Hi, Need critique
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Thread: Hi, Need critique

  1. #1

    Default Hi, Need critique

    Hello, im new to the site to miniatures and painting.

    I watched a random youtube video half a year ago and saw someone paint a miniature and thought:
    "hey looks fun and easy lets try that..."
    I never painted anything before in my life (besides kindergarten^^) and i never owned a miniature.
    Long story short: It was not that easy but it was fun!

    I learned all i know from from youtube videos and website-tutorials.
    However, i never got feedback to my figures and are afraid i do some basic mistakes that i don't see myself.

    So i registered here and and uploaded some pictures of my 1/10 Busts.

    I would be thankful for any critique and or advise.

    Return of the Aquila


    Tywin Lanister

    Templar Brother

  2. #2


    I looked at the Templar Brother
    - I think you have done a little bit more than watch a couple of videos. Very nice work indeed
    - I didn't like the blood, particularly on his face. This is the only thing I have a problem with

    I think you are not getting comments because it is excellent work, but not outstanding.


  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by JohnLobster View Post
    I looked at the Templar Brother
    - I think you have done a little bit more than watch a couple of videos. Very nice work indeed
    - I didn't like the blood, particularly on his face. This is the only thing I have a problem with

    I think you are not getting comments because it is excellent work, but not outstanding.

    -Thanks for the kind words.
    I learned all from videos and random Artikels i found.
    However i really took my time with each miniature and looked on all pictures i could find of them.
    I try to compensate lack of talent and experience with invested time.
    But some Miniatures have obvious mistakes that i noticed to late in the process to fix. E.g. the back of Lanister or the scratch at his nose.

    -I don't like the blood either!
    Its actual the first blood i did and did no research on painting blood. I should do that now and also order some more reds. Its to brights right? Also there is no clear difference between the cut and the flowing blood.

    I want to make outstanding work one day .
    The random video i watched half a year ago was Lagertha by Painting Buddha.
    I have her still in the box and keep her there until i feel worthy painting her (most likely never)

    However they all score equal and i don't see any improvement over the figures myself.
    I still like the first i did the most.
    Thats the main reason im asking here, i was feeling stuck and the rating says the same.
    But i don't know what to focus on the next figure, to make it better then this ones.
    Last edited by anotherpainter; 12-06-2016 at 07:46 AM.

  4. #4


    First off,.. don't sweat the scores. They are wildly arbitrary. Plus,.. there's a few snipers over there that vote 1's on peoples work, just to knock the score down (for some unknown reason that I have yet to fathom). But a score of 7 or 8 on this site is still a really good score. I, myself, happen to always wash out at about a 7 or so,.. no matter how hard I try. Lots of times I think it's model choice. I think there are a few voters out there who are GW fanatics, and if it isn't a GW model, they vote it lower. I run into this a lot, because I tend to paint ~anything but~ GW products.

    As for the roman bust,.. I'd say you need more "depth of color". The colors are flat, white-washed, and therefore come off as a bit "lifeless",.. so to speak. My suggestion, is to push your contrast further. Take your shadows farther into the blacks,.. and your highlights farther into the whites. The face is well done (though the beard/eyebrows could use some work),.. the leather across the chest is nice, but is too monotone with so much of the same color in the hood/cape. I'd change one or the other to slightly darker brown overall, to give variety and contrast. The armor panels are very "one dimensional",.. again, need more depth of color here. Just something interesting for the eye to look at. As for the shirt, it's too white-washed over all that blue. And the highlights come off as "chalky".

    Just my honest opinion, since you asked. But take it with a grain of salt,.. because I'm a total hack.
    It's only a flesh wound!!!

  5. #5


    Welcome to this site! First off, the most important thing is that you are enjoying this hobby. We're all trying to improve, no matter what our current skill level is. So just keep enjoying the journey and over time you will see your stuff get better. I also totally agree with Webmonkey, the scores in the gallery can be arbitrary and are not the best way to chart your progress. You can look at your work and you know if this piece is better than the last one. So don't get down if the score doesn't reflect that.

    Also, keep in mind that most of us on here have been painting for years. No one, no matter how talented, started off a master. Your work is very nice. Clean application, paint not overly thick, I can see some texturing effects on some of the leather and cloth which is good, and you're doing some highlighting and shading. My main suggestion would be to focus on the highlighting and shading and increase the contrast. You mentioned Ben's Shield Maiden videos. Take another look at that piece and see how much contrast there is between the light and the dark parts of her skin. Or the hair and how he creates that effect of shine and reflected light.

    To go with the increased contrast, you need to make sure you're placing the highlights and shadows in the right spots. Check out some tutorials on Zenithal Lighting. Here's a good one to start with from Massive Voodoo: http://massivevoodoo.blogspot.com/20...ork-order.html

    For the busts, you probably won't have the imaginary light source directly above the figure. You'll probably want to imagine it slightly in front so that it's better lighting the face. Since you seem to like busts (which is great!), take a look at Kirill's work (http://www.puttyandpaint.com/Yellow_one). He's one of the best painters out there and does a ton of busts. Also, here is a nice tutorial from the painter over at Life Miniatures: http://www.lifeminiatures.com/step-by-step. I don't necessary paint this way, but you might want to try it out. If nothing else, it helps show the contrast on a bust and where the light and dark colors fall.

    It can also be helpful to find other painters near you to share your work, tips, etc. I'm familiar with a number of painting groups around the US. If you're in the states, let me know what general area. I may be able to point you to a group that's nearby.

    If it's any help, let me share a few of my busts that I've painted over the years. The first image is one I did 6 years ago. It's a little weird because the helmet is removed, but I wanted you to see the face. In my opinion, the quality of that piece is comparable to your work. The next image is something I did a year and a half ago. You should be able to easily see the increased contrast between the light and dark areas of the face. I also tried to get some of that shine in the hair, though not as well done as Ben's. There's color variation in the skin as well, with a hint of red in the cheeks and around the tip of the nose, plus a sense of stubble on the lower part of the face. And finally there's a fantasy bust that I'm currently working on (just the face is painted, hair and clothing are in the early stages). For this one I'm experimenting with lighting, treating the main light as if it were off to his left (creating the effect of three quarters lighting which is popular for portraits). I'm also painting on a blue glow coming from below and to his right to create the effect of an edge light. With all that simulated lighting, I've got a very large contrast range between the darkest parts of the face and the lightest. I'm sharing these examples for a couple reasons. The first is to get you to think a bit about contrast. There are different schools of thought, some say you should use less on larger kits like busts. Others, like me, still use high contrast. It's up to you to decide which style you like more. Either way, I would suggest increasing the contrast at least some to make shadows and highlights more obvious. It's just up to you to decide how much looks good. The second reason was to show that the same person who painted the first figure also painted the other two. You're off to a good start and looking to sites like this are a great way to continue to improve. If you enjoy painting and have the desire to work and improve (which it sounds like you do), you will get better the more you paint. It doesn't happen overnight, but keep at it and I'm confident you'll see your skills improve.
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  6. #6


    Thanks a lot. Good feedback!

    I do understand how easy the score is faked and manipulated on this site. But i kind of watched it change.
    And i think i only got 6 7 and some 8 for all of them. Nothing else.
    Whats completely fair because i would rate all my fig 6-7.
    The figures: i actual think they gave me a little bonus because in my taste Nuts Planets makes one of the - when not the best bust on the market.
    If you just fill every part with one color it already looks awesome.
    Some already take my breath away when i see the plain plastic parts.

    I get your point after watching your Gallery.
    E.g.: http://www.coolminiornot.com/343505?browseid=17839305
    This one would get rated clearly above 7.4 as an Science fiction military figure.

    Im not really worried about the score but in my case it said the same that i already thought:
    That the bust are all kind of the same quality.


    Beard and eyebrows i totally agree. They are gray painted over brown to fake whitish hair.
    It did not turn out as planned and i would not do it this way again.
    Leather straps:
    I saw the problem with the leather straps while painting. They were both brown first and i switch the
    second one to kakie. I understand what you mean, i should have changed both.
    The armor:
    I actual faded every single plate from Bluemetal to Graymetal.
    But the difference between the two colors is so small and i faded so much that it all looks like one now.

    I think i was to afraid of having to much contrast because i was not sure if i would get the transition right.
    Also im try to avoid any kind of comic look.
    At the end im pleased with the transition because it was such a small one in the beginning.
    So i will try bigger differences between the fading colors and the color scheme overall in the next one.


    First: Thank you for the biggest compliment that you gave.
    The part where you pretended to not notice that im not an English Speaker . Languages are not my strong site. Im from Germany.

    I have to confess i don't really have a plan about this one.
    Like i said, i never painted and my lighting plan is more or less: "There are shadows under the armpit... i think".

    I even changed mid-painting where i think the light comes from (when i thought about it at all).
    The Massive Voodoo lightning tutorial is actually in my bookmarks.
    I saw it and thought: "You have to read that! Store it for later..." and never touched it again.
    I will do so now.

    I know the yellow one and most of his work.
    If you search for good pictures of miniature-bust you will sooner or later find some of his and your jaw will drop.
    The Boxart-Viking http://www.puttyandpaint.com/projects/6849 he did is on my Tobuy-list.

    The face Bust pdf is really good. Its completely different to the way i paint faces.
    I start with one color and change it at one spot slightly and repeat because im to afraid of getting it look good if there are two complete separated colors at the same time on my mini.

    About your figures:
    In fact your first one is way better then mine.
    The clear eyes is something i am not able to do. All my figures have at least 10 times over painted or striped and repainted eyes. And the only goal is to get it kind of at the right place, not even round.
    The vein on his arm: If you notice on my peaces, i stay complete away from painting anything freehand, because it turns out really ugly. The shake of my hand stops me of being so precises on this kind of details.
    The beard ,the cape, the helmet is actual very similar to my work.
    The first thing i notice of the other two pictures is the ,now even far better, clearness of the small details that i just cannot produce. The red of the eyes is fading into the white. I feel like a god when i get a red dot in the corner.

    But i do get your point about the shadows and the contrast.
    The difference between forehead, cheek and chin is big but fits because of the nice transition.

    EDIT: HOLY....
    You talk about lightning and dont mention:
    I thought you put an LED in the the lantern until i read the description!

    I should try harder contrast and shadows. Even if i fail to get them faded together. Then i just have to work on this fading.
    I ordernd 3 bust this week:
    Nuts Planet: Anne Bonny
    Life Miniatures: War Photographer, Vietnam War 1971
    H & V Miniatures: Germanic Warrior AD9

    Wich one do you guys think fits best for the task at hand?
    Last edited by anotherpainter; 12-06-2016 at 06:53 PM.

  7. #7


    Don't let Bailey fool ya,.. Dave's a top tier painter that we mere mortals can only aspire to. (He's a personal hero of mine, if for no other reason then the OSL that he did on that hobbit piece,.. it's ridiculously good)

    As for the beard, even if he's old and grey,.. when a man is clean shaven, his stubble will still look dark under the skin. Most artists that I've seen mix a little blue (or grey-blue), into their flesh tone an use that to shade the beard area.
    Last edited by Webmonkey; 12-07-2016 at 12:18 PM.
    It's only a flesh wound!!!

  8. #8


    Ha, well I did not notice anything wrong with the English. I know native speakers who make more mistakes when they're writing.

    Lighting is something you get a feel for over time. Somethings I've done in the past are, right after priming the figure, I'll place it under a single light and take pictures. These serve as a later reference for where the lights and shadows should be. You can also prime the figure black and then apply a white primer from the direction of the light source. This effectively pre-shades the figure. Normally you'll cover all of that up with paint, but it still is a helpful reference.

    Sorry, I left out the Hobbit because I was just focusing on busts!

    To help steady your hand when painting, here's something you can try. Find something to hold the figure so you can free up your other hand. Now place your index finger from your free hand right near the tip of the brush (on the metal just behind the hairs) and apply a bit of pressure. You still guide the brush with your primary hand, but being able to press it against your other hand somehow seems to help keep it steady. Try it out without any paint on the brush and see if you feel like you've got more control. This could come in very handy when painting the eyes!

    Of those three busts, I'd say either the war photographer (all the folds in his clothing would be great practice for lights and shadows) or the germanic warrior (harsh contrast would fit the subject, wouldn't you think?). For female figures, especially on the face, you want soft transitions. So that one would be the most challenging in my opinion.

  9. #9



    Yes, the hobbit is outstanding. I serious thought about where he hides the cables for the led when i first saw it.
    The beard trick i will try on the next gray hair. Thanks!

    I do prime in B/W or i would completely forget about shadows (it was also a massiv vodoo tutorial that told me to do that). Also i don't see any detail when i prime only black.
    I did try to use the offhand to stabilise in the past but not like that. The finger presses from the top of the brush right?
    It kind of works , it does not make the wanted movement more precise but it takes the "bumps" to the left and right away.

    The Figures arrived today:
    Bonny is to different to what i painted before, so i agree, not a good model to improve or try new stuff.
    The warrior is 1/12 so smaller then i used to (i know for the 3cm guys that still gigantic).
    So the photographer it is.
    He also comes with separated head so i can strip and redo it.
    I will clean and prime him this weekend and then try the pdf-guide for the face.
    Im unsure about the "make dots to blend" part but lets see how it turns out.


    9482 out of 9482
    Im officially the worst painter on this website
    Last edited by anotherpainter; 12-07-2016 at 11:37 AM.

  10. #10


    Ha, ignore the ranking, it's not what you think. You artist ranking is based on your 5 highest rated entries in the gallery. The catch is a gallery piece only counts if it has 50 or more votes. I also believe it doesn't get calculated until you have 5 pieces with 50+ votes, so 4 or fewer pieces won't do it.

    One of the complaints these days is that most gallery submissions don't get the 50 votes needed to count. So there are a lot of people ranked 9482/9482, not because they're the worst but because that's the default if you don't have enough pieces to qualify for a true raking. I was curious who actually is ranked last... ChapterMaster810 has the unenviable distinction of having 5 entries with 50+ votes that are the lowest scores (averaging 2.22!).

  11. #11


    Minimum 50 votes is a bit hard.

    He used a Bubblegum as head!
    Thats genious, why did i not think about it?

    I created an WIP thread with the war photographer:
    Last edited by anotherpainter; 12-11-2016 at 05:42 AM.

  12. #12


    Hello Anotherpainter, you are being given very good advice, for Mr. Baley is an excellent painter, webmonkey is another great painter too! I would advice to keep that wip thread that you opened for all the projects you do, that way we can follow you, and the next year you will see how far you have reached.

    This is a hobby of practice, the more you can paint, the more you will possibly improve. (I am sure you will, as I see you see your own work with a very sharp critique).

    See you on the WIP
    WIP thread. / Cmon Gallery / Instagram

  13. #13


    Thanks i will keep going with the wip.

    I upload my zombie scenery:
    Last edited by anotherpainter; 12-18-2016 at 10:15 AM.

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