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By Rainbow Sculptor
Hey everyone! It's been a long while since I could post on here, I've been really busy with work. I've started a new commission piece from a client I won't name just yet but whom has given me permission to share my sketches/WIPs/ and sculpting process with you guys!
The project is to sculpt several nereids/sirens/water nymph type characters. One full body and at least two others partially submerged. They should be gorgeous and make men want to leap to their deaths so I'm avoiding any monstrous type features. Although we want them to be mostly humanoid I will be adding in some little features to indicate their magical/watery/fey nature.
Here are my initial sketches where I'm exploring posing, body types, and the kind of shape language I will want to use in the sculpts. My drawing hand was failing me today so these are REALLY rough but I got my ideas down and I'll have enough to move to the next stage which will be creating a mannequin in ZBrush.
*Apologies for the more sexual images. These aren't intended to be offensive in any way merely educational on the topic of character design*
so finished this one a few days ago and he's been sent to his final home, a commission figure I was asked to do. The figure itself is pretty neat, I'd never painted any Rackham figures before so it was something fun and different. I think I can see a bit the joy of commissions for other people because you never know what you are going to receive. Anyhow, here he is, hope you enjoy him!
Recently finished up another jarred mini, this one a Beholder.
Beholder mini - Built on the base with a coin pile and treasure chest (also from Nolzur's/WizKids) as well as some hand punched loose coins and lots of sculpted resin
In jar - Client wanted a nice, small, display piece for his desk that he doesnt have to worry about the piece getting dusty. Metal plate on bottom of beholder, and magnets inside bottom of jar, if he chooses to use it for tabletop. Also more handcut coins glued inside the jar.
writing on top was a found fantasy script that he liked, I translated 'Imprisoned Nightmare' as the writing.
Have to say that I had so much fun painting this mini that I ordered 2 more to play around with later this year. Think I want to zombify one, and the other will be similar to this but with more elaborate basing.
I've recently been posting some of the minis I've painted (here as well as my art pages and social media). Have now had people asking about pricing on purchasing or commissioning painted pieces, and even possibly some custom sculpts and paints.
My question, what are reasonable rates for mini sculpting and painting (seperately or together). In my experience, prices tend to vary from field to field, and the going rates for 'amateur vs professional' is also drastic in each field. I know what I can ballpark in the other art fields I work in (comics, murals, illustration, tattoo and concept art), but minis are a new breed for me.
Any experience, suggestions, advice, much appreciated.
InB4: "Figure out time to make project, what your time is worth, that's your rate".
Because for some art jobs I've charged 20/hr, and for other jobs I've made 200+/hr. Just need some ranges to figure out where I can charge that isnt overcharging a client, or screwing myself.
Thanks in advance
(Also feel free to move post if this isnt the right forum for it)
So, recently I've been taking on several commissions, and of them, this is the first I've finished! One of my fellow players at our FLGS asked me to paint an archer mini for him. I told him to take some time picking one out, and a week or two later, he brought me this guy:
Now, first, to address the elephant in the room: this is obviously Tanis Half-Elven, right? I mean, it's not even subtle, this is totally him. I can't be the only person who sees it...
The mini itself is pretty solid, but that's a very accurate representation of the paint job: wash everywhere, lumpy colors. I'll be honest, though, even unmodded it's not a bad mini compared to a LOT of the prepaints - anatomy's solid, pose is strong, and the detailing is simple enough that the paint job almost works.
But anyways! So, the orders of business, as per my client's requests:
- Cloak painted black with green highlighting; not just dark-green
- Replace the bow with a better one that's less wiggly (his one was pretty deformed
- Copper skin and brown hair; the character is a wood elf
I suggested doing some additional sculpting on it, which caught his ear - he was really excited by my suggestion of a black fur capelet to complement the darkened cloak.
So, the finished mini!
So, first off: The sculpting. I did a pretty simple swap for the bow, since I'm pants at hands - cut off the old one, cut a bow from a Reaper Weapon Sprue in half, glued in place. Ordinarily I'd pin, but with the base mini so flexible, it's actually pretty sturdy - the hand bends away from pressure before there's any danger to the bow. I fiddled with it before I painted - it's definately strong enough for gameplay, even if the mini's lifted by the weapon.
Then I moved to the fur. I did the caplet, first - just a simple little thing to sculpt, work the GS in and then texture. I suggested this for two reasons: one, the sculpting on the upper shoulders was a lot weaker than the rest of the cape, more bunchy, and two, the shading I had planned for the cape works better on the billowy bits than the narrow folds, so if I could just paint those, I'd take it.
That said, a professional is never less than perfect, so I didn't tell the guy that. I merely said, "Like the King in the North, but with black bear fur," and he was pumped.
I also didn't really like the sculpting on the arms, and the decorative tongues on the boots, if we're being honest. So, some thin strips of greenstuff and a Xacto knife later, he was wearing fur boots and gloves.
Then, one rebasing later, I was ready to talk color! I did the cape first - Walnut Brown, with Vallejo's Luftwaffe Cam Green highlights, and Pure Black used in thin lines to deepen the folds. Pure black for the fur, too - but then Nuln oil as a wash, to add gloss to the "fur pelt".
Once the cloak was done, I realized that changing the color of the cloak meant a complete pallette change, too. I hate brown-on-brown clothing, so I moved to a darker green as a better fit for the cloak, with some brown trim. The pants I took from a khaki white to more of a silver-green - the color is a mix of the green and brown used for the cloak and belt, with white to shade. Although the colors I used are all pretty warm, I tried to give the figure itself a more wintery feel, keeping the palette darker and more subdued.- the sort of ranger you'd imagine slipping through the undergrowth on a cool winter morning, the sun still low in the sky, blending into the shadows of evergreens as he slides towards his prey. But, to bring in some more of the warmness of his hair and skin, I accented him in gold, which makes his weapons stand out and gives them a little more definition against the cloak.
All in all, this was a great mini to paint! It was a lot of fun getting to do some of my own sculpting, since most of the minis I've painted lately have been either custom jobbos from places like Heroforge, or more exotic/expensive minis from fancy companies, where the player went and found the *perfect mini* and I just have to get the painting right!
And, for the edification of anyone wondering, this guy, with weaponswap/sculpting/painting, took around 4-5 hours, and I charged the guy 40$. I still need to base him, but I'm waiting to do that with the guy, so I can get his opinion; all i've done so far is sculpt a greenstuff "earth" base.
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