Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Brom Part 8 1/2

I'm working on an article about this piece for FigureMentors in which I'll describe in detail how I approached the piece and attempted to let the character's story guide me.  In that I'll discuss how I built the base, but I wanted to share a few pictures of the process here...

After coming up with the concept, I roughed out the shape of the base using cork.  The cork is torn, not cut, to create the rocky shapes.  I used some sculpting tools to break off pieces too, carving out the recess in the front.  The figure was set on the base at this time to see how it all looked in relation.

I then began constructing the bridge.  I started with the main posts and support ropes.

From there, I created the planks from balsa wood.  I used an x-acto knife to carve up the edges and make them look more like old wood planks.

With the bridge finished, I started to flush out the ground details.  I used a modeling compound (a bag of powder stuff you mix with water from the art store) to smooth out the soil surface.  At this point I also added a number of real stones.  That way they were submerged in the soil and not simply resting on top.  The modeling compound doesn't have a lot of grip, so when it had dried, I applied a layer of 'Super Thin' superglue over it.  This helped to lock them into place, without adding thickness (obscuring detail) like a gap filling superglue might.  That is the shiny look you can see in the picture.

To provide some further texture, I used sand.  Taking some white glue and an old brush, I applied glue to various areas on the top and sides of the base.  I then sprinkled sand over these.  This gives more of a rocky texture (the actual rocks are more like large stones, while the sand are small rocks) and helps to hide the look of the bare cork on the sides.  When dry, I used more of the super thin superglue to help hold the sand in place (as it can be knocked off more easily if only white glue is used).

The base was then primed and layers of brown were applied.  This is still early in the painting stages, but you can see how all the above materials look with some color.

Lots more painting followed, along with the final addition of grass, arrows, and of course the figure.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Brom Part 8

I managed to finish Brom with a few hours to spare before the FLGS contest deadline!  I added some grass to the base.  The figure's color scheme is primarily orange and green (with jut a hint of purple), so I wanted to introduce some green into the base too.  I glued him to the base and used putty to make the ground meet his feet, which then had to be painted to match the existing base work.  I also painted his feet right around that time.

With that done, all I had left was to put on the final details.  Arrows were added to the base and I applied the rest of the blood effects on the figure and base.  Here's the end result...

And one last picture for a sense of scale...

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Brom Part 7

This project has been neglected for quite some time.  But, we've got a contest at our local game store (Game Kastle) coming up next week, so I decided to finish him up so I could enter.  The main figure was mostly finished.  He still needs his feet painted and some final weathering, but nothing major.  The base, however, still needed a lot of work and that is where I've focused my attention.  When it comes to painting the figure, I usually have a clearer vision.  But bases tend to be more experimentation and reworking things until I'm happy (or at least happy enough to move on).

Here's a look at the last image I posted of the base. 

From there, I lightened up the center of the soil.  This is the path, so I wanted a lighter color for it.  It also functions to guide the viewer toward the figure.  The rocks needed painting of course.  For those, I went with a light grey.  The result was fine, though a bit boring.  So I went over them with glazes of brown and green.  Not everywhere, just to darken shadows, bring up some greens on the sides of select rocks, etc.  I also applied a mix of Linen White and matte medium to create some bird droppings, so give the rocks some history and a touch of realism.  For the wood portions, I wanted an old faded look.  So I went mostly grey.  I used Walnut Brown as the shadow, then Dusky Skin as the base (a brown-grey), and finally Weathered Wood (from Secret Weapon) for the top highlights.

The base is pretty close.  I've got a little bit of painting left to do on the ropes.  After that, I'll add some grass and other details on the sides (leaving the center path clear).  The figure still needs to be fixed to the base, so I'll fill in some gaps around his feet at the point and paint them to match the existing groundwork.

There will be some final details added after that.  Some blood, perhaps some dust with pigments, arrows into the ground, etc.  I've only got until Monday to get it in for the contest.  So we'll see how much I'm able to do before then!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Trumpeteer Major Part 1

Well, it's been a while since I've updated this blog.  I haven't had as much time to paint as I'd like and, when I had the time, it seemed like I wasn't making enough progress on anything to make it worth posting.  I think I've been in a painting funk for a bit.  Got a bunch of projects, but some just aren't inspiring me at the moment and others seem stuck, where I might know what I want to do but just can't quite figure out how to do it.  I spent some time thinking, trying to figure my way out of the funk.  I came to the conclusion that the best thing was to just start a new project.  Something without any big plans or complicated ideas, just something I could have fun with and recharge my painting mojo.

I settled on a 75mm Napoleonic figure from Pegaso.  Historicals are comfortable for me and I love the colors and details on Napoleonic pieces.  This won't exactly be an 'easy' figure.  The colors are primarily white, red, and metallic gold lace.  But looking ahead, I don't see a part of the project where I anticipate getting stuck if that makes sense.

I built and primed him on Saturday.  Got about an hour of painting in that night to do the base coating and initial shadow sketch.  Then had another couple hours on Sunday while the little on napped to try and finish the face.  Also on my mind is my upcoming workshops at Adepticon.  I'll be teaching a two sessions of a class on faces and skin.  So while I was working on this figure, I took pictures are each step along the way.  I'm planning to put together a handout for the class to supplement my demo and lecture.  So I expect I'll use this figure as part of that write up.  Anyway, here s how he began (basecoat only) and how the face wound up.

Something I've discussed in tutorials and will include in the class is the use of glazes to finish the work on faces and skin.  It's a subtle step, yet I think it really helps capture a more realistic look.  So I like to show these side by sides.  On the left, the face after all of the shading/highlighting.  It looks fine, but compare it with the image on the right (after glazes) and I think you'll agree the right looks much more life-like.