40 Days Later…

Well, what can I say? I’ve been busy! I’ve focused most of my time on miniature work and even dabbled in prop making, calligraphy, and Photoshop. When I couldn’t paint I wrote a little more of a write up for my last D&D campaign and spent some good chunks of several evenings planning my new campaigns. Yes, plural. I’m running three now because I’m a boss like that.

And what were the fruits of my labor? Did focusing on painting and honing that particular craft pay off? Well, I earned a bronze medal in my first painting competition! *holds for applause*

It’s been a hurricane of a time since my last update, and I wasn’t able to catalog everything but I did try to take pictures of what I was working on. I think I’ve earned a break from all the miniature madness, so I’m going to try and give a little love to the fans of my fiction in the coming weeks. I’ll be posting that campaign write up soon hopefully.

So here I am, Day 60. An award winning painter and fresh face in the painting community of the South Bay Area. Is it possible to feel proud and humbled at the same time? If not, then I guess I’ll just continue doing the impossible.  😉

First thing’s first. I finished the Blood Bowl Team.

The client was surprised by my work, specifically the OSL(object source lighting) on that minotaur’s eyes, and is still using this team in the league to date.

I then did some work for my wife’s D&D campaign. Namely, some baddies, my Warlock’s pet Blink Hound, and my friend’s character.

I’m aware that there is no painted version of this particular water elemental. The reason for this is because I was stupid and forgot to take one before VSD stashed it with all of her Top Secret D&D plans and forbade me from looking through any of it.

Next, thinking that I needed to shotgun my approach and submit a piece for every category at KublaCon I painted a beat up walking tank from the Dust Tactics line. I titled it Fallen Star. Can you see the narrative?

Sad part is that I got to the Con and discovered that I couldn’t submit three in each category because there were no categories and you could only submit three miniatures total. Fallen Star did not make the cut but I love the story it tells.

Not long after, I got another commission. This time from a friend. Ryelle herself!

At some point, I fiddled with older pieces too. Smoothed out inconsistencies with snow flock and oil paints.

Ugh. Then came the challenge from hell. I was roped into a painting battle by two of the more talented painters I know and got wrecked in the process. Quite simply one of the more humiliating moments in my painting career. For starters, we all had to paint this model:

He’s supposed to be some sort of Russian cosmonaut. The sculpt is boring, the details are basically just lines. I hated everything about this miniature. To top it off, we were tasked with not thinning our paints. Not thinning your paints is akin to not using the letter E in every other paragraph you write.

I struggled with this thing for a long time before deciding to convert him into a samurai.

The final image wasn’t quite the finished product, but I didn’t photograph the end piece. Kind of tragic when you consider what happened next. . .

On the Saturday we agreed to submit the mini, one of the competitors postponed on account of having just spent a few days in bed with a migraine. Out of sportsmanship, we pushed the due date back a day, as requested. During the course of that Saturday, I mishandled my beat up samurai, accidentally scraping off a bit of paint and subsequently dropping it.  This was catastrophic for the integrity of the sculpted pieces and left me with half a mini. I spent a good chunk of that night trying to remedy the problem but couldn’t get it to work. So at 6am on the following Sunday, I woke up and did everything I could to not show up empty handed.  The deadline was Noon. By ten, the sculpting epoxy was maybe half way cured.

I didn’t have time to paint it well or even to break out my airbrush and create a high-quality gradient. So I used the two spray on primers I had and then added a bit of a bleeding effect a la Sin City.

Ultimately, I came in last. Not surprising given I was up against this:

As a side note, both of these guys would go on to place in the Masterclass division of the competition I was in.  Earning a silver and a bronze respectively. Lord Ragados wrote a bit about it in his blog.

Despite having been beaten (by the best, might I add). I got half as many votes as the winning miniature. (Only using three colors) That had to count for something right? I used that momentum to barrel into the following projects

These angels earned me a Bronze medal and a Best of Reaper award

 

I started working on a bit of chibi, and a colossal scale miniature

 

But finished neither before the competition.

Then, the evening after I submitted my pieces for judging, I was painting a friend’s mini samurai

 

I might have a problem… But I suppose as far vices go, being unable to say no to painting isn’t so bad.

When left uninspired or when the cats got too fussy for me to paint in peace I worked on other small projects. I experimented with powdered pigments, trying to find a fixer that worked to my liking. The normal stuff (pigment binder, matte varnish, alcohol) washed away a lot of the look that I wanted. So I tried a few unorthodox methods

pigment on the skirt is fixed with glue
the pigment on the quiver here was fixed with a matte gel, by liquitex.

These two methods were great if I wanted to keep that caked on dust look. But wouldn’t work for the slight tinting of basecoats that I was hoping to get. The problem was that the powdery stuff dissovled too well in the normal fixers, and not well enough in the goopy ones. So I drew on an old trick from my charcoal drawing days. Hairspray.

I think it worked. Subtle bits of color blending into the black primer.

Oh and for those curious about the charcoal drawing, I have a few old one floating around. I’ll share them if there’s interest.

Anyway, I mentioned dabbling in other things too.

I spent a day writing notes in calligraphy…

Then fiddled with photoshop, like I used to.

Not much effort here, but I’m rusty so it took a bit to remember where everything was. I took Rittik’s free stock image and tweaked it a little. I took the added precaution of speaking to the artist and officially have permission to use the image the way I want to. I’m looking into making this a pin for the as of yet unnamed painting guild I’m trying to get up and running. You got the brush, the palette, and the hobby knife all in one spiffy piece.

Then there was the prop making. Spent a good while slicing up some acrylic to produce something for one of my games.

Problem was that it did THIS to my dremel’s cutting blade

Like I said, a hurricane of a time.

60 days down…40 to go 🙂

-C