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Practicing in Public


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Hi, all,

 

I thought I'd throw up some pictures of various things I've completed, get a little feedback, and give myself a reason to do more painting. Behold! A thread with things I have done. As a beginning painter, most of my stuff will be...pretty poor. But I'll get better over time. This just gives me a place to put all my stuff. Let's get started, shall we?

 

Project 1: Oh God! My eyes!

Project 2: A Mysterious Purple Wizard

Project 3: The Brothers Grimm

Project 4: Twilight Ranger

Project 5: A Bad Assassin

 

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Well, there's a lot not to like particularly about this one, but there are some things I kinda like. I made up the blond hair formula on my own, and it didn't turn out to bad. I'm also working on my layering, and it's a hot mess pretty much everywhere, but on the cloak it's not too bad. Progress! I also like the color scheme. I took a lot of color theory classes at the con, and tried not to break too many rules on this one, keeping it pretty bold all over. It seems to have worked, I think. She definitely stands out, which, by the pose of the mini, is rather the point.

 

Also, believe it or not, those are the best eyes I've ever done. I know I'm supposed to be going for the half-moon look so she doesn't look so startled, and I also know that I pointed the eyes in pretty...inventive directions, but that little dot is the best little dot I've ever done.

 

As for the things I don't like, of which there are myriad:

-I needed to layer through a *lot* more colors on the shield

-My first time 'lining' my mini. The liner didn't cover the bones and it left a lot of white spots where I don't want them.

-Skin tone is a little harsh for a lady of battle. Should have gone with fairer tones

-I need to do some research on how to shade yellows.

 

Anyway, enjoy my efforts, as you like. Any feedback would be most appreciated, of course. Always looking for ways to improve. Of course, having taken a lot of classes at Reapercon, I know a lot of ways to get better, I just have to practice enough to actually accomplish them.

Edited by GuyWithCoolBackpack
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Fantastic job on the hair man!

 

I would consider doing a bright bronze or gold rather than the yellow hilt and armor accents though. I feel the yellow distracts too much from your excellent job on the hair for some reason.

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I made up the blond hair formula on my own, and it didn't turn out to bad. I'm also working on my layering, and it's a hot mess pretty much everywhere, but on the cloak it's not too bad. Progress! I also like the color scheme. I took a lot of color theory classes at the con, and tried not to break too many rules on this one, keeping it pretty bold all over. It seems to have worked, I think. She definitely stands out, which, by the pose of the mini, is rather the point.

 

Also, believe it or not, those are the best eyes I've ever done. I know I'm supposed to be going for the half-moon look so she doesn't look so startled, and I also know that I pointed the eyes in pretty...inventive directions, but that little dot is the best little dot I've ever done.

 

As for the things I don't like, of which there are myriad:

-I needed to layer through a *lot* more colors on the shield

-My first time 'lining' my mini. The liner didn't cover the bones and it left a lot of white spots where I don't want them.

-Skin tone is a little harsh for a lady of battle. Should have gone with fairer tones

-I need to do some research on how to shade yellows.

Yay for posting minis! I'd be a lot happier with this one than you seem, Noel. She's pretty rockin', if you ask me. The things you list as what you like, in my opoinion, outweigh the "problems" you're seeing, especially if they represent improvement over past attempts. Point by point:

 

-Blonde hair: I actually want your recipe on this. It's pretty sweet blonde hair. It could come up to some white pinpoints (likely Linen White, not Pure White), but otherwise I'm really grooving on it.

 

-Layering: You're right, the blue fabric has the best layering effects on this mini. Just repeat this mantra: "Deeper Shadows, Higher Highlights." Most of the blue is highlight right now, which gives the mini a ton of "pop," drawing the attention and demanding that we look at her. Which I like, because you want people to look at your stuff! The shadows are what will define shape, though, so don't neglect them!

 

-Color: Primary colors will always help in making a mini pretty bold. I like the choices, here. My eye also appreciates your placement of your colors; since you have all that blonde hair, it's good that yellow was your tertiary choice on her clothes; it creates good contrast.

 

-Eyes: Look awesome. I would be totally happy with those, if I were you. And you seem to have an idea where you want to take them, so you're in good shape.

 

-Layering on the shield: I think your issue is less with layering and more with color mixing...your highest red shade is skewing pink, so I'm guessing you're adding white to your base color to pull it up? Red is one of those tricky colors that you want to really define in the shadows, so your highlights can be just red, not "red+another color." If you try to define it in the highlights, red will tend either pink or orange, which sometimes you want, but for a primary kind of red isn't the best bet. All that said, I actually thought the shield looks pretty good before I read your comments.

 

-Lining: I think the lining looks really good on her! Clear definition and fairly neat. On regular primed minis, I'll usually start with the lining, but with Bones I'd say block in your basecoats, then line, so the liner has paint to cling to. You can either block in all your basecoats, so the whole mini has a single ;ayer of paint, then darkline everything, or you could block in one color, line the edges of that, then continue lining as you go.

 

-Skin: I think her skin could come up in the highlights a bit, but keep in mind that a lady of battle will be outside, getting a lot of sun, and exerting herself often. Tanned and flushed would be pretty reasonable...this gets out of color theory and into environmental factors on the person the mini represents, but I think it's an important part of painting. I will say, I love her face. Her mouth is really nicely done, I've already said I like her eyes, and she's got some clear shadow definition.

 

-Yellow: if yellow were a person, he/she would be an extra on "The Jersey Shore," fist-pumping out of rhythm to Nicki Minaj. Yellow would probably call you "brah," and would belligerently try to fight with every other color at the party. Yellow doesn't know how to hold his/her drink, and requires friends it doesn't have to support it home. I hate Yellow.

Unhelpful metaphor aside, yellow is (for me, at least) tough to paint. People will tell you red, or white, or black, is hard. Those colors are a fun kind of difficult. Yellow is hard. But I would suggest starting with warm, creamy browns and working up through yellow into ivory. Keep your shadows and highlights tight, or your color will begin to skew brown or ivory...this, of course, means you have less room to blend into these other shades, which means you have to make really smooth transitions.

 

Anyway, I hope some of my pedantry is useful to you. Take it with as much salt as you like. I really like this Valkyrie, and I hope you show us some more minis soon!

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I like this model in the bright, bold colors - gives her kind of a superhero feeling. I think Sanael's on to something with the lining - I'm not surprised that the liners don't play well with bare Bones, and you'll probably have more luck with coverage trying to line on top of a basecoat (this is generally how I paint lining all the time, anyway...I usually paint up and down from the mid-tone, so I wind up using my shadow colors to fix any flubs in the lining as I go. Of course, YMMV).

 

Nice precision on those eye dots! If you really want to level up your eye game, I can't recommend enough trying the "Bette Davis Eyes" method described in The Craft articles section of the Reaper website. It breaks down the steps for basic eyes really well. I still do the eyes first on most of my minis just because it takes that much fiddling for me to get them evenly matched, and then I can go back and paint over anything that sloshed over onto the rest of the face.

 

Looking forward to your next model!

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As a beginner painter you have a big start out of the gates. Your placement is spot on and your thoughts on colors placement are sound. Keep painting and you will be excited to look back at your early mini's and see how far you have come.

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very nice! great start! I like the colors. Primaries are always eye-catching and at the same time remind me of the super-hero costume. A good look for this mini! For the shield, I agree I think it's more of a blending issue. I tend to cheat when I do large areas of color and instead of adding successive layers on top (which in my mind takes forever!!!), I just wet blend the 2-3 colors I want. So for a shield like this, I'd do red in the middle, purple or brown at the bottom and a lighter red, an orange or even white/pink depending on where you were going with your tone. If you work quickly, you can blend each of those before they dry (or add a drying retarder) and if they're starker areas you can always glaze over them later. Now, this is the easier approach in my mind, but not everyone's, so if that doesn't work for you, keep doing your layers, but make them thinner coats and have more gradual changes in each layer to give yourself a smoother look. Sometimes this can be accomplished by putting down your layer, wetting your brush and just washing the color out as far as you want, allowing the water to thin you layers at it's edges. I think for the tips of your helm wings you could probably add a lighter yellow or a thin white highlight to make the edges shine. Yellow tends to look more metallic/like gold when you shade from brown to orange to yellow to white. Great choice of blue and excellent work on that cloak! Also- great work on the eyes. You should be proud! whoo!!

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Wow! Thanks, everyone! You sure know how to make a guy feel welcome.

 

I'll address a few points where I can, Suden: the mail I actually did at reapercon during the 'brushstrokes' class. It's a black or dark base coat, a reaper metallic, and then a dark blue or black INK wash over it. In deeply sculpted areas like this, it looks really nice.

 

Sanael: WOW! Thanks for the wonderful write-up! I really do appreciate it. And as much as I would like to give you the blond formula, I broke my rule of carefully documenting things as I went. A good reminder, as it turns, out, that writing these things down is usually a good idea. I can give you the general idea, though. I started dark with a leather brown (Oiled leather, or more likely the beige brown I have from vallejo), and added some tanned flesh to bring it up a little toward the 'human' brown hair. Then for the mid-tones, I kept adding just a little bit of tanned flesh, and then Cygnus Yellow, from P3 (my paints are all over the place, but it's just a nice, saturated yellow. I'm sure you have something similar.) through the middle colors. After I had a nice 'blond' color, I just kept adding more linen white (my favorite highlighter) until the color was bright enough.

 

I agree with your 'assessment' of yellow, too. At some point I want to do a quick study with getting some yellow, I dunno, cloth, or maybe painted wood, and just take some pictures (or find them) under different light, and then run it through that reaper color analyzer, just to see what I get.

 

Nissiana: Thanks for the heads-up on the eyes! I've seen similar methods called out elsehwere, but that's a great tutorial, all layed out there.

 

And to you all, I'm glad everyone things it looks pretty good. I don't think I'm a bad painter by any stretch, I just know it's time to be aiming higher, and so any disappointments on my side are just things that I want to practice more. I've started on the next guy already (Started with the eyes, Nissiana, worked great!) so I'll throw up some more shots when he's done.

 

Thanks again!

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#2 A Mysterious Purple Wizard.

 

Oh, man, check this guy out. he's way better. I'm really pleased with how he came out.

 

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There's a lot to really like about him. For starters, this is my first attempt at NMM, as opposed to the SGNMM (chrome) I've done before. It came out pretty great in a lot of places, I think, especially around the hem of his cloak and near the head of his staff. The collar of his hat I should have done differently, (cylindrical metal objects don't actually get highlighted like that) but at least the blend looks pretty good. The cloak is pretty good, The shadows are appropriately deep, but I didn't bring the highlights up too much, as I wanted to keep the nice, rich, purple color without wandering into pastel territory. Something to work on. The beard also came out great, but my favorite-favorite is that parchment. I wanted to make it look appropriately weathered, and I think it really hits the mark. Then I decided to freehand on some glyphs, which is my first attempt at freehand, and I think it looks really nice.

 

A few other notes, too. This is one of the bones I got at ReaperCon, and I actually primed him because I was thinning down my base coat too much and the paint wasn't sticking properly (I know better, now) and many of my early layers of paint were really threatening to wipe clean off. (I'm using Armory Primer, I don't recommend it). So I just gave this guy a coat of Brush on sealer, because I had some and wanted to try it out, and it changed the look a lot more than I thought it would.

 

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Check out that sheen! Not really what I was hoping for, but on the plus side, the sealer did smooth out the layering some extra, which is a neat effect. So two lessons here, I guess. Don't prime bones if you don't have to, and watch that sealer, it's pretty glossy.

 

So let me know what you think! I appreciate any feedback or constructive criticism you care to give. I'd be curious as to what some more experienced painters would hope to improve on this paint job?

 

 

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Wow! The jump in quality between these two minis is fantastic! Your first was... about what would be expected for a first-timer, but that wizard is actually really great! A little more contrast might make him pop more on the table, but other than that, you clearly have the fundamentals and then some!

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