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Here we go again.

 

If you don’t want to know what led to the whole “Let’s make a present”-stuff, feel free to scroll down to the first picture.

 

I have to admit: I am not world’s best painter. To be honest – I am far away from that. I cannot remember color theory, keep forgetting important steps or read a tutorial just to throw it away ‘cause I cannot imagine how I should turn the advices into actual results. Life is hard …

Anyway – it seems that persons in my proximity have caught attention of what I am trying to do and figure that it is actually *good* and from time to time ask me to do some presents.

And that’s what I am doing for them. Presents.

Often those presents have got something to do with my boss. She is the driving force behind this whole “You do wargaming! You can paint! You make present! Ugh!“—stuff.

A specialty of her is to ask me to think of something and prepare something just to then remember me that I have got like 5 days left until the specific gift is needed. Thank you, ma’am!

And – oh, yeah – there has to be an owl in it. She loves owls and she wants everyone to know.

Therefore a typical process of creation  looks like this:

 

1st. Not much time left

2nd Owls are needed

3rd No owls available

4th panic rises

5th awkward moments are happening

6th The badly needed inspiration comes to mind

7th realization of lacking skill follows badly needed inspiration

8th panic rises further

9th Finally! Owls are available! Construction may begin.

 

 

So – Let’s make a present.

 

The following present was the very first “big” present I made. I want to run you through the process of creation as it was a lot of fun for me to improvise and think of that whole stuff, and I think it would be a shame not to share it.

The present was for a colleague who left us. Normally she would have gotten some kind of standard present from our workplace, but she didn’t want to. She had bad experiences regarding standard presents, so my boss was a bit unhappy. She didn’t want to let our colleague leave without anything in her hands.

Normally my boss would have done something on her own. She is a good painter - I guess like Bob Ross (just different hair style … and not so many little happy accidents). But she didn’t have got time, so I stepped in.

I had Five days left, and of those five days I was away for two days – not much time to come up with something.

 

So when I came home from work first thing I had to do was checking the materials available.

My boss wanted the present to be an owl. Well … as I don’t care about owls (only time I do is when they start screaming at night and keep me awake), I didn’t have got any owl miniatures.

And then there was the question of what kind of present I wanted to make.

I thought of a diorama, went through some stores in my area, didn’t find any helpful inspiration, and after a few hours of searching the Internet, I finally found what I was looking for: an owl mage.

And that triggered a thought on the meaning of the present.

Our colleague had been forced to make some hard decisions beforehand, which did not only have an impact on her work but also personal life, and my idea was to give her some kind of advisor to lead her through the upcoming time of her life.

I figured this idea to be on one hand quite good and on the other hand to be somehow hilarious, so the idea was settled.

 

Next thing I needed was a showcase.

Luckily enough I had some miniature tanks which showcases I didn’t need. One of them seemed to fit the figure and leave enough space to create a small scene around it.

Hm.

I only had an overall idea on the topic by that time, but finally the whole concept rushed into my mind.

Why not make a path, where the owl mage has a decision to make? The decision might be easy – go left or go right? Both paths will lead out of the diorama and therefore he cannot see what awaits him. He asks his crystal ball for advice but that doesn’t provide the answer and so the mage has to decide himself which way he wants to take.

So I bought the owl mage and went on my two-day-trip. When I came back, the mage had already arrived. Time for me to start.

 

First things first – I had to take the dioramas measurements and to make a plan …

 

jykm-2bj-0f54.jpg

 

jykm-2bk-f2d0.jpg

 

Then I did a first test fitting of all the elements I had thought of and made a plan, just to ignore it and continue with a second test, in which the owl mage was put together with a tree which I took from my forest box to create an outline I wouldn’t be able to read later on and started.

 

jykm-2bi-d007.jpg

 

jykm-2bg-6f3c.jpg

 

 

A main element of the diorama would be the path. Therefore I had to carefully outline how I wanted to create it, especially as the parting of the ways should be clearly visible.

 

jykm-2bl-232c.jpg

 

 

After that was done and put away to dry, the next thing to do was the road sign.

Checking my materials box, I found some balsa wood and plastic styrene. Using a scalpel, a rough file and some glue, those two elements became one to make a great road sign.

 

jykm-2bm-b57b.jpg

 

jykm-2bn-57fb.jpg

 

Then I had to let it dry. Next thing to do was painting the owl – but that is a different story for the next post …

Edited by Knochensack
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Where did we stop? Ah, right … drying and stuff. Painting? Painting what? An owl? Owl my god.

Right. Painting the owl.

 

Well – painting the owl started off quite funnily. As I told earlier I never cared about owls. Another thing I never cared about were wizards.

So I totally lacked a concept for coloring our magnificent feathered friend here.

I had to get some reference material and then I had to figure how to paint the object I desired to be finished.

Regarding my first problem, I took some time to get me inspirational music ...

 

NieR - Hills of Radiant Winds

 

… and then undertook some time to find me some pictures I figured to be acceptable as reference material.

I finally chose this one to be my first reference picture and then change what I wanted to change.

 

 

400?cb=20131213124119

 

Regarding the second problem, Doctor Fausts Painting Clinic was a great help. Thanks, Doc.

It took some time, but finally the basic colors were on and a few highlights set. Time … to dry (Blade Runner reference)

 

jykm-2bo-d7ff.jpg

 

jykm-2bp-a6e4.jpg

 

While that was happening (I mean the owl drying), I went over to the tree which had been lying in my forest box for quite some time and started cleaning and dry-brushing it.

 

jykm-2c0-8040.jpg

 

 

Everything was going well. Time to hamper my efforts. I know that will happen sooner or later. Well, this time it happened later.

I had applied some Noch scale train terrain putty to make a wonderful smooth terrain around the path and let it dry overnight, but … well it didn’t dry and stuck to the base. No. It fell off – in big pieces. Once it was dry, of course.

 

Wonderful. Splendid. Marvellous. Gnaaaaaaaaaaaaaa(………)aaaaar!

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ7ZAebAd1G_7RO68HU_3R

 

Why the @##!!)§(!=§”?!”)§ is this !”)%&$=§@><Ä‘!=§ not doing what I want it to :_!)§/% do! Damned!

 

 

Unfortunately I didn’t have got any material left to redo the whole base. And then there are only two days left. Bravo, monsieur! What an outstanding effort! You wasted a whole night and half a day for just nothing. And now you cannot finish you work because you do not have got enough material left for what you are planning to do.

There was only one solution. I went over to my neighbor. We often meet for wargaming or painting sessions, so I know he has got some terrain putty. When he opened the door, I just hold up my hand: “Sorry – no time – need putty! Now!” He understood.

Ahh – he had enough putty left. And it stuck to the base.

 

jykm-2by-ea28.jpg

 

 

Great! Very great! I am not entirely lost.

 

Back to the owl.

 

b452f80227ad84c8f83497fe43b58ea1--austin

 

Using some lighter colors and several washes, I finished the eyes, the crystal ball and the mages staff in a rather fast and easy way. And it looks good, too.

I chose a more human form for the eyes, as I totally messed up painting owl eyes three times on that miniature. I didn’t want to do it again once more. And it makes him more lovely, I think :-D

 

jykm-2c4-0dde.jpg

 

jykm-2c3-aba1.jpg

 

jykm-2c2-724c.jpg

 

jykm-2c1-8634.jpg

 

Well then – everything left is painting the base and putting some grass on it … and then we can go over to this place:

 

Let's present a ... present! Owl Mage

 

We are done.

In conclusion: Wonderful. I have never made a present or gift like this before and it was indeed a lot of fun. Not only the process of gathering all the different ideas and inspirations, but also the construction itself. My boss was happy and our colleague loved it from the first moment on. She told me that the owl will have a special place at her new work place. Hopefully it won’t be the paper basket.

There is only one thing that makes me sad: That I had to give the diorama away in the end. I really loved the outcome and I was so surprised everything went so good. What a colorfowl experience for me.

 

More to come.

Edited by Knochensack
Removed animated image
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What a colorfowl experience for me.

 

I see what you did there!

 

Great WIP Thx.

 

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2 hours ago, Glitterwolf said:

What a colorfowl experience for me.

 

I see what you did there!

 

Great WIP Thx.

 

 

Ohhh - a typo! Shame on me. ::P:

 

Glad you like it!

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