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Whizard Hlavaz

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Posts posted by Whizard Hlavaz

  1. I've never painted a fig with a black eye before... and with all this reference material around...

    Ha-ha! You ladies are a riot. I hope you've had a good time at my expense!  :laugh:


    Now then... a male secret... perhaps we stir up trouble so that we can guarantee there will be an opportunity to "make up"...


    Ever think of that, hmm?   :;):

  2. All the above points are valid, but one important thing that helps, is having a hard, flat surface to work on.

    That holds true for how I paint my eyes and their reflections. My left forearm and the heel of my right palm rest fully against the table when I'm painting such minute details. I'm also generally leaning over the mini (which often becomes a problem with lighting!)


    Spray some dullcote on your fig before freehanding, let it dry, and draw away! Dullcote provides a smooth, matte, hard surface perfect for freehanding!


    Another great tip. Thanks, Crusoe. I rarely, if ever, spray my minis while in progress, but from what I've read elsewhere, it's a good habit to get into.

  3. Uh, maybe it should be a separate thread but I wouldn't mind hearing about how you put that little white "light reflection" dot on pupils...I can do some remedial freehand but I haven't mastered that one yet & marvel at those who have.

    Would you believe "Very Carefully"?   :D


    I don't see why we can't talk about that here, BP. In fact, I'll trade you for a freehand tip. How does that sound?


    My painting style is a little contrary to most of what I've read that others do. I paint the eyes first. For me, if the eye isn't done and isn't perfect, the rest of the mini just won't work. Besides, most people (ie: non-mini painters) usually comment on the eyes first (which is where our attention is normally drawn anyway), so I like to get it right.


    Here's what I do for an entire eye, reflection and all:

    (cleaned and primed mini - no other paint)

    1. Slather the eyes and socket with white (or whatever color I want the "whites" to be (sometimes yellow, gray, etc.)

    2. Using a 00 or 000 brush, I dab two circles in the middle of the eye, allowing the apex or the bottom (depending on the direction I want the eyes to face) to breach the top or bottom of the socket -- that is, the dot of the iris will intersect with the edge of the eyelid, leaving a thin strip of the "white" of the eye beneath it (or above it). This step can take me two or three tries per eye to get right. If I make a mistake, I either trim the iris with the base eye color (the "white") or else completely wash over it and start again. (I find trimming to be the most effective. My style is all about covering mistakes.)

    3. Once I'm satisfied with the size and facing of the iris, I do one of two things: apply the reflection to the iris or wash the eye whites with a very thin wash of gray, pink, flesh, or red (which works great with yellow "whites" on orcs, goblins, etc...). If a wash is chosen, I wait for it to dry and then begin the painful application of the reflection.

    4. Now, I won't kid you. A mis-application of a reflection has sometimes brought me back to step one, but usually, I'm able to correct a mistake using only the black of the iris. So then: Using a 20/0 spotting brush (or else a neatly trimmed brush with few hairs) and *very* little paint on the tip, I apply a quick dab of white to the top/side of the iris. I do this by holding the mini by the base and head in my left hand (head between thumb and forefinger) and the brush (very close to the ferrel) in between my right thumb and forefinger. The rest of the fingers of my right hand brace against the mini and guide the brush. Almost like threading a needle, I ease the brush onto the iris (again to the top and side from the direction of the light) until I feel the slightest resistance. I then withdraw. Usually, I've left behind a pin-point of white. The hardest part is then aligning the second pin-point to match the direction/facing of the first. If a mistake is made, I try to correct with black as I've mentioned above. Sometimes, however, I have to start over. Oh,... I also wear a magnifying headband to this (and most other) detail work.

    5. With the iris done, I then blackline (sometimes on tiny faces where the black would give a clown look, I pink-line) the socket by slathering black along the cheek bones and face. I hold the mini in the same manner as above, but this time, I ease the brush along the edge of the socket. This make take several approaches to get a smooth line, and often, I turn the mini upside down or at other odd angles to do the top and sides of the socket.

    6. Finally satisified with the iris and shape of the whites of the eye, I trim the black with the base coat of the face, just as in step 5, trying to make the thinnest possible black line I can and avoid the "mad clown" look.

    7. That done, I then paint the face. I'll note here that sometimes the face wash runs into the eyes. I've never had this become a problem. If it does, I simply lick my brush and wash it off the eye. Several successive "lickings" are sometimes in order, but I find that usually the paint is still wet enough to clean off (or else my spit contains magic erasive properties that leave the finished eye paint behind...). And sometimes, the face wash even darkens the eye up and creates a nice blend over all of that color. Happy accidents seem to come frequently for me.


    So, there it is. More information than you asked for, BP, but maybe it'll help you out.


    Now then: I can't explain how I can do this and *not* be satisfied with my freehand (other than that a single dot seems far easier to me than what is, in essence, a drawing). I'm going to try to pay attention to my breathing the next time I do an eye. I wonder if I've got the "Zen" right for this, but yet not for patterns and so forth. I'll let you all know.

  4. Anne,


    If that's babbling, keep it up. The connect-the-dots technique is perfect! And so intuitive! No wonder I've never thought of that!  :;):


    I do practice on paper, that is, I practice on little squares of primed plastic (the left-over dividers from my paint cases -- also perfect for gluing a mini onto for use as a holder...)  I wonder sometimes if the practice helps. It can become very frustrating and often leads me to abandon the whole idea -- as part of what I like to call the "fast-food" generation, I'm quick to anger when frustrated. A good dark jedi I would make, hmph.


    At any rate, laying a grid work is such a good idea. I'll give that a try. I'll even practice it.


    * * * *


    Wow. This is very encouraging. Keep it coming, folks.


    And thank you, Anne and Steven. I appreciate the replies.

  5. Good tip, Steven. That's exactly the kind of stuff I'm looking for. I'll have to pay attention to my breathing next time I'm painting... Although I suspect I'm already holding my breath in hopes that the darn thing will turn out okay!   :D
  6. I'm fairly satisfied with many of the results I can achieve on my minis. I'm comfortable with a number of techniques like wet-blending and so forth. However, I cannot for the life of me achieve a decent freehand design. I don't know what's the matter with me. I can dot an iris with a pinpoint of white reflection. I can line an eye decently enough or trace a shoelace, but put a pattern on a cloak? Trace a design on a shield? Stencil a relief on a bit of pottery? Forget it.


    Maybe I'm just too anal, but the patterns I dream up and practice never make it off of my palettes. They just always look like garbage, no matter if painted or drawn with a micron. So... that said, I turn to you fine folks, especially those of you who frequently use freehand.


    How do you do it? Can we open a thread to discuss techniques? Inspirations? Tools? And even Horror Stories? (after several hours last night trying to put little triangles on an urn, I need someone to commiserate with me...)


    Admittedly, I'm not very skilled in drawing. Maybe I should take a class. I've always wanted to better my ability there. But, in the interim, I'd like to hear how the rest of you achieve the amazing results that you do.


    Give me your secrets.


    Please?  :)

  7. And of course a swimsuit calendar is a must have  :D  :love:  :D

    I'm with you, Mengu. I find a swimsuit calendar really helps me achieve interesting skin tones... In fact, the day I hung one up, I achieved an interesting blend of purple and blue and brown around my left eye! I tell you, that girlfriend of mine has a mean right hook!   :oo:  :p

  8. If you have access to a color printer, print out some pics of nice painted versions of minis with the effect you want.  Take them with you to wherever you paint and refer to them while you are painting.

    Excellent advice. I also print out pictures of actual animals in order to reference coloration and patterning. I find it really stirs my imagination.

  9. FF, I know for a fact you can get Deathsleet done in 3 hours.  I've done it.


    Kaladrax might be a different matter.

    Kaladrax was an evening's painting.  


    at least for me


    cbs :upside:

    How do you people paint so quickly? I swear I need a "hooked-on-phonics" painting course. It takes me HOURS and HOURS to paint a mini charcter, never mind a dragon or giant or whatever. Urg!  :angry:  Hours are exactly the one commodity that I have so few of!


    <shakes little slip of white paper in anger> WHY WON'T THIS LOTTERY TICKET PAY OFF!!!

  10. I've been pondering this question for days now, and I have to admit that I don't have any one particular paint that I "MUST" have for painting. Paints come and go for me (usually they "go" -- as in, I leave them uncovered and they dry out...)


    HOWEVER, that said (and I know this has nothing to do with your question. I just wanted to share...), I cannot paint without my rinsing bowl. I have my original rinsing bowl from the day I first started painting minis back in the 80's. It's a flesh-colored tuperware bowl stolen from my mom's collection. It has so many rings of color on it now, it looks like some kind of geological rock formation. You can track the years of painting like a geologist would the earth's history.  :D


    And that's all I need.


    Well, that and this thermos....

  11. (and strangly, an empty blister pack is now at work, no idea how it got there....)

    A ghost of unpainted miniatures present (past and future) perhaps?


    Or else some kind of sub-conscious reminder of the same, saying "Oooo....Oooo...What are you doing at work? You have miniatures to paint...Oooo..."    :p

  12. I'm sorry. This is going to be off-topic.


    I just wanted express a delightful sense of relief. I have participated on other forum-boards where the title of this post would have not only gotten the thread locked and banished, but would have elicited a stern PC slapping from members of the community and moderators.


    Now I understand the need for some guidelines, if only for courtesy's sake, but some take it too far.


    What a breath of fresh air you folks are. Thanks. I was dreading opening Jordahn's post in fear of reading someone's condemnation of the title.


    Rock on, Reaper People.

  13. I use older, poorly sculpted minis and those that I've amputated for modding other figures as statues. I prime them up, paint 'em gray as granite and slap a black wash across them. A little drybrushing here or there for highlight and *poof* instant statue for diorama use or in dungeons (especially around the lairs of basilisks and cockatrice). In fact, I sometimes carve a few more chunks out of them as though they'd been chipped and also etch cracks along them (this works better for softer minis made of lead).
  14. Super-sized bases? I like the sound of that. I could think of a number of uses for such a base beyond even large minis. Mini-dioramas come to mind, for instance. And were they made of metal and flew as well as a cd-rom does out of the car window, they'd be really useful for detering tailgaters as well!


    Bring on the super-sized bases!

  15. As I'm at work, I can't quite recall what the prototypical fire gensai should look like as depicted in the Forgotten Realms Sourcebook. However, the first thing that came to mind for me was DHL #02560 -- Earth Sorcerer. With just a little bit of modification--a flame sculpted into each hand and maybe a corona of wavy, flaming hair like Mr. Heatmeiser--this guy could be pretty cool. Naturally, give him the orange-red-flaming gold motif in the painting scheme and *POOF* a rocking little flameboy.


    And that's my thought. Good luck.


    -The Whiz.

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