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Right.  So since I'm set to teach of skin this year as well as "hard colors" I'm taking every opportunity to push my skills and try new things so that at least I have some good examples to share.  I was just going to paint this one and be done with it, but I ran into a snag, did take a few in progress shots, so I thought I'd share my "failure" in order to use it as a learning experience.


I say this because I think it's important.  Everyone makes mistakes.  They are all fixable.  The mini does not have to be dunked in simple green and stripped.  Even something that makes me cringe, I know I can salvage.  It just takes patience and a bit of work.  Gotta be positive!


At any rate, that said, here's some learnin'!


I picked this bust up because the euro took a dive over the summer and I'd been eyeing some of these minis, so I laid in a small stock.




She's purty!

So, progress:



I fiddled for awhile trying to decide what color to use for the leather.  So, color theory:  Red + Green = WIN.  Since I wanted a redhead, I decided some bright green was in order.  I'm mixing it into the armor and the corset.  These are good for contrast because they're complementary.  When using complements I have to be careful not to make both of them too intense.  So the reds here are desaturated to some degree- they live in the iron oxide instead of cadmium family, so hey're softer.  I can get away with a brighter green in exchange.  I'm trying to keep the colors value different as well.  That's one of the things that trips minis up.  I usually use this example:




Same value = no contrast


So when picking colors I'm careful to try to vary them as much as possible.  If that makes sense.




Next, I want a freckled redhead.  Cause' reasons.  Plus, need to work on my layering and how better to do that than to work on skin markings!  So, I start by setting down some freckles.  Notice how they look tacked on?  Skin marking live in the dermal layer of the skin.  Skin is bunches of slowly dying flat transparent layers over top of a bunch of other living material.  The pigments live deep.  The same goes for tattoos.  So, it stands to reason that if I don't put some layers of my skintone over this, it won't look right.


Ok- gotta actually go do my real job.  I promise to get to the great mistake of doom soon!

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I feel your pain: my own project has had some lows and some necessary changes recently too.  But she still looks really awesome, and I have every confidence in your incredible skills!

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Back for more!




I'm trying to take these from mostly safe angles, but I'll link the naughty ones.  This bust doesn't have a lot of room for me to play with freehand, so I'm taking the frustration out on the skin and the cloth, hence the transparent effect.  I also freehanded in the smirky expression.  Who doesn't love a spunky redhead? 


So here I've put in a few layers over the freckles, but I'm still not happy with them.  I finally settled on a leather color.  I ended up using textures on the leather to try to get that worn look.  I'm also having fun with the metals. I've decided on red shadow with a greener gold highlight.


Colors:  for the skin I used spattered crimson mixed with carnival purple and rosy skin, then highlighted with fair skin and linen white.  The green is Christmas wreath with red shadow and blonde hair for the highlights and shadows.  I'm finding with these busts that I end up using a lot more colors than I normally do.  the armor I used vallejo model air gold and chrome, mixed with red shadow, spattered crimson, walnut brown and Christmas wreath green.




I think I want a smooth velvety look for the corset.


Link to the transparent effect:



So here I'm playing with whites and have my basecoated shadows down.  One of the things I hate about white is that in order to get a realistic look, you have to think about what is nearby and use that color to shade the white.  Otherwise they may look white, but they'll be flat and boring.  I detest boring.  Boring is right out!


So here's an example from Vigee LeBrun:



See how she's used the flesh color to shadow the cloth next to the skin?  And otherwise worked in different shadows?  What I want to mimic is that translucent look, but use enough contrast with other colors to show where the fabric clings vs not.




this side is safer to show rather than link.  See the green and flesh colors worked in?


More soon!

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posting along here!




brightened up the cloth, worked on the hair and the leather.  The shirt still needs some more layers, but see the yellow, gray and green worked in?  I also use a bit of the skin colors, too.  As long as most of the color is "white" it will read white, even with darker shadows.




hope this one is safe.  If not, let me know and I do the linky thing.  I had a lot of fun with her buckles.  this side's a bit more obvious with the color change in the white shadows.






I thought I'd also touch on the hair.  I used red shadow, spattered crimson, carrot top red, burnt orange and blonde hair.  Carrot top is the bestest color ever!  It give that perfect redhead look.  I still seem to need to add some contrast to the hair based on the pics, but it looks pretty good in person.  I like painting hair as a block, rather than by strand.  Which means I look for where the hair bends and flows to place my shadows and highlights.  I do this is a gradual color shift to get those smooth blends.  So I'll mix up a half step or even two in between my colors and layer them on.


Finally, the problem.  See, I wanted to try this stippling technique and see if I could get a smoother freckle blend.  Plus, I needed more freckles.  So I added some to the forehead and chest, didn't like the way they blended, fiddled with layers and more layers, and broke down to try the stippling.  Sigh.








It's not...bad... not that bad... I keep telling myself that anyway.  I just used the wrong color.  Went too gray.  But what I'll need to do is stipple in some browner/redder freckles and then layer the heck out of them to get that icky gray blah look gone.  Thus, I plan to paint more this week.


So, learning!  I'll be back later with the fix.  Er... I hope...

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I love that white! Loooove! I've been moving in the direction of just using colors already on the palette, so I'll have to give that a shot in a more formal regard.


Good luck with the fix, looking forward to seeing how you pull that one off :) You can doooo eeet!

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dude, I was walking to pacify my fitbit the other day and it hit me.  I took... a class... from... THE BEST PAINTER IN THE WORLD!!!!


It's unreal.  And it blew my mind in a good way.  I want to use some of the things I learned, like the textures and the skin painting so I keep them fresh in my mind.  I'm going to forget too much otherwise!


thanks everyone!!

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whoo!  Progress.  (Well, admittedly, I've had a cider, so if it looks awful, someone please remind me of this tomorrow...)


I ended up just layering over the mess and adding a different color of spots, as well as lightening the face up a bit.




Better.  But still too dark under the cheeks.  Did some more:





hidden due to translucent effect:



Happier now.  Probably will still fiddle.  I also messed with the hair and added a few shadows in the back to add contrast.  I'm going to try to finish her this weekend and move on!

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I am loving the hell outta this! The colour scheme is gorgeous! The shading on the leather is lovely and mad props on the white fabric.

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I am loving the hell outta this! The colour scheme is gorgeous! The shading on the leather is lovely and mad props on the white fabric.

Woah it's Cassu!!! Long time no see!!




Sorry bout the derail. She looks AMAZING, Erin!!

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Thanks!  I think I'll still lighten up the face a bit.  She's a touch too purple.  But this is one of the reasons I like color theory and working on understanding why and how colors work together, because it makes it easier/more intuitive to choose something harmonious.  Plus, I feel vindicated in that I can make her NOT look like christmas, despite my choice of green.  Hah!



Edited by Corporea
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