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50209: Alice WIP (Wonderland Diorama)

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Got some work done on the apron, so I only have front pictures to share this time. I punched up the highlights on the apron's trim all the way to GW's Blazing Orange so it wouldn't get lost next to the ruffle on her skirt. I'm not truly satisfied with the pink on this and I'm open to suggestions on how to improve it.




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I love how it's working so far. I don't know if this would be practical, but I'm wondering whether or not it would be desirable to have a thin line of red or pink trim along the edges of the blouse -- perhaps right at the point where it's bunched in at the border of the "ruffles." Otherwise, the beige tone of the blouse is visibly very close to the light skin tone, and what with the sharp bold reds at the bottom of the dress, it seems like the blouse could use a little trim as well (though not quite so thick or bold).


This is just me thinking aloud regards what I might envision if I were this far along in the process, and if I had a gift for detail comparable to yours. (In real life, I probably just wouldn't want to risk ruining a good thing. ;D )

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Don't panic.


Here's what I would do to fix this (Note: I have only been painting minis for a month after a 20 year hiatus, but I have spent 20 years doing art & illustration & teaching art, & have some experience with dealing with errors):


First, that the hair is straight works in your favor. But I'm afraid you may still have to do some touch-ups on her face and clothes after this.




Bottle of rubbing alcohol


round wooden toothpicks or other very gentle scrapers


(Rubbing alcohol is a very mild solvent of acrylics. It won't melt them, but it will soften them)


Have some ventilation. An open window is okay.


Holding your model upside down, dampen a Q-tip with rubbing alcohol and stroke the hair, tips to crown, until dampened. Don't soak, just stroke like you're brushing her hair backwards until you feel the paint begin to feel a little sticky/resistant. It may take a few minutes and a few dips into the alcohol (since it evaporates so quickly).


Using a round wooden toothpick, push the paint off, again from the ends of the hair to the crown.


Repeat if necessary.


Clean off the metal with a Q-tip and mild soap and water.


Dry with a Q-tip.


Now it's okay to turn the model rightside up, and her hair should be ready for re-priming and painting.

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As for painting proper, since her hair is so straight (and you I assume wish a smooth glossy effect), most of your brush strokes should parallel the hair. This is true even for the primer.


So brush on some primer, very thin, following the lines of her hair.


And whatever colors and in whatever order you use them, try to keep them thin and follow the lines of her hair. This should help keep paint from clumping and keep her hair looking like hair.


It would probably be easiest (and safest for the rest of the model) to paint from the ends of the hair to the crown, possibly even holding the model upside-down (the reason I suggested holding it upside-down in cleaning was to minimize the chance of solvent getting on the rest of the model, but here it's just for ease of getting a good effect).




Oh, by the way -- don't panic if in cleaning you get a bit of alcohol on the rest of the model. If you can, blot it gently and immediately. If you can't blot it instantly, don't touch it but let it dry. The alcohol evaporates fairly quickly, and since it doesn't actually melt the paint it's usually not a disaster.

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I don't have anything new to post right now, but I did want to reassure everyone I haven't given up on this project. Just been a very busy week or so and I likely won't have a chance to do much painting between now and Sunday evening. I will post pictures of the repair process as I go through the stages so others can see what this involves.

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I finally got the chance to paint today. I fixed the spots on her flesh and shoulder where the rubbing alcohol took paint off from there and redid the hair. It's not good, but I'm afraid it's as good as I'm going to be able to get it with this attempt without stripping and completely repainting. (In which case, I think I'd just as soon grab a clean copy and work from there.) I'm going to need to practice hair, obviously.


So, here's what she looks like right now:



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And I finally had time to work on Alice some today. The boots are done. I meant to base coat them in Mahogany Brown, but accidentally grabbed the Russet Brown bottle instead. I then washed and glazed this with several layers of 50/50 Midnight Blue & Flat Black and picked out some highlights with 50/50 Stormy Gray & Flat Black. I was trying to avoid using black entirely, but the paints needed to be darker. The hotspots are done with Creamy Ivory.




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The boots look very good, and the whole piece is shaping up nicely.


I'm glad the hair fix worked. Can I make one suggestion? Gold-colored hair like that gets a surprisingly dark shadowed effect at the roots at the part. It's just the way light works on straight hair. A little zigzag of darker hair color right at the part will help make her hair look more realistic.

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