Work in Progess

JMD Ork Bust

So after a long break from any serious painting, I'm finally back in the game. A few things I'm really focusing on this time around is mainly my technique and use of color. I feel like i'm a fairly decent painter but I need to up my standards to do well in competition, especially if want to be a finalist at Golden Demon this year.  My goal is to paint at least one display miniature a month or month and a half, and in between chip away at my WFB army. Instead of trying to finish as much as I can in one sitting, I'm going to try and break everything down in stages ie. basecoat one night, shadows the next, etc etc, so that's how each set of photos will probably be laid out. That's the plan at least.  Ok enough with the babble.

So this is how it started and what my typical painting setup looks like. Two Ott-lights to try and give a nice shadowless soft light. Instead of having all my paint out, I like to have only the colors I'm going to need for that particular painting session. Ceramic pallete with deep wells for dilute paint is my choice of pallete, although I do own and have used a wet palette. I just find it's easier for me to control the thinness of my paints easier with a ceramic. As you can also see, I use a two water jar cleaning method for keeping my brushes clean and healthy during my session.

Basecoat :

I don't have any pictures of the basecoating session. Basically the basecoat for the orc skin was done with VMC yellow-green in nice thin layers. The ratio was around 1:1 and took about 4 layers to get a nice even coverage. The lamp was basecoated with RMS Aged Bone, and the leather strap was done with RMS Shield Brown. This little bust has so much detail I didn't want to risk covering anything up, so the main focus was THIN layers. This was my first time using VMC and so far I'm liking the way it looks. It leaves a nice matte finish, and going on pretty smoothly. The only issue I had was with the pigment seperating at a fast rate; almost minutes of putting it on the palette. I got around this by just keeping it constantly mixed up which was rather anoying since I had to drop my brush eachtime to do this. One member of suggest using a 50/50 mix of matte medium and water to thin with so I might give that a try.


As I mentioned above, I'm really wanting to improve my use of color. In my first minature I used a ton of black for the shadow mixes, and for that miniature it might have worked but overall, I want to try and get away from that as much as I can. For the shadows on this miniature I mixed VMC Yellow-Green (basecoat) with VMC Black Red, which is a nice burgandy tone to serve as a compliment. This  allowed me to achieve a bit of richness while darkening up the base. It's hard to tell in the photos, as the color is off quite a bit.  The first shade was  approximately 1:5. I mainly just mixed it up until the basecoat got gradually darker, but not too dark. This was thinned down to around 5:1 water to paint. Each layer was applied with thin strokes trying to "push" the paint into the areas I want in shadow. Each area was worked until I got the darkness I wanted. It takes time but I feel like I got better results just by building up the paint. It's probably not perfect but I'm happy with my results so far. I think once the red starts gradually building up, the shadows will really start to pop.

Last night I began blocking in some more of the shadows by adding more and more VMC Black Red into the basecoat mix. The shadows are beginning to take on a righness that would be very hard to achieve using black in the mix. Each shadow layer was applied in very thin coats trying to pay attention to the overall contrast. I then took VMC Yellow Green and thinned down around 8:1 to make a thin glaze and brushed it over the higher areas to clean up some of the shadows and bring back some of the basecoat to form the the first highlight. I also started blocking in the teeth to help gauge the overall look of the mouth. I'm happy with how the shadows are looking for the moment so I'm going to start working in some more of the highlights to start really making the contrast pop.



Highlights and other updates:

So i've began playing around the highlights and think I have them pretty close to where I want them with the exception of maybe a few more lighter glazes on the top of the forhead and cheek. The highlights were mixed with VMC Yellow-Green and VGC Dead Flesh. Looking  back I might have rather gone with something a bit more neutral like maybe P3 Menoth White, but what's done is done. The lips have been worked up with increasing amounts of violet and purple glazes as long with some glazing around in the shadowed areas to get a more color. The nose was mixed with VMC Light Rose and GW Scab red with increasing amounts of VMC Ivory for the highlights. Not sure if I like it but it might grow on me. I've also painted up his shirt with a mix of VMC Black Red and Scorch brown. I'm just about done but I have the eyes yet to do, and maybe some reworking of the highlights to get a bit more contrast. I'm sure I've left out some details but any questions just ask. : )