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Athena: FeR bust

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yup- all safe here.  My poor sister- they lost 1500 acres of crop from the rain and haven't had power or water for awhile. The scariest part was when she managed to get through on the phone, said the word "tornado" and then I couldn't get up with her again until she texted on her work phone 20 minutes later.  A very long 20 minutes!  They got about 3 feet of rain and the highways are all covered around them. They're inland, but they were on the north side of the storm which is generally the worst for wind and rain.  Sigh.  But everyone is alive and the animals are fine.


I mourn the loss of my favorite seafood restaurant, though.  Best hushpuppies ever. RIP Crab Shack. :down:

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ok, so I figured I'd jot down some quick notes on feathering. I'm not likely to get a whole lot of painting done next weekend as I'm trying to top my personal best season start for Diablo... ie, I'm going to be a slacker and play video games all weekend.  Hah!


But I still love you guys and would feel guilty if I didn't do something. I borrowed this from google:


Feathering is a technique that helps in two ways.  It can hide brushstrokes and it can create a gradient of paint.


Step one: have basecoat, will travel!


Start with a flat area. The idea will be to build up to our highlights and shadows. When you lay down a stroke of thinned paint, the idea is to lay down more paint at the end of the stroke. This is sort of counter-intuitive, as when creating a typical gradient on paper, you lay down paint and using water, gradually thin the paint down. This would be the graded wash in the google picture. have you ever noticed while following a nice curve of a flaring cloak how the brush wants to leave a little gloop of paint at the bottom? Some of that is gravity, but some of it is the nature of thinned paint. The brush pulls paint and when we stop, deposits more at the end.  Like the dot we get when we lift our pens after a stoke? 


Step 2: create highlight.  (cue shiny music file)


I'm pulling my brush from the left to the right to build up the lighter color on the left side. Each stroke is perpendicular to where I want my highlight line to run.


Step 3: create shadow.  spooky!


Now I'm pulling my brush down towards the bottom to pull the darker color with me.



It isn't always left/right or top/down.  It is perpendicular to where we want the highlight or shadow to go. So let's go back to a blocked in photo:


See the highlight on the ridge of the jaw?  I want to pull some lighter paint along that arrow to the jawline to smooth my transition.  I can do that by feathering down towards my highlight with lighter paint. I do it perpendicular to the area, because our eyes are naturally going to follow the jawline from side to side, and they are less likely to notice brushstrokes in the up/down direction.  This works great on cloaks. We want to follow the lovely sweeping lines up and down, but we don't "see" as well sideways.  It's a sneaky trick.


A lot of the time I put down a bit of paint and then feather through it with a damp brush.  this pulls water through the paint and leaves more at the end of the stroke. I can do that for a bit until the binder starts to dry on me.  I can be sneaky and pull my paint where I want it to go, even if I was messy to begin with and dropped it not quite where I wanted.  it;s just another way to blend.


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next step in the grand scheme of converting this bust over into the eastern side of wisdom is to change the type of owl.  The original appears to be sculpted as a barn owl.  I like barn owls, but I want to do something different.  I went on a google search and decided I like the look of the Eurasian eagle owl.



He has tufts!  I like tufts.  Sadly, the sculpt does not come with tufts.




let's fix that!  I mixed up some green stuff and changed the shape of his brows first.  To steal a line from Toy Story 2, I'm packing his angry eyes!




Next, I added the tufts. It seemed like to small an area to pin and wire, so hopefully they won't be too droopy.




And here he is basecoated with similar colors to Athena.  I'll need to darken him a bit and add all the barring once he's more polished.




He also has the olive skin and walnut brown, which hopefully will tie the two together. See y'all soon!


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One of the reasons I like WIPs is because they show the ugly adolescent stage of painting.  So many of the things we look at online are the result of 20-100 hours of work, and they stun us with their perfection.  I like muddling through the tough stages where everyone can see- although I'm guilty of getting in a groove and forgetting to take in progress pics often.  I blame the background music.  But, the idea is seeing the trial and error, the layers as they go and the overall process.  I find that more helpful, though there are things I can't really demo in photos like how to unload a brush, how thin the paint should be and suchlike.


It makes me wonder if I ought to teach either a basic skin class for beginners or a basic brush use type class that would go over all the gory details we forget to mention when we're painting. We don't do it on purpose.  We just don't always think about it consciously.

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I do really love your step by step (for the most part ::):) walk through.  I have some busts coming in from the Scale75 KS and I really appreciate you taking the time to teach us some tricks and tips.  Skin is so complex and I am nervous to paint them especially the female's skin.  I am worried that if I use too may layers and push paint around too much that the skin wont be smooth.  It has worked okay for my Orc Bust but his skin does not need to be smooth like a female's.  


I also need to get more comfortable with the in between stages.  Often times if I am not getting results right away I get discouraged so it helps to see that its just part of the process.  I am getting better with this but to see that it can take a long while for results helps a lot.  I always try remember what James Wappel said in a TY video to not give up on the process half way through because you wont know the final results if you give up too early.  You're work here is a great example!  



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