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Tips For Entering Reaper Painting Competitions


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26 minutes ago, Sirithiliel said:

I'll just paint what i find fun, and give up on trying to get gold. i'll work for the large monster trophy, i'm 3 out of 4 years getting it so far, at least that's something i can do.

 

but i'd rather paint things i feel inspired to paint, that i find fun to paint, than agonize for months over something tedious and boring to me

Ultimately, this is what you have to do.  Not necessarily giving up on gold, but painting things that are fun and inspiring for you.   The tedious details are going to be a lot easier on pieces you find inspiring and fun.  Focus on that first, and worry about the gold later. 

I also suggest taking a year off.   instead of working all year on a ReaperCon entry for next year,  just spend the year painting some fun stuff, concentrating only on making each piece a little bit better than the last one.   Then look at them all in August and pick one or two to show off at ReaperCon without worrying if they'll even get bronze. 

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Larger minis tend to take more time. We pour more hours into them.  If I were to spend an equal amount of time on a small figure and a dragon, and then enter them in the competition, the dragon would

I plan to, I am learning zbrush and my dragon species are some of the first things I am going to try and make, since they are easy for me to envision    Thanks everyone. I do feel better now

@Sirithiliel    I'm no where near good enough for a bronze yet but I can offer some insight into that step from silver to gold. I do Japanese fiber arts for reenactment groups. While it

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Part of my problem with reaching competition level painting is that i like varied and interesting color schemes, i like to have markings, i like to have counter shading, and that means i have to get every single shadow to fall across multiple color regions, and get them all to blend smoothly

 

i like color, i like interesting patterns and colors rather than just paint a dragon one single color and shade and highlight it. My entire class i teach at Reapercon is teaching people to go outside the box and do something other than one single color for a dragon. To mix colors that don't match a D&D stereotype of a dragon, to add markings, to just create something new rather than following a book picture

 

i think i'll work on the bones 4 skeletal dragon next year for the painters. he would only use bone colors and i won't be tempted to try something exotic with him

Edited by Sirithiliel
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14 minutes ago, Sirithiliel said:

Part of my problem with reaching competition level painting is that i like varied and interesting color schemes, i like to have markings, i like to have counter shading, and that means i have to get every single shadow to fall across multiple color regions, and get them all to blend smoothly

 

i like color, i like interesting patterns and colors rather than just paint a dragon one single color and shade and highlight it. My entire class i teach at Reapercon is teaching people to go outside the box and do something other than one single color for a dragon

 

i think i'll work on the bones 4 skeletal dragon next year for the painters. he would only use bone colors

 

So my biggest suggestion here ...   if you like colours .  Look and read up on some of the works by Bohun.  I'd say right now, top 3 or 4 model painter around and his works just blow away pretty much everything i've seen at least around.

 

Look at this troggoth of his: https://scontent-yyz1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/69299717_2965350146824934_8091592650496409600_n.jpg?_nc_cat=110&_nc_oc=AQmaBTDtYj7Mdo2Tw7_z2Y1-FMAj9cSBA1C8amrhWE2aeY9-rDdwIrLso7vQD4scZFM&_nc_ht=scontent-yyz1-1.xx&oh=6e7b18d91ef11aeb4e97b3de0c2de4d7&oe=5DD0ADB7

 

all the crack/wrinkles are freehand.  Now, the craziest thing here. that model is drybrushed.  Yes, waiting for you to get off the floor.  Bohun has his own method of drybrushing.  He calls it stippling drybrush.  I've tried it on my dragon turtle (sadly, its on the belly, which is underwater so it wont really be visible), but it does give very different result than standard drybrushing.  He uses all those colours, etc.  i was temporarily on his patreon. got  a bunch of his pdfs and vids.  I will try some of those techniques on a couple things i do in the coming year and then on my sept 2020 contest entry.

 

Dont think lots of colours, or muted, etc is preferred. it really is quality.  Not to be insulting, but if one of his models was at reapercon, IMHO, it would crush. There are many awesome models there, much better than I can do for example, but none of them reach that level from the photos we have seen).   As you find out what stuff you missed, or is not refined, etc, as you improve those , you will get the results you want.

 

some more of his stuff:

 

https://scontent-yyz1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/54525433_2663824406977511_4085248299248910336_n.jpg?_nc_cat=107&_nc_oc=AQliRutKcQtBQAG7NtLxpNBuPk3pRHJjEnkTZFtJdxSrT4Rsf1IENOAT-N5ypty_f7E&_nc_ht=scontent-yyz1-1.xx&oh=aea3f2777771b2eb36e4ef5825086c2a&oe=5DCB9E9B

 

https://scontent-yyz1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/54729745_2660807370612548_2991131055907405824_n.jpg?_nc_cat=104&_nc_oc=AQmSo1JX0l-GfWTniiIajT1yGthr-DQjhzOhHRPCPCNB7sCDd0KSG0BtsBLeLwBHwzc&_nc_ht=scontent-yyz1-1.xx&oh=26c9f91f9c36c1905ac944a0c6ea3fa4&oe=5DD05854

 

https://scontent-yyz1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/56786198_2699369310089687_3644887995334524928_n.jpg?_nc_cat=101&_nc_oc=AQm3TekYmd5481Id8axeaO2VNQQFglVXxsgSoqvakJalIb-MBczgMFjvKKxmQbARgTk&_nc_ht=scontent-yyz1-1.xx&oh=3a0e81d329c08e23f3153691f309de52&oe=5E00DC15

 

more drybrush:

 

https://scontent-yyz1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/59853533_2756111051082179_1215920424206991360_n.jpg?_nc_cat=101&_nc_oc=AQltdG5ZlBmSDoioMzFqIP8y5jA3_oylejqo79Qil6MycINarJ5HD9G1wXCZ7RtgL_s&_nc_ht=scontent-yyz1-1.xx&oh=c6e94847068fbba43d3d22c72f104739&oe=5E0C9D66

 

 

regards,


Sanjay

 

Edited by StarFyre
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This conversation was split out oddly and made to look like I egotistically started a thread to talk about my gold medals. I did not, I was responding to the conversation about better basing being the way to win Gold, I’m not sure why that context wasn’t included at the start of the thread. :lol:

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3 minutes ago, Guindyloo said:

This conversation was split out oddly and made to look like I egotistically started a thread to talk about my gold medals. I did not, I was responding to the conversation about better basing being the way to win Gold, I’m not sure why that context wasn’t included at the start of the thread. :lol:

cause the mods like picking on you :) :)

its ok - i posted in the previous post some links to colourful models that i think Siri will like - by Bohun. 

 

now its time to drool at those and for all of us to feel bad :P

 

Sanjay

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those are indeed nice, and i'll save them for reference, but it doesn't quite solve my own issues. his models use color, but not patterns. One shade for belly, back, etc

 

here's an example of the stuff i do, with markings and different shades over the model

 

part of my problem is getting the shading to be consistent across all these areas of different color

IMG_1095.JPG

IMG_0884.JPG

Blacksting.jpg

Edited by Sirithiliel
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And thats fine.  the point was, its not about "that has too much colour" , that has "too little" . its execution.  His models has more colour transitions than most.  But as you have shown, yes yours have your own style which is good.  In that link from Vincent, i think he talks about that as well somewhere in that huge tutorial/thread. 

 

having your own style, is what will make your work help standout.  But the next step is to move it further along the competition ladder. 

 

using your first image as an example - I would use those coloured scales you have on the torso/shoulders and move it a bit more up the wing bone.  it would make it flow a bit better.  The colours are fine.   Hell, you could even go more drastic and have the lower hind legs blend into a totally different colour.  The initial keys are flawless or near flawless smooth blends.  Highlights where possible (which is my largest flaw - i find even when i do highlight well, it looks off so i normally leave it for last and even with weeks, run out of time).  Then, using Bohun's as an example, if your colour transitions are smooth, you then highlight.  You would also have painted individual scales with different colours as you prefer, so here you need to highlight all of it accordingly.  Then you can add some small details like freehand veins in the wings, etc. 

 

Stuff like that.  its why the jump from silver to gold is so hard IMHO.  tons of little things make a difference, but there are ways to manage them and still do the colour palette, model type, etc that you prefer.

 

i do like the colours you did on that model as well. it is more fun than just a boring 1 colour for entire model.  there are exceptions of course, but thats life.

 

Regards,

 

Sanjay

Edited by StarFyre
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until i get my blending and lighting improved, i will probably try to do large monsters with simpler color schemes. But the big monsters are what i enjoy painting, those are what really get me the drive to actually paint

 

the bones 4 skeletal dragon should be good for that, and let me practice my blends and lighting with a smaller selection of colors than i normally use

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In my opinion, your stuff has great 'Pop' to it, with lots of high contrast that grabs the eye, but it lacks finesse in the transitions, and smaller details aren't done to the same level and effect.

 

FWIW, the first dragon has a honking big mold seam running down the tail that would be an automatic downgrade in a competition.

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I took up miniature painting just because I like to sit down and paint.  Mostly I enjoy painting tabletop, which is an acceptable job if not a competitive one.  While I enjoy and appreciate the wonderful pieces that score high, I've never much cared one way or the other about competing.  

 

Earlier this year I got my painted collection back from temporary storage after the fire.  They were devastated.  Even the intact ones would need to be redone. All of my work over all of the years was reduced to zip - I would be starting all over again from scratch.  

 

For three weeks I debated what to do and strongly considered selling it all off and moving on.  

 

Then I realized that since I didn't need fantasy figures for gaming anymore that it wasn't quite the job it seemed.  I don't need thirty orcs, ten of each sculpt - only three.  I don't need 8 frost giants - only one.  This cuts the job down to a reasonable number 

 

I still like to relax and paint mass armies, so I shifted all that to historicals.  And for fantasy, now I will use them to learn how to paint things better.  Competition will serve to keep me finding things to learn.  

 

This seems like it might be a nice balance, and is better than dumping the lot on eBay.  

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2 minutes ago, Sirithiliel said:

i'm definitely going to make an attempt to stop caring so much. Just do what i find fun to paint, enter whichever one i want to, and accept the results. It's just not worth the stress and disappointment.

 

 

I would say don't stop caring about making work that makes you happy, but stepping back from the pursuit of medals might not be a bad thing.  In the end, what we do is an art form, so there's always a subjective/taste element to any judging of it.  At the end of the day if you've painted a subject you enjoy, to a standard you'll be happy to look at on your shelf, that's the goal.  It's a hobby and it's supposed to be fun.  Maybe even relaxing!  Forcing yourself to paint subjects you don''t like in a style you don't enjoy is pretty much as far from fun as I think you can get.  FWIW, I really like your figures.  There have been a number of times I've opened one up and gone "Wow"! ::D::winkthumbs:

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1 hour ago, Sirithiliel said:

i'm definitely going to make an attempt to stop caring so much. Just do what i find fun to paint, enter whichever one i want to, and accept the results. It's just not worth the stress and disappointment.

 

 

Not caring about competition results can be a healthy start.  What I love about your work is the life and creativity you bring to it.  It's possible to learn any technique and still produce something boring, but to capture the imagination is a gift.  

 

I agree that focusing on what you enjoy and slowly honing those skills will get you there.  I've seen many comments about how long it can take to move from bronze to silver and from silver to gold. So not scoring that gold doesn't mean you didn't improve, but it's hard to quantify because you scored the same medal.  

 

Personally, I have not improved noticeably in my painting skills.  I have improved my speed significantly.  Which was one of my goals, so maybe I'll get there eventually.  What I've learned from watching kids learn things is that growth often comes in non-linear ways.  And it's almost never obvious to the one doing the learning, because they are too close to it.  

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