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This is my first shot at painting a fig in way too many years... I dont have a light box for pictures as well as limited skill. I hope you can provide some pointers on where to go next with it.

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Edited by robinh
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Keep in mind I've been out for as long as you, and only got back in with the first Reaper Kickstarter.

 

It's a good return to the hobby. You've got excellent brush control and definiton here. That being said, 3 things come to mind

 

  • Color depth. It looks like you've used one shade of a particular color which gives a very 'flat' looking figure. Shading & highlighting with variations on the color will give more depth to the figure - I use washes & drybrushing, other people apply the shades directly.
  • Definition & Contrast. There's little 'pop' to features like the eyes & the mouth. Lining the figure so there's a distinct line between features can provide this - for this figure, I'd have lined with Brown Liner or Walnut brown as the first step in painting the figure.
  • Blending. Most noticable on the flame mane. It turns from red to yellow very abruptly - a more natural look would have the yellow shading into orange and from there into red more smoothly.

So, yeah. I'd line the figure before painting, put a dark wash over the figure to shade, drybrush to highlight, and do a little work on the transitions especially the flames.

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Keep in mind I've been out for as long as you, and only got back in with the first Reaper Kickstarter.

 

It's a good return to the hobby. You've got excellent brush control and definiton here. That being said, 3 things come to mind

 

  • Color depth. It looks like you've used one shade of a particular color which gives a very 'flat' looking figure. Shading & highlighting with variations on the color will give more depth to the figure - I use washes & drybrushing, other people apply the shades directly.
  • Definition & Contrast. There's little 'pop' to features like the eyes & the mouth. Lining the figure so there's a distinct line between features can provide this - for this figure, I'd have lined with Brown Liner or Walnut brown as the first step in painting the figure.
  • Blending. Most noticable on the flame mane. It turns from red to yellow very abruptly - a more natural look would have the yellow shading into orange and from there into red more smoothly.

So, yeah. I'd line the figure before painting, put a dark wash over the figure to shade, drybrush to highlight, and do a little work on the transitions especially the flames.

Good constructive criticism. Follow this and you are already well on your way to great paint. Well done!

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SPECIFIC TRICKS THAT MIGHT HELP: Laoke gives good advice, here's some specific tricks that I personally would use for that:

 

Lining along the gums above the teeth would work well. Some people use bright pink gums followed by Coat'd'Arms Chestnut Wash, which is an ink. Another way is a bright pink followed by The Army Painter Ink Soft Tone Wash (not dip / varnish).

 

Okay, second look you're going for fiery in the mouth. So ignore the pink, but I'd still use a very controlled, very very controlled, wash along the gum line to define the teeth.

 

Another specific technique, to help the red spines tone into the orange, is to take the orange you used and either thin it to transparent, or mix it with the red, then paint a thin coat over the red, above the orange. Let it dry completely then repeat if you like.

 

To help define the eyes, carefully wash in either some Army Painter Strong Tone or Dark Tone, or a dark brown like Reaper Walnut Brown (almost black) mixed with some matte medium, flow improver and water. "Wing" the mix, or look here, for a recipe, remember you can make smaller batches using the proportions, and they only have to be roughly right: http://www.awesomepaintjob.com/index.cfm/resources.recipes

 

That wash recipe mixed with a dark brown will work for anywhere that I've called for Army Painter washes, it just requires more work, but you can then make washes for anything you like. You don't need the specific inks he calls for, ordinary paint works. Just mess about with it till you get what you want. I've found that matte medium + flow improver + water + paint makes a pretty useful wash even if the proportions are close to random.

Edited by smokingwreckage
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Also, don't be afraid to drybrush the mane with a lighter brown. If it comes up too bright, apply a very careful wash of your original colour.

 

If you feel adventurous, you could try mixing some Reaper Tan midtone or shadow with his basic coat colour and highlighting his muscles a bit, either with a drybrush if you're cool with drybrushing, or by thinning it and painting a thin layer where the light from above would "gleam" off his glossy hide. Then if the transition is too abrupt, get the original coat colour, thin it, and just go over the "seam" between the base and the highlight, covering a bit of both.

Edited by smokingwreckage
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Ok good advice all. I have no matte medium or other thinners, just water! Sound like I need to do a bit of shopping. I do need to do more drybrushing and some definition of the teeth. Anyone know of a good magnifier you can wear that does not cost too much? These old eyes don't see as well as they used to!

Edited by robinh
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I think this is a very good basecoat and the tips the other have given you above are all excellent to take it to the next level.

 

For optics, I went for the Optivisor. I couldn't find a cheaper option that got good enough reviews to make me risk it. The Optivisor is comfortable and the lenses are excellent quality.

Happy painting!

Heidi

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I also came back to minis last year after a twenty year gap.

 

My eyes had aged and I didn't even realize it until I tried to focus on tiny minis up close. For magnifying I have been using a $3 pair of magnifying reading glasses I found at Walgreens. I think I saw something like them at Michael's too.

 

I recently went to the optician and got some proper prescription glasses, but the cheapies are fine for minis.

 

My first pair of Walgreens glasses broke after about four months, but for $3 I'm not complaining.

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