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77069: Autumn Bronzeleaf (Previously "Help me make this figure less terrible")


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So I'm painting up this mini to represent an elven druid for a PC in my campaign. She has a focus on winter and ice powers, so I thought I'd paint her up in fall colors (green, through yellow/orange/red, into brown, plus some icy blue/white). Unfortunately, this ended up being a really horrible and garish looking motley. I'd really rather not repaint her entirely, in part because I think that from the back, she actually looks pretty good, and I really like the almost gem-like quality of her robe-thing. Also, I'm just frustrated and want to be done with this mini. She's definitely the worst Bone I've painted yet; I don't like the sculpt to begin with, and then she's covered in these weird bumps and stuff (though at least she had her nose). Anyway, it seems to me that there are probably way too many different colors on her, but I'm not sure what to simplify to get the most bang for my buck in terms of redoing work. Thoughts?

 

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Edited by Slendertroll
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For me its the blue that is really looking out of place. You could go in with a different shade of green or perhaps a burnt orange to blend it in more with the rest. I might go with more of leather look for the pants, perhaps with a redder brown (ruddy brown, chestnut brown)

Edited by Heisler
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Before you put too much weight in my opinion let me first say I don't know much about color theory. I will however offer my thoughts on changes you can make, not that you need to.

 

Both sides of the mini have the same colors. If you take the hair out of the equation you have blue, red, and green on the back and the same plus brown/yellow on the front. Seeing as you can't change the blue, red, or green on the front without changing the back, you might change the brown/yellow to green. Green would keep the majority of the loose type cloths the same. Then you can move the brown/yellow color to the staff to keep with your fall color scheme. You could also add more orange and some yellow highlights to the leaf pattern on her stomach.

 

If that would be too much green for you, replace the brown/yellow with red.

 

I hope this helps with your thoughts.

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Instead of pants/sleeves you could go with flesh then you don't need to worry about leather or trying to figure out a different color for the blue, you just have her arms and legs peeking through.

 

She might look like she has elephant skin in a couple of spots though. There are some very definite folds in the cloth on both the arms and the legs. If she was wearing something more form fitting this would be an excellent idea.

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Some other neutral-ish color (tan, brown, gold, black) would work, I think.  If you want to go really wild, a deep purple might actually look rather nice.  Heck, even just darkening the blue to more of a deeper shade would improve things a lot.  Right now it's partly that the blue seems really electric compared to the more natural elements. 

 

You could always just try a color that suits your fancy, paint one arm in that color and see what you think.

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On the Plus side, your color and shading beats the heck out of mine. I like how the Red goes into the Orange but you might want to add a lighter shade of yellow like dry brush it along the leaves on her stomach (those are leaves) Not a bright yellow, just a yellow that goes with the color spectrum you're using. The green is nice but far too bright with the Red/orange/yellow.  I'd change the green to a more autumn feeling color like Brown or a...how to explain this without sounding weird...a Turkey day yellow. This means a brown/orange/yellow transition. Sort of like what you did to her front skirt. If you're determined to keep the blue instead of painting it skin tone...hmm I love what you did with the blue, it just doesn't help with the clashing. Then again, you've done far better with this miniature than I did. (mines face was a near photocopy of Frankenstein's monster or Elephant Man) Also your eyes come out good too. 

 

 

I don't know much about color theory either (thus why a lot of my miniatures have similar color styles to them)

 

But yes, you're trying not to change too much so I'd just say Dry brush a yellow over those leaves and in some brighter areas of the orange, make the skin a skin tone and maybe make the staff the blue to represent her powers and maybe paint the front skirt the orange so it looks like it's a long chemise from her top. 

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What I would do (and seriously, this is what I would do but not necessarily the best course of action) is put a thin wash of transparent purple leaning a bit towards red over all of her clothes.

 

If thin enough so it basically settles in the nooks and crannies without covering the highlights, it would give unifying shadows to all of the colors while leaving their distinct nature.

 

I think a slightly reddish purple would be enough of a contrast to all the colors of her clothes to add richness to the shadows while unifying the look.

 

I am, however, an eccentric painter and not at all standard in what I do. YMMV.

 

EDIT: Oh yes, and that face is lovely.

Edited by Pingo
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I had trouble with this figure too. As others have said, you've got too many colors going on, and they mix cool and warm tones, and that is the cause of the motley look.  I agree with you that the back looks good. Nice job on the greens and that piece of the rust. 

 

She looks gritty. Did you wash her? Spray prime? Using old paint? Paint over wet paint? Any of those can cause texture issues. 

 

I would do two things, lose the blue and repaint that as skin. She has lower leg armor and sandals on. Second repaint the brown part of her robe the rust color _or_ paint all the robes green.  She's wearing a breastplate of leaves that would look pretty if it matched her leg armor. A thin dark wash or ink would really bring out the details there. 

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Here's what I would try: Paint the front skirt the same green as the cape, and darken or neutralize the blue, down to Soft Blue or Navy Blue. You've got what I would consider three accent colors going on in the outfit. Darkening the blue will emphasize the other two and reinforce your autumn theme.

 

Also the hair and face are nearly the same color, giving her head the look of a sepia monochrome photo. Consider darkening or changing the color of the hair in front slightly, maybe putting a bit more brownish orange in the hair.

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I think Pingo's idea is probably the least amount of work you could get away with while producing a measurable change. Altering the blue to a skin tone would look good, but that's probably more time than you want to invest. Your idea for putting icy blue to represent the druid's focus is a good one, but it's too much and too blue. So glaze the blue parts down with either the deep reddish purple or a deep reddish brown.

 

If you want to tie the figure together more after that, a red-orange wash over her skirt might work.

 

If you want to bring back the winter theme, you can try "frosting" the leaves on her bodice, the edges of her robes and her skirt. Basically edge highlighting with the icy blue highlight you used.

 

On the plus side she honestly does not look bad. You did a great job on her face. I really like the way her robe came out too.

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