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wdmartin

Bonehenge Priestess

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Okay!  Spent another couple hours on it.

 

First, some facial adjustments.  As @althai suggested, I thinned down her eyes a bit. It looks like I wiped out a tiny bit of the dark rim around her left pupil, which is unfortunate, but I don't think it detracts too noticeably. The green iris is still intact, and contrasts sufficiently that it's clear.

 

I also smoothed out that transition along the left side of her face.  There's one spot just under her left eye that I've gone back and forth on about four times now -- either the shadow comes up too far, or else the flesh color extends too far.  Either way disturbs the symmetry of her face. I'll have to keep fiddling with it.

 

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Next, I deepened the shadows under her neck.  These are better but not perfect yet.

 

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Here's a slightly rotated view showing the transition along the left of her face:

 

dreadmere-priestess-89.thumb.jpg.c5fa4121b9b4168df3596d75b7c9a176.jpg

 

See that bit at the top where her upper cheekbone is lit too deeply into the shadow area?  Bah.

 

Anyway.  I still need to do more with her nose shadow, and fix that cheekbone, and smooth the transition along her neck under her jaw a bit.  Still, this is an improvement.

 

Next, I put many layers of glazing down to darken her robes, starting with Muddy Olive and then progressively adding Blue Liner to it.  In addition to being a natural way to darken green, I thought Blue Liner would work nicely for this because it's both dark and the pigment is fairly translucent.

 

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I'm extremely pleased with that.  I'll probably take it even darker, but this is already a notable improvement.  Particularly from the front, it's really starting to feel like that lantern is emanating light, which is the point.

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Just a little bit of work this evening -- it was a long day.

 

First, I glazed on many thin layers of Blue Liner to deepen the darks of her robe.

 

dreadmere-priestess-92.thumb.jpg.a6acecf17d77e1d75266c958482804bf.jpg

 

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Then some thin layers of 1:1 Dragon White and matte medium to further brighten the brightest spots along her right shoulder, chest and face. I used some of the same stuff to rework some highlights on the sickle and sword.  I think the sword has been improved by adding edge highlighting at the top of the locket, but the highlight is too thick.  It should be sharp and tiny. I'll need to go back to some midtone or even the dark immediately below it.

 

At the same time as the highlighting, I continued darkening the shadows even further with several layers of thin 1:1 Blue Liner/Solid Black.

 

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I'm not 100% settled on it just yet, but I think the darks in her robe are basically there.  The photos you're seeing here are, of course, brightly lit by a row of white LEDs about an inch from the model.  Under ordinary room lights, those darks appear much darker than they do in the photos.

 

That said, there are several things still breaking the illusion of light from the lamp.  Her hair is nowhere near bright enough near the lamp, and needs to be much darker further away.  Plus the snake and staff haven't got any shadows or highlighting at all yet.

 

Her left hand may be too bright.  Its basically the same in color value as her face, despite being notably further away.  Perhaps I could glaze it with something.  In her face I went down through Dark Highlight to Walnut Brown.  I may need to do something similar over there.  the lower portions of her left shirt sleeve are also too bright.

 

There's still an awful lot left to do on this figure.  I'm probably past the half-way point, I guess?  This may well turn out to take longer than any other mini I've ever done.

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A bit more progress.  I spent the evening working on her hair. I ditched Sandy Brown -- it wasn't working as a highlight color.  Instead I went to the Blonde Hair triad and highlighted with that, up to a few specks of Linen White on some of the very brightest bits closest to the lantern.

 

I also darkened her left antler considerably (Aged Bone with a teeny bit of Brown Liner in it), her left sleeve (thin layers of Blue Liner), and her left hand (thin layers of Brown Liner, then highlighted back up to the mid-shadow color from her face).  That would ordinarily be 1:1:1 Oiled Leather/Fair Skin/Dark Walnut, but it turned out too grey -- I wanted her hand to have at least a little flesh color to it, despite being in darkness, so instead of the full drop of Walnut Brown I just added a tip of a brush full.  That stuff is really strong -- it takes the color down fast.

 

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Her left shoulder poof is now too bright, especially on the front.  It's got super-dark hair above, and dark robe below.  It's reasonable for the folds that are closest to the viewer to be catching a bit of light, but the one directly over the top of her shoulder needs to be darkened substantially, and a bit on the other side too.

 

I think I've got the line of shadow on along her face's left edge fixed now.  It doesn't have that protruding bit any more.  I also deepened the shadow cast by her nose.

 

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It's starting to come together.

 

I don't think I'm going to do anything with the berries in her hair, if indeed that's what they are mainly because the logical color for berries is red or yellow and I just really don't want to have deal with the light shifts to make that make visual sense.  She's got tangled hair, okay?  She's a druid! Hair maintenance is not her top priority!

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Your osl and blending look so good!  I do agree regarding her left shoulder though.  It should be hoghlighted but a bit less than what you have now.  Though i honestly hadnt thought about it until you mentioned it, lol, so you could probably get away with it.

 

I am very excited to paint this mini in bones black once bones V ships out

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The evening's work.

 

dreadmere-priestess-99.thumb.jpg.987908206124790c86dca783cd169c92.jpg

 

dreadmere-priestess-100.thumb.jpg.82dd602a84f3497f7d48f01fd95372da.jpg

 

I darkened her left shoulder and chest -- the highlighting was extending too far over.  I also cleaned up the lines on the lantern, and began work on the snake. It already had a base coat of Palomino Gold.  I added stripes of Solid Black and Maroon Red.  Then I began shading its underbelly with varying mixes of Aged Bone and Tempest Grey, and highlighting portions of the upper parts with Cadmium Red for the red bits, Primary Yellow for the Yellow bits, and ... err, nothing for the black.  Except I did go along and add a white highlight to indicate shininess.  I'm not entirely convinced that's working as intended, though the back side works better than the front.

 

I also cleaned up the lines on the top of the sword scabbard's locket, and painted the three circles of her necklace (NMM Gold Shadow, NMM Gold, and NMM Gold Highlight on the two circles closer to the lamp).  Here's a detail of that, looking down slightly.

 

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You know, from this angle there is something wrong with her left eye.  There's a sort of whitish ding in there.

 

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Yeah.  That. It wasn't so obvious seen from directly ahead, but if you're looking down slightly on the face it really makes the eye look ... damaged.  You need magnification like this to really make out the borders of the ding, but its presence messes up the rest of the effect.  It looks like she's got a cataract.

 

*head desk*

 

I may need to do something about that.

 

Also, I'm not sure how to darken the lower reaches of the snake.  Could it be as simple as glazing down a layer of some dark color?  Very thin blue liner?  Or would that fight with the red and yellow in the snake?  I just don't know.

 

It still feels like an appreciable amount of progress for one evening.  I'm already looking forward to that magic moment when I can actually add the lantern light.  I think it's gonna be cool.

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7 hours ago, wdmartin said:

Also, I'm not sure how to darken the lower reaches of the snake.  Could it be as simple as glazing down a layer of some dark color?  Very thin blue liner?  Or would that fight with the red and yellow in the snake?  I just don't know.

Start with darker colors, just like you would if you were painting cloth, and then increase towards a darker color and end at deep shadows.  (Use the same color for deep shadows on the snake that you're using for deep shadows on the priestess.)  I'm not sure adding thin layers of Blue Liner or Brown Liner would achieve the right effect before you get into the deep shadows.

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I started out tonight's rather long session with another attempt at her left eye.  I'll spare you the detailed process -- it's pretty much more of the same from above. Walnut Brown, Linen White, Pthalo Green, attempt a pupil 5 or 6 or 11 times, attempt a highlight a dozen or so times, wind up with this:

 

dreadmere-priestess-103.thumb.jpg.f84fd413c91047ae51dc9e926c7ed240.jpg

 

That wretched highlight.  It's always too big and obscures most of the pupil.  Also I got some Linen White on her hair, but that's okay I fixed it later.

 

The only really different thing from this session is that not once but twice, I discovered that sufficient paint had built up in her eye socket from my multiple attempts that there was a small tower of paint actually protruding out of the eye socket.  It was almost as far out as the bridge of her nose by the first time I discovered it and looked super weird from the side.  I'm sure it was deforming any further attempts I made.

 

I fixed that by, err, performing eye surgery.  With an honest-to-goodness scalpel, even! I used the tip to just sort of slice away the offending paint lump, then cleaned it out with a wet brush to remove any grit.

 

The highlight made me annoyed, but after about three more hours on just that one eye, I decided to move on for a while.

 

I decided to attempt the Blue Liner thing on the snake and staff.

 

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It worked fine on the staff, but it just made the snake look dirty.  Particularly the yellow parts.

 

You may be able to see I put some Blonde Highlight on the staff in the areas right next to the lantern also, and some Oiled Leather for midtones in the areas that are partially lit.

 

Clearly, glazing Blue Liner on did not work for the snake.  So I decided to stick with Blue Liner, but try mixing small quantities of it into the base coat colors (Palomino Gold and Maroon Red) to darken them a bit.  That worked better, I think.

 

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And here's a close-up of the snake's mid section.

 

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Palomino Gold with just a brush tip of Blue Liner makes a rather nice olive color, in fact, not too far removed from her robe. You can see the transition in the second yellow section from the top where I went from bright yellow to the mixture.  That probably needs to be smoothed out a bit, actually.  Anyway, it's the same olive color the rest of the way down, but I think it reads plausibly as darkened yellow to the eye.  The red is slightly less successful, I think, but it does drop in tonal value from the top of the staff to the bottom, which is the important bit.

 

I still haven't put any paint on that ribbon.  Not sure what to do with it.  Maybe I'll leave it as-is and just declare it black.  I dunno, though -- the speckles from the white primer don't fit well.

 

After all that I stared at her left eye a bunch more and decided to try putting the pupil back in while leaving a bit of highlight.

 

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It's ... clearer. But ... it kinds of looks like she's staring forward with her left eye and sideways with her right eye again.

 

Man. The head-tilt combined with the gaze-directed-sideways has made these eyes so hard.

 

Maybe I should just take a deep breath, accept that they're as good as I can make them at this moment, and move on.  I mean, at any kind of normal viewing distance they're barely discernible.

 

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And yeah, I need to push those highlights higher, if I can, mostly on the front of the model.  The back works better.

 

I wonder if I'm just going to be painting this model for the rest of my life. It's like coming home to a wife, only instead of making dinner I repaint her eyes.  "Hi, honey. How was your day?"

 

Oh, fine.  Stood around.  Didn't do much. Looked at my snake.

 

"Oh boy, mine was great!  We finished like three outstanding projects at work, and I won Splendor at Friday game lunch. Now I get the trophy and bragging rights till next Friday!"

 

That's nice. But you know, I couldn't see my snake quite right today. Don't you think you should repaint my eyes?

 

"Yes, dear ..."

 

Edited by wdmartin
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I admire that youre willing to put so much time in to make her perfect.  i recently gave up on one that just wouldnt go my way and i use nowhere near the same microscopic level of detail you do.

 

Edit:  it was Seltyiel. Forget that guy.

Edited by Elbon
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If I wind up going to ReaperCon again next year, maybe I'll enter her in the painters division. She's going to be notably better than anything I entered this year -- mostly because I hadn't planned on entering.

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Okay. Spent a couple more hours.  Mostly worked on pushing the highlights higher, but I also spent some time working on the leaves.

 

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Getting there.  Basically I just added white in most places, though I put Olive Highlight in the recesses of her shoulder poof. The leaves went pretty much as described in my paint plan above, though I added a tiny bit of pure Primary Yellow on the brightest parts.

 

Question: the lantern. What do I do with the exterior? I think I can figure out the supports, but the top and bottom are, by definition, outside the path of the light.  Do I just leave them black?  Highlight them only a tiny bit for the light reflected from her? That's the part of NMM I'm currently struggling with -- what to do about surfaces that aren't directly lit.

 

Once the lantern is taken care of, I think it may be time to add the yellow glazing for the actual lantern light.

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Im not an osl expert but it seems to me the light would still touch on the edges of the lantern frame that touch the glass. I would hit those with some highlights and leave the rest.  Assuming she is using the lantern because she is in a dark setting, there shouldnt be much to highlight the outer parts of the lantern. 

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The other question would be if she walks through a dark forest, with clouds blocking the moon or is it a starlit night on a road well travelled? The latter case would imply that some moonlight is reflected.

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After soliciting some advice on NMM in dark environments, where @Auberon gave me a really useful link to a lantern-lit WIP on the CMON forums from a few years back, I took a stab at it.

 

Here it was before I made the attempt.

 

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And here's the attempt:

 

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I immediately hated it, wiped it out entirely and tried again.  Attempt 2:

 

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I'm kinda okay with the top of the lantern, but the edge highlights on the framework are not doing it for me.

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Hmmmm. Another attempt.

 

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That's better, I think. But I'm going to sit on it for an evening and ponder before committing.  The next step is glazing yellow onto everything, and I suspect it will be more difficult to make changes after that point.

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