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  1. I've painted another of my sculpts from several years ago. I started her in Paint Club last week, and finished her during Paint Club today: Esmeria was one of my characters in the Living Greyhawk shared-world campaign, 2005-2008. Living Greyhawk had a series of adventures set in the Bright Desert that featured the plots of the archmage Rary and the ruins of ancient empires, so I made Esmeria as my new character from that area to use in those adventures. She started as a monk (scion of one of those ancient empires) and later picked up a few levels of ranger and the horizon walker prestige class as she adventured outside the desert. I sculpted her as a Dark Heaven figure for Reaper in 2012. But as with my sea elf bard (link to my Forum post), Reaper's painter (Martin) painted Esmeria for the online store soon after the figure was released, and I didn't paint my own until now. (I had this arrow-shattering action in my mind when I sculpted her. But, you ask, if she dodged and the arrow misses anyway, why does she need to break the arrow? I guess she's showing off.) I spent a lot of time smoothing the blends on her skin and cloth garments, but I left rougher brushstrokes on some things (bracers and rocks). Color-composition challenges!: I wanted her eponymous emerald-green eyes (lined with kohl) to be the main note of color on a subdued desert scheme (browns, warm grays, bronze/brass), but it wasn't interesting enough without a few other blues and greens as accents. I kept those small and/or muted so they wouldn't steal the focus from her eyes. I especially like the play of color on her bracers. On the fan-shaped jewelry, I went back and forth on which part should be bronze/brass and which part should be colored stone. I even posted her photo for Reaper Challenge League a couple of hours ago with the fans one way (blue stone rays, brass vertex), but then decided there was too much blue, and I repainted them the other way (brass rays, stone vertex) for this posting. The arrows posed another color quandary. I blocked out their initial values in brown monochrome -- dark brown shafts and ivory fletching -- but it looked like someone was shooting her own arrows at her! They needed to be in different "enemy" colors, but also had to harmonize. Gnolls' grungy arrows with blood-soaked fletching would be too far off, for example. I took a WIP photo and brought it into Photoshop to paint over. Red/orange looked right ... but then it was too garish when I painted it on the mini ... so I dulled it but it looked too gray ... then I took it back to beige/white ... then settled on this red-orange-yellow gradient. Maybe it's a phoenix feather. After I painted her skirt with the base bone color, I used Photoshop to test some options for the freehand, including borders or patterns. I looked online for various Persian / Arabic textiles as inspiration, but I decided against an all-over geometric pattern because the garment itself doesn't have a realistic symmetrical shape (I used artistic license when sculpting it), and her leather skirt already has those rows of alternating diagonals. So I came up with this relatively simple border. Enough words for now! Enjoy, Derek
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