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almost everything I paint is: ugly, ugly, ugly, better, more better...done, whew, thank God!  I'm not sure that gets any easier with practice and time, since as I practice more and level up, my eye sees even more things I need to fix.  I say this is not to be discouraging.  Just know we all still go through the frustration of the painting process.  I agree- never give up on a project as you never know how far you can take it!  And another tip I use when skin gets bumpy is to take some brush on sealer and place a nice layer or fill in holes- it will be transparent/at worst slightly translucent and it can help to smooth out the bumpies. Then go back over everything with a thin glaze and it can help both smooth and blend a problematic area. PM me when you get started on your wip and as long as work isn't too crazy I can help troubleshoot!

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wait, have you not heard of how we travel in packs when out for dinner to the restroom? ::P:


So freckles are a little different than what I'm going to do with the henna.  Henna is applied to the epidermis (outer skin) surface.  It is a stain of the skin, like writing on oneself with marker, and fades as the  top skin sheds.  Freckles live deeper in the layer:


Image result for freckles skin layer


Here's a fancy chart on some common skin markings.  The key I see with freckles, or tattoos which are also deeper, is to glaze over them with more skin layers.  Here's where the tattoo lives:


Image result for tattoo skin layer


So see how there's a bunch of stuff above the mark?  What I do with skin markings is to nearly finish the skin in terms of blending and smoothness, then add my blemishes or markings, then glaze over them a few time with my skin midtone.  That way, they fade into the skin and become a part of it.  If they end up fading too much, just touch them up.  There is often a lot of back and forth with skin markings.  Also, I do a lot of google research on placement of freckles.  While they can be anywhere, looking at actual examples can help them seem more natural from a pattern standpoint. Colorwise- I tend to use a darker shade of my skin or my darkest miniature shadow color mixed with my skintone.  I tend to use a lot of colors not labeled as skin when I paint skin, so I don't have recipe for every skintone, but I might use my walnut brown like I did for the henna with this miniature.  I know I did a redhead with freckles where my shadow color was something like burgandy wine, and I used that for my freckles.  It doesn't have to be a brown.  You can see how varied the colors of moles/freckles are in the first picture.  I look at moles a lot at work, and I've seen so many colors.  It's more what blends well with your color scheme. Then again, I do not always paint "realistically."   My color choices are based more on mood- more expressionist or impressionist, so I do what makes me happy and looks pretty or conveys the emotion I want.  

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Still working.  I've been splitting my time between a few projects and real life, but I have to finish this before Reapercon!


I want to finish the bird at least enough to attach him to her shoulder.  In order to feel ready to attach, he has to be mostly done on the hidden side and I have to finish her hair and skin on that side.  I like waiting to attach bits on minis when it makes it easier to paint hidden things.


So, I'm doing an eagle owl. I googled a bunch of photos, and found several that helped me do the wings. I like looking at what I want to copy to get a sense of it. Observing nature really helps me learn how best to paint it.  When I cheat and make things up, it doesn't look as good.  It's worth taking the time to do the research.




There's a huge range of patterning and colors on these guys, so as long as it looks pretty owl-like I think I'm ok.




I start by blocking in the basic colors.




I do some basic shading on the individual feathers.




Then I can block in the barring on the wings.




Something like this. Still figuring out where the colors fit.




I do the same thing on the other side.




And then I block in the barring on the body and other wing. This is the side that needs to be the most done, as it will nest against her shoulder.





Of note, I'm still using the same color I used on Athena, minus the mahogany brown.  I'm hoping this will help them meld together.  Their eyes I want to more or less be the same because I think it will be a cool effect.  Maybe she sees through her bird's eyes?

Ok, more soon!


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Sorry to sneak in and place a response when I haven't actually painted on this lady, but I was reading a blog post by Chuck Wendig and felt a need to apply it to painting over here.  I thought it might help. Warning- Chuck is, er, indiscriminate in his use of language, so maybe NSFW. 


(One of my hobbies is writing, so I follow some of the writing blogs from time to time.)


This post on self-rejection definitely hits home for me when it comes to writing, because I am a thin-skinned wimp and always have a hard time when I do something that is less than perfect. 


But, it applies to painting as well.  Sometimes when we paint, we look at those so much farther ahead of us and feel like we can never achieve that level of awesomesauce.  I know I look at the Masters, be they miniature painters or in the world of fine art, and cringe when I think about where I am on the curve.  And I acknowledge that I have skill in painting and have a learned a lot over the years.  I still keep my first mini to remind me that things have changed. I keep all my minis I don't gift away, because they are a physical manifestation of my progress when I feel down.


I always judge myself harshly. I think we all do. And sometimes, we let the beautiful things we could do die before we even apply the brush. We give up, or move on to another project, or fail to push past the barriers we erect inside. We give up on ourselves. We can't fail if we don't even try, right?  It's at this point I hear that cursed "I hope you dance" song in my head.  Sorry for the earwig.


At any rate, this is me posting to give a big group hug to all my fellow painters out there who've had a hard time shaking the voices in our heads that are trying to hold us back.  We can do it! Even if we're not perfect, we're still awesome and we can do amazing things! And the things we paint make us stronger and better, and we learn from everything, even our mistakes.  We are fantastic creatures capable of miracles, so let's not hold ourselves back.  Goodness knows I've had a lot of projects that fell short of my expectations.  But when I forced myself to keep going, even in the face of certain failure, I muddled through. And the result, while not perfect, was acceptable. In the end, I learned something and leveled up.


Let's slay some dragons, Team Reaper! Bring on the XP!


(Also, I promise to work on this bust this weekend barring crazy real-life-work madness.)

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I have been totally distracted by making a fun base for the group project, but I managed to squeeze in a little Bust time.  First, I disliked the way the hand pattern came out, so I spent this afternoon redoing it.  I coated the hand in my skintone, and highlighted a bit, then re-painted the henna. 




I'm happier now.  Just like Talespinner says never fear the scalpel- never be afraid to redo something that's off.




I also worked on the arms and the belt thingy. I think I'll attach the arm soon, but I may stare at it a bit longer just in case I feel like I can't reach something important.


Whew.  This weekend has been serious painting fun!

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On 1/29/2019 at 11:51 AM, Corporea said:

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.


I'd take the class. I'd probably not expect to learn a lot ... and be wrong.


Which is why I'd take it. ::D:


On some level, I suspect that this would sound like a basics class from the description but would actually be a higher level thing. Early on as a painter, you hear lots of words and might or might not think you understand what the teacher is driving at. Then, when you get better, you realize that your understanding was at best partial.


On 3/6/2019 at 4:26 PM, Corporea said:

Sorry to sneak in and place a response when I haven't actually painted on this lady, but I was reading a blog post by Chuck Wendig and felt a need to apply it to painting over here.  I thought it might help. Warning- Chuck is, er, indiscriminate in his use of language, so maybe NSFW. 


True to my experience (thank you for the link), and not just as regards miniatures painting. It's good life advice ... and oh so hard to implement.

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This time I planned!  I took pictures of the process!  Go me!


Ahem. What I mean is, I decided that since most mehndi is repeated on both arms... I'd need to copy my original design to the other hand.  The good news is, much of the arm is covered. Hah hah!




So above is arm number one for reference.  It's a good idea to look at your reference model because I'd forgotten how many petals I put on the central flower and had to restart.  Sigh.




Eight petals.  Yup. I started by making a dot in the center, then filled in the center dot with flesh color. It's easier than drawing a thin circle.




I cleaned up the pattern and added a lighter ring of flesh around it.  Her skin is darker on this hand, so I had to lighten it up to add contrast.



Then I drew a thin circle and set up my quadrants for the next layer.




Argh. Blurry but you can see the progress for the pattern.




More dots and another circle.




And a scalloped border.  Then I copied a bit of the arm pattern where it would show past the braid.




There we go!  I attached her arm finally and attached Mr Owl, but I haven't taken a picture of that yet since the greenstuff was still drying.  I'll get that uploaded soon. 

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As promised, she's all attached.  Now I just have to decide if I'm going to center her on her pedestal or not.  I'm thinking center is better, even though the owl makes her a bit lopsided.




I spent this weekend working on the hair and the owl. In terms of the hair, I mixed myself some fairly neutral grays using linen white and walnut brown, then worked in a bit of the peacock green and the mahogany.  I also broke out my ink to get some deep shadows.  This stuff is a bit glossy, so I'll have to hit it with a matte medium or dullcoat, but it adds some contrast when used sparingly.




The ink's on the left of the palette. hard to see, but it's darker.






Here's me fiddling with her braid. 




And Mr Owl is looking a great deal more polished.




Though I think I may glaze over some of the white on his back. It looks too stark.




The braid still looks a bit gray, so I'll probably gently glaze with walnut to knock it down.


More later. Must watch basketball.  My team is playing!  Go Heels!



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