Painting level up! WIP
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  1. #1

    Default Painting level up! WIP

    This WIP is to track progress and showcase my work. I have some really cool ideas to explore further down the line, once my skills improve in each of the multi--faceted aspects of painting and modelling!

    Prior to starting this WIP, I finished this model, which was my best--to--date:




    I am pretty pleased with it, although now I would like to really push myself to improve my painting. Specifically, the model above was painted ''from the pot'', so to speak. There is barely any mixing of colours. Also, it was painted from the darkest colour (black) up. This is how I have always painted, but it is evident that if I wish to improve, I will need to start painting from midtones, then shade down and highlight up. There is a lot to learn!

    I would also like to practice my ''brush accuracy'', for lack of a better word -- i.e., putting the paint where I really want it to go, instead of ''kind of in the right place''. Furthermore, non--metallic metal (NMM). It looks like NMM should be pretty much staple amongst good painters. Not to mention freehand, this thing called 'zenathil' shading, object source lighting (OSL), and conversion/sculpting skills. These are all things I endeavour to try, improve, and one day, master!

    So, along those lines, here's the first of my new WIP!

    To really challenge myself, I chose something I a) would not normally paint, or enjoy to paint, and b) is beyond where I feel my capabilities lie. To improve my skills, I will aim to always be working on something of this nature, in combination with a much simpler project, utilising basic skills, for rest/enjoyment. So, first, here's a combined shot of my 'hard' and 'easy' pieces.

    The hard piece is the Dark Eldar Succubus, and the easy pieces are the Eldar jetbikes, which I am converting to Shining spears, for use in my FIRST EVER (=D =D) 40k army for gaming!



    First, the hard piece. The succubus is a real challenge for me, firstly because it's really small. Way smaller than the stuff I normally paint. Second, I plan to paint her NOT from the pot, meaning I plan to mix colours for particular effects. Third, I hope to improve my blending by reducing the obvious colour transitions evident in my previous works. Finally, I will experiment with NMM on her armour. As a guide, I have selected a colour scheme reflecting this (an armour set from WoW, lol):



    I will be interested to see how accurately I can reproduce this scheme on her armour. I also like the cold blue skin tone in the reference piece, so I will likely use cold tones to reflect that balance between the skin and warmer NMM armour in the reference pic.

    As for the easier stuff, the jetbikes. I have NEVER used green stuff before... so these have been interesting. I wanted to modify the standard Eldar jetbikes to make them look a bit cooler. The Dark Eldar jetbikes are just awesome, whereas the Eldar ones have been the same for AGES, I am pretty sure. So I took the opportunity to make some minor modifications, as well as making the riders (not shown, yet) shining spears. I'm hoping to add a bit of well--needed coolness to them. Better pics and an update to follow soon!! =]

    P.S. Would someone be so kind as to tell me how to stop re--posting images as attachments at the end of a post? Hopefully the pictures work, since that's what we really care to see!! ;D
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  2. #2

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    Your at the right place welcome. From my experience it seem to be like you posses the brush holding and the "put the paint where you want to put it" skills but you lack a dimension or 2 in your over all piece. I will let the tech guys speak me I am more a emotional painter.
    Last edited by Teronus; 02-20-2015 at 10:54 PM.

  3. #3

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    Nice composition! Shrike and the hive tyrant? Awesome. That base needs more variation and detail to bring it to life with those paint jobs - which are awesome. Also, shrike and the hive tyrant are awesome
    "Remember, you can't spell paint without a little pain."

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  4. #4

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    First update to my WIP, ever! Exciting times ;D

    @ Teronus: Thanks for the insight =] I certainly agree that something may be amiss, something I can't quite put my finger on either. Sooner or later the answer will come =] I had a little peek at your WIP -- there is some nice stuff there! Your metals and blending look really nice, and the 20 year old (I think?) Pegasus is both entertaining and coming along nicely!

    @ Zab: Thanks for the kind words =] Yep, the base had zero thought go into it, and it's evident that this oversight influences impact of the mini. I had never really put too much thought into basing -- now I see how important it is!

    Here's the Dark Eldar Succubus after a couple of days (hard!) work. The first thing I notice is that the mini doesn't 'pop', a problem that I understand may be common amongst amateur painters. The camera I am using subdues the colours a bit, but it still doesn't 'pop' in real life either. Also the NMM looks more like bone than metal I think, kind of half way between the two. I think this is because I have used too much brown in the colour palette. I might try a glaze (orange? in line with the ref. pic above) and then increase the contrast. I would also like to highlight the skin a little more (her skin is supposed to be dark), but I have found it hard to highlight up further with white (using GWs bleached bone). Maybe mixing a warmer colour, like a red, with the midtone (GWs calthan brown) could do the trick.

    The mountains of info on this site have been invaluable! Unfortunately, though, I read faster than I can paint!
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  5. #5

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    Geez, nice skin tones already Contrast = pop. Push your highs and lows. Same for the NMM gold, go almost to black and only use white or bone for the highest, sharpest reflections. Tommie is doing a crazy good job on Celestine, AndyG on the Sangiunator and 10Ball on some high elves - check their WIP threads for reference. Save the tears you shed to thin your paints later (that's what i do).

    Also, MaGie did a great series of posts on her blog about a very similar mini. Here is a link to part 7 for inspiration:
    http://magie-miniatures.blogspot.com...art-7-osl.html

    Hope that helps
    "Remember, you can't spell paint without a little pain."

    Blog: almostperftec.blogspot.ca
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  6. #6

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    Once you get zenith lighting and color theory you will become a force, you already posses extraordinary brush skills and a special touch don't worry in few months only you will meet your wildest dreams.

    Thanks for reading my wip, take your time no rush, there's plenty of crazy wip's here, some dudes here are even GD slayer sword winners, check out Spocket wip, Lot's of talented ppl here, you ended up in the right place to improve. BAM will tell you everything you need to know check out his wip as well.
    Last edited by Teronus; 02-21-2015 at 11:42 PM.

  7. #7

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    Update time!

    First off, thanks for the kind comments guys! It's really such a nice community of people here, I feel blessed to have found you all!!

    @Zab: Thanks for the tips -- I checked out those WIPs as well, really some great stuff, and a lot of helpful hints! This place is really a gold mine, I'm finding I am spending more time reading and looking at pics than painting! I think that's helpful, though ;] And MaGie's tutorial is amazing!! I saw her mini in the gallery prior to starting work on this one actually, it kind of inspired me to pull mine out of the box and try my best with it!! I will have to find her and thank her... =]

    @Teronus: Thanks =] It sounds like a fun road ahead! I am sure I will enjoy my time here. Probably I will never leave ;]

    Here's the latest on the Succubus. I ended up re--doing the NMM three times... I probably spent about 20 hours in total just on this piece of the mini. I've discovered that it's really slow going when you are trying out new techniques for the first time!! I am happy with the result, though. There are still some rough spots -- I was particularly displeased with the black spot of paint I put just under her belly where her pants start... It seemed a good idea at the time O_O I also decided to choose a different mix of paints for the NMM, inspired by MaGie's tutorial so graciously linked by Zab =] =]

    The Eldar Shining Spears are coming along as well, I will post some pics of them soon.

    P.S. Not the best lighting for the pics but I think its OK for now ;]
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  8. #8

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    Hey glad you'r here, one thing I want to say about your eldar colors, one thing I would of done is instead of using a blue/blue, red/red and purple/purple I would of mix em up a bit adding a bit of the other colors in it. You must start mixing up you colors and play in your pallet more if you want to step up. Then you can worry about shades and highlights once you got you base coat.

  9. #9

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    Hey Teronus! Cheers for checking in, I really appreciate it =] And yes!! Mixing the colours, now that's a good idea if I ever did hear one. I actually forgot that I was going to have a go at mixing -- I ended up being so absorbed in trying out NMM. I doubt I'll redo the stuff I've already done, but I did have a go at mixing in different colours with the cloth.

    I've been working on the shining spears (they still have some work to go yet), and added some pics of them plus some recently completed Eldar rangers (all painted to a lower standard, tabletop quality). I'll be doing a lot more work on the succubus in the coming days =]

    I've also pledged to the Blood Rage kickstarter, it looks like there are some really nice minis in there. Looking forward to painting them whenever they release.
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  10. #10

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    You do really fine buddy, everything will come onto place at one point, the trick is to be patient and to persevere, I love what you do and I keep checking out on you

  11. #11

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    Those are some good looking eldar. I love your battle scene too. The base is a little bland to me, but the mini's are bad ass.
    "I was too distracted by the ladies to be scared of your bear. That is the second weirdest sentence I have ever typed on this site o_O"- Zab

    "Paint flavored coffee is the bestest!"-me

    Brush Brother Moetle

    Take a peek you might learn something or teach me something :-)

    http://www.coolminiornot.com/forums/...tic-Wonderland

  12. #12

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    I like to cool tones and high contrast. Quite the look
    "Remember, you can't spell paint without a little pain."

    Blog: almostperftec.blogspot.ca
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  13. #13

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    Hi guys! A bit of text in this update! I've made a fair bit of progress over the past week(ish), I am sure you will enjoy and will hopefully offer some helpful feedback! The Eldar jetbikes are finished (not the riders, though), and so is the succubus. The end result is not too bad I think!

    There are a couple of rough spots here and there, for instance: a) I had a bit of trouble reproducing the same NMM tones on all the parts of the model -- you can really tell the difference when you compare the NMM on the armour with the NMM on the weapons and her hair thing. I prefer the NMM on the weapons -- I had a peek at AngyG's and Tommie's WIPs, they really helped out -- thanks for the suggestions Zab! b) I was getting a little bit lazy at the end, you can tell if you look at some of the finer details (wraps on the polearm, rings/trinkets, uninspired blending on the whip). c) I coated the mini with a matte spray that is still a bit glossy... I had a lot of trouble getting clean pics without harsh light bouncing off it, even though I was using fairly diffuse lighting. The spray also seems to make it harder to show strong contrast -- the mini is a bit flat in these pics. What is the general consensus on final coating? I heard lahmium medium is alright? I just used a tin of spray from the art store O_O

    With the jetbikes I tried a little freehand and even used some transfers from the transfer sheet (probably a cardinal sin within particular circles! ;P).

    Things I learned: 1. Painting NMM is pretty fun! A lot more practice is needed, but it's nice to get a feel for it. I enjoyed doing the blade of the polearm, and learned a lot! 2. Don't rush the end of a mini! I was getting excited to put it all together, so I rushed some small, final details, and in the end felt a little betrayed by my haste. I think I will take some pages from Teronus' slow painting bible, and remember that painting minis is really about the journey, not just the end =] 3. I would like to learn a bit more about protective coating for minis, or whatever it's called ;P

    Now, though, I have 3 jetbike riders and 10 Dire Avengers to paint. I will enjoy painting those in a relaxed way before trying another hard piece with all my effort. I'm not sure what the next piece will be yet! =] Fortunately I have plenty of time to decide...
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  14. #14

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    I think the burn out shows a bit on the whip, gems and the hair, which could have been pushed more, but everything else is great from the palette to the contrast. It's a nice mix of subtle and strong. Lovely NMM BTW
    "Remember, you can't spell paint without a little pain."

    Blog: almostperftec.blogspot.ca
    Instagram: almost_zab
    DeviantArt Handle: AlmostZab
    Art Amino Handle: Almost Perftec Painting
    P&P: Neil Szabo

  15. #15

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    Hi guys! @Zab -- Thanks for the kind words =] I was really in a hurry to finish the succubus before I had to travel for a few days. Anyway, moving on! I put her up in the CMON gallery, link here:

    http://www.coolminiornot.com/376460

    And here's some pics of a few Eldar I've been working on while I keep my eye out for a new project. I'll be painting these guys in a scheme similar to the Eldar rangers. I'm going to put extra effort into their weapons and gems, to get some more practice with NMM effects and to get a better idea of how to paint gems (research time!)
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  16. #16

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    Hi all! Here's a quick update on the Eldar front. The Jetbike Riders are finished! I spent a little extra time on their weapons, but everything else is painted to a pretty standard level. Soon I'll be starting work on the Eldar character Illic Nightspear, which I'll paint to the best of my ability and post regular WIP pics for feedback. I'm going to have a good think about his colour scheme - I would like to avoid clashing colours which, as you can see, tend to crop up in my work of late. Ideas/inspiration/feedback on his palette would be much appreciated! Ideally he should still fit in with the rest of the army. For now though, the Dire Avengers are next on the list, so you'll see more of them soon as well =]
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  17. #17

  18. #18

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    Hey Gandalf, cheers! Today I've got a bit of a longer post, mainly to get a little feedback if possible. I'm going to show a step-by-step process of the blue NMM effect I've used, which I kind of figured out along the way from looking at pics and reading about layering/blending techniques, much of it from these forums! I think the end result is effective, although certainly not perfect. At the end I'll also share a couple of tips/tricks of stuff I picked up along the way. Perhaps others can share their insights! So here goes:

    NMM is a new technique for me, so currently I'm finding it easier to start from a pure black basecoat and highlight up. From what I understand, there are alternatives -- for instance to start with a midtone, then shade down and highlight up. Additionally, you can use glazes to adjust the NMM effects, I *think* this gives the illusion of metal with a darker hue, or reflections coming from inside the metal. I will definitely give this a try some time soon.

    First off, here's the layer progression, from a Chaos Black undercoat to a White Scar highlight. The intermediate layers start with Regal Blue, with successive additions of White Scar and water for transparency (I found paint transparency to be pretty important, you'll see this at the end!)



    You'll see that around layer number 8 I lined in the scope housing, layer number 9 I highlighted the edges of the gun, and layer 10 is the only layer using pure White Scar, for the sharpest edges and tiniest specks on the metal surfaces. Surprisingly, I had no idea I applied 10 layers! I would have guessed 5 until I saw how many pics I took!

    And here's a couple of things I picked up along the way. The first is related to paint transparency, or opacity. Here you can see that I've made a little mistake by applying a layer of paint that was too opaque, creating an obvious transition in colour.



    To rectify this, I added more water to my mixture (alternatively you can use a mixing medium) to reduce the opacity of the paint, and applied another layer over the mistake, moving my brush from the darkest to the lightest areas of colour (so from right to left here). Here's the outcome:



    Clearly, a much smoother transition resulted. The second thing I picked up was fixing over-liberal application of paint layers. Here, you can see that I've applied too much paint to too large an area. The applied layer was the third one, and because of its liberal application it completely covered the second layer.



    Woops! To fix this, I simply took some of the second layer, and reapplied it over the third one, where I would expect the second layer to be. Here's the outcome:



    Obviously a much cleaner transition. To get even smoother transitions, I've read that you can glaze your layers using a midtone, which tends to blur the lines between different layers. I didn't do that here, though.

    So from all of that, I feel like that's the essence of blending? I remember wondering in the past how on earth people managed clean transitions in colour using brushes. Is this the essence of it?

    Finally, here's a quick pic of the Dire Avengers so far. Their armour isn't going to have the same NMM effect as the guns, it will be more like the jetbike riders, simple but vibrant. More to follow soon!

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  19. #19

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    This is great stuff! Loved the little step-by-step, should be useful to a lot of folks.

  20. #20

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    Hey guys, back again with another update. I've finished work on the Dire Avengers (I'll chuck them in the gallery), and started on the Eldar character Illic Nightspear. For Illic I started on his base first, just for something different. I wanted to do a kind of marble effect, and it ended up becoming a kind of coloured marbled rock. I am happy with the result, although I feel it could benefit from a little extra something, if anyone has suggestions. I have step-by-step pics of the stone up until now as well, I'll probably post them at some point.

    I'm hoping to do Illic in a more self consistent colour scheme using blue and dark purple, perhaps with red spot colours for temperature balance. You'll see plenty of WIP from him, so stay tuned!
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