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althai

Fiona the Black - critiques requested

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I wasn't sure whether to post this in WIP or Show Off as the paintjob is essentially done, but I'm not really happy with it and I wanted critiques so I'm posting it here. I can't really put my finger on why I'm not happy with the paintjob, but I'm not happy with it, and I'm hoping some critiques might help me figure out how to fix it. So please, don't hold back!
 
Because of the 150k size limits on pictures, they all link to larger, higher quality pictures so you can see the detail better.
 
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post-6613-0-84956000-1466230844.jpgpost-6613-0-68404900-1466230854.jpg

 

Please take a look at let me know what you think could be improved.

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I think you did a stunning job!

 

We are our own worst critics.

 

There are alot of us who would like to paint a mini like that!

Since you already achieved that level, you're naturally pushing yourself further.

I get that.

 

Still this is an awesome job.

 

Can you say which part of the mini ticks you off a little?

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VERY WELL DONE! She looks SPLENDID as she is...the brushwork & the base are OUTSTANDING. Perhaps if you did the lining to her skirt & cape in a lighter shade, cream comes to mind, the contrast would make the miniature look more dramatic & less  flat.

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I have yet to paint anything that looks this good.

 

So, ummm :huh: ...errrhh.

 

The free handed partial Chaos Sigil on the kilt [if that's a kilt] is not as neat and tidy as the gold stripe along the trailing edge of the cloak. (Mind you I could not paint either one as well as you have...) so, maybe improve that?

 

The inner lining of the shoulder cloak..?..a different colour? Maybe a purple/mulberry?

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First I'll say she looks fantastic.

 

As far as critique?  At a casual glance she's perfect.  If anything, perhaps the patina of the armor on her legs appears a little muddied and sort of gets lost when looking at her as a whole--they details are fabulous, but from tabletop or keyboard distance away some of the details fade.  A different treatment of the black cape might actually help--maybe some gentle highlighting to take it from from flat black to nuanced black (I don't think I'd change the underside of either though)?  I'd be careful if you go that route, as her subdued palette are an asset.

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To me, she looks flat (as malefactus said).  There's nothing that "pops" and makes my eye move around the miniature.  The red cloak catches the eye and holds it. 

 

The backside picture is the one that is the best; there is more highlight on the top of the staff, the red of the cloak is less pronounced, and the rune on her tabard draws the eye down, initiating movement.

 

I might also suggest that the base of dark grey rock be rethought.  The armor is dark grey, the staff is dark grey, her hair is dark . . . you've got the opportunity for a lighter base that allows the miniature to stand out more.  I like that it's simple, that's good because her armor is really detailed with all the plates and rivets.  But a limestone color would let her be more contrasted, and would help offset the red cloak.

 

I hope that helps.

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I'm thinking contrast on the black.  It ends up looking grey, which I'll be completely honest, I always struggle with as well.  Is there any way to go a bit darker on your shadows?  Without knowing the color mix, I can't say if that's possible or not, so if it is already as black as you can go, maybe narrow the lighter highlights and push them a hint in a few hotspots? the same thing happens in the front with the armor.  you're using a lot of natural, desaturated colors, so the color balance ends up looking fairly even.  question- if you shift the whole image into grayscale, do you maintain the same contrast in the first photo?  If not, that may be why it frustrates you- the eye is picking up the same value across the board so it ends up looking flatter.  Maybe.  I get that you're working with an osl effect, so trying to make that light stand out and darken everything else by contrast.  Can you make the light source brighter without losing the feel you're going for?  If that makes sense.  maybe add a few brighter spots in the armor on that side?  Lighten some areas up and darken others and I think your contrast will really pop!

 

Great work, though, especially on the reds.  Don't get me wrong, you've done an awesome job and should be proud!  Just thinking!

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This does look very good!

 

I'd agree it's the lower black that's very monotone so you need some way to make it look less flat. Need some variation and interest there. Where is the green emanating from? A spell or light source below?

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Because of the 150k size limits on pictures, they all link to larger, higher quality pictures so you can see the detail better.

 

I see the same image inline, in the post or if I click on them. Fiona_1 2, 3, & 4. 600x600 pixel JPGs?

 

And now that I am seeing them on a non-phone screen, disregard previous comments by me. I didn't spot the OSL on the phone screen.

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Thanks for the critiques all. You're definitely right about the red cape being too strong compared to the rest of the mini, which is too subdued by comparison. But the real "aha" moment for me was actually TGP saying, "I didn't spot the OSL on the phone screen", which, I decided, means it's way too subtle, and needed to be a lot stronger. I think this fixes a lot of her problems, actually, as it brings more focus on the important bits and balances out the cloak which was overpowering her before. She's looking a lot better now.

 

I did some work on some of the other bits you guys talked about as well, including the black hipcape and the rock. I'm not too concerned with the black hipcape looking a bit flat and muted, as it's not supposed to be a focal point. I think the problem is that there are not enough other focal points from the back, so the eye keeps getting drawn to the hipcape which is big, and if I add more interest to the other parts the problems with the hipcape will naturally recede.

 

There are some more things I want to work on, but I'll try to post updated pictures tonight.

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post-6613-0-13499100-1466393902.jpg

post-6613-0-02184200-1466393932.jpg

post-6613-0-31043400-1466393986.jpg

post-6613-0-90713200-1466393883.jpg

 

I think you'll all agree she's much improved, and I'm much happier with her now.

 

Please feel free to add any more critiques if you have them, even nitpicky stuff, as I'm planning to enter her in competition.

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