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Thread: KruleBear's WIP WIP

  1. #1

    Smile KruleBear's WIP WIP

    Hello all. After lurking on the site for about nine months and seeing the benefits everyone seems to get from the feedback in the WIP threads, I've decided to start a WIP for a couple of reason. 1-I've done very little painting the last 10 years (darn life ). And 2-Thought I was a decent table top painter until I started watching this site! Iwould like to benefit from the knowledge on here to improve my skills to a high table top quality (and maybe get more minis painted). I signed up a few weeks ago and am now jumping into WIPdom. My lazy goal is to update photos (hopefully with progress) a couple times a month---lazy, but better than no progress

    I started painting in the early to mid '80s when I first got into gaming. Here some examples from 20 to 25 years ago (assuming I can get this linkage thingy to work-nope, but I can manage the attachment). I see people referring to 10 year old GW mini's as old school. I guess that makes these Grenadier and GW(Citadel?) figures ancient school (or antiques). The Grenadier dwarf is one of the first minis I painted and this version was updated about 20 years ago. www/flickr.com/photos/kruley7411352696/in/photostream Name:  Dwarf and Elf 061712.JPG
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    The first think I learned working on the mechanics of this WIP was that the way a photo looks on the camera screen does not match how it looks on the computer screen...and dang if the blown up picture really doesn't show your problems and mistakes. I should have took pictures years ago to help identify my problems.

    So the first input I'd like is on a Warmachine two player box set I bought. I started with the Khador heavy warjacks. I felt the all red scheme in the game didn't seem to fit with the fluff of Khador being in a winter type climate. So I'm using a lot of whites to show a winter camo type of concept. I was overly excited and attempted something new with the Juggernaut--I tried to paint with light source coming from his left shoulder--this and getting back into painting with white were my first mistakes. I'm not extremely disappointed with the reds, but the whites have been frustrating. I started with a base of bleached bone and utilized Dheneb stone and titanium white for shading and highlights---looked like crap. Did some washes with dilute titanium white and ended up with a chalky white washed figureName:  Khador Juggernaut Heavy Warjack Early wip 061712.JPG
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    Then I went in picked up some Vallejo colors (maybe the 10-20 year old paints were adding to my frustration-sometimes it can suck being cheap) and started using mixes of Ghost Grey and Titanium White which I like better.

    Based on what I've read here I started using thinner paints, but after looking at these picks it appears I'm still too thick and can definately see brush marks. I recently picked up the Jen Haley and AlexiZ tapes. Started watching Jen's and think it probably is a paint thickness issues. Any suggestions that allow me to be lazy and not strip the paint off? I also see I missed some flash, so will have to get some brush on primer and clean it up at some point. And other than base coated I haven't did anything with the metal parts.Name:  Khador Juggernaut Heavy Warjack 061712.JPG
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    This has been rather long winded, but I thought I'd end with a skeleton cyclops giant I did about 10 years ago that I was fairly happy with--but would like to do better going forward.Name:  Skeleton giant cyclops 061712.JPG
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    Thanks for any input---Mike

  2. #2

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    Painting white does seem to be a problem for a number of people. Me, I've perfected a wonderful technique for painting white: I don't.

    Kidding aside, I think there are a number of threads (which I'm too lazy to search for right now; nearly time for bed), but "paint" and "white" should find you several. If I had to say offhand what was wrong with the whites is that you're going too light. I think a much darker brown, lightly applied of course, or a light blue would probably do better for shading. This from someone who does zero large white painted surfaces, so take it for what you will.

    And welcome to the madhouse. One or two posts a month might sound like a lofty goal, but I've actually painted more in the last month than I did in the last year. Getting into the habit of doing it seems easy enough. Must mean it's bad for me somehow.
    "Reality, she's a mathematical bitch from hell.", MaxedOutMama
    Wanna be bored? Watch me twitter. --<>-- Still have neurons? Watch my YouTube channel on painting!
    Want to know when to fry your neurons? My painting twitter will announce the videos.
    To judge how far to follow my advice, consider this: ---<>--- Slappin' paint on minis since 2006

  3. #3

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    My god there's some memories here. Welcome!
    "we reach for the stars, forever looking to the heavens, our minds filled with wonder and the glory of the cosmic all; stretching the boundries of human knowledge and securing the solar system for the Human Species out there beyond the final frontier so one day our decendants will be as gods!
    You hold our hands so we don't blunder into things........and do the photo shop.
    "
    . Andyg


  4. #4

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    Looks like you have a solid start! Now keep practicing!

    White I usually build up with grays and then use darker grays or browns to shade. It just depends on the colours of the model for me!
    Currently accepting small commissions
    Now on GTalk: Exiledminiatures@gmail.com
    I tweet daily! https://twitter.com/ExiledMiniature

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by PegaZus View Post
    Painting white does seem to be a problem for a number of people. Me, I've perfected a wonderful technique for painting white: I don't.
    LMAO. I believe that is my best bet for white as well...but seeing how the rest of the box set is the Protectorate of Menoth faction which is supposed to be primarily white, I had better figure it out.
    Quote Originally Posted by PegaZus View Post
    Kidding aside, I think there are a number of threads (which I'm too lazy to search for right now; nearly time for bed), but "paint" and "white" should find you several. If I had to say offhand what was wrong with the whites is that you're going too light. I think a much darker brown, lightly applied of course, or a light blue would probably do better for shading. This from someone who does zero large white painted surfaces, so take it for what you will.And welcome to the madhouse. One or two posts a month might sound like a lofty goal, but I've actually painted more in the last month than I did in the last year. Getting into the habit of doing it seems easy enough. Must mean it's bad for me somehow.
    Yeah, I agree I think I did go too white---I guess I'm impatient like the tootsie pop owl and his licks to the center...1 shading, 2 shadings, 3 shadings,...skip the next 10 and say "done" and the wonder "why it didn't work". I've seen a few threads on whites that I'm liking and debating if more brown/cream or blue is the better route to go. I'm thinking based on the fluff, maybe blue to suggest cold. and thanks for the welcome.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 ball View Post
    My god there's some memories here. Welcome!
    Thanks...and I hope I'm not the cause of any unhappy flashbacks!

    @William T: Thanks for the encouragement. I've like what you've done with your whites. Before I turned the Warjack chalky i had started using some black inks for shading--that was really awful. I believe I need to change my way of thinking. Instead of white I need to think of it as pale brown, pale blue, etc... and I'll get closer to what I'm looking for. Thankfully this is a WIP and will force me to learn (or start chucking the 1000 or so unpainted models across the house).

    Ok, how do i include multiple quotes in the same reply?

    I'm on vacation for the next few days and won't be able to paint since I'm traveling, but should be able to get to a real hobby shop and pick up some new paints. Below is a pick of a Destroyer Warjack I started after the first Warjack mishap. Trying to go from a top down lighting on this one that my brain can process better--results weren't much better as you can tell by the "damn you mini" grey line slobbed across the top panel seam. Also to assist with the flash backs, a couple of old school ogres painted 15 or 20 years ago. Cheers all, the wife is hollering at me to get in the car with the mother in law.
    Attached Images Attached Images    
    Last edited by KruleBear; 06-22-2012 at 04:47 PM.

  7. #7

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    Welcome a board!!

    I really like the red shades on the warjacks, even if you could give it a bit more of contrast ( dark brown on the recesses and very bright red on the extremities of the plates ).
    Red, yellow and white are very tougth colours to nail but you did one of them... Maybe it'll help if you think the white scheme as you did the red tones, but instead of using one colour and changing the tones, try to use medium light grey for the base, ice blue for the surfaces with light on it, titanium white for the high lights and a dark blue grey wash for the recesses.

    The rest you'll get by trial and error.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexandra View Post
    Welcome a board!!

    I really like the red shades on the warjacks, even if you could give it a bit more of contrast ( dark brown on the recesses and very bright red on the extremities of the plates ).
    Red, yellow and white are very tougth colours to nail but you did one of them... Maybe it'll help if you think the white scheme as you did the red tones, but instead of using one colour and changing the tones, try to use medium light grey for the base, ice blue for the surfaces with light on it, titanium white for the high lights and a dark blue grey wash for the recesses.

    The rest you'll get by trial and error.
    Thanks Alexandra. I was able to pick up some new Valejo whites and grey (as well as some skin tones for future projects). After dabbing some on card board i think i may have some new tools to follow your advice on the "whites". Will be back home in a few days and can hopefully try it out.

  9. #9

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    You're welcome. Don't forget to post some pics

  10. #10

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    Some painting done this morning as I'm back from the "relative" portion of vacation.

    I didn't have anything real close to sky blue for the whites, so I went with the following progression: Sky grey--Ghost grey--silver grey--titanium white. So far I'm much happier with the results, but think I still need more contrasts. What do you think? Perhaps a thin wash/glaze with wolf grey or would something like Dheneb stone wash give a better contrast? I am getting thick on paint, so will probably be getting to a point where I say "good enough" and take what I learn to the next mini. (BTW the super macro pictures scare the heck out of me and make the paint look even thicker than IRL).

    I also took Alexandra's advice and highlighted the red on the left arm/shoulder with a mix of Mechrite Red and Camium Red Medium (Liquitex paint). At first I thought it was too much contrast, but it is growing on me. Should I take the highlights even higher with some straight Cadmium Red Medium (I think it is close to red gore color)?

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    I also started playing with the axe blade. Painted some white lines and used some old GW blue ink to wash it. I like the effect, but it looks like I need to make the ends of the electric field much thinner with the white. Also should I have highlited the blade before going with the electric field effect. Sorry about the blurry photo, I had to hold it and apparently I'm not as steady as I used to be.
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    Thanks for the help so far---now I'd better get something done on the "Honey Do" list before the wife gets home and wonders what I've been doing all day. As always all suggestion, comments, and criticism are welcome!

  11. #11

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    I'm happy that it worked out

    Before darkening the white I would take some time to get the other colours more or less finished. Because you haven't high light the metal and the red, the white pops out more. Then see if it needs more shading.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexandra View Post
    I'm happy that it worked out

    Before darkening the white I would take some time to get the other colours more or less finished. Because you haven't high light the metal and the red, the white pops out more. Then see if it needs more shading.
    Good point. I am going to finish up the red highlighting and start lightening the metals. I probably need to start thinking about the base. It is time to move beyond painted sand bases and push myself a bit. I am thinking rocks with snow patches.
    Last edited by KruleBear; 06-29-2012 at 07:34 AM.

  13. #13

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    Hiya Krule!!! Well, you've got some nice work going here so far!!! Not too long ago I got the Dark Sword video with Jen Haley and Anne Foerster. Anne is the lead painter at Reaper and she creates their paint line. On the video she has an amazing process for red and it starts just like Alexandra said. But Anne will take it layer by layer all the way through orange and up to white flares. It's amazing because you don't think its going to work but she paints a red cloak in the vid and then its right there in front of you, looking awesome!

    If you don't have the video its great! I highly recommend it. You can even download it from the CMON store.

    And glad to hear you're going to push yourself on the basing. I had a hard time with that too at first but its been coming together (and Skelette has some awesome bases if you haven't seen his thread.)

    Looking great so far, Krule! Keep it up!

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by kathrynloch View Post
    Hiya Krule!!! Well, you've got some nice work going here so far!!! Not too long ago I got the Dark Sword video with Jen Haley and Anne Foerster. Anne is the lead painter at Reaper and she creates their paint line. On the video she has an amazing process for red and it starts just like Alexandra said. But Anne will take it layer by layer all the way through orange and up to white flares. It's amazing because you don't think its going to work but she paints a red cloak in the vid and then its right there in front of you, looking awesome!

    If you don't have the video its great! I highly recommend it. You can even download it from the CMON store.

    And glad to hear you're going to push yourself on the basing. I had a hard time with that too at first but its been coming together (and Skelette has some awesome bases if you haven't seen his thread.)

    Looking great so far, Krule! Keep it up!
    Thanks Kathryn. I was able to get a little painting in today before spousal duties came up...i will get some new photos up tomorrow. I am currently going through a Jen Haley video(very slowly). It is mostly skin tones so far, but has really helped me see how thin the paint needs to be to get a more advanced output. I am still a little skitish to push it this thin, but am starting to see the benefits. I would say my paint is still too thick, but am learning for the next one.

    I have looked at a few of Skelettes threads and am truly impressed with his talent and vision for a mini. Maybe i can get to that level in another 20 years. By then i may be brave enough to try your pigment style..

    I also worked on blocking in some brass on the metals and an attempt at tmm ( i believe it is the correct acronym). For a first try at tmm i am telling my self it is not too bad. But my impatience definately got to me as i found myself fudging up layers that have not fully dried. Oh well, live and learn. This and doing more highlihgting of the reds has made me much happier with the whites ( thanks Alexandra).

    I will see if i get brave tomorrow or play it safe.

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    Hey Krule - I started painting LOTR minis back in...oh hell...when the movies were at the top of the food chain. At that time Games Workshop had public forums believe it or not. While the foundation of painting has not changed, information has. Lot's of helpful people tried to help me with layering. Thin your paints! Thin your paints! But we didn't have articles or videos - we did have some tutorials stickied. My first ever painting horses article hit there. Anyway, you hear thin, thin, thin but until you actually SEE it, it's really tough to understand. I just couldn't get it because I couldn't see the technique. So I went to a local art supply store and bought some acrylic retarder. I tried wet-blending with it and within an hour or two I had the basic idea down, the rest was going to fall to practice.

    For years I wet-blended with the retarder and only recently am I now trying to get layering. Mostly because some brand formulas changed and I'm sick of my acrylic retarder screwing up my paint. lol! But I was still struggling and still had my paint too thick. Another problem - I was so accustomed to working with the retarder in my paint and that extra drying time, I now have to watch out for overworking it too. So don't feel bad, you get a sense of timing with the paint but breaking that old habit is hard!

    If you think Jennifer thins her paint to the extreme, get Laurent's video from Miniature Mentor - Complete Miniature Painting Guide. Once you see how Laurent paints...well let me put it this way...I was painting with mud...and it wasn't dirt mud but the stuff you use when you're hanging drywall.

    I also have Jen's CMON video and once I saw Laurent's and compared the two - well it all clicked and hopefully it will continue to do so.

    Oh since I get impatient, I have a few models on my table to work on so I don't rush to start another layer too soon and screw everything up. Have a couple extra for fun and to keep you busy helps a lot.

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    Current photos, but I think I need to spend some time this week just playing with the camera as I'm having problems matching real life colors. This first shows my attempt at TMM on the axe blade, the pictures really don't show the blue tint to the metal very well (guess I need to load the DVD manual for the camera and read it). Not extremely happy with it, but not completely dissapointed.
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    But then I really messed it up by trying to add lighting to the blade again. grrrrrrrrr.

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    I highlighted up the reds from the earlier posts and started blocking in the metals and started really liking the whites (although the pict don't show the bluish / grey shades in the white very well.) I haven't done any shading of the reds yet as Alexandra suggested--I'm still mulling it over so I don't mess up were I'm at so far. As far as metals I based parts of the axe and the stack guards with runelord brass and then highlighted up with some lighter kraft brass I have. Should I add some final highlight with a gold to the brass? The darker bits I highlighted with chainmail and then a touch of mithril silver. Sugesstions for next steps would be appreciated.

    I think my next focus is on neating him up, enhancing the metal bits, and planning a base (oh--and learn how to use the stupid camera. I'm beginning to think I should get an IPhone as the pictures I've seen from that look better than this expensive SLR).

    I think I need to buy some new "good" brushes as well. My 20 year old ratty sable brushes do a better job than the "fancy" artist brushs I bought at hobby lobby last month.

    --Mike

  17. #17

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    Oh I hate it when I try to add something or I have just one more tiny highlight to complete and it will be fantastic! And I bomb the whole thing. grrr! I do that all the time.

    First off, pics - I think your white balance needs to be changed because the photos have a distinct warm tint. So it looks like you need to make friends with your camera and its documentation. lol! After you do that calibrating your monitor color will help too. Everyone viewing pictures on the computer sees them differently because monitors aren't calibrated the same. By calibrating yours it will help with consistency especially in regard to your camera.

    I do have a concern however. I'm getting the impression you're trying to tackle everything, including a lot of advanced techniques, all at once. I know it's hard when you used to be at one level, stopped for a long time, and come back no longer at that level. I think if you concentrate on one major thing it will help. For example instead of the power on the axe, concentrate on the red and metals and getting those as nice as you can. After that - then you can worry about the special effects.

    Some good Kolinsky's that have a nice tip are a necessity - Davinci, Raphael, W&N and others will make a big difference. Save the hobby lobby brushes for washes, brush-on primers, sealers and things that will tear up your Kolinskys.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by KruleBear View Post
    Current photos, but I think I need to spend some time this week just playing with the camera as I'm having problems matching real life colors.
    I totally sympathise with you. Kath knows my pains to get the light on the pics right.
    Besides what she told you, I would suggest you get 2 desk lamps, or even 3, with white light ( tungsten ) for taking pics of your minis and kill the annoying shadows. Don't forget to set your camera to this king of light ( if it lets you to ) in order to have the right filter on.
    Other thing that helps is to set your camera at F11 ( velocity ) an with a ISO of 3200. This will give you a easier time focusing the mini and you won't need that much light to get the colours right ( this tip came from a bug photographer friend at so far as worked wonders ).

    As for the mini... I would leave the blade for last and finish the rest first. The highlight with gold on the brass sounds good. If you don't like it afterwards, you can always dull it with a wash of dark brown.

    Good painting!!

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by kathrynloch View Post
    First off, pics - I think your white balance needs to be changed because the photos have a distinct warm tint. So it looks like you need to make friends with your camera and its documentation. lol! After you do that calibrating your monitor color will help too. Everyone viewing pictures on the computer sees them differently because monitors aren't calibrated the same. By calibrating yours it will help with consistency especially in regard to your camera.

    I do have a concern however. I'm getting the impression you're trying to tackle everything, including a lot of advanced techniques, all at once. I know it's hard when you used to be at one level, stopped for a long time, and come back no longer at that level. I think if you concentrate on one major thing it will help. For example instead of the power on the axe, concentrate on the red and metals and getting those as nice as you can. After that - then you can worry about the special effects.

    Some good Kolinsky's that have a nice tip are a necessity - Davinci, Raphael, W&N and others will make a big difference. Save the hobby lobby brushes for washes, brush-on primers, sealers and things that will tear up your Kolinskys.
    Yeah, i figured the white balance is the next step on the camera (and get a better light box made up-i can not believe i did not keep any of the properly sized moving boxes make one...oh well). I am not to concerned with monitor calibration at the moment as the look very similar on the IPad and my tower monitor.

    As far as the special effects, i figured even if i botched it it would still be fine for table top and i could always redo the axe at some point in the future. It also allowed me to step back from the reds and whites to take a breather before i did something foolish and messed the current progress up.

    I must have been lucky in the '80s when i started in that my only supply source was a true artists shop, since those brushes are actually sable and much better than the new ones ( even with the damage from use). I am definately going to get a couple good Kolinsky's in the next few weeks. The irony is that the really cheep synthetic brush i got at hobby lobby for dry brushing is better than their so called good brushes. I just notice the synthetic doesn't hold as much paint or at least does't wick it to the tip well.

    I probably will not get much painting done the next couple weeks as i am prepping my farmette for sale on a local action. This darn 100 degree heat is making it slow work.

    Cheers Mike

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexandra View Post
    I totally sympathise with you. Kath knows my pains to get the light on the pics right.
    Besides what she told you, I would suggest you get 2 desk lamps, or even 3, with white light ( tungsten ) for taking pics of your minis and kill the annoying shadows. Don't forget to set your camera to this king of light ( if it lets you to ) in order to have the right filter on.
    Other thing that helps is to set your camera at F11 ( velocity ) an with a ISO of 3200. This will give you a easier time focusing the mini and you won't need that much light to get the colours right ( this tip came from a bug photographer friend at so far as worked wonders ).

    As for the mini... I would leave the blade for last and finish the rest first. The highlight with gold on the brass sounds good. If you don't like it afterwards, you can always dull it with a wash of dark brown.

    Good painting!!
    Thanks for the tips. I have been in an f22 to f25 range. I have a couple of lamps set up. One is raw light and the other i am filtering through a light screen. And i can see the differnce in the photos from the screen. I am going to build an actual light box, but i have seen where others have had better luck without one.

    I am definately going to make some time to get some gold highlights added.

    Cheers.

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