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Spinward Bound

Dwarf Woman

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With all these great looking miniatures being posted, I thought I'd show off the other end of the spectrum with my latest beginner level dwarf :)

 

I got some feedback on my last mini that I neglected the metallics, so I tried to do a little better this time.

 

 

post-9166-0-74649300-1360650388.jpg

 

post-9166-0-14738400-1360650405.jpg

 

C&C welcome!

Edited by Spinward Bound
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Wow, that's really nice! The only criticism I have is that the sword blade is still a little boring, but that's a personal failing of mine as well, so I can hardly complain. The golds/bronzes are really spectacular, as is that red robe.

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Way to go! I'm really happy with a lot of things I see here. The shading depth of the robe, wood, and the bronze all look fantastic. Most beginners start at and intermediate shade and simply highlight up from there, whereas you're taking your shading deeper; however, these same elements could use just a few 'hot points' wherein certain edges/surfaces are receiving a little more direct light and thus have some highlighting.

 

By comparison to the bronze, the sword blade does appear to have been neglected in terms of the same depth of shading. In the same vein, the skin tone looks like it could use a bit more depth to better match up with the robe.

 

For the sword blade, I'd like to suggest using a really dark blue or some blue-grey to give certain areas a little more dark shading. Pull a large knife out of a drawer and rotate it around; study how the light is bright in certain areas and dark in others depending on the orientation of the blade.

 

You're doing great, and with practice I see a lot of exciting work ahead!

Edited by Adrift
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If you live with someone, let them know why you're staring at a knife.

 

Adrift is spot-on with both compliments and critique. I'd add a comment about the contrast in the hair. Most of the advice I've gotten has been contrast, contrast, contrast. Don't be afraid to let the recesses where the light isn't directly hitting it (top of the head, bangs, front braid) go down to brown (I use Oiled Leather). Then use some Linen White in your highest highlights to pick out the very highest highs (don't overdo it, just enough to add that contrast),

 

Nice work!

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Thanks guys. I went back and added some lighter highlights to the shirt and skirt and it was an improvement. I got really frustrated trying to re-shade the face and sword blade.

 

On the face I would either get it way to light or way too brown. I'm using the fair skin triad, it seems the shadow for that isn't getting dark enough. I tried adding some brown but that looked horrible. Then I added blonde shadow and that looked too yellow. Tanned skin was a lot easier to do.

 

The sword blade doesn't have any well defined planes on it and I kept making the contrasts asymmetrical. It still looks like poop. I'll give it another shot in a bit when I can refocus.

 

On the hair I washed it with the blonde shadow, I'll try the oiled leather since I'm not really getting good contrast with the shadow colors.

 

Thanks for the pointers, it's appreciated.

 

If you live with someone, let them know why you're staring at a knife.

 

No one would bat an eye at that ;)

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If you think the shading on the skin is too dark, you're probably being too hard on yourself. Seriously, put on a TV show or movie you like and instead of watching the movie, just watch how the light and shadows place across faces. Sometimes you'll be looking at shadows on people's face and be blown away by how dark even regular lighting makes a person's face.

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Use a sheet of paper (I have a small notebook of watercolor paper for this) to test hues next to each other and to see how they dry. I seem to remember someone saying 9 of the skin tone hues (3 of the triads) can go end to end. So try putting down a swatch of your Fair Shadow and then Tanned Highlight and see if it matches up. I keep forgetting to lay those out myself.

 

Another thing I've done is to lay in a darker base color - the brown you mention, but it has to be a compatible brown, not too red or yellow or black or whatever. Then build up the skin triad on top of that, just leaving it in the recesses; lining the face, under the chin, in the mouth recess, in the eye recesses. Basically a more aggressive form of lining, I guess. I've also learned that being very sparing on the mid tones and highlights works pretty well.

 

I'm just learning this stuff, too. Hope it helps, it's tough! Look at what other painters are doing and try to copy that if you like the effect. If they're available (like here), ask how they did something, what paints they use, etc.

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Another trick that can be useful for seeing the actual value of a color is to cut a small hole in a piece of cardstock and slide it around over a photograph so that you can see only a shade at a time. You might be surprised at how much difference there is between highlight and shadow.

 

You can also hold a paint swatch next to the hole to get better color matches, since colors are seldom what you think they are either.

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Skins also don't have to be shaded with browns. I'll use blues, purples and greens depending on the look. Fair tones are even harder. Don't be afraid to go a bit darker on your shades nor to actually use white as a final highlight.

 

Since you've been glazing I'll mention that you should try a green undercoat then build up your flesh tones. The reason for the green, outside of it's a common color that classical painters used, is that you've got so much red that having just a smidge of green (again done because of the undercoat) will really make the skin look much better as the dress will complement it.

 

Though this is a good job and I'd move on to another mini as one thing that's hardest to learn is that not everything will be perfect and take what you can and learn from it. If you really like this mini then keep it and 6-12 months from now repaint it and compare before and after to see how much you've improved.

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Great job...love dwarves (I am famous for being a dwarf lover afterall) I would like to see more contrast in the shades and highlights on the skin and clothing. Also adding a bit of black wash toward the lower end of the blade would make it more interesting.

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