Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Lady: Dress, Trim

Feeling a little disappointed with Skarre and wanting to get something finished, I went back to the lady today. I was going to start on the texture on her dress, but first I decided that there was no good reason not to get the trim done, so I did that first.

Then, I spent some time examining the pictures of patterned satin I was using as examples. From studying them, I learned...that kind of satin isn't really a good thing to try to replicate via texture techniques; it seems better as straight up freehand.

Why? Well, texture techniques as I have learned them use brush strokes of lighter/darker colors to put in the highlights and shadows instead of doing smoothly blended shadows. The suggestion of texture and the shading/highlighting are accomplished at the same time, with the same colors ad the same brush strokes because you are putting in your texture as the shadow and highlights.

The problem as I see it with using that technique with shiny satin is twofold: one, satin is shiny. The bright highlight sat at the top of folds regardless of whether the pattern was there or not; it was very independent of the pattern. It didn't seem like you could use the texture to be the highlights and have it work out right. Also, the pattern isn't lighter in the highlight areas - it's actually darker than the surrounding color. In the shadows, it's lighter than the surrounding area.

So, what I did was a bit of freehand in the shadow color on her inner dress. It's not great, but it's not terrible. I don't think I have sharp enough highlights for it to really have that satin shine. I now need to go back and reconsider what type of cloth I want the yellow dress to be and find some pictures to work from.

Oh, there is potentially one other issue. There's not really much draping with her dress, so that highlight and shadow that you put in with your textured brush strokes...isn't so much a thing. Going to have to think about that one, too.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Skarre: Armor Shading Round 1, Again

I wanted to move on with Skarre's armor today, and I started by using a dark blue deeper shadow. After doing just one section, though, I realized that lavender that went on yesterday just wasn't working at all. So, I covered it over with the blue and on one section tried a deeper purple shadow to see if I could save when I had, or if I'd need to re-base the area and start again.

I think this is better, but now it's going to be a lot of work to smooth that in.

So that was kind of a disappointment. However, I did get a bit more done today than just re-doing what I did yesterday. I tested engraving grain into my test shield and was happy enough with the result that I did one of the actual shields.

It seems to work pretty good. The grain is just present enough to give it some texture. The dark blob in the middle is the shaded area under where the head will be. I'm not so sure about the edge highlight, but I'm going to leave it for now and see how it looks in place once it's on the base.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Skarre: Shading Armor, Round 1

I started shading Skarre's armor today. I used a variation on a technique I learned at a workshop from Kiril Kanaev, which involves mixing some gloss sealer and a bit of the base metallic paint into the shade color. I don't think I'm so fond of putting the metallic paint in, so I'll probably skip that part for the second round. Kiril also had us using more realistic colors, but I'm not going for a particularly realistic look with her - more whimsical and fantastic.

Also worked some on the diorama today. Here's the latest layout, with heads in place:

I have a couple additions. One is putting a couple of swords at the top. I'm going to try making a couple out of plastic and see if I can make that work. Also, I found this cat with another figure:

The cat will go on the base somewhere.

I want to start painting some of the trophies, but need to practice getting wood grain on the shield. I started with a brown base coat:

But then I got a suggestion to carve the grain into the plastic, so I'll probably either do that with this piece and redo the base coat later, or try it with a different scrap piece.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Skarre: Trim, Armor

Added some purple to the deepest shadows on the trim, and then cleaned up the edges and some of the bits where I'd spilled over while doing the trim. I'm glad I put the purple in.

Then I went back to her armor, finally! This is just the base metal coat. I don't love the particular metallic paint I chose. I may keep it, or I may try another.

Still need to go back and put highlights on her belt...maybe I'll remember that tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Skarre: More Jacket Trim

Shading and highlights on the trim on Skarre's jacket. To note: Carnival Purple + Chestnut Gold makes a lovely, rich brown. Used that for the deep shadow on the trim. I may also add just a touch of straight carnival purple in the deepest shadow areas. Haven't decided...that may be a bit too much. But I'll probably try it and see. If it doesn't work, I can always cover it with the shadow brown. The trim also needs to be touched up a bit, and a couple spots smoothed.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Skarre: Jacket Edging

Like I said, I went back and put the base coat on the decoration along the edge of Skarre's jacket. I wasn't sure the yellow was going to work out, but I'm liking it. I need to shade and highlight it, and then clean up around some of the edges. Shading and highlighting may be a bit of a challenge. Oh, I do also need to go back and put highlights on her belt.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Skarre: Armor. Also, Diorama.

I got back to Skarre today, but didn't get very far. I just put on the undercoat for what will be steel metallic. Then I realized I should probably do the edging on her jacket first, since it's not going to be metal. 

What I spent most of the day on was the mounted heads for the diorama. I cut plaques out of plasticard and shaped them. Then I trimmed up the heads as well, put ins in them, and placed them on the plaques. Tomorrow I'll try out placements on the model base tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Lady: Dress

I put some shading and lighter off-white on the lady's inner dress bits and sleeves, and started the base coat on the rest. I still need to finish the yellow base coat; it's still a bit blotchy.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Lady: Hair, Dress

Today I went back to the lady. I did her hair and put a base coat on the inner parts of her dress; they're going to end up closer to white. Consider that base coat to be a shadow color. The rest of her dress will be yellow, and I'm going to try texturing it to be like patterned satin or brocade. So, some visible pattern, but smooth, not rough like the sweater was on Maya.

I'm trying to move through the not-pattern parts quickly, so they're somewhat sub-par.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Skarre: Bodice, Base

Put some highlights on Skarre's bodice today. Then I diverted to paint her base and the 'cut off' planes black, along with her belt. I think it's a big help in giving a better idea what the feel of the piece will be. I'd hoped to get more done with her, but it didn't happen today.

I did get some more done on the layout of my diorama, though.

I think that's pretty close to final. Next I'll probably cut the 'real'versions of those plaques the heads are on, and finalize their placement. I am a little concerned about the empty space between the top of the throne and the large dragon head. I might see if I can find some small things to put in there...hm, maybe a couple crossed swords or something.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Skarre: Jacket, Bodice. Also, Diorama.

Got back to Skarre today. This is with some highlights on her jacket and shading on the blue bodice. I'm happy with the highlights, still not super thrilled with the color, and still sticking with it. 

I've also been continuing the planning of my diorama for WME. Here's the latest layout, as far as the throne, back wall, and wall decorations go. The idea was to size the wall for hanging trophy heads, and to start sizing plaques for the heads, 

But that dragon head is a bit large; it draws too much attention. So, these are my other two options:

I'm currently leaning toward the one on the left.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Lem: Coat, Leather

Continued on with Lem. He's far enough along that I'll probably finish him before going back to anything else.

I put shading and highlighting on the red coat and base coated the leather bits. I am simplifying his color scheme from the artwork.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Lem: Pants, Jacket

After a water cup spillage crisis tonight, I still managed to get some painting in. I went back to Lem and finished off his pants - shading, highlighting, and stripes. Note the stripes are also highlighted. Then I started base coating his jacket. I still need to put another coat or two on the jacket. I'm having trouble with paint beading on him...enough that I'm starting to wonder if I actually washed him before putting him in the 'ready to paint' bin.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Skarre: Jacket

Put shading on Skarre's coat today. I'm still not loving that color, but I'm going to go with it. I think the shading helped some. I'm not sure the shadows are deep enough, but I'm going to reserve judgement until I've got some highlights on there. Sometimes you have to have both ends of the contrast in place before it'll really pop.