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Thread: Armornv's WIPS n Stuff

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    Senior Member armornv's Avatar
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    Default Armornv's WIPS n Stuff

    For better or worse, I proudly present what you all have been (not) waiting for!!!! The start of my mini painting adventure!!! Not exactly a start, but it's been so long since I've painted one, we're gonna call it a start.
    So, as you see I didn't name put anything in the title about the Demons comp. The reason being that I am still very undecided as to whether I will enter anything. It is possible that I will go to look and spend lots o money, but entering the comp depends on how much of an improvement I can make between now and then. From what I see so far?....... lol


    Okay, a little info about what I have planned and such before I put you all to sleep. I am mainly doing this for 2 reasons:
    1) To get feedback in the hopes of improving. Even just a little bit of improvement will be worth i think.
    2) To (hopefully) keep myself motivated enough to start AND finish some minis.

    My plan was to get around 10 or so Empire Halberdiers and paint them one at a time to sort of "track" my progress. That is still very much the plan(unless people see them and tell me not to bother with painting anymore lol!)

    Then I thought, "Hey, maybe I could put some real effort into a mini and post it up as sort of a "starting point" type of thing" So I did. This thread may not be filled with pics of corrections and redo's and such at first. I will absolutely take any and all advice that I'm given, but the first lot of figs I will probably just apply what I've learned on the next mini. I will (try to) show progress of what and where I'm at though.
    Darksword Miniatures Dark Elf Warrior. Worked on him from Thursday night up until now. I have to say, and I may not really have anything to compare it to, but he is really tiny to me and some of the folds in the cloth are next to impossible for me to pick out at my current skill level. I did however pick up some "real" brushes(the exact ones Crookedeye did a review on, so thanks for that!) and think they made a pretty big difference. So plus 1 vote of confidence!



    Ok, well here he is. And yes, I was going for a somewhat Drizzt look That's that singular reason I bought this mini....... just don't expect too much. It's pretty rough overall. Some touch ups possibly needed. Base needs to be done. Boots look awful(as does most of it lol). They one area I am pretty happy with is the face. The eyes I did that way cuz all the Drow in D and D from what I remember, had solid black glassy type eyes so that's what I was going for. The highlight on his nose isn't the best but I think it looks ok. Probably should have picked a different color for the gem in he belt but oh well. I also gave NMM a shot, though I'm not sure about how it looks other than not good lol. I didn't worry too much about color choice overall. I figure I need to work on the technique of putting the paint on the mini before I worry about what color it is Just my thoughts anyways.


    There was probably a lot more that I wanted to say before I started, but it's 1 in the morning, I'm tired, and can't think of anything else. Lucky for you
    And another thing that I need to work on is the pics I'm used to photographing 1/35 scale tanks which is a cakewalk to these tiny things!

    That's for now. My fingers hurt.
    Here's a few (very crappy) pics of him:








    Thanks for looking in on me gang!
    As always, comments and crits are very welcome! (just try not to be too harsh )

  2. #2

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    My first observation is that the mini itself seems to be very dark. Nothing "pops" on it. The flesh does look very nice, but otherwise the mini does look like he's fighting in very dull lighting(Drizzt did start operating mostly at night when he came to the surface...). Maybe make the hair a starker white to draw more focus to the face.

    The cloak seems a little dark and you may need some more mid-tone and a little less shade. I was just taught a bunch about layering. Check out the sticky thread and my thread on my "Quest for Golden Demon Quality Skills"(http://www.coolminiornot.com/forums/...ainting-Skills).

    Overall, I think it is well done, just needs a little extra attention to make it stand out. Look forward to seeing more.

  3. #3
    Broke n English
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    Love it, looks great so far. The eyes look good, and the NMM on the blade in the top pic looks to be almost perfect to me, lovely sheen on it. I'd maybe frame the face a little more with a highlight around the hood rim as I agee with what NEG said about it. Other than that maybe smooth out the base of the blade in the top pic, that line looks a little stark compared to the rest of the blade. Would love to see you paint any Empire stuff, but then I'm biased ^^ keep smilin, BnE

  4. #4

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    I think he looks great, and you could walk away right now and get plenty of compliments. I also like the blade, but I think the above poster and I would have to see it in person to determine for sure.

    My only criticism (and keep in mind, I'm not exactly experienced enough to be doing so), would be that the light source on the cloak seems a little random. You have somewhat bright highlights on the upper part of the shoulders, on both sides, but the hood seems dim. If you mean for the hood to be dim, you'd need to move the light source directly behind the cloak, not on the shoulders. Your darks also appear too dark to me, at least in some of the crevices that would be catching light. My other suggestion would be to consider mixing the cloak green with brown instead of black when shading (or at least for midtones while blending), or neutralizing the green with red (it will turn brown, I promise!). Only use black when you get to the deepest recesses.


    Screen shot 2011-08-28 at 4.30.58 AM by benihana, on Flickr

  5. #5
    Senior Member armornv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NewEvolutionGames View Post
    My first observation is that the mini itself seems to be very dark. Nothing "pops" on it. The flesh does look very nice, but otherwise the mini does look like he's fighting in very dull lighting(Drizzt did start operating mostly at night when he came to the surface...). Maybe make the hair a starker white to draw more focus to the face.

    The cloak seems a little dark and you may need some more mid-tone and a little less shade. I was just taught a bunch about layering. Check out the sticky thread and my thread on my "Quest for Golden Demon Quality Skills"(http://www.coolminiornot.com/forums/...ainting-Skills).

    Overall, I think it is well done, just needs a little extra attention to make it stand out. Look forward to seeing more.
    Thanks NEG. I was more or less going for a dark/dull-ish look overall. That's the way I've always seen him pictured. No bright shiny happy -ness with him!
    I've definitely had more than a look or two through the sticky thread. Great stuff in there for sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Broke n English View Post
    Love it, looks great so far. The eyes look good, and the NMM on the blade in the top pic looks to be almost perfect to me, lovely sheen on it. I'd maybe frame the face a little more with a highlight around the hood rim as I agee with what NEG said about it. Other than that maybe smooth out the base of the blade in the top pic, that line looks a little stark compared to the rest of the blade. Would love to see you paint any Empire stuff, but then I'm biased ^^ keep smilin, BnE
    Thanks Broke! The eyes/face I was the most happy with. The pics actually make the swords look a bit better than they do in person. Wish they did that to the whole mini! I'm a big fan of your Empire stuff but obviously mine won't come out quite that well. lol

    Quote Originally Posted by Benihana View Post
    I think he looks great, and you could walk away right now and get plenty of compliments. I also like the blade, but I think the above poster and I would have to see it in person to determine for sure.

    My only criticism (and keep in mind, I'm not exactly experienced enough to be doing so), would be that the light source on the cloak seems a little random. You have somewhat bright highlights on the upper part of the shoulders, on both sides, but the hood seems dim. If you mean for the hood to be dim, you'd need to move the light source directly behind the cloak, not on the shoulders. Your darks also appear too dark to me, at least in some of the crevices that would be catching light. My other suggestion would be to consider mixing the cloak green with brown instead of black when shading (or at least for midtones while blending), or neutralizing the green with red (it will turn brown, I promise!). Only use black when you get to the deepest recesses.

    Hey Beni, thanks for the feedback! Even the less experienced people like us have valuable tips to offer. The pros aren't the only ones that can catch mistakes. Looking at the pic you posted, I see what you mean and I agree. I think it just sort of "happened" as I was getting frustrated with the size of some of the folds up around the shoulders so I just went @*&@%^#* with the brush there at the end. I know I know.... bad habit of mine lol


    Thanks for the feedback so far folks. It's exactly what I think I need to get better! Stay tuned!!

  6. #6

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    Hey armor! Looking good so far! Glad to see a painting thread going. First, I know it's something you're working on but we really, really need well lit pics to give you the appropriate feedback. I like the cloak and I agree with Beni but it's tough to really give appropriate advice.

    I can offer advice on the getting frustrated part - as I work on that archangel and NMM believe me I get frustrated fast. I'm learning, no matter how close I am to finishing a color, if I get just a little bit frustrated, close the paint, rinse out the brush and put the thing away for a little while. If I don't, I end up having to redo it anyway. So I don't force the issue if it's not working. Believe me, when I only have one tiny section to finish, that's really tough to do! But I've been seeing better results because I make myself put it down.

    Good luck! I can't wait to see more painting.

  7. #7

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    Looks good. I cant offer nmm help since i havnt tried it and i am not a fan.

    Oh, and the mini is of Drizzt...only not officially

  8. #8

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    Hi Armor,

    I really like the face on this one mate very nice job. As others have said overall he's a little dark. I realise you were going for dark though. My suggestion would be that you should take the highlights on the cloak and armour quite a bit higher but keep the highlight areas small, so that you end up with the colour balance leaning toward the midtones and shadows. The blades look really good, theres a spot on his left hand one near the hilt where the transition dark to light needs work and maybe some small white points would really make them pop more.

    Overall a really good job so far mate.

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    Senior Member armornv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathrynloch View Post
    Hey armor! Looking good so far! Glad to see a painting thread going. First, I know it's something you're working on but we really, really need well lit pics to give you the appropriate feedback. I like the cloak and I agree with Beni but it's tough to really give appropriate advice.

    I can offer advice on the getting frustrated part - as I work on that archangel and NMM believe me I get frustrated fast. I'm learning, no matter how close I am to finishing a color, if I get just a little bit frustrated, close the paint, rinse out the brush and put the thing away for a little while. If I don't, I end up having to redo it anyway. So I don't force the issue if it's not working. Believe me, when I only have one tiny section to finish, that's really tough to do! But I've been seeing better results because I make myself put it down.

    Good luck! I can't wait to see more painting.
    Thanks for the advice Kath! Always appreciated. As for the pics, yes, I definitely need to do something. As I said, I'm used to taking pics of stuff much bigger than these

    Quote Originally Posted by marjedi View Post
    Looks good. I cant offer nmm help since i havnt tried it and i am not a fan.

    Oh, and the mini is of Drizzt...only not officially
    I figured it was "supposed to be" him. As Dark Sword does have a few of the Old Ral Partha Dragons and what not. Even though his swords aren't quite true to him, it was definitely close enough for me! Closest one I've seen in quite some time also.

    More to come hopefully tonight. Should be able to get started on one of 'umies! Yeeeeaaarrrgg...that is all.

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    Senior Member armornv's Avatar
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    Thanks Stew! Musta snuck in while I was replying. I see the spot on the sword and I think it was me fumbling the brush and bumping into the sword without realizing it.

  11. #11

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    Hey Armor,

    The spot actually looks good and is contributing to the mettallic look of the blade. It looks like a reflection. If you could keep it and soften the edges where it meets the highlight colour it would look great.

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    Good, but not THAT good. TrystanGST's Avatar
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    Keep going!
    Proud owner of a Cassar!
    I look pretty young, but I'm just back-dated, yeah


  13. #13

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    Keep at it buddy. I'm in exactly the same boat as you. If I can copy a mini I am ok but working out light and shade for nmm without a guide is really tricky.

    Good luck
    Will
    Join me as I try to place as a finalist at Golden Demon http://willsinnerdemon.wordpress.com/

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    Senior Member armornv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willdorling View Post
    If I can copy a mini I am ok but working out light and shade for nmm without a guide is really tricky.

    Good luck
    Will
    Exactly! The simple patterns I can kinda handle. Like the swords on the D Elf. Two "planes" on each side of the blade. from what I can tell by looking at all the examples of NMM that I can find, it looks to me like you never put two shadow areas or highlight areas adjacent to each other. That's where it would be nice to have the real thing to look at while painting!

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    Senior Member armornv's Avatar
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    Ok...so I was planning on doing these little empire guys one at a time. My brain decided to make me start on 4 or 5 at once. Got the basecoat and shadows on their faces before I realized it.... Not a huge deal in itself, but my current abilities tell me that A: I really need to concentrate on one single mini at a time! and B: These little f***ers are too freaking tiny to paint!!!!!!!!!!!! Their faces at least. So, would it help at all to try something a little larger? Say maybe an orc? I've a couple of Grimgor's I could strip.(One won't need it, it's a crapcast with lots o tiny bubbles but that's another story)..... I'm thinkin it might be a little easier to do being a bit larger until I can get the hang of things.... Thoughts?

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    Good, but not THAT good. TrystanGST's Avatar
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    I dunno. bigger minis (54mm+) require a different approach to the 32mm stuff.
    Proud owner of a Cassar!
    I look pretty young, but I'm just back-dated, yeah


  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by armornv View Post
    Ok...so I was planning on doing these little empire guys one at a time. My brain decided to make me start on 4 or 5 at once. Got the basecoat and shadows on their faces before I realized it.... Not a huge deal in itself, but my current abilities tell me that A: I really need to concentrate on one single mini at a time! and B: These little f***ers are too freaking tiny to paint!!!!!!!!!!!! Their faces at least. So, would it help at all to try something a little larger? Say maybe an orc? I've a couple of Grimgor's I could strip.(One won't need it, it's a crapcast with lots o tiny bubbles but that's another story)..... I'm thinkin it might be a little easier to do being a bit larger until I can get the hang of things.... Thoughts?
    Well, I've been trying to work down gradually in size, coming from 1:9 scale horses to 32mm is a huge leap. It has helped some, but specifically to the point of human faces, if you go larger, stick with humans, orcs aren't going to help you in the face department because the shading and color is different
    .
    I have a tendency to like the larger 54mm and up anyway, so in order to get me to go smaller, sometimes it's sorta of a dive right in, sink or swim. Like my griffon for example, I had to dive right in since he was for a contest. (Think about entering some of those btw - they are great motivation and since they only cost the price of the mini if you don't already have one, it's a cheap entry fee for experience.)

    The orcs will help you adjust to the smaller scale, but humans are going to be different with shading and whatnot. But armor is armor and clothing is clothing so they will help with that.

    Now this has just been my experience, your mileage may vary.

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    Senior Member armornv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrystanGST View Post
    I dunno. bigger minis (54mm+) require a different approach to the 32mm stuff.
    Yep, I would agree with that. I meant just a larger than human sized model. Not larger in scale. My fault. I should have been more specific.

    I figure since the orcs are a little larger than human sized it would give me more "room" to work on the actual techniques. Those human faces are barely big enough to even touch the brush to in some places. Maybe the Ogre Kingdoms minis?


    Quote Originally Posted by kathrynloch View Post
    Well, I've been trying to work down gradually in size, coming from 1:9 scale horses to 32mm is a huge leap. It has helped some, but specifically to the point of human faces, if you go larger, stick with humans, orcs aren't going to help you in the face department because the shading and color is different
    .
    I have a tendency to like the larger 54mm and up anyway, so in order to get me to go smaller, sometimes it's sorta of a dive right in, sink or swim. Like my griffon for example, I had to dive right in since he was for a contest. (Think about entering some of those btw - they are great motivation and since they only cost the price of the mini if you don't already have one, it's a cheap entry fee for experience.)

    The orcs will help you adjust to the smaller scale, but humans are going to be different with shading and whatnot. But armor is armor and clothing is clothing so they will help with that.

    Now this has just been my experience, your mileage may vary.

    True enough the shading/color/tone of a human would be different but you would still be using the same layering technique right? Or am I wrong...again



    Basically, I think I just need more surface area to put the paint onto. While I could just get sheet plastic and practice on that, I might as well put it on a mini just in case it looks good!

    Really appreciate the feedback!

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    Good, but not THAT good. TrystanGST's Avatar
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    If you want big and vaguely human, look for ogres/ogryn. Scale wise they're still 32mm, but they're larger and should give you that extra room.
    Proud owner of a Cassar!
    I look pretty young, but I'm just back-dated, yeah


  20. #20

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    A good way to have more depth is to not shade using black so much. Now I can't say for sure that you're using, say "chaos black" to darken your cloak, but it looks from here like something close. Shadows are seldom ever simply in the "K" register. For greens, try deep blues, browns, or even dark burgundy, if you're feeling particularly adventurous. Next are the highlights. You can change it up and try higlighting with a mixture of your green plus peach tone, biege, or light blue. Try different warm or cool colors to pump up the contrast not just in value, but in tone, and you'll find that the mini will have more pop.

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