Friday, December 31, 2010

My other blog

If you havn't noticed, I put together another blog. It's just my wonderings on non-figure related stuff. I may however add "toy" soldier subjects...Things that helped spur my passion in history and modeling. I'll try to keep it up to-date and interesting.

Thanks for looking and Happy New Year!
I picked this up on ebay last month. It's a pewter 54mm figure of a Prussian Artillery Officer, 1790's, apparently sculpted by Roger Saunders. I love the pose and character of the face, it's just itching to be painted. But alas, destined to be part of the grey army or in the cabinet to admire and study.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

"Like a Mountain Avalanche"

"Seeing in the flight of the 2nd Maryland a chance to surprise and inflict severe damage upon the enemy, Washington ordered his trumpeter to sound the charge. Like a mountain avalanche, the dragoons rolled down the hillside and smashed squarely into the rear of the Guards." Quote from "Another Such Victory" by Thomas E. Baker

Here's the finished piece. I should note that the first figures to be glued to the base were the officer and drummer. Since the two were to be attached, I need "room" to sculpt (and paint) the hand of the officer onto the arm of the drummer.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

American dragoons painted

Here are the American dragoons painted. What initially inspired me to do the model was Troiani's "balance" of colors with the dragoons. The contrasting uniformed white coats with the blue coat of the trumpeter made an interesting combination.
I originally wanted the officer in greatcoat, but then I would not have that contrast. So, it was suggested that a cloak would work and still "identify" him as an officer.

Still no weathering yet. Everything painted in acrylic.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sculpted American dragoons

For some reason, I did not take many pics of the figures just after sculpting. Going through my folders, these are sadly the only two that I did take pictures of.

The heads are from Historex.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Guilford project with some paint...

Here's the project with some paint. As you can see, I'm working left to right, front to back. Even though I've composed to my liking, there's still some "tweaking" to do when I place the mounted figures. Note, the figures are not glued to the base yet.

The paint is all acrylic, but I will use oil paint when staining/weathering. More on that later.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Horses

The horses used are from Michael Roberts. These are beautifully sculpted, I just wish there were more poses. Since I ran out of spare Historex pieces, these were the perfect solution. At the MFCA show, I picked up two of the rearing and one charging. With two of the same pose, I knew a little conversion work was ahead. I didn't want to show the horses in full gallop but rather in mid-halt or a slow canter. I repositioned some of the legs using brass pins and filled in the joints with putty.
Some of the gear, saddle and reins, etc. are based on British patterns.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Guilford Courthouse Inspiration

As soon as I saw Don Troiani's painting of same subject, I was instantly inspired. The sweeping scene screamed diorama...Well, large vignette, depending on ones definition.

I slightly elevated the rear of the ground so dragoons were not too obscured by the figures in the foreground. By keeping a narrow front, and by composing the mounted figures coming down and at the viewer, it helped add a sense of movement.

I'd like to thank Gary Dombrowski for helping with the composing. He and I spent a couple hours discussing the project while hanging together in Gettysburg after the MFCA show. While he drew some rough sketches, I simulated the poses I thought would be effective...Sorry, I don't have those sketches. Those are in the hands of a private collector...Never to be seen again:)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Guilford Courthouse Project- Composition

In the next few days I'll be posting some of the better pics I have of the Guilford Courthouse project.

I started it just after getting back from MFCA. The horses I used are from Michael Roberts with some conversion work. Since two horses were the same, I re-sculpted the neck on one and changed the position of some of the legs.

Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Step 8. For the whites of the eyes I use Vallejo Pale Blue. For the iris I used Vallejo Prussian Blue with a touch of grey for highlight. Eye lids were painted with a mid-tone flesh color.

The last two colors used are for extreme highlights. Outer corner of the eye, top of eye-brows, top of nose. Ratio of three drops water, one pant.

It's hard to tell with the picture but there is a pronounced contrast from upper to lower face. Total face painting session took aproximately four hours.

This SBS was designed to show what techniques I use for face painting. Most of these techniques were learned from simple observation, by finding other artist who's "style" I liked and simply emulate.

I hope this SBS helped in someway, somewhere.

Step 7. Second sitting. This is where I do alot of playing with blending paint. I take a palette w/ three wells side by side and select the three paints (see pic below) that I used for the upper cheek, nose and forehead area.

Now I "up" the water ratio. Two to three drops of water to one paint. This is where Reaper shows it woderful blending capabilities. Mix paint thoroughly. Going from dark areas to light, dip brush in well, touch side of damp towel once, unloading paint. Then lightly go over transition areas, of the forehead, cheek, nose and upper lip area just under the nose.

I'll go back and forth, from dark to light until I see a transition. Sometimes I'll mix two colors in between the wells to get desired color. Not shown, but I also put a drop of Vallejo Violet, between the wells, and added tiny amounts to help flush the cheeks a bit. Like I said, a little playing to get desired effect.

I've also filled in the eye sockets with Vallejo Burnt Umber.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Step 6. Now I go back and add a touch of highlight using, the workhorse of the palette, Reaper Tanned Shadow. This time add more water, two drops water to one paint. And use light verticle strokes along the jaw line (sorry for the horrid pic), not much, just enough to show some highlight.

Then I go to Reaper Mahogany Brown and hit under the nose, upper lip and inner ear.

This is the end of my first sitting. Approximately one and a half, to two hours.

Step 5. This is where I do a little playing with the paint. I'll start by giving this fella a little 5 o'clock shadow. Using Reaper Tanned Shadow and Vallejo Dark Sea Grey I cover the jaw, chin area and upper lip. I'll add a mix of Tanned Shadow and Vallejo Violet in the next well over and tone it down. Ratio of water to paint is still about the same.

You'll notice I use the space in between the wells to mix and play with the colors.

Note that this is all being done in one sitting and the color wells from previous applications are still wet, with the exception of the basecoat.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Step 4. Now I use Reaper Tanned Highlight. I hit the forehead, upper cheek, bridge of nose (but not the tip), crease area under nose and upper lip line. Same ratio again. One part water, one part paint.

When applicating, I'll go over the same spot a couple times until I get the coverage I want. Always off-loading the brush on a rag before applying. The brush may look clean after touching the rag, but there still is enough pigment to cover.

I've gone back and edited the posts and added steps to make easier to follow. My apologies, I'm not a writer!

Step 3. Now I'm using Reaper Tanned Skin and will cover forehead, nose, upper cheek, "smile line", the outer lower lip area, chin and neck area. Same water to paint ratio. One drop paint, one drop water.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Step 2. Now I take the basecoat color Reaper Tanned Shadow with one equal drop of water and cover everything except under the chin, nose, eye sockets and ears.

I'll apply two even coats of this color.

Please note that I mix with the brush handle end and not the bristles, like I've seen some artist do, because acrylic paints KILL brushes. I'm stubborn because of this and will not break in a new brush until the ones I'm using are frayed and cloted with paint residue. I can be also, for lack of better words, anal about brush care and clean constantly.

When mixing in the tray, I do it as light as possible so as to not punch a hole through the foil, and have a handy rag near to wipe off the handle tip.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I should clarify that this is just the basecoat. It took three applications to give it a solid even coat. The ratio of water to paint is typical when I apply color. Later, when I start to "blend" it will get higher in water. More later.

Caucasian face painting using Reaper and Vallejo acrylics

Step 1. The following sbs will be on my current approach to painting caucasian flesh with acrylics, namely Reaper and Vallejo paints.

I've been using Reaper flesh colors on the past 10 or so figures and I can't speak more highly of them. They are, in my opinion, superior to Vallejo. One of the appealing characteristics of Reaper paints, is there is little to no pigment seperation once mixed. They blend wonderfully and with the variety of tones, there is no need of mixing colors.

Being a quick and messy painter, I often do not take the time to wipe off excess paint off the "nipple" on Vallejo bottles, so thankfully, the bottle cap structure on the Reaper's are better than Vallejo. There is no large cavity between the cap and nipple for paint to build up and make it difficult to open and pulling the nipple out of the bottle. Thus the nipple dispenser is rarley clogged and is relatively clean every time I open it.

Plaese note that I will "spoon feed" this sbs and should have something new every day. This will be a "run on" post so I will not title this sbs with each segment, so those following via planetFigure, please continue to visit.