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Grumpy Cave Bear

GCB Paints: 77185 Large Earth Elemental

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I don't want to lose momentum after finishing the previous WIP project, I'm starting another right away. This time, I'm doing something "smaller": the Bones Large Earth Elemental.

 

Just to get started, I attached the arms and head to painting sticks (repurposed chopsticks) with a hot glue gun, and then primed them with a spray of thinned FolkArt Multi-Surface Acrylic (Bark Brown). While that dried, I turned to choosing a color to paint it.

 

My paint box contained both Redstone Highlight and Redstone Shadow, and I thought it would be neat to paint the elemental to look like he was made from desert rocks. But I didn't have the Redstone mid-tone. I debated how long it would take to order that color and get it in the mail; I didn't want to wait, so I gave up the idea and painted it grey instead.

 

No, I lie. I just mixed the two together to make a mid-tone and based the elemental with that:

 

post-13048-0-01885100-1422254585_thumb.jpg

 

(Wow, the fluorescent lamp sure made that color look pink!)

 

And that's it for tonight!

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There's never enough time to make progress, but I did get to line the earth elemental with brown liner:

 

post-13048-0-68515200-1422346727_thumb.jpg

 

(Ah, no fluorescent light this time, so the color is more accurate.)

 

The rock is from a childhood rock collection my parents dropped off on their last visit. It's serving as color inspiration for at least part of this paint-up.

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I've been way too long in getting back to work on this. In mid-February, I got hit with a pretty nasty series of colds and flu for a month (as did half our office), and just had no energy or inclination to paint. So I just sat and trimmed, sanded and glued other models while this guy sat on my shelf of shame.

 

Last week, I started to feel better and went back to the brush. I roughly base-coated Mr. Elemental in various colors to get an idea of his textures: brown for rough volcanic rock; grey for smooth stone; yellow ochre for layered sedimentary rock; and red for any crystalline shapes.

 

Then I started shading the rough stone using wet-blended shades of Walnut Brown, Redstone Shadow, Redstone Highlight, and Rosy Shadow. Here's the result so far:

 

post-13048-0-03813800-1427958150_thumb.jpg

post-13048-0-34543300-1427958172_thumb.jpg

 

It's okay, at best. It's not quite clicking yet, and I've been frustrated with the work so far. I felt like stripping it and starting over, but decided to push through just to see what happens. For now, I need to go back and start pushing up the highlights and clean up the shadows before I start liking it, and then work on the other stone types. Maybe I'll put in more variation in color by glazing individual stones.

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Here's the link to the show-off thread:  http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/61486-77185-large-earth-elemental/

 

Sorry I didn't post in-progress pics on finishing it up.  I just wanted to get it done.

 

The holdup I had on this one was one i didn't even realize at the time:  I was painting at night, under soft fluorescent lights.  When i was painting Cthulhu, this wasn't a problem, because I was painting mostly cooler colors.  But when dealing with the mostly reddish Earth Elemental. the darker colors weren't registering as reds and browns to me under the light, but greys instead.  It looked awful, and I didn't know how to fix it.

 

It wasn't until I looked at the miniature under the afternoon sun that I saw it was really pretty good -- lots of nice dark browns in the shadows.  Then there was a binge of painting during daylight hours to finish it off.

 

I wanted to do the crystals as rose quartz, but after a bit of fussing with various pale pinks, I gave up and did them in shades of Punk Rock Pink -- an excellent color that contrasts well with the rest of the figure.   One or two pebbles also got brushed gold and I was done.

 

This weekend's purchase was an Ott-Lite bulb.  The difference in the light was amazing.  I'll have to see how well models photograph under it.

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