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Wren last won the day on December 15 2016

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About Wren

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  • Birthday 07/13/1967

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    Knoxville, TN (formerly Toronto, Canada)

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  1. lol! I have found that if you paint deep shadows just under the eye sockets you can often get away without painting eyebrows, but I do try to paint them in where I can now.
  2. Wren

    ReaperCon 2019 -- Classes I Would Take

    I'm not answering for Kuro, just giving some general feedback as an experienced class instructor, and also some tips for eyes. Eyes at gaming scale are tough to teach/practice in a convention class environment. I've taught general skin and specific face classes for years, and I don't spend a lot of class time on actual eye practice for that reason. I don't think there's a particular benefit to looking over someone's shoulder live for that - if you're having trouble seeing eyes when you paint them, you're not likely to be able to see much when someone else is painting them. ;-> (Though being farsighted, you might have an advantage on that to many of us!) I instead give tips for detail painting and include a step by step for painting eyes in my handout. I guess the thing you do miss seeing is the specific body posture I demonstrate for how to hold as steady as possible, and I'm guessing other painters do similar things. But that is something that is quick and easy to demonstrate outside of a class environment and you might try hitting some people on artist row up for tips on that. I'd be happy to show you what I'm describing here at RC! My general tips. Experiment with different methods. This method is the one I often use and always teach, but you can experiment with the method of painting the whole eye dark, dotting on the sclera colour, dotting in the pupil, and other methods too. I find it helpful to paint the eyes first, so I only have to worry about one side of the line at a time. So I paint the sclera. Then add a dot for the pupil/iris. If a dot is too hard, paint a stripe down the centre of the sclera. Then clean up the pupil/iris dot as necessary. If you did a stripe instead of a dot, paint the bottom edge of it clean with the sclera colour. If you can manage it, you want the pupil/iris to not quite touch where you put your bottom eye line. (If you look in the mirror, you'll see a light strip between the bottom of your pupil and where your eyelash line starts. This simulates that at our scale.) Now paint the lines around the eyes. You haven't painted anything else, so it doesn't matter if the one side of your line goes half way down the cheek, you're just trying to get the line where you want it where it goes around the sclera. Then you clean that up with your skin base coat colour in the same way - doesn't matter if you get skin colour on the hair, you only care if the side of the stroke that meets the lines around the eyes is clean and leaving the amount of eye liner showing that you want. If painting eyes looking straight ahead is a problem or you have a sculpt with very small or offset eyes, paint the eyes looking to the side. It's much less difficult to make the two eyes look matched. It also often tells a better story - the character likely would be looking at their weapon hand or in the direction of an on-coming foe or whatever else so it's often more interesting for the viewer. If you've only tried cheap reading glasses, try a quality magnifier. I recommend the OptiVisor brand specifically. They have the classic style and a newer visor only style that's lighter and cooler to wear. (Temperature wise, these things are never going to be acceptable fashion anywhere but ReaperCon. ;->) Be aware that they have different magnifications. Their highest lens plate is 7. I can see things with that I can't with lower plates, but then you have to hold the miniature much closer. I have been experimenting with using lower magnification for general painting and just doing fine details with the 7, but that experiment is very much in progress. You might also talk to your eye doctor. I was very surprised to learn you start losing the flexibility in your eye muscles and needing bifocals much, much younger than I thought. I needed them by age 40, and could have used them sooner. Also I have the opposite eye problem to you (myopia and astigmatism.) So you might try starting a thread over in the tips section to get tips from other far-sighted people, or consult an eye doctor. Light is very important, you can't see without it, so you can't paint fiddly details without it. (Hence my reluctance to even bother trying in a convention class setting.) Some people who are shaky find that if they can get both their hands shaking in tandem, they can do more detail than they thought. This position is also helpful to non-shaky people. Always put your mini on a holder. Tuck your upper arms/elbows in close to your body to lock down movement in your upper arms. Or brace your elbows against a table. Put the bump on the lower edge of your dominant hand into the little dip between the bumps at the bottom of your holding hand. That should lock down your upper arms and wrists, leaving only your fingers moving. It could also put your two hands shaking in tandem. (This is the part that is easier to show in person.) Some people don't like that hand position and do an alternate one where they make a little cup with the baby finger on their painting hand and brace it against a knuckle on the holding hand.
  3. How many of my final fix it checklist items did you find? How many things did you spot that I didn't? Find out here: https://birdwithabrush.com/2019/05/11/problem-solving-tara-the-silent-part-3/
  4. Each miniature paint company mixes their colours to their own specifications. It is likely that they may not even use the same menu of pigments to mix their paints. (Though I suspect a lot of crossover. For one reason and another I'm guessing every company would use titanium white PW6, phthalocyanine blue 15, and one or another of the quinacridone magenta pigments.) Even among artist paint companies that list that list the pigments they use for colours on the bottles of each, the same pigment doesn't necessarily mean the exact same colour. Some are pretty close - PB29 Ultramarine Blue tends to be pretty similar across brands. Others can vary widely depending on how the pigment is treated in production. Many of the earth colours that range from dull oranges, browns, reds are mixed from the same pigment, PBr7. There are literally dozens of paints within and between different brands mixed with that same pigment that vary in the actual colour of the paint. And that's talking about paints mixed with one pigment only, which few miniature paints will be. There are some classic colours in artist's paints, but there really isn't a menu of X number of colours that everyone knows and uses that companies try to match. There is generally no intention to map to a set palette of colours or to match those of other companies for miniature paints. (There can be exceptions. Vallejo Game Color matched pretty closely to the GW paint line up of several years ago I believe.) Sometimes companies are mixing colours that fit their studio paint schemes for various factions, often they're just trying to come up with a suite of colours that covers the majority of basic painting subjects like skin or wood. But you'll very often find gaps in the paint selection of a 50-100 colour range set of paints. I have almost every paint Reaper ever made (literally hundreds), and it's a pretty regular occurrence that I can't find the exact colour I want straight out of the bottle and I have to do a little mixing. Though it's much easier to find close colours out of the whole vast array of paint than if I'm confining myself to something like the Bones set or an even smaller set of paints. That doesn't mean that you're hosed if you just have a small set of paints. In the art paint world you can mix any colour you want with a set of 8 paints. It takes time, patience, and experimentation, but that is how many artists paint. (You probably can't do the same with 8 miniature paints, since they aren't mixed from single pigments. And even most artists throw in a few more colours to make mixing easier.) Note that using online swatches to match colours for any paint (or between paints) is pretty much a hopeless endeavour for a whole host of reasons I won't bore you with. At most an online swatch tells you the basic colour family (yellow, red, etc.) and whether a paint is on the darker or lighter side. It won't match to the actual paint colour made by that company, and it even more won't match to other companies' online swatches that don't match their actual paint colours. For your picture, you should have greens that match pretty closely in the Bones HD paints to do the green plasm or whatever it is on the lamp post. Use yellow or yellow with a little drop of white to highlight the plasm. If you use just white it'll go flatter and look more dull than in that picture. So Naga Green, Cat's Eye Green, Dungeon Slime, and a mix of yellow and white if you want to go brighter than that. The wraiths are painted with blue-green colours. There aren't really a lot of those in the Bones HD set, but you should be able to mix something approximate. Experiment with mixing your various mid value (not super dark, not super light) blue and green colours together. By that I mean pick a blue, then mix a drop of it and a drop of one of your greens together, then try a drop of that same blue with another green, then test each of those greens with another blue, until you get a mix you like. You might find that one colour is much weaker than another and you need to mix two or three drops of it in with another colour to get a mix that LOOKS like half and half of each colour. Your aim is to find a fairly simple mix that you can replicate without too many problems - 1 drop of X blue to 2 drops of Y green, say. Then do the same thing with your darker blues and greens to make a shadow colour that is also a blue-green but darker. You can apply that as a wash or as controlled layers, or however you normally paint. I think Spectral Glow would work well as a highlight colour, though you may need to add some white to get it as light as some of the areas on your picture. If you find the Spectral Glow too blue or intense in colour, add a little touch of grey to tone it down.
  5. Did you spot where I went wrong (or at least where I figured out where I went wrong)? Do you want some more practice sharpening your eye to better be able to spot problems during painting so you can fix them? Check out Part 2 here: https://birdwithabrush.com/2019/05/07/problem-solving-tara-the-silent-part-2/
  6. I am starting up a new series on my blog of my process in painting this month's gift with purchase mini, Tara the Silent in Bones Black. I've got several blog posts about planning colour choices and lighting in advance, but we don't always paint this way, and I didn't with Tara. So she was a good opportunity to walk through my thinking of identifying and trying to solve problems I discover during a more on the fly painting process. The first post is up now, and includes an opportunity for you to work your eye identifying one of the problems I found, then I'll post my solution to it in the next post in a few days and continue on from there. https://birdwithabrush.com/2019/05/03/problem-solving-tara-the-silent-part-one/
  7. Fantastic video! Very informative and interesting. I hope you will also post this in a separate thread, since I think it's a bit diverged from the original topic and a lot of people might miss it here. (Maybe you already have done this, I'm quite behind in forum reading due to so much traveling.) Then hopefully one day I'll do some experiments of my own that I could also share in your thread.
  8. SarahH - I don't have a lot of experience with the large Bones, or with doing a lot of basing and building. I think you might get more eyes on your question and thus more suggestions if you repost it as a separate topic in this subforum. One option would be to build up the back with two part putty. Greenstuff is the one most people know, but I find Milliput and Apoxie Sculp to be easier to use, particularly for basing projects. You could probably build an internal structure with cheaper materials (styrene sheets, maybe even cork) and then surround that with putty that you can texture to look like rock or something else that might fit on the base.
  9. Wren

    Hair repair

    I'd probably fill the gap leaving a slight depression, let that cure, and then put a thin skin of putty over it. It doesn't have to be GS. Milliput or Aves Apoxie are less sticky and a little bit water soluble so easier to smooth to edges sometimes. On the second stage, you have a couple of options for how to create fine strand hair texture. The easiest is probably very lightly pressing an Exacto blade into the putty. You could also 'draw' strands with an etching tool. (Or sharpen a pointed round toothpick, then dip the end in superglue. Wipe off the excess, and you have a homemade etcher tool.) The arm I would probably try to fix a different way. I'd do a coat of primer over the bare metal, and then try to fill in the depression with brush tips of gloss or brush-on sealer, allowing it to dry between coats.
  10. Is this a question you might able to address Vaitalla? http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/84621-favorite-bones-ultra-color-paints/&do=findComment&comment=1807387
  11. You're welcome! You might want to scan back through some of the past posts, as well. I've been trying to outline different ways I approach figures and ways that I plan and test. I've been trying out a lot more of that these days myself. :->
  12. In my latest blog post I list the colours I used to paint the March promo Efreeti, as several people had asked me about those. I also talk a bit about the colour tests I did to choose the colours, using a reference photo for the placement of light and shadow on a figure, and discuss the differences between form and cast shadows and how we tend to approach painting those on miniatures. https://birdwithabrush.com/2019/03/11/efreeti-paint-process-and-colours/
  13. Ha ha, soon! As hard as life fought me on the efreeti, I'm not going to throw around words like soon! I'm not the only one who got a copy of the djinni, and I believe that person has made a start on her...
  14. I didn't realize how large those figures were either until Ron sent me copies to paint. And I was very wowed!
  15. Also put the blame for last minute announcement of what the figure would be on me, not Reaper peeps. My life kept throwing up new and inventive reasons to not be able to paint this figure in a timely fashion despite having decent lead time. There's probably some paint drying in this photo is how last minute this is!