Thursday, December 22, 2011

Flower Knight - WIP

A little preview of what i'm working on right now. Kingdom Death's Flower Knight.  I've just started laying down colors and have done a little blending but there will be much more to come.
I really plan to experiment with color blending which means a lot of time and many thin layers of paint. It should be a lot of fun.
Oh and of course my boyfriend's response to when I asked how he looked was "Garish" ... which equals "PERFECT!" in my book. 

Also since I noticed a bunch of web searches coming to my blog looking for parts break down on the Flower Knight here it is!
Along with the Female Survivor:

 And the Butcher:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

X'Stacy - Finished

Yay! I was finally able to grab a few hours and fix all the issues I found from before.  I blended her skin tones a bit more to my liking, I detailed a bunch of little bits and I also trimmed off those pigment covered grass strands.
This time around I used a background color that worked a lot better with the mood of the figure. I'm much happier with it now.

Also you might enjoy a quick snap shot of my light box set up for taking pictures of minis. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

X'Stacy - WIP?

Here is X'Stacy from CMON. I actually picked her up at my local game shop. I had passed her over a few times and she kept taunting me with her silly name every time I went in there. So I snagged her up about a week and a half ago.   I thought I had finished up this one until I started looking at the pictures on my computer. I didn't follow my normal routine of taking wip pictures to see all the flaws on screen that I can't see with my bad vision, and now I have to go back and fix a bunch of stuff.  There is a bunch of blending I need to do and I need to sharpen up and clean up other parts.  So for now here is a few WIP pictures of what I thought was going to be a finished picture.   I was experimenting with some new unconventional colors for flesh tones and they have been kinda a pain to work with but so for I really like them.
I also ended up getting some pigment on the grass so I need to go in and trim that out. I went with a simple base design as I didn't want to overwhelm the figure especially after working on my last figures (picnic piece).
So tonight it's back at it and hopefully i'll have updated shots tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Not all Sable is equal : paint brush review

 Not all sable brushes are created equal, at least this is something i've found out after buying a few different brands. 
Let's start with my least favorite which I've already sent to the crap brush graveyard. 

These promise to be great brushes, I mean hey look at the pictures they look awesome! I really liked the fatty handles on them as well.  But They are horrible at painting.. wait, what? Yes they are horrible at doing the job they were designed for. 
In the pictures they are lush and pointing all the while promising to hold a lot of paint and paint a great line.  Well I've found just the opposite. I originally wanted something for my larger projects that would give me a smooth paint job instead what I got is a brush that frays like a mohawk with day old hair spray and bed head.  This is the bad part : the paint is pushed to the outside of the bristles on the canvas/miniature.  So yeah it paints two lines instead of one and well I wouldn't say "line" I would say puddle of paint.   As far as the amount of paint they hold it is pretty much a joke.  So my advice would be to skip them at all costs. 

These are the brushes I ordered for my boyfriend since I kept stealing all the good brushes we had around the house.  Well since the W&N ones I ordered for myself (see above) turned out to be junk I tried out one of his and Oooh Myyyy they are amazing. They are exactly what I wanted those other brushes to be  like.  They hold an amazing amount of paint and they have a nice tip on them which actually can paint detail work.  They are smooooooooth while painting a little pressure will take you a long way. The paint goes on evenly and there are no brush stroke lines just like it should. These brushes will improve your paint jobs because they are made of magic.  I also like these because the bristles are longer than the current ones i've been using and it make it easier to paint the nooks and crannies on miniatures.  A size 0 is the perfect 'paint all' brush it's just small & large enough for most projects.  You can't paint eyes with that size but you should know that already. 
 So of course I had to order more for myself since I have a bunch of big projects coming up. 
I only wish the handle was fatter but I might go out and buy some of those fat pencil grips and stick them on the brushes.  

These are great brushes but they have a high learning curve the short bristles and sharp tips really make you work to get the paint to work with you.  It took me about 2 miniatures and 30+ hours of painting time to really conquer this brush.  I really enjoy the 0 size for all purpose painting but the Kolinsky is going to replace it.  My favorite size is 2/0 for serious detail work.  The sharp tips are wonderful for detail work because the bristles are so short they don't hold much paint and you need to add medium / flow release to your paints to really get the full potential out of these brushes.  I've noticed that my 2nd size 0 brush has softer bristles than my first one (1 year old)  and it's harder to paint details with it. Literally i'm bending the bristles on the mini and no paint is coming off.  So i'm not sure if I will order these again if they are going to continue with the softer bristles.  

So over all i'm going to say that the Raphaël Kolinsky Red Sable Fine Pointed Round  
are the best of the bunch. They are a great price although they cost more than synthetic brushes. If you want the bristles on your brushes to stop hooking/curling stop buying synthetic and get yourself some sable brushes. As far as I can tell Sable brushes don't hook a the ends.  Also get yourself some good brush cleaner and clean after every use or every other use if you are lazy like me. * I've been told in the comments that you should space out your brush cleaning. however I'm notorious for getting paint gunked up in the ferrule and need to clean my brushes after every project if not more.   The Masters soap is awesome, along with pink soap.  The mona lisa brush shaper is great for when you aren't going to paint for a while.  After you clean your brushes dip them in the brush shaper and use your fingers to shape the brush into a nice shape and it will dry stiff and keep the shape until you are ready to paint again. 
Anyways I hope this helped some of you who are wondering what brushes to get. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Inspiration Pictures for Dioramas

While i'm working on a couple of projects at once I thought I would share some of the awesome pictures I've found to help with making diorama bases.  I know it's not nearly as cool as posting a new figure i'm painting but maybe it will help some of you out with your current or future projects.