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Everything posted by Corporea

  1. Yup. Case in point. Jen Greenwald entered her "RIP Charlie" this year in Open. Hope she won't mind too much with a quick explanation. It was adorable and most of us have probably had many a character that was done in by a trap, especially if we play DCC. Poor Charlie. So the painting is good. Jen is a gold level painter generally. You can see the highlights on the knuckles and definition in the stonework. We could argue the blood could have some texture to it, maybe be built up a bit rather than being flat. Maybe more color in the stone or variation. But this is the open category, where the painting isn't enough. In terms of a conversion, she removed most of a bow from a miniature and curved the remainder to look like a door handle. She cut the top off a pillar from the graveyard expansion's pillar. This is a great idea, very creative, well painted, but in terms of difficulty, very simple. Because of the simplicity, Jen got bronze. (Actually she told me she would have been mad at us for awarding any higher than that...) It's weird. Sometimes the things we work on the hardest go unnoticed, and the things we sit down and paint quickly for fun get all the attention. There's an indescribable quality to some miniatures that just have mass appeal, and it's almost impossible to predict it. Sort of like figuring out ahead of time what story to write that will go viral and be made into a movie. It's just blind luck more often than not. But there are certain qualities that make a well-thought out, well-painted miniature. It can be subtle, like texture or color choice. Or more obvious like composition and blending. This is not to say that smooth blending is required. The miniature I entered in painters this year had deliberate texture- I covered the cursed thing in stippling and crosshatching because I wanted it to look more like a painting, but I'll go ahead and let ya know- smooth blending would have been way faster! Argh! At any rate, Ian is right, we've all had things we love fall short of our expectations. Us arty types don't always take this well, because we pour our souls into our work and it hurts when others don't see the care we lavish on our creations. I wish there were a way to make it better. Trust me. Someone told me once they'd overheard a deeply negative critique of their mini years ago and it convinced them they should never enter the painting contest again. That literally (Julie and Bob can confirm) made me cry. That is the absolute last thing we want and it hurt me deeply to think of the pain caused by an offhand comment. We don't want to be like that. So, er, yeah! Keep painting and we'll keep working on helping!
  2. keep in mind that we as a small team have to judge the 500 or so entries we get starting at 7 pm friday night until we're done. We try to move at a reasonable pace, but I've been up super late before judging- and I turn into a pumpkin by midnight, if not sooner. I know folks love their babies- we all do. It's no fun to work hard and feel like no one notices the improvement. I'm not sure how to improve things, but do know we try our best and we want to encourage, not discourage, painters. I'm not sure we can ever make everyone happy, but we'll keep trying! Keep the ideas coming! I'm going to pick Ron's brain again about Rhonda's after contest critique class and see if we can get that setup for next year.
  3. also sometimes we're on the fence between two medals. We feel the piece is very close to silver or gold, but not quite there. So usually one of us will put in the higher score to indicate to the painter "you're almost there!" We even take turns doing it. I often volunteer to be the "softie" What that is meant to show is that the piece scored very highly in its category. A few more tweaks, and it will move up! One year one of my pieces got a high silver, and the thing that totally made my day was that Derek was the softie- he gave me the 4. It was awesome.
  4. I think of open as the place for something that may not tell as much of a story as diorama. Conversions and scratchbuilt sculpts live there. A weapon swap is a conversion, but it isn't as high difficulty as a heavier conversion-like a handmade cape. We look at the cleanness of the conversion- does the weapon line up, can I tell that the haft of the weapon is different below and above the hand, are there gaps that weren't filled, does the sculpting blend in to the original sculpt, are the scales on the wings different for a wing swap? That sort of thing. Can we tell that two adjacent areas are clearly different- does the sculpt break from natural flow of form, do the folds make sense anatomically, etc the categories for open are: degree of difficulty, creativity, workmanship, painting skill and overall impression. Some minis we saw this year had the "oooh shiney!" factor, and others were quieter, but more cleanly painted. Sometimes we went back to the percentages and worked it out on a calculator to help us judge where an entry fell. It's a funky category. reaper does have a link to the international judging criteria from historical miniature painting.
  5. yeah we pretty much bump things up to the next level for kids. We want to encourage them! I judged open this year, and actually, the sculpting is more important overall than the painting in this category. I know Bob and Julie were surprised their entries received the scores they did. Sculpting, craftsmanship, overall impression and difficulty comprise probably 70% of the score for open, so a scratchbuilt sculpt will usually score higher, even if the painting is at a lower level. One thing we found, which we probably need to clarify better is that fancy basing alone does not really qualify a piece for open. I've been guilty of this in the past. I do a great deal of sculpting on my bases, but if the figure is unconverted, it isn't truly open. We had to downgrade a few pieces for this. It's also harder to sculpt a human than a monster, so that affect the difficulty aspect of the score.
  6. The only figures up for a sophie are those made by reaper. So if you had an entry that was from another manufacturer and deemed better painted than your reaper figure entry, we would choose to judge the one that would score the highest. We always want to award the highest medal possible. In my case, I entered 2 dioramas- one from darksword and one from reaper. My darksword was judged for the medal because it was a better story or paintjob. But, it wouldn't be eligible for a sophie. So I had a black checkmark on my reaper diorama- meaning they at least looked at it for a sophie. The sophie judging is usually done on saturday after we get in all the saturday only figures. We do the bulk of the judging on friday night.
  7. I've done a few WIPs on the forum. Probably the most complete are the Tiefling Bust from Darksword and the Mother of Dragons from Nuts Planet, though I started a WIP on my Green Lady. I think a bunch of us are having an Athen-off this year by painting the Athena bust from FeR. Anne's is already looks awesome. I'm working on Julie's new one right now! Squee! When I get started on the Athena, I'll try to put it up in progress and cover all the basics.
  8. I completely enjoyed the after hours paint by die roll! My little mini is at the front of my shelf of awesome! My only other interaction with the sophie says (other than attempting to freak out the participants by telling them they only had 10 minutes left...) was when the sophie says groups came to visit the vendor area. That was so much fun watching everyone paint and walk! Great job guys! Ludo, thank you so much for all your hard work. We were playing underwing and underlings sunday and noted that the bag that holds the little colored gems would be a clever way to pick colors for painting. You could stock something like that with color tiles and then use the results to make everyone paint with them. Just thinking of options to go along with paint by die roll. Thanks again for all the effort you put into the events!!!
  9. Thanks guys! I got some work done on her this morning. Now a quick dullcoat and we're going into the box. Whooo!
  10. State of mind: Gotta water the plants. Feed the cats. Clean the house. Go to the bank. Should probably eat, too. Oh no! Where's my electronics bag? Ahhhh! Oh- there it is. Crisis averted. Crap! Where's the Dullcoat? Ahhhhh! Why did I leave dullcoating till the last day? Oh- there it is. Crisis averted. Where's the cat? Wait. Cat! Where are you? Oh. There you are. In the suitcase. Crisis averted. Still not packed. Sigh.
  11. Sigh. I'm calling her done because I'm out of time, but to be honest, I'm still not happy with her. I could work on her for years and not be happy, just because the theme is so close to my heart and I want to do her justice. I may work on her a bit while I'm at Reapercon if I get a chance. There's some blending that needs love and the hair ornaments need some darker shadows. But at least she's, er, mostly done! Yeah! Whoooo! I get to check her off my Habitica list where she's been lingering for 6 months... This is the original bust: It's a nice cheap plaster piece made by a company called owfeel I got on amazon for less than $20. It's huge compared to most minis but good practice if you want to work with eyes and facial features. And here's what I did with it: Here's a close-up of the front and back: I sculpted most of the bits, but the fox is darksword's, the cat from Reaper's cat lady collection, and the bat from the bones familiar pack. One sneaky trick I worked in is red shadow in the face and hair. I love using complements to shade a color. It adds so much depth. I also did a good deal of glazing on the chest to blend in the freehand. Leaving it drawn on would make it look more added, rather than part of the whole or sunk into the skin like I wanted. She was a challenge to blend because of her size. Thus the super sneaky trick of covering her with freehand to avoid large areas of smooth blending. I think I hate blending now. I need a break from blending. Her colors are red shadow, walnut brown, peacock green, viper green, fair skin, sun yellow and linen white. I can't remember what red I used to make the pink but I think it was fire red. Please feel free to ask any questions! She'll be coming with me to reapercon for closer inspection! Thanks, and see everyone soooooooon!
  12. yeah- 2 legs would've been better. But I'm sure there would have been coding issues. Oh well!
  13. you can do it Argentee!!! Hooray for Reapercon! In completely unrelated news- I have the chocobo theme stuck in my head. I made the mistake of taking a break from painting to play Assassin Creed and discovered the Final Fantasy crossover. I love my new mount, but sigh. doodily do di do. Do do, di do... Arrrrrggggghhhhh! It's worse than the X Files theme. I swear!
  14. ah! found the pic. here's me: I'll probably even wear the same dress... find me anytime! Happy to help!
  15. anytime! Rhonda was kicking around an idea to have a class on sunday for folks on general overall critiques and what it means when we say more contrast and whatnot. we briefly had a plan to take the same mini and paint it up to bronze, silver and gold levels to help explain the difference, but we never got the class fully setup. I've got sunday free just in case, so we may be able to do an informal get together with some of the judges. Let reaper know in feedback if that would be something y'all would like and we can get it formalized in future years. I think we sometimes say the same thing to everyone, so having a group where we explain it once might be better. If we can find a table where folks can cluster, I'm happy to sit down and try to use my words as my nephew would say!
  16. I'll be at my reaper desk (Erin Hartwell) most of the time when I'm not teaching. I'll have chocolate! Also I'm the smallest grown human out there, so admittedly I'm easy to miss!
  17. I think someone had a photo of me with their ribbons last year and the ribbon stack was taller than me! Also, I'm always happy to help people with critiques before the entry is due on things to improve if that helps. Just know it means I can't necessarily judge that mini- but we have backup folks to fill in. so find me and I'll help!
  18. hey- find me at my desk (erin hartwell) and you can borrow one of mine. I can show you how to use it and how it works on some watercolor paper. just return it to me later. My brother got me brushes for christmas one year, so I have extras!
  19. cute! I look at my babies close up on a regular basis since one is a notorious headbutter. Cats' upper faces always look wider to me who is used to a human nose. the space between the eyes always looks weird since the brows slide in differently than they do with our funky human foreheads. When I saw Avatar for the first time, the faces reminded me of cats- it was the brow line that did it. They made the nose look wide and feline. I'm not sure if that helps, but I found it interesting as a reference point. It looks good; looks feline and the proportions seem right. You might even be able to accentuate the brow some more, but kitties vary so trust your reference photo. There's such a variety in cat nose shapes, just like dogs (think bulldog versus shepherd)- some dip in, some are more flat, some straight. As long as you're capturing the essence of your model, you're safe. It's hard to do, so kudos!!!
  20. um, no? sorry- I didn't mean to imply anything, er. sorry!
  21. hey, happy birthday! And great chest- the metal fittings look awesome!
  22. oh my. I might actually finish green lady before the con! I had a zen moment today and figured out the critters. Thank goodness. Though I might ought to thank the sangria... Don't jinx it, E!! No whammies! Fingers crossed!!!
  23. it's hard to photo TMM. I think it's one reason people who enter online contests are careful about how much shine they work into the metals or tend to lean towards NMM. Always great to see you painting!
  24. wow, you really captured archer's disdain!
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