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Laurana's Scroll - how?

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I don’t have that particular figure, but I recently was playing with this piece.  



I base coated it with the colour I wanted the runes, then did something between an over brush and dry brush using a regular brush, almost on it’s side over the piece.  

it’s not finished, nor perfect, but I’m happy with the runes for now. 

i lost a couple more tunes on some sides, but the feel of what I was going for worked.  


Did the same on the stone under Cthulhu’s food way back when, but those runes were cut a little deeper.  



hope this helps. 

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I am really grateful for all the support you guys are giving me! Thank you so much!


Last night I did a few hours of research myself.


The first thing I found was an old thread: Back in 2013 mikem91 had some problems painting the scroll and asked for help.


The solutions offered boiled down to freehand and using capillary forces to let ink flow from the brush into the depression of the engravings - the method suggested in this thread by @Glitterwolf.


I also found some Lauranas. Most of them used freehand for the scroll, many on a level I will never attain in my lifetime.

But a few of them deserve a little more attention, because they might work for me.


The first Laurana is here:


This is an exchange mini painted by Tommy the Skip. And this is how I hoped the finished product to look like when I started the project. There is no method shown. I would say either freehand or a black wash and then touched up with lots of skill. 

Lesson here: I should let go of unrealistic expectations. My scroll will not look like this.


Then there is a Laurana by battleMountainminis:


This is very interesting. I would settle for that scroll.

Lessons here: The color of the writing and the color of the scroll should somewhat match. 

See, one of the problems with dry brushing white over black is that the brushstrokes stand out very much. If you go for a more tone in tone look, it should blend much more easily. Maybe by using ink one can even skip the dry brushing part completely and have the ink contribute to the color of the scroll. Highlights are probably done by over brushing, like @edwick and @Rahz suggested.


Finally there is a version I found on a blog called "The Other Side":


Here there are straight lines painted over the engravings with the paint flowing in the crevices, giving the writing a more cursive kind of look. This does not look too bad either!



Alright, onward to the next try! My plan is as follows:


First I'll lay down a thin coat of primer with not so thin paint. I'll try to stipple the primer onto the mini to not let it pool in the crevices.

I'll follow with the basecoat in a somewhat parchment-y color, also trying not to fill in too much of the engravings.

Then I'll use a sepia ink to fill in the engraving (or what is left of them)

Finally I'll use the same ink to do a little shading on the scroll. That means I'll have to use a light base coat like ivory or leather white.

Finally: I'll just do the scroll for now. If it does not work out, there is not so much paint to strip.

And if all fails, I'll try what @Wren suggested and skip the washes altogether.


Wish me luck, I'll report how it went!

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Alright, the words are pretty shallow to begin with and I had the fairly filled in with paint on top of that, but it's actually not too bad to do even with that.


First the obvious paint the scroll while obscuring the engraving as little as possible. Second gloss coat the scroll, this is a must. Let the gloss fully dry. Now there are two options, the easier of them is to fill the letters with enamel wash. Once it's dry gently wipe over the scroll with enamel thinner. I used a piece of paper towel just damp, you don't want it wet enough that thinner goes down into the markings. Now you have a perfectly clean scroll with the words whatever color you filled them with.


The second option is to do the same thing, but with regular washes or inks and isopropyl alcohol. Very important though with acrylic washes that you don't let the wash sit after it dries. wipe it off the moment the wash is dry and be gentle wiping so you don't go through the varnish layer. This might not end up as clean as the enamel depending on the wash and whether you wait to long before wiping it off.

Edited by cmorse
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Cmorse, thank you very much, that was the kind of hack I was looking for! Unfortunately, I didn't come back to the thread until I finished with the scroll. But I'll definitely try your method with the next scroll I encounter!


Well: Here is the result! It's not perfect, but for my overall level of painting I can definitely live with it.




Here's what I did:


1) Very light basecoat with white MSP brush on primer. I did not thin the primer and stippled it on rather than using brush strokes. Ended up with a very light coating that just took the sheen off the metal. The stippling helped prevent the paint collect in the crevices.


2) Basecoating with MSP creamy ivory. I used a combined technique: Around the writing and on the back side of the scroll I painted the basecoat with a fine tip, thinning the paint just enough that it ran smooth. Then I painted over the engravings, using the method suggested by edwick and Rahz. I used the paint straight out of the pot, no thinning, and applied it with the side of the brush. I was careful to use just a little paint every time, almost as if drybrushing. Almost no paint got into the engravings.


3) Took a break to calm down, had some tea and waited for the basecoat to dry completely.


4) Filled the crevices with Vallejo sepia wash using a fine brush, as suggested by Glitterwolf. It did not go as smoothly as I hoped - the surface tension of the wash was still a bit too high for the small crevices. Sometimes little droplets would form. I tried to break them up with a fine brush and used the engraving more or less as a guidline for where to apply the ink. I did not try to hit each place perfectly, it looked a bit like the Laurana from the "Other Side"-Blog (more like lines than like dots). Still, I was fairly happy with the result.


5) Let dry overnight.


6) Tried some shading with the sepia wash to bring it all together. Note to self: Washes are not really good for standard shading techniques, they don't stick where they should on flat surfaces. Still, by stippling the wash on the scroll I managed some shading.


Now I finally can paint up the rest of Laurana and get her off my shelf of shame!


Once again, I want to thank you all for your help, your inputs and your support. I learned a lot during this process and I could not have done it without you!

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So for now only one question remains:


Why were the instructions in the old LTPK2 written in this way? Why drybrushing, when it worked for no one?


Here is my take on this (to be taken with a lot of grains of salt :poke:):


Anne did it on purpose! The LTPKs are there to help you grow as a painter, and the LTPK2 was all about layering. Why then were we supposed to use washing and drybrushing on the scroll?


The answer is: We really weren't. Like a Zen teacher, Anne put a little koan in the instructions - a problem we could not solve. Only by going beyond the instructions we could pass the test. And so Laurana became a rite of passage for all of us who ran into her early in our painting career.


Arigato, Anne sensei!



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I can see a couple possibilities. First, the longer a mold gets used the more super fine details like the words on the scroll are going to go away. The mini that was used in the instructions might have been crisp enough for it to work. Second, you might just not have been delicate enough. I didn't try the dry brushing technique on it so I can't actually say it wouldn't have worked.


The bonus third possibility is the directions you have are just wrong. I dug out my copy and it doesn't say to use a wash and then dry brush. It just says to paint over the text. Basically just using it as a guide to trace. I don't know whose copy is the newer version, but it looks like maybe they figured out that the wash and dry brush wasn't working for people, either due to skill level or model crispness, and updated it.

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Hi cmorse,


my last post was not meant to complain about the instructions. I tried for a light-hearted and hopefully humorous wrap up, being inspired by the fact that quite a few people seemed to struggle with this scroll.   

The meaning of a post seemed to comes across in a way I did not intend. As english is not my first language, sometimes it is difficult for me to find the right words and expressions. And on top of that my sense of humour is at times a bit weird and does not help at all.


I sincerely wish to apologise. I was not meaning to offend anyone.


To be fair, the instructions say just to dry brush the book pages (in her bag) and to "touch up" the scroll (not necessarily with dry brushing). I just double checked. :;):



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Just thought I'd update...  I tried a layer of gloss sealer first, waited overnight, used brown liner with extra flow improver and tried to wick it into the sculpted text.  It looked okay when wet, but the text vanished as it dried, like disappearing ink.  I tried again and again, but it just wouldn't stay in the crevices.  It was exactly the same behavior I usually get with Bones, so I'm giving up and just filling in the sculpted text so I can freehand something in.  Will probably be easier.  It's irritating, because it looks like a wash should totally do the trick.  

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5 hours ago, LittleBluberry said:

Just thought I'd update...  I tried a layer of gloss sealer first, waited overnight, used brown liner with extra flow improver and tried to wick it into the sculpted text.  It looked okay when wet, but the text vanished as it dried, like disappearing ink.  I tried again and again, but it just wouldn't stay in the crevices.  It was exactly the same behavior I usually get with Bones, so I'm giving up and just filling in the sculpted text so I can freehand something in.  Will probably be easier.  It's irritating, because it looks like a wash should totally do the trick.  


Sometimes I find that the simplest of solutions can be staring me right in the face and still not be noticed. I struggled with a similar problem, until I had a facepalm moment. *d'oh* I put the model on it's back to dry, so that the inscriptions actually were the lowest point for the paint to collect in. Voila. Problem was solved.


Also, drybrushing can work fine on such details, the trick is to make sure the paint on the mini is bone dry, and that the paint on the bristles is wiped off repeatedly on some tissue until it leaves just the faintest of traces and then brushing carefully diagonally across the scripture (depending on the shape of the text/sigils -make sure the brush strokes are across the detail and not into the detail.) Repeat ad nauseam, slowly building the colour up. This can give a remarkably soft-tone and beautiful effect. And destroys your brush.

I prefer flat brushes for this technique.

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