanks folks!


    Fruggs: I basecoated with khaki highlight, then applied a controlled wash of VMC Smoke (which'd been sitting on my wet palette for a few days and was pretty heavily thinned). I went back over the hair bundles with a mix of khaki highlight, linen white, and a tiny bit of Smoke, and then added pure white in a couple of increments for the highlights.


    Mercius: Honestly, she wasn't all that tough to paint. Jolie was worse. pLylyth was much, much worse. In particular, Seoni's eyes are huge and easy to get at. There's not much that's awkward on this mini.

  16. Just finished this one up for the same D&D campaign as Nayl. Seoni's going to represent Shawna, a lawful good Invoker of Bahamut who happens to be a defence lawyer. In this campaign, Bahamut doesn't exist, and his "Justice" portfolio has transferred to Asmodeus. Exciting times.


    post-5715-13156078237827_thumb.jpg post-5715-1315607841795_thumb.jpg post-5715-13156078481945_thumb.jpg


    I think this is the best "human-sized" mini I've painted to date. The gradient on the dress, the skintones, and the metallics are about as good as I've been able to manage. This is also the first time I've been able to paint proper eyes (iris+retina, eyeshadow, eyebrows) and reasonable hair highlights. Obviously I have plenty of room for improvement on both, but it's a step change in the right direction.


    post-5715-13156080419148_thumb.jpg post-5715-13156080482133_thumb.jpg post-5715-131560805464_thumb.jpg


    The figure itself was a bit of a pain to work with -- mould lines in hard-to-reach places, and a big void on the back of the dress. One area I need to improve in model prep is getting rid of mould lines in areas of fine, small-scale detail.


    C&C very much appreciated.

    • Like 1
  17. Another thing to consider: if you load your brush with paint and wipe it on a dry paper towel, the towel tends to suck away a lot of water and medium via capillary action but leave most of the pigment behind. The thinner your paint, the worse this gets. If you wipe it on a damp piece of paper towel, the effect is minimized. My problems with chalkiness haven't exactly gone away since I figured this out, but they've decreased significantly.

  18. For me I like the sword too, but it appears more of a stone sword than a NMM sword. Just my perspective, it's still fantastic.

    Yeah, that's a good way to put it; that's what's bothering me about the sword. The blends are nice and smooth, but the placement seems a bit off -- in the middle of flat areas rather than across implied transitions. That, coupled with the lack of contrast (medium-light grey to medium-dark grey rather than black to white) and the muted colours used on the sword compared to the gorgeous rich reds that dominate the armour, make it a bit hard to notice.


    The armour, though, is amazing. Can we see some shots from the right and back? I wouldn't mind a look at the other shoulder pad.

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