As I continue painting miniature figures, I’m trying to take pictures of the process, as a way to remind myself what I’ve done well and where I need to improve, as well as a way to share it with others. If I have pictures of where I’ve come from I will see my growth over time.
(Also, the phone pictures zoom better than my eyes, so I have found errors that need correction that way, ha!)
Yesterday I opted to tackle Maeve, the Tiefling Warlock. But I was so into getting started and selecting her color scheme for the dress… I forgot to take starter shots! It was only after I laid a very pale skin tone over the white primer (barely visible, but it was the color I was going for), a chemise color that I would later go over with a darker shade when I changed my mind, the undergown color in the center panel, and some of the overgown color that I realized what I was supposed to be doing. Sorry, use your imagination…
I was actually very proud of this stage – there was very little guideline except a thin line to mark the center panel, so the fact that the light blue went down with only one major bobble (on the hip piece, which was getting a dark color later anyway) was noteworthy. One challenge I have had in the past has been going for too many diverse colors, so a large part of this exercise was picking carefully and limiting my palette.
The cyan blue, which is one of my favorite colors in my paint options (I bought a lot of blues when I placed my order, I have a bias), was a little hard to get even, so this was many passes, several bobbles, and a lot of frustration… so when I got it to relatively a mostly done state I got annoyed enough to do something fun… SMOKE!
Hard to screw up magic purple smoke, right? It was such a relief that it also inspired me to go back and darken the chemise (under shirt) because there wasn’t enough contrast. I have no idea why purple was really such a relief, but it was downright fun!
Then it was back to tricky stuff, hair. Technically the color I use for most fantasy black hair is actually a color called Nightshade Purple – but it’s so dark that unless you put on a thinnest coat it resembles a very slightly tinted black, which I love for hair.
One ear was done smoothly around, victory. The other was painted over with purple at the tip, which I just decided was loose hair because my thought was that Bleached Linen (my skin tone of choice for a white Tiefling – way too pale for normal flesh) would never cover the purple. I would learn later that I was underestimating Bleached Linen!
And after hair was another tricky pass; luckily I had planned ahead and made the hip pieces and the sleeve cuffs (in close proximity due to the pose) the same dark color, so it was time to apply my main “contrast” color and hope my color sense was not terrible.
Pleasant surprise – my color sense checked out for this garment! The dark red seemed to contrast well without being obnoxious – it actually reminds me of garments I’ve seen in reality (at Faire, probably) so that’s a great sign. This also let me frame the tail, and gave me a color to use for the boots (I was planning black or brown, but dark red was so much more interesting!) which means it was a win across the board.
This is where I started getting… ambitious. A base coat is what I know, but details, washes, any of that? Hell no. Washes for the face (started with flesh wash, no go on this pale tone, used a pale gray wash and still had to keep undoing it until I blended it with Bleached Linen to start with) were not my friend. Part of it is my hesitation to move outside my comfort zone, or accept it not looking ideal until the next stage. But the horns, typical of Tieflings to have horns roughly the same color of their skin, looked really incomplete. Ideally they would be black at the tip and fade back to pearl white at the base, but that’s WAY beyond where I will be for a long time. However my spouse recommended black tips anyway, so with a deep breath I plunged in…
I also decided to add a colored band as a hair tie – figuring it would be easy enough to cover when I botched it. But I didn’t botch it! And the tips came out looking rather cool. I did an experiment using a thinned pearl white to add shine to the tail and horns, but it just muted the black with no real impact that I wanted, so the black was re-added (luckily I had the previous black to use as a template) to the horns and I tried to walk away for the night.
Think about it, I’d already pushed my comfort zone. The mini looked good. Next would be things like eyebrows… those seemed impossible. But as I dwelt on the idea I started idly practicing thin Nightshade Purple lines on my paint tray I waffled.
Over and over I started to hover the brush over the mini, then stopped. Cleaned the brush. Even cleaned the tray as if I were wrapping for the night! Sat back down.
Silver eyes (hard to see) and crooked eyebrows – I’ll just say she’s raising one at the situation at hand! BUT EYEBROWS… MY FIRST.
And with that I really was done for the night.
Strangely enough it wasn’t until later I realized that on the 4th of July I did a character almost entirely in blue dress, red accents, and white skin. How patriotic.
So for the time being Maeve is complete and playable, which should make my DM happy.
More importantly… it make me happy.
I suck less than I used to. This is documentation of that.