Wednesday 28 March 2012

My new best friend.

I have something of a confession to make and it’s a bit embarrassing really!

After 30 years of painting minis I bought my first quality sable brush. I finally got around to buying a Windsor and Newton series seven and based on my first trial with this could be the start of a beautiful relationship. 

I suppose it’s simply been a matter of established habit but for many years I’ve been using Windsor and Newton’s Cotman water colour Brushes. I can’t say I’m unhappy with the results I’ve achieved and I was simply going along happily doing what I’ve always done. However, one of the objectives I set myself when I took to mini painting again was to challenge some of my long established habits and see if that would result in an improvement in my painting.

Straight out of the pack my new brush responded astonishingly well and the fine/sharp detail it gave me is a revelation. There’s no ‘breaking in’ period needed to get the brush conditioned and responsive to handling. It felt good in my hand with a weightier more solid handle – this is a proper ‘grown up’ brush.

It’s early days yet and I need to see how the brush performs over time but I have a very good feeling about what my new best friend and I are going to achieve together. I just wish I’d switched years ago!

Tuesday 20 March 2012

Less pale but hopefully just as interesting.

A quick update on this evening's changes to the armour. I've made the adjustments to the colour that I wanted and I'm a lot happier with the result. The armour on the body is now a much better match to the face mask. I also think this set of pics show the colours more accurately than the last ones.

Monday 19 March 2012

Pale and Interesting

Dark Eldar Diorama – The second Scourge part 8

Quality painting time seems to be restricted to the weekends at the moment which is pretty frustrating. On the positive side of things I managed to make considerable  progress (for me) on the converted Scourge this weekend just passed.

I've painted almost all of the flesh areas and made a good start on the armour. Working up from a base of Dheneb Stone I shaded with washes of Gryphonne Sepia & Ogryn Flesh. The yellow brown tones of the Gryphonne Sepia are dominant on the lower part of the legs but give way to the red/brown tones of the Ogryn Flesh. I mixed the shading wash with Dheneb Stone to build up some highlighting. This need a lot of dilution and carefull handling as the Dheneb Stone can develop a gritty texture. To give a bit more life and interest to the flesh tones I introduced some glazes of Dwarf flesh and Ice blue. Both colours were added the earlier highlight mix. Final highlights were then worked up with a Dheneb Stone/Skull White mix to give a palid waxy looking finish.

I need to adjust the armour colour towards something a bit more neutral as it's a too blue for what I want but I feel it's going in the right direction.

Thursday 8 March 2012

Dark Eldar Diorama – The second Scourge part 7

Just a couple of quick snaps to chart my progress painting the Scourge's flesh, so far just the legs. First of all I built up some shading with Citadel washes (Gryphonne Sepia & Ogryn Flesh). I diluted it pretty heavily and built up a lot of layers (about 15) It's fussy but gives a very smooth result.

Next I built up some highlights by progressively adding Dheneb Stone to my wash mix and finishing off with a little skull white in the mix. Then its back in with some dilute washes to blend things together.

Monday 5 March 2012

Dark Eldar Diorama – The second Scourge part 6

The hair and mask are finished. I've introduced a few more orange/red tones into the hair here and there and added a little more selective highlighting. The blue tones in the hair will help make the red look redder by providing contrast.

  1. Base colour/coat
  2. Shading wash
  3. Highlighting
  4. Final touches
The breakdown above shows the main stages I tend to consider when I paint a mini. Stage four the 'final touches' is a strange one in some ways. If things have gone well in the earlier stages it may involve almost no work to finish things off but sometimes this final stage is the most involved of all. It may be a process of going back in to the earlier work and tidying up or refining what's been done. It might in some cases be the adding of a special effect or correcting a problem that becomes apparent as the work nears completion. It's during this stage that the paint job comes together and starts to work ... or not. The ever-present danger is one of going too far and spoiling the earlier work with these later adjustments. One of the most important lessons a painter learns is when to stop and move on.

For the moment I'm very happy with the hair and mask. It's possible that I might need to adjust them in relation to later work but that will need to be considered at the appropriate time.