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Dragon Door Knockers and Minotaurs, oh, my! Looking for critiques/suggestions/tips.


Gryphon
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These are some models I 3D printed and painted a while back.  I added the nose horn to the blue dragon door knocker with plumber's putty, the rest is pretty much stock stl file.  I got the Dragon door knocker file from Thingiverse.com, and the minotaurs I designed, then ordered the stl files from HeroForge.  I'm guessing if they were entered into the "Painting" category at ReaperCon (assuming 3D prints are acceptable), they'd score maybe a bronze.  Any thoughts?  I'm also curious if the minotaurs could be entered into the "Open" category, and if so, how they might rank.  Hypothetically.  I've given all of these minis away so I'm no longer in possession of any of them.  I could, of course, reprint any of them and paint them anew.  I'd have to be more thorough about getting the layer lines out of the knocker rings, though.

 

The base under the purple-caped minotaur was actually a print fail, so I tried to make it look like he was standing on some planking that had been partially burned.

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I'm normally not much if a fan of gloss varnishes but I really think they work on these, particularly the doorknockers. On the plus side, you've got the horns down nicely - the highlights, textures and gradients work really well. I'll second the love for the pale blue one. For improvements I would recommend pushing the highlights on the medium blue and purple ones. Pick a darker and contrasting shade to pick out the spaces between the scales (or maybe even try a sandy yellow for the blue one), re-highlight the scales in the medium colour and the try some edge highlighting on the scales in pale purple or blue. Otherwise the lines are really clear and neat.

 

For the Minotaurs my only suggestion would be to give the white parts some depth with shade. A dilute sepia for a warm one or a pale grey like citadel's Apothecary White for a cool one. Finish it up with a highlight of white again.

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1 hour ago, Dr Boom said:

I'm normally not much if a fan of gloss varnishes but I really think they work on these, particularly the doorknockers. On the plus side, you've got the horns down nicely - the highlights, textures and gradients work really well. I'll second the love for the pale blue one. For improvements I would recommend pushing the highlights on the medium blue and purple ones. Pick a darker and contrasting shade to pick out the spaces between the scales (or maybe even try a sandy yellow for the blue one), re-highlight the scales in the medium colour and the try some edge highlighting on the scales in pale purple or blue. Otherwise the lines are really clear and neat.

 

For the Minotaurs my only suggestion would be to give the white parts some depth with shade. A dilute sepia for a warm one or a pale grey like citadel's Apothecary White for a cool one. Finish it up with a highlight of white again.

Thank you for this.  I agree, I tend to prefer matte finishes to my pieces, I'm glad it worked here. 

 

If I'm understanding what you're saying correctly, my technique for shading works, I just need to at least double the range so that the highlights go paler (all the way up to a white) and the shading gets darker.  With the particular addition of edge highlighting on the dragon scales, and extra dark shading (or contrast colors) between the scales.  And don't let white parts keep me from shading, there are ways to pull it off well.  Did I get that right?

 

I was specifically going for "D&D blue dragon) for the one with the nose horn, at the request of the recipient, so in this particular case I would have stuck with shadow colors, or *maybe* some kind of electrical effect if I wanted to play with endemic object source lighting and go really crazy with it (I don't think I'm that good yet), but I'm general a sandy yellow in there would be really cool with that blue. 

Edited by Gryphon
Adding minotaur response
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These look good...those black and white minotaurs kind of threw me at first. But, after I thought about it, it totally makes sense that there would also be minotaurs with that kind of coloration. The more I look at them, the more I really like them.

 

If you're looking for a quick way to get the layer lines out of the knocker rings, I'd suggest sanding followed by a few coats of mod podge ..should do the trick.

 

I agree with Dr Boom regarding the highlighting. It can sometimes seem a bit risky to add that next increasingly-light layer, but it pays off more often than not (and, if it doesn't work, you can always repaint). It looks like your highlighting skills are already in place... I'd recommend just going a little bolder with your lightest/final points of highlight.

 

Good work!

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4 hours ago, Grand Slam said:

These look good...those black and white minotaurs kind of threw me at first. But, after I thought about it, it totally makes sense that there would also be minotaurs with that kind of coloration. The more I look at them, the more I really like them.

 

If you're looking for a quick way to get the layer lines out of the knocker rings, I'd suggest sanding followed by a few coats of mod podge ..should do the trick.

 

I agree with Dr Boom regarding the highlighting. It can sometimes seem a bit risky to add that next increasingly-light layer, but it pays off more often than not (and, if it doesn't work, you can always repaint). It looks like your highlighting skills are already in place... I'd recommend just going a little bolder with your lightest/final points of highlight.

 

Good work!

Your reaction to the black and white Minotaurs seems pretty standard, and to be honest, it's what I was going for.  I was feeling a bit mischievous at the time. I wanted to do something that makes sense when you think about it, but until you do, it's more of a "Wait, what?"

 

I wonder if it would be useful for me to play with some non metallic metal or object source lighting, to force me to get into the really bright highlights and deep shadows.  Or just do a couple models with super exaggerated highlights and shadows for no good reason. Not only to get comfortable with the idea (so that when I come down to "normal" painting, the expanded range feels more natural), but because those are two techniques I've been wanting to learn, anyways. 

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