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Mori Learns Skintones!


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Whoo! I primed these all last month after ReaperCon. And then they just sat there while I finished other stuff. But now my desk is clear and I'm ready for more art!

 

I am solidly in the "paint a solid color on the mini with a little shadow and highlight because I wanna play or sculpt" category. I also feel like I could have given my most recent sculpt a lot more love simply by not just painting her all the same shade of brown, haha!

 

So I've gathered up my paint, a handful of bones minis, my notes from Rhonda, Derek, and Erin, and now it's time to learn how to paint skin! I'm really excited to try out different expressions, skintones, and lighting. I went ahead and primed them so if we need them for any games, they won't have blinding white clothes on. I'm not certain on all the names, but all except maybe 1 or 2 of these were from my Bones III Kickstarter order.

 

IMG_20180917_145736252.thumb.jpg.654dc878049952bd784c85a57e4f5ad1.jpg

 

I don't want to get pinged for nudity, so I gave this dryad a cute little Space Age dress in case she accidentally gets in the frame while I'm working on other pieces.

 

IMG_20180917_145809358.thumb.jpg.6a04d643c0ae42ce24feedad9d92c4d7.jpg

 

I'm pretty pleased with it. ;)

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I would recommend starting off with the cloud giantess. She has curves and lots of skin to practice on.  Also, it's easier to learn on larger surfaces before moving on to smaller ones imo.

 

Also, get lots of practice glazing in non "traditional" colors, like purple/reds/greens/blues. It feels counterintuitive but it makes skin look much more alive.

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39 minutes ago, Mr Melons said:

I would recommend starting off with the cloud giantess. She has curves and lots of skin to practice on.  Also, it's easier to learn on larger surfaces before moving on to smaller ones imo.

 

Also, get lots of practice glazing in non "traditional" colors, like purple/reds/greens/blues. It feels counterintuitive but it makes skin look much more alive.

 

Thanks, that's a valid point to use her first haha! Lots of my notes mention some pretty wild colors, so I'm excited to see how much it can change the skin tones. :)

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Time to get past single color painting, whoooo!
As always, I appreciate love and critiques.

I need to get my webcam setup, because she showing up as crazy gold with this phone. I'm getting some serious Almalexia feelings from her now!

I need to work on setting up the little steps on the palette. I feel like it takes more light drops to equal one dark drop. I'm also finding that I'm not letting the colors dry before putting on the next one, should I be....? I did make sure to let it dry completely before doing a glaze with the orange brown!

Wow. She is so gold. I kind of want to glaze a yellow over it now to make it match this in real life....

 

43614798_711846085858146_3161869002494443520_n.thumb.jpg.d284365e0677901bc537a5f87a6b347a.jpg

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What follows is here only because I know you and I think you're looking for a more specific critique than most people give here. Let me know (by PM if you prefer) if this is too much at once. (And if it is, I apologize.)

 

18 minutes ago, Morihalda said:

I'm also finding that I'm not letting the colors dry before putting on the next one, should I be....?

 

No, or possibly yes. :rolleyes:

 

No if you're planning to wet blend (wet into wet and blend the colors on the figure). This can work really very well if you're good at it (I'm not, really). In this case, you want the paint already on the figure to be pretty wet when you come in with the next color.

 

Yes if you're planning to glaze or layer, because the new layer will tend to pick up the first layer and give you both bad blends and ugly texture. It looks like you're picking up some texture here, either because of that effect or because of the consistency of the paint.

 

Note that even if paint feels dry to the touch, a slightly rough hand with the next layer can pick up the previous layer until the paint film sets completely.

 

If you need things to be dry, a small fan or hair dryer can be useful. Here in the dry in Colorado, this is not a problem I have to worry about much.

 

From what you've painted, I'm assuming you're going for the look of a single key light at about the figure's 10:30 position and higher than the figure. Given that, the skin color in the photo is giving me a very Gold NMM vibe, which speaks to your putting the highlights in reasonable places. I'd consider adding highlights on the left cheek, the forehead above the left eyebrown, and the left side of the nose. I'd think about increasing the contrast on the right side of the face too, but not by adding highlights. For that matter, I'd consider going darker on nearly all the skin shadows away from the light, but that could be affected by other lighting in the scene.

 

HTH

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@Doug Sundseth - It's perfect info, thank you. :) I'll try both of those ways tomorrow. I should have mentioned that I only painted a base coat on her face. I think the shading there is speaking kindly of the sculptor.

 

It wasn't intentional, but I think I'm gonna make this piece with Almalexia's colors.

Image result for almalexia

 

I've got a ton of minis for practice so I'll just start another one to see where I got so gold, and make that one more human looking! :D

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4 hours ago, Mr Melons said:

It's the golden shadow. Tanned Shadow would work better imo.

Going to disagree here. I really like using the Golden Skin triad shaded down with Chestnut Brown for skin, more specifically I used it on my Pinup Wet Nurse (for reference, WIP thread is here: http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/80384-kingdom-death-pinup-wet-nurse/&page=1)  More recently, I used Golden Shadow as my basecoat for skin on the Sophie in Cat Costume that I'm painting (which can only currently be seen on my facebook or instagram) to go for a more tanned skintone.

Part of what is making her look so gold is the lack of colour on the other parts of the figure. It will balance out some once your eye has more colours to view. But undoubtedly, what is giving the overall gold look is the glaze of Orange Brown which is very orange. Tanned Shadow may work just fine with skin, but if you then glaze it with a very orange colour, you're still going to give the skin overall a very golden tone.

 

Also Mori, was that picture of your palette taken long after you'd painted? I ask because that glaze looks a lot more pigmented than I would typically use if just going for an overall tint. But if your paints had dried a bit on the palette (and the unthinned ones certainly have, but that can happen very quickly without a wet palette,) it could certainly be appearing thicker than it was when you used it. 

 

I think that your shadow colour may be too dark. I specifically use Chestnut Brown for my shadows because it has a reddish tone to it, which works for giving the skin a slightly more alive look without turning it too pink, but also it is a relatively translucent colour and I don't use a tremendous amount of it. When I started working toward improving my skintones, one of the things that I did was heavily study the skintones of painters that I admire who I find paint in a style that I wanted to work toward and who I felt especially painted female figures well since I'm most interested in painting female figures. So I focused a lot of my studying on Rhonda Bender and Jessica Rich's work. And something that I realized during that studying is that they shade skin very delicately, never going too terribly dark even in areas like under the arms where, if that were clothing or on object, you would paint it extremely dark to contrast with the areas that are receiving the most light. That seems to contradict the usual "more contrast" instructions to darken your shadows and make your highlights higher, but skin reflects light differently and if you go too dark on a lighter skintone, it's going to look very harsh and as a result it will look less organic. You typically very much want skin to look organic.

 

Now certainly different styles will dictate different shading and some styles, like if you're going for very dramatic lighting, will change things up some and you will need to go darker in the shadows to translate that. If you're just going for a typical zenithal lighting and traditional look, however, as is typical for a regular gaming sized figure, then you will likely want to keep your contrast very delicate on the skin.

 

I'm also going to disagree a little with @Doug Sundseth about your highlight placement - some of your priming appears to be coming in from 10:30 but much of your priming and highlighting is actually coming in from more of a 1:00 position. The 1:00 positioning works for her pose, but make sure that you're being consistent with it or your highlights will start arguing with each other and confuse the eye. ETA: I was rushing off to a meeting that ended up getting cancelled. I'm wondering now if I'm telling time wrong because everything's digital, man. Whatever time it may be, your highlight's appear to be coming from above and to HER left (our right) which I think makes sense but looking at her head and hair, that light is coming in from HER right (our left) but the right side of her body appears to be mostly in shadow.

Edited by Guindyloo
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@Guindyloo: I think we're seeing the same things. I wasn't much paying attention to the zenithal priming, just the skin tones, which seem to be highlighted from about 45° to the figure's left of the front of the figure and high. (Which would be the figure's 10:30.) Also, after my comment, Mori said:

 

13 hours ago, Morihalda said:

I only painted a base coat on her face.

 

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I mentioned in my post that the photo was making it look really gold, and then mentioned that I would make another mini with these colors again, and make this one extra gold to match the photo. I can take a better photo now that it's not dark outside. :)

 

IMG_20181009_101423144.thumb.jpg.1d0292b7eb66e42fa3791c46b5e6e987.jpg

 

@Guindyloo - Thank you!

 

Okay, whelp. I'll thin them more LOL. I took a photo of my palette to ask questions and I completely forgot.... To ask them. I was able to see the text on the newspaper when I painted a test spot on it, though. 

 

I will read through that other paragraph a few more times to make sure I understand everything in it.

 

I only used the purple on the side of her thighs that's touching the fabric.

 

So the priming is going to throw everything off - this was just a big set of minis that I primed so if we needed them while I was working, they wouldn't have blinding white clothes with normal skin. So just ignore that. :blush:  She had a solid base coat on her skin first. When I'm painting the skin, I had it coming from her top left since that seems to be the basic lighting spot.

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16 minutes ago, Doug Sundseth said:

@Guindyloo: I think we're seeing the same things. I wasn't much paying attention to the zenithal priming, just the skin tones, which seem to be highlighted from about 45° to the figure's left of the front of the figure and high. (Which would be the figure's 10:30.)

Yeah, the 10:30 bit throws me off. I can't visualize how she's meant to be facing the clock. Am I facing the clock? Am I standing in the middle of it? Does it change positions depending on what you're referencing? What does the 30 minute increment do, is that what makes it come from above? I don't want to derail Mori's thread, it just occurs to me that I don't appear to understand clock positioning at all. Which would explain why when Ian told me to put a dot of paint at 11:00, I put it at 1:00 instead.

 

28 minutes ago, Morihalda said:

I mentioned in my post that the photo was making it look really gold, and then mentioned that I would make another mini with these colors again, and make this one extra gold to match the photo.

I misunderstood, I thought you meant that the picture was making it MORE yellow but that overall the paint had come out very yellow since you said "I've got a ton of minis for practice so I'll just start another one to see where I got so gold," but honestly my initial response was to stop anyone from thinking that Golden Shadow was going to give their mini a yellow look which I felt was what Mr. Melons was implying and it's simply not the case. You're certainly not going to get a pink-ish skintone out of using the Golden Skin triad, but you wouldn't get a pink-ish skintone out of using the Tanned Skin triad either. Those colours, and all of your paint choices are very warm and golden, so you are going to end up with a more tan/golden appearance whereas if you were using a triad like Rosy Skin, then you'd have a more pink skintone.

 

32 minutes ago, Morihalda said:

Okay, whelp. I'll thin them more LOL. I took a photo of my palette to ask questions and I completely forgot.... To ask them. I was able to see the text on the newspaper when I painted a test spot on it, though. 

With the much improved picture, I feel much better about your glaze thinning, though I am still curious about why you were glazing skin with an orange. I'm not saying it's wrong or bad, it's just not something I've heard suggested before nor tried.

 

37 minutes ago, Morihalda said:

I only used the purple on the side of her thighs that's touching the fabric.

If you mean for it to be lining, then it needs to be much thinner than it is. You really want your lining to be as crisp as you can manage. If it's meant to be shading then look at it from a lighting perspective, what would make her skin that much darker there? Is her crotch actually a black hole that is sucking all of the light out from the vicinity? ::P: I'm also curious about your choice of Nightshade Purple both for lining skin and shading it. Purple mixed with a skintone on the tan/yellow side can produce a bruised or dried blood look.

 

45 minutes ago, Morihalda said:

So the priming is going to throw everything off - this was just a big set of minis that I primed so if we needed them while I was working, they wouldn't have blinding white clothes with normal skin. So just ignore that. :blush:  She had a solid base coat on her skin first. When I'm painting the skin, I had it coming from her top left since that seems to be the basic lighting spot.

That's fine, priming doesn't have to be perfect and you're never locked in to following it. I just wanted to point out the importance of remaining consistent with your highlighting.

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4 minutes ago, Guindyloo said:

Yeah, the 10:30 bit throws me off. I can't visualize how she's meant to be facing the clock. Am I facing the clock? Am I standing in the middle of it? Does it change positions depending on what you're referencing? What does the 30 minute increment do, is that what makes it come from above? I don't want to derail Mori's thread, it just occurs to me that I don't appear to understand clock positioning at all. Which would explain why when Ian told me to put a dot of paint at 11:00, I put it at 1:00 instead.

 

::D:

 

By convention, it's the hour hand only, you're always standing at the center of the clock, and 12 is straight ahead. So 10:30 would be between 10 and 11.  On the hour hand. Only.

 

:poke:

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