I got back to Drusil today and worked on highlighting her skin. I think I'm done with it...I'll see how I feel about it next time. Next will be highlighting her hair. I'm also debating putting colored polish on her finger and toe nails. It would suit her, but I'm not sure I want to draw attention to her feet.
Monday, December 28, 2020
Sunday, December 27, 2020
So last weekend I posted a figure with a weird base coat. It was going to be the starting point to an experiment. I finished up the experiment today. Was it successful? Well, depends on your definition of success. It didn't produce a wonderfully painted figure or anything like that. But I answered the question I wanted to answer and I learned some things in the process. So from that standpoint, I consider it a success.
I had the base coat on previously. Today I started with shading...some green, then dark brown. I highlighted with a lighter version of the base color. I painted the hair dark, and then glazed red in on her dress.
Things that didn't work: I don't think using the base color for the skin tone works without having the context of the rest of the page. I definitely need to shade and highlight darker/lighter if I plan to glaze over it, which I should have known if I'd thought about it. I would need to think of a way to deal with the fine details. I also think you'd have to have just the right figure for it to look good.
Things that worked: I like the glazed on color, and I think with some work you could paint a figure that way and it would work out, if you solve the aforementioned problems. It would give you a nice, if very non-traditional, look.
So would I try it for real? Maybe.
Saturday, December 26, 2020
Phone booths: Done. More on Drusil's face.
I finished constructing phone booths last week, so this week I worked on cleaning up edges, and then yesterday and today was painting them. They're all done now.
They are really...not very good. But I learned a lot, which was the point. I got faster and more consistent with construction. I learned some about the best ways (and not the best ways) to work with different materials. And I learned what I have to work on going forward.
The biggest problem? Texture. The ones I made out of chip board have a very distinct texture on the surface, and very rough and messy cut edges. The clear coat to help seal them did not help that at all; it might have made it worse. I think if you were making a stucco building or something like that it would be fine, but since these are meant to have a smooth surface, it's not so good here. The plasticard has a very smooth surface, but the edges and joins were still a problem. Even in places where I added putty to try to smooth things over, it's very obvious that's what I did. I know it's possible to use putty to smooth a join, I'm just not great at it in smooth planes. Usually when I do that it's at the join in a mini, which is often recessed and will hide some flaws from you. I think what I should have done was made the edges just slightly proud, sanded them flush, then puttied, then sanded again.
Also, all the rough cuts and spots where the knife got away from me and cut into the surface show. For that, I need to get better at doing those kinds of cuts, and I might have been able to clean them up with putty.
Scoring actual grooves for the edges of the door and/or taking more care with painting them on would have been good.
There are various other minor things - the signs needed to be a bit higher on the booth. The one with the open door is a little wonky. I'm not sure if using the shiny plastic for the windows was worth the extra care needed when painting that one - but it wasn't actually that much extra work, either.
Most of the problems are clearly a lack of skill on my part. That's no surprise, I haven't done much of this kind of thing, and it takes time and practice to get good at it, like anything else. But I also think doing a piece that it a modern item, meant to be made with modern materials and construction, might be inherently more difficult than doing something like a fantasy building, run down sci-fi terrain, or things like rocks and trees. Or at least, it might be more particular as far as the specific issues I ran into go. For other kinds of end product, it doesn't necessarily need to be as exacting. A house made of thatch and plaster doesn't need to be smooth. A weathered and beat up mining operation will have a lot of rough edges and broken areas. And a pile of rocks doesn't need to be smooth, or square, or symmetric, or any of that. Those things have their own different challenges, but I do have to wonder if I made things harder for myself with what I chose to build.
Anyway. After all that, I got back to work on Drusil. I've added a bit more detail to her face, got a base coat on the hair, and started highlights on her chest. I think the face is better now, though I'd still prefer if she had more of an expression. I might come back to that once the rest is farther along and I have a better idea for what kind of mood she wants to have.
Monday, December 21, 2020
I continued on Drusil's skin today, but after getting highlights on her face I decided I wanted to continue detailing her face. It still needs work; she's still pretty vacant. But it's a start.
Sunday, December 20, 2020
Drusil: Shading. Experiment.
Finished off my last commission piece for the year this weekend, so I'm back to personal projects for the time being. I got back to Drusil, and got more shading on her skin.
I'm also doing an experiment where I'm trying to replicate particular 2D art style. For what I'm trying to reproduce, go look for any of Tony DiTerlizzi's Changeling or Planescape drawings. They have a particular style, where there's sort of a yellowish background, a lot of heavy, dark lines, and then colors are kind of suggested with very transparent layers in various places. I want to see how that'd work on a mini. So, I got out a Bones figure to experiment with. I've laid down a base coat across the whole figure.
Next step will be to shade and line the whole thing with dark brows (and some greens in the skin areas). I will probably add some highlights in a lighter shade of this base color after that, and then glaze colors into a few areas, and see what happens.
Saturday, December 12, 2020
Another Phone Booth
I made another phone booth today, because I wanted to try some different materials and because I wanted to try making one with an open door. This time, I remembered to get many more WIP pictures.
I started by cutting some lengths of wood for some internal support structure. I happen to have a lot of small lengths of hardwood that I get from my husband as off-cuts from his woodworking projects. These happen to be walnut. Hardwood is not needed for this, though - it's just what I have on hand.
I cut one to the length I wanted, then used it to set a length for the rest of my cuts on this chopping tool. I love this thing. There's a razor blade in the middle bit that actually does the cutting. It works on small pieces of wood, plasticard, and chipboard. It has gages that you can use to set a fixed length for cutting stuff, and others with defined angles for making those kinds of cuts.
I wanted to make the door by getting a piece of clear plastic and putting it behind the door cut-out. I hope the shiny plastic will give me a glass look. Here, I have cut out the plastic from a blister pack to the right size to fit my door piece.
Then I did the cut-outs in the door. I had to do this twice, as the first time I wasn't paying enough attention and cut right through the middle bar. Doh!
I scuffed up one side of the plastic so it would take paint better, glued it in place, and then painted the back of the plastic black. I want it to look like glass, but I don't want people to actually be able to look in.
Next, I started putting all the pieces together. I've added the support blocks to the front door, then glued a side panel to the front, and a side panel to the back.
Then I glued the two half-booths together.
The booth with the open door I had to do a bit differently. I want to paint the inside of it black so that it's dark and shadowed. That means I have to leave it open so I can paint it before I put the front on. So, I put together the two sides, the back, the top and the bottom. I prepared a piece for the outer frame of the front door, and glued a couple of pieces of cardboard together to be the accordion-folded door. Here are all the pieces.
That is roughly how they will go together, though obviously the front door isn't lined up correctly in that picture. I had switched to tacky glue at this point. So, I need to wait for it to dry, then paint the inside, they I can finish the construction.
Here's the other one completely put together, along side my other two.
I think after these two, I'm done building these. I have some puttying to do on the second plastic one, I need to finish putting together the one with the open door and then coat both the cardboard ones with Mod Podge to seal them.
After all that, it will be time to pull out the airbrush and paint them.
Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Drusil: Shading Face. Phone booth, version 2.
Over the last couple days, I added a little more putty to the joins on Drusil. Today I touched up the base coat on the areas with the putty, and then started shading. There's a first layer of shading on her face and chest.
I'm wondering if I need more putty where that leg and the robe meet. I'll look again tomorrow.
Over the weekend, I also built a second tiny phone booth. This time, I got a few pictures in progress.
These are some small sticks that I'm using for interior structure, to have something to glue the plasticard to. The drawings above are showing the size I'm going for.
These are the pieces of plasticard I cut to use as the sides. A couple of the inner frame pieces are there to show (very roughly) where they will be attached.
Here's a top view once the sides were all glued in place.
Here's what it looks like once the top and bottom are on and the details added.
Saturday, December 5, 2020
I spent some time working on a commission today, but got some time in on Drusil afterward. I got a base coat on her skin, decided part way through that I needed to putty one of the seams by her front leg, did that, and then finished the base coat. There's a couple other places where that leg joins that I'm debating if I should putty or not. I think I can get away with leaving them, but there are a couple of wacky angles where it is possible to see the separation between the pieces, and a bit of primer deep in there that I can't get to. But...to see it, you have to pick it up and look at it from just the right angle.
Friday, December 4, 2020
Drusil, Phone Booth
I have been working on things in dribs and drabs, but have been slacking on blog updates. In some cases, I didn't think to get work-in-progress shots like I should have. So, consider this sort of a sum-up of the last week of activity.
For starters, Drusil. She goes on the base I was working on lately. I put her partly together, primed her, then shaded parts that would be unreachable once I had more parts glued on. It'll make more sense after you see the pictures, so here they are:
So. I glued her arm on. Her front leg is also a separate piece, but I knew I was going to have to paint the stuff behind it before I attached it, and also determined I'd have to get her leg on before I could attach her to the base. Otherwise, I'd run the risk of not gluing her to the base correctly, so that the front leg wouldn't line up with its spot on the base.
So I primed her, and then painted the area that would be behind her leg. I made a mistake here - I should have just primed the area I was going to work on instead of the whole thing. As it is, I got some rub-off of the primer in a couple spots. I'm hoping I can fix it; I'd really rather not have little bumps from primer chunks on her like I did on the Adriana bust. You'd think I'd learn. :p
I ended up painting the area behind her leg fairly roughly, as it's not super visible. The parts that are more visible, around the edges of that area, I can clean up later. With that painted, I glued on her leg and then attached her to the base.
I kind of want to make her dress sheer. Not sure I'm going to do it.
I also worked on building a phone booth: