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03631 sea elf bard - sculpt/paint D. Schubert (+ 02948 ray sculpted by J. Guthrie)

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Absolutely masterful. I remember the coral reef diorama you made in 2007, I was literally speechless about both quality of the paint and all the details you have put on the display base itself. And honestly, I think your work on Quoralei is, if possible, even more amazing.


The sculpt is so full of details, like the webbed hand (showing between the thumb and index finger of her left hand) and the movement in here hair and scarf are exquisite. The paint is... impressive (I am out of words). Her eyes are deep and mesmerizing, they have a translucent feel. The subtle depth of the nmm and the smooth blend between colors on the base are all absolutely beautiful.


Keep it up your work is always a great source of inspiration.

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Always a pleasure to view your results.  It’s like a scavenger hunt to find all the neat details.  I particularly like the stippled texture on the scarf, the free hand on the headband, and how the ears seem to be the brightest spot of all the skin.  I’d love to know what colors went into the skin.

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Thanks, everyone.

I didn't paint much in 2020, but I'm really enjoying the time I've spent painting in the past several weeks, and glad to share it with you.


@R2ED : I don't often paint figures with this much skin, so I don't usually spend so much time on smooth blends!  But I thought it was important here, especially her left leg out in front.


@Rigel and @Kuroneko : When I was planning the reef diorama, I spent a lot of time looking at photos of underwater scenes, and I used most of the same colors here that I used back then.  The blue shadows, blue-glazed midtones, and lack of strong orange or yellow colors all help sell the underwater effect.  I also glazed some Cyan Blue into my midtones and shadows, which is a color I almost never use but Anne Foerster talked it up a lot on some of her recent shows, so I decided to try it.  It is a really nice blue!


@Glitterwolf : That image is a nice pull!


@Metalchaos : Thanks for remembering the reef, 13+ years later.  Yes, I spent about 8 hours painting each elf on the reef, but about double that on Quoralei here because she's the main attraction.  I enjoyed designing and sculpting those details, so I'm glad you mentioned them.


@billeecats and @Darcstaar : Glad you're enjoying the "deep dive" into the details.  I enjoy putting in those little glints and specks of colors that you can find.

Skin colors: I painted the whole model with a monochrome gradient from Blue Liner to Polished Bone.  Then the "real colors" were Clouded Sea (9194, discontinued, but it's a greyed green-blue) mixed with a little Highlands Moss, up to Pale Lichen; down to Blue Liner in the shadows; Leather White (cool highlight), plus Linen White for warmer highlights on the face; Intense Brown and Rosy Skin for the pink tones at the ears, nose, cheeks, and hand webbing.


@zoroaster100 : Thank you!




Because I can't leave well enough alone, I just did another couple of hours on the figure, mostly on the hair. 

I didn't like how electric-blue it was, and how flat/monotonous some of the strands looked. 

So I glazed more green into the midtones, and I darkened the shadows (especially toward the back) and raised the highlights toward the front.  This gave more depth to the overall volume of hair, and took the emphasis off the strands.

(I also glazed some green into the conch shell to fade out that bottom blue streak, added white to the pearls on the headband, re-lined some areas that had lost it, etc.)


Before and after comparison. 

Hmm... maybe I lost too much of the blue!  But I like this contrast better.  Her eyes look bluer by comparison, too.



Face and hair detail:




And a group shot with the duo from the reef diorama:




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She is beautiful. I really like how the ray and her clothing are the same tone and the subtle lighting from above. Wow, so many lovely, subtle details pull together!

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Thanks for the further notes!


@billeecats : Glad you appreciate those reworks to her hair.


@Glitterwolf : I double-cheated on these eyes, since they're bigger than a real human's would be in scale, and I paint my elves as having extra-large irises to look pretty/fey.  (An average real iris would be about 1/3 of the width of the eye.  A bigger iris makes us think "cute" like a baby, or "inhuman" like many animals' eyes.)  I spent a lot of time practicing and getting a feel for the right consistency of paint, and I use a brush with a sharp tip but a big enough belly that the paint doesn't dry between the palette and the mini.


@Iridil : I didn't intend for her to be wearing "ray-skin" clothes -- I had a shiny black-brown in mind with blue-purple under-reflections, and I base-coated the clothes black -- but I kept adding to the light-side until this bronzy color was the result.  The same Driftwood Brown midtone as on the ray, but has some blue and purple and a slightly colder highlight.  Maybe the ray is swimming away because it doesn't want to be her next outfit!


@Reaper Ron : Killer sea elf = the real Deadliest Catch.



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