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Glitterwolf

Large Miniatures how to paint their Banners, Shields and Heraldry

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Another thing would be to start doodling designs on paper to get an idea for how you want to doodle them in paint :)

This is what I did for some of my freehand attempts.

 

It gives you an idea of the steps required to achieve the result on the mini.

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I'll give you a hint for the paisley pattern on the horse's barding:  While you can see the paisley branches, it's essentially a random pattern, with the whorls and leaves used to fill in the space between the "branches."

 

Not too difficult, really, as long as you're patient, have the properly thinned paint, and a good brush.  Yes, you need to practice so you have good technique and brush control, too.

 

Look at one of the red quadrants.  The base cloth is shaded/highlighted.  Then the painter went in with a deep red to draw the plants stems and leaves.  Finally, the painter used a pink color to effectively trace the pattern just created, leaving a little bit of dark on the edge.  Patience, brush control, thinned paint, good point.

 

The heraldric unicorn is basic, stylized, and not particularly difficult to recreate - blocked in with really dark gray, then a mid gray to form the body, then "highlights" with white.  Patience, brush control, thinned paint, good point.

 

Not to say that paint job isn't good, but once you understand what the painter did, it's not "OMG I CAN NEVER DO THIS!"

 

The last picture, the Greek shield, is similarly fairly simple once you figure out how to do the repeating pattern.  Again, patience, brush control, thinned paint, good point.

 

The middle picture shows a keen ability to recreate a medieval/renaissance style on the shield, so I would say the painter is of exceptional ability.  This opinion is buoyed by the skill I see in the rest of the model.  I would guess the model is far larger than 54mm as well.  So that one would require a lot of practice and skill, as well as study in regards to art history.  In fact, I'd be tempted to say that's a printed recreation that's been applied to the shield and weathered afterwards.  I'm not saying it is, but it looks very good.

 

So there's no easy way to get fantastic results.  You still need to practice, because painting little stylized plants is "easy" when you've been doing it for a year.

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another way to think of those patterns is to break them down into simpler patterns and shapes and paint those, then add all the fancy bits.  Two good people to ask about this at reapercon are Marike Reimer and Jessica Rich.  They both teach classes on how to break down patterns and simplify them so it doesn't seem overwhelming.

This, completely. Rather than start with some complex pattern, just start with doodles. I was lucky enough to get some coaching from Jessica on my freehand for Gwen's cloak, WIP starts here: https://cashwiley.com/2015/02/08/gwen-wip-5/

 

Look over that post and the two WIP posts after that (5, 5.5 and 6) to get a feel for my method. I just started with a couple colors on the palette and did little swirly doodles and dots. Some came out great, some are just there for filler detail. Then I went in and added some highlights, which was pretty easy (just adding dots to existing patterns to bring out the tops of the folds of cloth). And Gwen is a really tiny mini, you could do it a lot easier on a big mini!

 

I see you've already looked at some of Powell's work, here's another great lesson from that very talented guy: http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/63738-northumbrian/?p=1209903

 

 

Thx Cash!

 

I will study this, and I will start doodling...

 

 

I'll give you a hint for the paisley pattern on the horse's barding:  While you can see the paisley branches, it's essentially a random pattern, with the whorls and leaves used to fill in the space between the "branches."

 

Not too difficult, really, as long as you're patient, have the properly thinned paint, and a good brush.  Yes, you need to practice so you have good technique and brush control, too.

 

Look at one of the red quadrants.  The base cloth is shaded/highlighted.  Then the painter went in with a deep red to draw the plants stems and leaves.  Finally, the painter used a pink color to effectively trace the pattern just created, leaving a little bit of dark on the edge.  Patience, brush control, thinned paint, good point.

 

The heraldric unicorn is basic, stylized, and not particularly difficult to recreate - blocked in with really dark gray, then a mid gray to form the body, then "highlights" with white.  Patience, brush control, thinned paint, good point.

 

Not to say that paint job isn't good, but once you understand what the painter did, it's not "OMG I CAN NEVER DO THIS!"

 

The last picture, the Greek shield, is similarly fairly simple once you figure out how to do the repeating pattern.  Again, patience, brush control, thinned paint, good point.

 

The middle picture shows a keen ability to recreate a medieval/renaissance style on the shield, so I would say the painter is of exceptional ability.  This opinion is buoyed by the skill I see in the rest of the model.  I would guess the model is far larger than 54mm as well.  So that one would require a lot of practice and skill, as well as study in regards to art history.  In fact, I'd be tempted to say that's a printed recreation that's been applied to the shield and weathered afterwards.  I'm not saying it is, but it looks very good.

 

So there's no easy way to get fantastic results.  You still need to practice, because painting little stylized plants is "easy" when you've been doing it for a year.

 

Thank you!

 

I have two Viking busts with large shields.

So I'm thinking about some nice patterns for those.

 

It will take a while before I actually paint them.

But I will start drawing and practicing , maybe I can be ready by the time I want to paint them.

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You could cheat...

Decalpaper and a good colour printer...

For solid color shapes like Space Marine Chapter Badges I cut paint masks on the vinyl plotter at work from adhesive backed paint mask.

You end up with the same shape but it looks more natural on the model.

I made a lot of these for a friend who has some nerve damage in his painting hand and was getting frustrated with matching what he had done before the nerve damage.

 

When I do freehand I practice on something else before I try it on the model to be sure I can actually do it first.

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Yeah, vinyl plotters are nice.

(I've considered getting a paper cutter. Not certain if hobby models can compare to the big boys)

 

One idea I have with decals is to create a brown decal for the front, back and spine(or whichever of those are visible on the mini) for a book, and make very thin 'blank' strips along the edges, and for the title either on the front or spine.

Then paint the book in gold and stick the decal on top of that so that it kind of looks like it has been embossed into the leather.

Of course it would need to be weathered afterwards, but...

But doing everything freehand with a brush is a bit more impressive.

Still...

Imagine a wizard holding a book with the words "Don't Panic" clearly visible on the cover...

(Or Incantations for Dummies... )

 

Like the ancient philosopher said; there's more than one way to de-pelt Mrrowl.

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Everything above is good advice. While I have never painted a mini as large as you are considering, a suggestion might be to outline in dots from an dip ink pen and then fill in with a brush. The dots keep you from scratching the undercoat and I find the pen easier to control than the brush at times. Then you have a pattern on the mini and are not building it as you paint.

 

Good luck! I will be interested to see what you decide to do.

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Thank you all for the links and advice.

 

It will take a little while before I start on this, ( have to finish the Countess first) but I want to be prepared.

After I finish the Countess I'm planning to start on one of my other busts, I have two who are carrying viking shields, one Templar and there are other things on their way.

 

I do want to try stuff out.

So I'll start by doodling and drawing on paper for a while.

Then the outlining / dotting ideas will be tried.

 

Of course I need to figure out what symbols I can pull off and which ones are too far fetched for now.

 

Also I will not be using any decals, I really want to improve on my painting.

 

If only I had more free time ....

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Lots of good advice already.  And I see someone linked to the tutorial I wrote, so no need to reshare that.

 

Before you try doing the freehand design on the figure, I recommend drawing it out on paper first.  You don't need all the fine details at this point, just the general shape.  Initially I'll do this on a larger scale.  But, when I get ready to move to the figure, I might trace out the shield or flag onto some paper and practice drawing the image to scale.  I might do this several times until I feel like I've gotten the hang of it at the small scale.

 

I also find it helpful to (on the sheet of paper) draw a vertical and horizontal line through the center of the shield, flag, etc.  This let's me see where the design falls in relation to the center of the object, how much is above the midpoint, how much is below, how much is to the right, how much is to the left.  I can make a small dot on the actual shield, flag, etc and make sure when I add the design, that it is positioned properly by comparing back to my drawing.

 

When I first started doing designs on figures, I'd use a pencil to actually draw a rough version of the image onto the figure and then paint over it.  I don't do this anymore, but it can be a nice way to start if you don't feel as confident just using the brush.

 

For representative images, like a skull, lion, etc it's helpful to break it down into the major shapes (some combination of circles, squares, ovals, rectangles, etc).  From the tutorial over on my blog, you can see how I did that for a lion.  It's much easier to transfer the image on the right and then add the details, rather than start off with the complicated version on the left.

post-13634-0-39321900-1474565017.jpgpost-13634-0-91585300-1474565016.jpg

 

For patterns/designs, it's also very important to break them down into simpler sections.  Trying to do a complicated design can be overwhelming if you try to do it all in one go.  But, if you break it down into easy steps, you can build up the same complicated design and actually make it look good!  Here's one I did on a more recent piece.  I begin by laying out the border (using a ruler... well, scrap of paper with the thickness marked on it to keep the spacing consistent).  I then use the same temporary ruler to mark out guide dots.  After that it's just laying down the pattern one step at a time.  Keep in mind all of this was worked out on paper first (and I had to figure out how to break down the pattern, that's part of why I work it out on paper).

post-13634-0-64404300-1474565015_thumb.jpgpost-13634-0-40461200-1474565016_thumb.jpg

 

You can find a few other examples here for a knight's cape:

https://powellminipainting.blogspot.com/2015/02/knight-of-holy-sepulchre-part-vi.html

And for a samurai's armor here:

https://powellminipainting.blogspot.com/2015/10/samurai-part-2-and-12.html

 

The last piece of advice is to start simple and work your way up.  Pick a design that's interesting, but maybe don't go with the most complicated one to begin with.  The ability to do freehand is a great tool, but it's one that takes time and practice to master.  But it's something I think anybody can do if they make the effort.

 

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Lots of good advice already.  And I see someone linked to the tutorial I wrote, so no need to reshare that.

 

Before you try doing the freehand design on the figure, I recommend drawing it out on paper first.  You don't need all the fine details at this point, just the general shape.  Initially I'll do this on a larger scale.  But, when I get ready to move to the figure, I might trace out the shield or flag onto some paper and practice drawing the image to scale.  I might do this several times until I feel like I've gotten the hang of it at the small scale.

 

I also find it helpful to (on the sheet of paper) draw a vertical and horizontal line through the center of the shield, flag, etc.  This let's me see where the design falls in relation to the center of the object, how much is above the midpoint, how much is below, how much is to the right, how much is to the left.  I can make a small dot on the actual shield, flag, etc and make sure when I add the design, that it is positioned properly by comparing back to my drawing.

 

When I first started doing designs on figures, I'd use a pencil to actually draw a rough version of the image onto the figure and then paint over it.  I don't do this anymore, but it can be a nice way to start if you don't feel as confident just using the brush.

 

For representative images, like a skull, lion, etc it's helpful to break it down into the major shapes (some combination of circles, squares, ovals, rectangles, etc).  From the tutorial over on my blog, you can see how I did that for a lion.  It's much easier to transfer the image on the right and then add the details, rather than start off with the complicated version on the left.

attachicon.gifunnamed.jpgattachicon.gifunnamed (1).jpg

 

For patterns/designs, it's also very important to break them down into simpler sections.  Trying to do a complicated design can be overwhelming if you try to do it all in one go.  But, if you break it down into easy steps, you can build up the same complicated design and actually make it look good!  Here's one I did on a more recent piece.  I begin by laying out the border (using a ruler... well, scrap of paper with the thickness marked on it to keep the spacing consistent).  I then use the same temporary ruler to mark out guide dots.  After that it's just laying down the pattern one step at a time.  Keep in mind all of this was worked out on paper first (and I had to figure out how to break down the pattern, that's part of why I work it out on paper).

attachicon.gifpattern1.jpgattachicon.gifpattern2.jpg

 

You can find a few other examples here for a knight's cape:

https://powellminipainting.blogspot.com/2015/02/knight-of-holy-sepulchre-part-vi.html

And for a samurai's armor here:

https://powellminipainting.blogspot.com/2015/10/samurai-part-2-and-12.html

 

The last piece of advice is to start simple and work your way up.  Pick a design that's interesting, but maybe don't go with the most complicated one to begin with.  The ability to do freehand is a great tool, but it's one that takes time and practice to master.  But it's something I think anybody can do if they make the effort.

 

Thank you!!!

 

I love your work btw!!!

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Abstraction (breaking it down into simpler shapes) is a great tip. When I did the Patriots logo for Josh's hoodie, I did a bunch of tests on paper, painting each one smaller and smaller, reducing the amount of complexity each time, until I arrived at the correct size and least amount of brush work needed to make it identifiable as the logo, but it's really just a couple little dabs of paint.

 

Josh_1.jpg

 

That's not a face, it's just a couple white lines next to each other. The star is a dot. But if you know the logo, your brain fills in the info it expects to see.

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Lots of good advice already.  And I see someone linked to the tutorial I wrote, so no need to reshare that.

 

For patterns/designs, it's also very important to break them down into simpler sections.  Trying to do a complicated design can be overwhelming if you try to do it all in one go.  But, if you break it down into easy steps, you can build up the same complicated design and actually make it look good!  Here's one I did on a more recent piece.  I begin by laying out the border (using a ruler... well, scrap of paper with the thickness marked on it to keep the spacing consistent).  I then use the same temporary ruler to mark out guide dots.  After that it's just laying down the pattern one step at a time.  Keep in mind all of this was worked out on paper first (and I had to figure out how to break down the pattern, that's part of why I work it out on paper)..

The repeating dot pattern seems so obvious to me now.

 

The worst part is that it's a trick I did know about for 2D drawing, but my brain never made the jump to use it for painting a 3D mini.

 

[Pokes brain through nose with brush handle. That'll teach it. Also "Ouch!"]

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Abstraction (breaking it down into simpler shapes) is a great tip. When I did the Patriots logo for Josh's hoodie, I did a bunch of tests on paper, painting each one smaller and smaller, reducing the amount of complexity each time, until I arrived at the correct size and least amount of brush work needed to make it identifiable as the logo, but it's really just a couple little dabs of paint.

 

 

 

That's not a face, it's just a couple white lines next to each other. The star is a dot. But if you know the logo, your brain fills in the info it expects to see.

 

Very cool!

 

I appreciate all the input in this thread!

 

I've been painting for decades, but the last 3 years I've learned more than ever, thx to this forum.

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What Cash said!

 

I did Armored Division patches on 15mm troop minis with 3 dots of yellow, red and blue in the right place.

 

You see what you expect to see with this kind of thing.

You are in a sense, creating an optical illusion...

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Drawing Celtic Knotwork and such..I keep ending up with the knots being too big or small and fail to connect them in a believable circle or something.

 

I'll keep trying though.

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