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First WIP for PC miniature


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Hi everyone! 

 

I am a new poster, finally getting the courage up to post after stalking the forums for quite some time. This is my first WIP I've ever done, and probably my 3rd or 4th mini painted. I've started a few that I've never finished, but I am determined to finish this one! 

 

The miniature is Andriessa, Female Wizard from Reaper Bones line. She represents my PC in the newest 5e campaign that my group of friends is running. My character is a half-eleven sorceress with focus on fire spells. 

 

So far all I've gotten done is the base coat on her skin. I'm still new enough to not have a favorite skin formula, although I like the fair skin triad a lot. I wanted to try something new though, so this base was a 1:1 mix of golden skin and golden highlight, I believe (the exact colors are written in my notebook at home, I can verify that later). I am wanting to make her clothing reflect her firey nature and I was thinking about doing a red to orange ombré effect? And maybe some gold trim? I'm still unsure about that, I'm afraid that the colors will be too warm and there won't be any contrast on her. 

 

Anyway, I would appreciate any feedback, suggestions, tips; whatever would help a new painter level up! Thanks a bunch! 

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Welcome to the Forum.

There are a lot of useful tips in the PAINTING and ADVICE Thread.

Also take a look at youtube, search for "painting fantasy miniatures"

 

I see you're already painting eyes, that's great!

Not many people do that on their first minis.

Looking at the skin, it is clear that you have good brush control.

 

As for colours, you can use whatever you like, as long as you shade and highlight in the right way you will get good results.

Since you mentioned red, a little trick, using a green wash in red folds where the shadows should be, give more depth.

And a little orange mixed with your base red will provide good highlights, maybe even mix yellow in it to go brighter.

 

 

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Welcome to the Asylum . . . errr . . . forums!

 

You are indeed off to a really good start.  The eyes are particularly good for just your 4th mini.  As moonglum says, the secret is to just keep painting and learning from each mini/brush stroke.  You'll have hits and you'll have misses, but hopefully each mini will teach you a little bit more about painting and about your colors.  

 

The next piece of advice I'd give is to keep posting!  The folks around here are great and really helpful and friendly, especially with us newbies.  I am very much a novice painter and my best work doesn't compare to the quick rush jobs of a lot of the people here, yet nobody has ever treated me as an inferior, etc.  They are always helpful and encouraging.  

 

As for working on color schemes, I have two pieces of advice.  First, read up on Color Theory.  It will really help you get an understanding of what goes with what.  I know that Hand Canon Online had a series of articles on it that were pretty easy to read and understand (I have zero art background). The first post can be found here:  Color Theory  Secondly, get yourself a color wheel (the previous article will explain how the wheel works if you need to.  

 

Finally, always remember to just have fun and enjoy the ride!  Paint for yourself and not for anyone else (unless of course you are getting paid :p).  What I mean by that is, don't stress out too much over the results.  The only way to get better is to simply keep painting.  You may find that you sometimes have to take short cuts for purposes of your own sanity.  As an example, I play Table Top wargames (Warmachine primarily).  Painting a  mini to the best of my ability might currently take me around 20 hours or so and amount to one of ten minis in a unit.  Said unit amounting to really only about a fifth of my "list".  If I tried to paint every single one of those minis to the absolute best of my ability, I would never finish.  But, when I view them on the table top, they still look pretty darn good (for me).  Also remember that they say the camera adds ten pounds, well it also adds 10-20 mistakes.  :P  In other words, when the camera blows up your mini, the "flaws" become far more noticeable than even when you hold the mini up to your nose, so don't forget to stop and take perspective of how things will look in person.

 

Keep up the good work!

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Thanks so much for the kind replies! I am really excited to be a part of this community, everyone seems so nice and helpful! I still have so much to learn, and the perfectionist in me makes it hard for me to accept that I'm not going to be winning any awards any time soon. However, I am looking forward to progressing and learning from everyone here! 

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Welcome to the forums! ^_^

 

I say go with your planned colour scheme. I wouldn't fear using too many warm colours.

There are two facets to contrast - you've got contrasting colours, like red and green being "opposites" which is the kind of contrast that you want for the proper composition of the piece overall. So instead of painting everything different shades of red, you'd put in some contrasting colours to add interest.... unless you're specifically going for a monochrome look... but that's a whole different herd of cats. Fortunately, this figure does give you some good opportunity for using contrasting colours without ruining the overall flow of the piece by giving you jewelry, a staff and her Nintendo power glove. ::P: So if her dress is red/orange/gold, then you can bring some green/blue into the staff, glove and jewels and still have balance to the piece.

Then you've also got contrast in colour value and generally contrast in the value is where shading and highlighting come in to prevent your colours from being flat. This can either be done subtly with gradual colour changes or you can use different colours to achieve a look with even more interest, which can also be done with subtlety or you can go for a very bold look. Xherman mentioned using green in shading red, I personally prefer purple in red shadows, but that's me. That's the sort of thing where you want to play around with it to decide what you like best.

 

When I painted this same figure, I used all cool colours and the only part where I brought in a warm colour was with the leather parts and her hair. Despite that fact, I still have high contrast because of the way that I shaded and highlighted. (She's in this show off thread, about halfway down the post, here: http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/72538-77381-dragons-dont-share-2014-edition/ although there are better pictures of her specifically in my WIP thread here: http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/72422-guindyloo-vs-dds2-in-7-days/&do=findComment&comment=1487471 I personally think that the tone of her skin is a bit of a misfire, but she was a speedpaint.)

 

So, I absolutely think that you should go for your warm colour scheme. If things are looking too warm and you feel like you need more colour contrast, you can correct as you go. It's just paint; at worst, you might have to strip it off and start over. One thing to remember with red is that it's very easy to end up with pink, so play around with using oranges and yellows mixed in with your base colour for highlighting it, although this can also lead to it going too orange if you're not careful. (Like on this figure, I went too orange on this skirt, but liked the end result well enough anyway. http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/73434-freida-krueger-77363-deva-for-the-rpchallenge/ )

 

Speaking from vast experience, be mindful of having patience with yourself to progress at whatever pace is necessary for you. There are going to be some things that you're going to pick up easier than others and there are some things that are going to frustrate the bejeezus out of you. You will only stress yourself out by putting pressure on yourself to progress faster than you reasonably can. The things that will absolutely pay off are: PRACTICE, research, seeking out advice, accepting criticism and always being willing to learn. If wanting something hard enough and expecting perfection from yourself were actually reasonable methods all by themselves, then I'd be a world renowned artist and bazillionaire living a life of leisure on a private island with a castle filled with life-size xenomorph replicas. :wub: ::P: Not only do you have to work for it, you have to have the ability to be patient with yourself and to forgive yourself when you have an off day or a figure doesn't turn out the way you wanted or certain techniques continue to elude you no matter how much you work on them.

 

So keep working at it, keep asking questions and keep having fun!

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Guindy's mention of purple for shading and Xherman's mention of green raise an interesting point - which is that sometimes there is more than one correct way to do a thing.  Being fresh, you will find there is quite a lot of information!  It can be overwhelming, so I suggest breaking things down into bits and starting simple.  As you get used to it, you'll find questions.  Some you may solve on your own, some you'll have to ask about or look up.  That's the learning curve, finding trouble and figuring out how to untrouble it.  As you pick through solutions and try things out you'll find out which ones you like best.  This will build your style.  Steal all the ideas that you like!

 

And if you're curious, I shade red using colours closer to brick brown.

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Thank you so much, Guindyloo! Those figures are absolutely beautiful! From the research I have done already I did know to add some complimentary colors into shadows, but color theory is a completely new concept to me having almost zero art background. I know that color theory will eventually be like second nature to me, but until then it actually scares me! Which I imagine is part of the reason why I have so many unfinished minis. I guess the only thing to do is just finish one and learn from it, and accept that it probably won't be as great as I imagined it would be. Until then, I'll be proud of myself for trying something new and stepping out of my comfort zone. Thanks again!! 

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Just a heads up. Red can be one of the hues many painters find difficult. The big misconception that many have is that adding white to red will create great highlights, but it doesn't. It makes pink. Knowing that will help curb that issue. Use oranges and yellows to highlight red and you're on the right path.  You mentioned a fire theme. To me that means mostly yellow with oranges and reds as shade colors. Yellow can be tricky to paint with as the pigments for yellow are notorious for translucent coverage. Getting a good opaque coverage of yellow many times mans either several layers of yellow or adding white to the yellow to give it a more opaque coverage.

 

Welcome to the forum! You're off to a fearless start and it's inspiring!  

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First off:  Guindyloo wins the thread for the Powerglove reference!

 

Second (and possibly more controversial):  I'm actually an advocate of not stripping/repainting an early mini.  Leave it as it is.  The reason?  As you continue to progress, you can go back and look at that first or second mini and see how far you've come.  It can come in real handy when you've had a "bad day" or a mini just doesn't come out right.  Lets you know you really are getting the hang of it.  That doesn't mean you should never strip and repaint, just make sure you leave one for yourself to compare to.

 

Finally, the other thing that really works wonders for me is knowing when to call it a night.  Some nights I just don't have it for whatever reason.  Either I'm trying to work too fast, or I'm too distracted, or I'm trying a new technique and it just isn't working.  I find that putting the brushes away, watching tv and coming back another day works wonders.  Pressing on however, usually just results in more frustration.

 

As for color theory, I hear ya, it was completely foreign to me too (and some of the science even in the article I linked above whizzes by me at times) but the basics can come fairly easily.  Another way to look at it though if you are struggling with what to accent with, or contrast with etc., is to look up images of sports uniforms.  They tend to do a pretty good job of color matching/contrasting to achieve a good look.  They aren't chosen randomly (though obviously some are better than others).  Its far from a perfect solution, but it can help you out in a pinch.  Its not a replacement for actually starting to understand color theory (which frankly, I'm not there yet either) but it does help.  It also doesn't have to be sports uniforms, pretty much any advertising or logos, etc. should follow similar ideals (though again some will be better than others).  

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Welcome!

I love the idea of a warm color scheme, especially when winter tries to pester me! It's ok to stay in the warm range if you want for the whole mini.  If you find it's too uniform, you could always choose a cooler accent color here or there.  Color balance is a tough thing and mostly come with lots of practice and much "looking and seeing" to get a feel for what you like.  There isn't one answer.  There's no wrong way to do this as long as you're having fun!

If you want to do reds, my favorite scheme is: mahogany brown, big top red, fire red, lava orange, saffron sunset and a glaze of clear red over the orange and yellow. When building up red, know that it tends to require more layers of paint, since it is more translucent than many of our other paints.  I like to do a basecoat in a warm brown like mahogany.  then I start with a dark red, not covering the deepest shadows and leaving the brown there to carry the shading.  Then I'll add a brighter more intense red, again, leaving some of the dark red showing.  Each layer can take up less physical space- this will help you build up to a highlight, while leaving enough "red" in place to make the cloth, etc "read" as red. For picky colors like reds and yellows, you want to leave most (about 75%) of the surface area as red or it will look more like your highlight or shadow color.

 

Great work on the eyes!!!

For the skin, if you're going to use a red cloth scheme, think about using a reddish shadow color for the skin, preferably the same thing you're using elsewhere in the miniature.  This always helps make for a more cohesive look.  For example, you could use the mahogany brown mixed in with your skintone for a shadow.  Areas on the skin that tend to be darkly shadowed are under the chin, under the arms, under where the thighs bend in the front of this mini. At the scale we work, we always have to push our shadows darker than one would think to help our eye see contrast from the side of the gaming table.

 



pdancer2_zpsagrryubf.jpg

 

So here I'm using  the carrottop red I used for the hair as the shadow tone on the skin.  It makes the whole thing feel warmer!

 

If you need any info on color theory, feel free to PM me with your email address and I can send a handout to you!

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3 hours ago, Two21B said:

Thank you so much, Guindyloo! Those figures are absolutely beautiful! From the research I have done already I did know to add some complimentary colors into shadows, but color theory is a completely new concept to me having almost zero art background. I know that color theory will eventually be like second nature to me, but until then it actually scares me! Which I imagine is part of the reason why I have so many unfinished minis. I guess the only thing to do is just finish one and learn from it, and accept that it probably won't be as great as I imagined it would be. Until then, I'll be proud of myself for trying something new and stepping out of my comfort zone. Thanks again!! 

Don't worry about not having a background in art, I didn't start with one either and I don't know what the actual statistic would be but I would imagine that the number of people in this hobby who didn't come from an art background is higher than those who did because so many people start into it because of the gaming aspect.

 

If Colour Theory is intimidating to you right now, then don't worry about it. There's no rule that states that you must study theories in order to paint. In all honesty, my understanding of Colour Theory is rudimentary at best. I've never taken any classes on it, or extensively read up on it and I don't own a colour wheel. I paint the colours that feel right to me. There's nothing wrong with that. If you use the "wrong" colours, there's nothing wrong with that either as long as you're happy with it. General tips are honestly where we can get a little overzealous about giving you all of the information that you could possibly need. But, like Buglips said, start simple. You've got to crawl before you can walk. So if you feel like any part of painting is walking or jogging or running for you and you feel like you're still at the crawling stage, there's nothing wrong with filing it away for later.

 

Here's the thing. If you paint something and it doesn't look perfect, hell, if it looks terrible, what's going to happen? Is the world going to end? Is someone going to come by and break your brushes? No. Even if you have someone in your life who would be rude about it, you have no obligation to ever show a bad paint job to anyone. I have multiple practice pieces that have never seen the light of day because they're hideous. And we're not talking about things that I did a couple of years ago, we're talking about things that I've slopped paint on recently. Sometimes I do post things that I'm not happy with because I know that maybe I'm being too hard on myself or, even better, maybe someone here can help me to fix it. A lot of the time, I reach a point where I'm too frustrated with trying to get something to turn out the way I see it in my head that I have to just let it go and move on. It'll serve you well if you put that into practice early on. Fortunately, because this place is so friendly and welcoming and helpful, you don't need to fear anyone being harsh when a figure has gone awry. We want to help you and we want to see you improve and succeed.

 

This is the plight of perfectionists; we hold onto things so tightly that we cause ourselves to fail whether it's because we don't trust other people or don't trust ourselves. But lingering over a mini, grasping at the elusive perfection, will do nothing but keep you stuck right where you are. You need to allow yourself to fail and forgive yourself for it. You're too new at this to already have a Shelf of Shame going.

 

@Corporea Glad you posted your red scheme and especially your advice for keeping things cohesive in the shadows. I needed that for something I'm working on! ^_^

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I really appreciate everyone's input and helpful tips! @Guindyloo, I especially appreciate your comments about perfectionism. I know the desire to be really, really good has already overshadowed the learning process and even the fun that should come along with the hobby.

I plan to work some more on it tonight and will post my progress in the morning.

Thanks again, everyone!

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