Jump to content


Recommended Posts

Excellent points! Thank you for sharing! Your diorama's are an inspiration.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is always interesting to hear how someone else approaches creating a scene. While I do things from a somewhat different perspective, you have some splendid ideas; AND your creations are GORGEOUS. Thanks for the insight.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome writeup!  I'm a fair way off from creating dioramas, and certainly won't be doing one for a competition anytime soon.  However, this is awesome info for that specific arena and just fans of the hobby in general.  Very informative and well structured.  I'd like to suggest adding The Rise of Fantasy by Juan J Barrena (I got my copy from Nocturna Models) to the list of books.  It has some general painting tips but is primarily oriented at vignettes/dioramas.  Lots of good info about composition as well as step by step walkthroughs of 7 of Juan's incredible dioramas/vignettes.

 

edit: grammar

Edited by hammer570
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great write-up, Kris!

 

I'm a huge fan of dioramas and vignettes, it's what I'm most passionate about in this hobby. I paint up single figures regularly for usage in my D&D games, but my true love is to tell a story with every figure and that usually entails me building a vignette or diorama to do this, at the very least I like to do a scenic base for a single figure even to be used in games.

 

Would love to hear other pro artists thoughts on dioramas/vignettes composition as well if they feel like coming in here and adding their two cents.

 

For me, I try to follow what Kris says and keep things compact as that's been the biggest hit to me when I've gotten feedback, keep figures to odd numbers and make the entire piece as compact as possible. Make the story easily understandable so that you don't have to explain it other than the title. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Simple is key.  I always try to use as few figures as possible to tell the story.  Mainly because I don't want to have to paint that many figures, and secondly because adding too much overly complicates most stories.  I also love using some of the same colors in my bases as I do in the figures because I feel like that helps tie everything together.

 

Technically this:

IG_4254_1.jpg

 

Tells a story!  1 figure!  It can be done.  ::):  Though usually for the dio category, I'd try to use at least 3 figs.  Regrettably, everyone keeps moving my single fig stuff to dio...sigh.  ::P:

I like using triangles and an odd number of figures as well. I love using levels.  Building up can be a good thing, as long as the vertical elements find a way to draw the eye back down to the action.  I studied a lot of paintings in HS/college, so eventually I get a sense for composition and what works. Looking at sculptors like Bernini and Canova can give some good composition hints- they try to convey motion.  I stalk CMON as well.  people come up with some great ideas!

 

it's hard to visualize sometimes the best way to limit where a viewer's eye goes.  Whenever you're plotting our compositions, try to figure out where your eye might wander and find a way to create a line or barrier that limits escape or pulls the eye back.  I'll often use trees, but I curve the branches down over the scene, so even though they go up, they draw the eye where I want.  If you're creating a rocky scene, point your rocks towards where the action is. Overhanging elements or not containing them to the square/circle/confines of the base itself can help create a more natural-feeling scene. Be wary of base size- smaller is sometimes better.  Too large a base and the figures get lost.  I think of it like a camera panning waaaay out.  When we get close, our brains wake up.  Too much empty space and we're watching settlers crawl across the great plains and impatiently waiting for the action to begin.

 

Also, post WIPs on the forums!!  Everyone loves to help out with things like color and composition, so use the resource of the brains around you!  It's one of the reasons I like posting WIPs, because I get great advice/perspectives on things and people see what I wouldn't otherwise have noticed.

  • Like 11
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thx for sharing this Heisler.

 

I'm currently building a diorama.

Great pointers.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for this Heisler!

(Did I get you thinking for this post? Did I enable????? ::): )

 

 

How to Build Dioramas; Aircraft, Armor, Ship & Figure Models. Shepherd Paine, Kalmbach Publishing

 

Lords of Lead! I used to love looking at Shepherd Paine's stuff, starting with all the little blurbs he did for Monagram Models waaaay back in the day!

 

Dioramas like this:

post-14271-0-43106800-1462582656_thumb.jpg

 

Where he gave directions and explanations caused me to try and replicate his stuff!

There was an excellent guide on how to paint faces in those directions too, have to see if I can find any of those, and I had most of them...

post-14271-0-26300500-1462585923_thumb.jpg (Just saw that and had to add it....)

edit 2 (Just saw that one of those old 4 page color sheets went for $25 on ebay!!!!)

 

Started a life long liking of dioramas.... But the whole Idea of doing them with Fantasy minis is still pretty new....

 

I know that there were more books from him as well, because when I worked for B&N, I used to gaze at them....

 

George

Edited by knarthex
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very though provoking write up!  I'm just now feeling confident enough to try to do small dioramas/vignettes.  I'm currently kicking myself in the face for having so much open space on the top of the Aztec-ish one I'm working on (my first!).  I'm having thoughts on the story as well in my head.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have seen a couple of topics about dioramas and vignettes. Again there is some good information here for anyone looking to enter a diorama or vignette at ReaperCon 2018.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Heisler

Over on giyomuSan's WIP thread, you said:
 

When you are dealing with how many minis to use I have a couple of rules of thumb.

1) Go with an odd number, for what ever reason our minds like odd numbers they look more natural.

 

 

I have one I'm working on that includes 2 figures - a knight fighting a dragon.   Based on this rule, it seems like I should add another figure, but that seems like it would detract from the story I'm trying to tell. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, kristof65 said:

@Heisler

Over on giyomuSan's WIP thread, you said:
 

 

I have one I'm working on that includes 2 figures - a knight fighting a dragon.   Based on this rule, it seems like I should add another figure, but that seems like it would detract from the story I'm trying to tell. 

 

 

From a composition viewpoint, groups tend to work best with odd numbers, particularly three. But in a combat vignette I would say that you have two groups, each of one figure, so you should be fine.

 

Note that composition "rules" tend to be a bit contradictory and are all subject to local variation anyway. From the description, it's pretty likely that your figures are looking at each other, which satisfies a "rule" that you should have some idea what figures are looking toward. You will likely have one large and one small figure, which gives you dynamic imbalance. With luck you will have the figures at opposite corners of the base, which tends to be more pleasing than opposite sides (or the same side). You might have leading lines from the neck-line of the dragon and pose of the sword.

 

I could go on.

 

:B):

 

The short version is that there's not really anything wrong with a two-figure combat scene.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Totally on board with Doug on this point. Nothing wrong with a two figure combat scene, it has action, direction and story. Although a third element could be added, it does not necessarily need to be a figure, it could be something decorative that is not going to overpower the other two pieces. Groups don't always have to be characters sometimes an object can fill the role as well.

Edited by Heisler
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Ludo
      To help alleviate the last minute rush order or trying to have them shipped to the hotel, I'm reminding people that personalized badge ribbons are a thing.
       
      Because of forum rules we can't post a link to where to order them but if you post here, a certain @ub3r_n3rd fairy may PM you details.
       
      The standard size that Reaper makes their ribbons is: Personalized Badge Ribbon 1-5/8"H x 3-1/2"W
       
      FAQ
      What are the ribbons for?!
      Reaper gives out ribbons for various tasks like joining a faction, taking a class, spending a LOT of money in the Reaper Booth. Some are known, some are secret.
      Individuals also have their own ribbons made and have their own criteria for earning them. 
      In the past there has been a prize for longest chain (without duplicates) but this is subject to the whims of Reaper.
       
      Can I make my own ribbons?
      Absolutely. Anyone can have their own ribbon. Come up with fun (family appropriate) phrase and a task that you will have the receiver perform (again, family appropriate) then contact a ribbon company to have them printed.
       
      How many ribbons should I bring?
      If this is your first time giving out ribbons, 100 should be plenty. If you are teaching a class, running a game or a vendor, you probably want more as you will be interacting with more people.
       
      Is there a list of all the Ribbons and how to get them?
      Short answer, No.
      Part of the fun is talking to people to learn how they got a particular ribbon. When the con starts, I'll probably update this post with a list of known ribbons. like the ones Reaper gives out or ones individuals want to share. (Please don't share the how to unless you have the OK from the creator) 
       
      Not even one spoiler?
      Ok, if you want to get the "Ludo, Friend" ribbon, you have to bring Ludo a small rock. (Rocks from the hotel decor will not be accepted.) Bonus points will be awarded on how fancy the rock is. 
       
       
    • By HolkDiggity
      Hey, all! This year, I'm taking part in as many parts of ReaperCon's MSPOpen that I can while still narrowly holding on to my sanity. The first of these is a small diorama, (my first ever,) for Bombshell Miniatures.
       
      Since this is my first, I've decided to go with a relatively simple story: While venturing along an escarpment, a heavy-armored priestess is waylaid by a spinning, blade wielding half-orc. I began by cutting some foam to build up the earth behind the cliff face, and then used some plaster molds to cast the face and the large rock buried in the ground. Next, I covered everything with Vallejo's White Pumice and Wet Ground pastes, and then added additional stones. Once this was dry, I primed the whole thing in white.
       
      Once the primer was dry, I used a mix of Reaper acrylics and GW washes to paint the base. I didn't go overboard on the dirt, since most of it will be covered by grass and other detritus. For the stone, I made sure to use a healthy mix of greys, greens, oranges, browns, purples. I then lightly dry brushed the stone in sandy tan and again in tan closer to white. Once the paint was dry, I sealed the base in anticipation of the next phase.
       
       



    • By Ludo
      *Ludo shuffles in followed by a trail of small rocks*
      FORUMITES FRIENDS
       
      So I will be running the Hobby Hijinx corner at ReaperCon again this year. If you are not familiar with the corner, it is where Reaper offers free 1-2 hour paint and take events. We have the classic Paint 'N Take area as always, as well as the Sophie Says, traditional Speedpaints and the new Paint by Die Roll and Bones Mashup. 
       
      I will be updating this post as details are firmed up.
       
      If anyone has any ideas for the current events or new events, please post them here. 
       
      If you would like to volunteer to help in the hobby corner, I am working on a proper signup sheet etc in the mean time, feel free to post here. Positions include morning setup, evening teardown. Resetting between events. Running individual events ( instructions will be provided) 
      In particular, looking for people to oversee the paint and take area. 
       
      Reserved for Sophie says ideas.
    • By Valthorn_Illian
      At my recent IPMS show I had the honor (not to mention the absolute joy) of running a Reaper Paint n Take and mini painting demo. For this I picked several Reaper figures and the KDM Twilight Knight. To say the Twilight Knight fell apart early would be an understatement but fortunately I was simultaneously working on Remus Raducan, Blood Wolf and he worked marvelously as reference and inspiration. So here he is in all his NMM glory. Which is rather funny since I haven't tried the technique since Reapercon where I took @Kuro Cleanbrush 's 4 hour NMM class.





    • By kristof65
      Anyone have any good resources or materials with tips & tricks for building a diorama with forced perspective?

      I have this idea for a bookshelf diorama that will be a party of adventurers looking down a hallway at a threat, and I want the hallway to look much longer than it actually is.  I know how to do this in theory, but any help on practicalities is appreciated. 
  • Who's Online   50 Members, 3 Anonymous, 66 Guests (See full list)

×