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1423 Christmas Sophie 2008


Inarah
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I started this last winter but just wasn't feeling it, so I set her aside for many months. I had just picked her up again when the winter paint contest was announced. It seemed fortuitous timing, so she became my entry.

 

I was inspired by the legend of Krampus, a dark, demonic figure that accompanies St Nicholas. While St Nick gives toys to good children, Krampus punishes the bad children, or warns them off naughty behavior. I felt Sophie could really take the dark demonic look pretty well, heck she *is* a succubus after all. So here she is, on St Nicholas eve, waiting on a rooftop, watching out for children to scare.

 

post-3776-12976425489404_thumb.jpg

 

More images in the contest thread.

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It doesn't suck at all -- though there's relatively little "Sophie" in the photo, the black background overwhelms the dark wings and skin, and clicking through to the contest thread adds just a smidgen more effort to getting other pics.

 

I like it, though I wish you'd taken pics against a lighter background. The warm palette works well and contrasts nicely with the chilly roof, and the sprig of mistletoe on the sword is a stroke of genius. That said, the wings look a bit flat -- going further into blue for the shadows would deepen them for more contrast and richness, and you're already halfway there with the purples. Also, I find that the gold NMM on the scabbard and greaves draws my attention too much; that's not where I'm accustomed to find myself staring at a Sophie model. :poke: Something to draw attention to the face would be nice, although that could be a colour balance issue with the camera overreacting to the black background. The OSL on the rooftop is a nice touch, too -- not overdone, but a nifty little detail that rewards you for looking closely.

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I agree with what Ferox said. I would have drawn the attention to her face rather than the trim of her boots. A couple extra highlights on her skin and wings would have made her pop more. That and a bit brighter background. I think I understand what you were trying to convey there though. It's at night, on a roof top. It SHOULD be dark. But unfortunately it distracts from the mini.

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Thanks for the comments. I will definitely consider the photography suggestions next time.

 

The orange trim was not supposed to be NMM, but I can see how it would be interpreted that way. I'm still working on getting my highlights high enough to survive dullcote, and it sounds as if I failed on the wings (which were beautiful before I sprayed them) and overdid it on the leather.

 

Here's a tighter shot of the figure taken with flash. It makes it look like there's a smear of black paint on her face, and I was never quite able to get rid of the glossiness on her, but here you go.

 

post-3776-12977838393562.jpg

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I like that flash photo -- it sets off the skin from the background and really does a lot to emphasize the face. The lighting on the face is excellent, by the way -- appropriately creepy the way the lower half of the face drops off into shadow, with just the mouth peeking through. Maybe a bit more oompf on the lower lip and some red eyebrows would help pick out the face as a focal point.

 

I think one thing that draws my attention to the not-NMM highlights on the boots and scabbard is the variation in hue: they go from red to orange to yellow to white, while the skin (say) goes through shades of muted purple, the wings go through shades of more vibrant purple, the hair goes through shades of brownish red, and so on. I've been trying to teach myself better colour theory so maybe I'm fixating on this sort of thing, but I think you'd get more pop out of the skin if you shaded to brown and highlighted to pink, or something like that -- introducing some variation in hue rather than using darker and lighter shades of the same colour. (Or it could be simpler: maybe the accents on the leather stand out because they're brighter than the stuff around them. I've been known to overthink problems by four or five orders of magnitude.)

 

Also, the more I think about it, the more I really like the idea of Sophie as Krampus.

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