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Like the title says this new year marks the start of my fifth year of miniature painting. Though I've managed to learn a lot both through this forum and the internet at large I still haven't learned proper layering. To anyone who has ever stumbled across any of my projects I'm sure this comes as no surprise. So armed with a Reaper gift card, obtained over the holidays, I decided it was time to finally learn layering. If it wasn't clear I picked up the 2nd Learn to Paint kit. With the instructions in hand I started work on the first model (77068 Anirion the Elf Wizard). Oddly enough after four years of painting this will be the first wizard I've ever painted. Just like the first Learn to Paint kit the instructions are great. I actually got so caught up in going through the steps painting the robe that I completely forgot to take pictures. That may not sound like a compliment but believe me it is. After just an hour or so I ended the night with a very nice looking cloak. Though I must admit I didn't push the shadows or the highlights nearly hard enough it is still a great improvement over my usual results.
The third and final mini from the Layer Up! LTPK, Julie Guthrie’s Hajad the Pirate: Not gonna try for any better images, because then you would see how badly I messed up the eyes... Mostly by the book, but I skipped the lining as my little brush was becoming temperamental. Of the three minis in this kit, this is the one I was most looking forward to, as it has the most exposed skin of the three (one of my problem areas). Think I oversold the abs a bit too much though. Based on issues with the previous minis, I elected to basecoat both weapon blades with Ebony Flesh before applying the metallic. The Filigree Silver included in the kit was too watery to play nice with bare Bonesium, and in any case it was difficult for me to see where the paint actually stuck. Plus, it makes lighter metallics pop. It was nice to see darker flesh tones included in this kit. The darkest (non-dark elf) skin tone I had available before was Tanned Skin, but my attempts to mix in darker paints always resulted in a weird shade of sadness. All in all, this kit was a good learning experience. The instructions were clear and easy to follow, and it was neat seeing the colors build up with each layer. The cartoons were cute too. I just hope that my technique improves moving forward. And that painting eyes gets easier.
The second mini from the Layer Up! Learn to Paint Kit, Ingrid the Gnome Thief: A fun little mini. She taught me that I love to overdo shadows. This is very evident on her cape, though glazing did help a little bit. On the bright side, the sculpt has some big, expressive eyes, and I think both came out halfway decent for a change. This one has a fun base, as well. Lots of details to pick out, and the instructions have a neat combo for painting mossy patches that I’ll have to steal for future use. Feedback is appreciated!
Painted (mostly) by-the-numbers, Anirion: This was a departure from my normal style of painting, and I made a number of mistakes, but wanted to stick to the instructions and see how it all turned out. All things considered, I think it looks decent. I didn’t worry about trying to correct the bend in the staff or any mold lines. And I added a third highlight layer (more yellow) to the robes, to make them pop just a bit more. The camera washed these out, it seems. The little details probably deserved more attention, but the focus here was clearly on the robes. I think I did learn a few new things, hopefully for the better. More practice will help. Comments and critiques welcome.