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I bought the Mother of Dragons bust at Reapercon last year initially with the idea of painting it up for my dad (who is supportive of my painting but ambivalent towards painted miniatures in general) as a present since he loves Game of Thrones. But, I just couldn't get in to painting it as Daenerys. It didn't click. So, dad will have to wait for me to find something equally cool. Although I did buy him some of those charity water-dot-org chalices which I'm thinking he'll like better anyway... plus charity! And beer! Right, at any rate, I've realized something about my painting. I'm not satisfied with my skill set. I always want to add to it or work on something new or learn different technique. Otherwise I feel bored and I can't get motivated to paint. So, in my never-ending quest to expand my mind and go all Neo on this bust, I'm tackling darker skin. It's something I am not good at... yet! But, I also wanted to play with the platinum blonde Daenerys hair since it's also new to me. Blonde is not intuitive and I have to think when I paint it. ...and we all know what dark skin plus white hair means... So, I went in search of inspiration. Khoudia Diop is just gorgeous. I loooooove her skin. Hints of purple and red... beautiful! Now this pic I like for the frontal lighting reference but her skin looks much browner. You can still see the purple, but it's more muted. So I'll go with the lighting on the second and the color from the first. I picked my colors and am documenting them so in three months when I get around to working on this again I won't forget! I couldn't find my ghost white when I started painting so I settled on spectral white. And I'm glad I did. It kept with the theme of the purple. I did find the ghost white later, never fear. So, when I paint skin on a bust, I have a huge surface area to work with. Which means I can add a whole lotta depth of color. I can glaze different shades in to my heart's content. I think this is some of what makes skin look more realistic. I've said it before but it never hurts to reiterate- skin is all about layering. Underneath skin lie bones, tendons, muscles, fat, vessels, nerves finally covered by layers upon layers of translucent cells. Which means there's a huge variety of colors in skin itself, not to mention any shadows or light cast upon it. I like using the photo reference because it makes me really look and see where the colors are and where to put all my highlights and shadows. When I basecoat my skin I wet blend. Basically, I take my paint, mix it to about what shade I want and apply, adding a few areas of dark and light to get a sense of the form and the volume. Since I couldn't pick one color to match Khoudia's skin I mixed a bit of the mahogany with the dark elf skin and the nightshade purple. I used a big brush. I have a #6 series 36 (the cheaper ones) Davinci just for big projects like this. Once I got the base down I switched back to my #1. Oh, and I forgot- I sanded the resin bust USING MY N-95 PROTECTIVE MASK, glued the head and the support on (waiting on the hair, etc until I get father) and washed the while thing with dish soap. I filled in a few areas with greenstuff and primed it with reaper brush on primer. Here's me working on figuring out where the highlights go. Faces have planes that form geometric shapes like circles and triangles. Get these highlighted early and it really guides painting later on. I added a bit of the oiled leather in with the spectral white to keep it on the warm side. notice how I may blend a bit, but I'm focusing more on shape. I can always blend later. Besides, the more layers I use, the more realistic the skin looks. And I might earn my 1K Layering Achievement Badge. If only that existed... Not sure I like the eyes. Not sure what color eyes I want but they were just staring at me. I wanted something different that would stand out. Meh. I'll think about it. I used brilliant blue with the spectral white for reference. h ugh, focus off on that one. I glazed in a bunch of the mahogany brown to de-purple-ize the skin. It was getting a bit purple. I also want to have the left side of the photo (right side of the face) be darker since the head is tilted to the side. So I used more brown and less highlight on that side. I put a hint on pink in the lower lip as well as the tear ducts in keeping with anatomy and all that. In typical Corporea fashion I took a break from skin and played with the hair. I had a hard time figuring out the colors for it. I almost used the ghost white, but settled on a warmth using the oiled leather and some linen white with the dark elf skin as a shadow. The three mixed together make this lovely gray. So, that's where I am right now. Hmmn... maybe about 4 hours of work I think, With a few Skyrim breaks here and there. She still needs more red and brown. Waaaay too purple. But that's for next time! Hooray!!!