Step by Step - Female Galaxy Defender

by Roman aka jar

posted by roman, jarhead, kong

Again, a step by step,
an insight in my thoughts during one of my latest projects.
I hope you like what you can read here or maybe you got some questions.
If so, let me know via comment :)

This little article is about a Sci-Fi figure from North Star Models.
The "Female Galaxy Defender". You can find a Miniatures Unpacked here!

Again this article won't show you precise colour recipes, it brings you my thoughts on the progress of the project. In my eyes a guide that shows you only colour recipes and techniques is good, but it also limits your own improvment as you might just copy in the end. Don't get me wrong here, I do love articles about the technical aspects of painting as they are very important, but the most important point to bring your painting further is painting itself, making mistakes, getting experience, improving by knowledge from yourself, not the one of others. So ... yeah, I'll just finish this blabla and head over to the girl that defends the galaxy.

I start this article with an excuse. 
I was not able to take decent photos of the priming and the first steps of the painting. I showed in several articles how my projects start but very often I failed in showing you the detail work as my workflow struck me like a lightning. So this time, no starting work, but I'll try to keep an eye out for the final works.

The first step shows you the figure after the first work. Starting work included bringing up a greenish basecoat to the figure via airbrush, a gentle brushwork start into the highlights in the upper areas, an orange face mask, still not sure where this will lead in the end, but as I do love surprises I follow the track.

At this point I soon realized I was missing the base. 
As the figure is pinned to the working plinth it was easy for me to paint it without the base and put in onto a base to see the whole concept in the end. Yet, I had no idea what base to use. I was happy to find one of my unique plinths by as a perfect match. I build up a little area with plastic card on top of it and started to paint the cool wood area with the idea of a alien planet canyon valley. Some kind of space station where heavy fighting was ended just some hours ago. I was pretty happy bringing the figure and the base together for the first time, but still not half of the work on both of them was done.

Meanwhile I did start with adding some gentle light to the figure's armour, slowly highlighting edges and areas. Slowly means I mix the brighter tone into my basic colour of the armour and do small brighter steps.

Doing this for a while brings me closer to areas I like as they are getting as bright as I want them to be. Still, there are areas cleaner than others, so I have to work on those. When working brighter on a figure I like to apply the same colour for several times on an area that is supposed to get brighter to intense the colour there. I do that with the use of glazes. I do one small brighter step for 2~3 times before I mix my tone brighter and do it once again in smaller areas. Problem is if you don't do so: While using glazes the first apply might look unclean. If I would do a second one quickly after the first one I always will carry these unclean areas and will have problems in the end for a clean end result. So I am cleaning up in the small steps I do to avoid that. I apply on clean areas. I hope you understand what I mean. Also, with applying the glaze several times the colour gets more intense. Both effects are great when working into light.

If the area gets to bright, which means it looks chalky I use a glaze of my green/blue basic colour again to bring it back to the colour I want it too look in the end. This might result in working on the lights again. Wax on, wax off all the time! The orange of the face mask gets some dark areas, painted with pure black to work out the glass reflexions in the end.

I also put some weathering to the base.
Just a simple start to get a better picture of the final scene.

The next steps includes the ones before again and again. Boring?
Yes, definatly, but rewarding if you take your time. The areas where I put some light becoming smaller and smaller until they are only edge lights and small dots. If you take your time with that the figure gets more and more structured for the eye.

Wax on, wax off!
Wax on, wax off!
Wax on, wax off!
Wax on, wax off!
Wax on, wax off!
Wax on, wax off!

Bringing in more sharpness to the figure due the use of contrast.
Still some minor clean up work to do. I used some red glazes in the shadows to make the 
green more interesting and bringing it all together. A little freehand has been painted to the armour. Wax on, wax off still on the armour parts. The base did recieve some melted "Space Station glass front", which got destroyed due the heavy fighting. You can now see also some final lighg spots which show the material's light reflections better.

For the final steps - those where you can see the light at the end of the tunnel - I cleaned up the areas more and more with gentle basic tone glazes, intensifyied a light or shadow here and there. Still this stupid "wax on, wax off" procedure, but as I told you it is rewarding in the end. Also decent photos were made as those before where just done during the work on the table. You see the colours changed a bit. The reason for that is that on my workbench figures look strange as the shots where done with a normal camera, quick, without setting things right afterwards. The following photos are done by Raffa with ultra-super equipment and a good light situation. This also takes a while and might be a topic for a new article someday - or you just check Miniature Mentor's Guide to do good photos.

Conclusion, final words

As I never tried to really bring my detail work to written words so far I personally think this article in combination with the photos comes handy for some of you outthere. I will try to keep my eyes open and my camera ready while working on future projects to explain this even deeper.

I hope you - our readers - did understand some of my, in my eyes, weird explanation tries.
Let me know what you think, let me know if this helps you and let me know your questions.

So far,
Keep on happy painting!
Best Wishes,

quote of today

by Roman aka jar

posted by roman, jarhead, kong

"I'm so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark."
                                                                                                                           Muhammad Ali


Private Practive - Austrian Pumpkin Triple Feature!

by Raffa

Posted by Raffaele "Picster" Picca

Hey everyone,

recently we had another private practive session. This time with three friends from Austria: Lisa, Andi and Oli. They are part of a blogging crew called "Pumpkin Painter". After the Duke of Bavaria they stayed with us in our studio for two days to push their painting skills further.

In the beginning we discussed their ideas, what they want to learn, where they notice problem while painting in the past and what figures they want to paint. After everyone prepared and basecoated the figure, we started with interesting part.

These were the figures Oli (left), Lisa (middle) and Andi (right) decided to paint on those two days.

Light and Shadow... again and again and again...

After some theoretical advises and tips, we started painting right away. First, we did some brushwork to put on some basic colors.

All the figures got some basic colors.

Everyone was adviced to think about a working color scheme for their figures before dipping the brush into any color :)

Oli's color plan, very cool!

At this point, no one was too motivated, putting on basic colors can be pretty boring, but anyway I was happy to still see happy faces!

Airbrushing is another tool we used in this private practice.

Continuing with the use of the airbrush, We applied some shadow and light to the figure, working out details with the brush, we had a great time and a lot of fun with this great group of people!

Most of the steps were shown in small demostrations, so everything was clear all the time.

Slowly, the three projects were getting better and better. I was amazed to see how much everyone improved during those two days.

Wow, impressive!

The two days were over much too fast as time just slipped from our hands, but anyway, we had such a great time with friends and the improvements were very obvious.

We really hope to see you again soon and to see more of your projects on Pumpkin Painter!
You can also read Oli's review and Lisa's review to get a better impression of the other side of the private practice :)

Maybe you are interested to get your very own private practice? Contact us for details!

have a nice time!


by Roman aka jar

posted by roman, jarhead, kong

New Monkey in the Jungle!!!

by Roman aka jar

posted by roman, jarhead, kong

Some think he is small when they see him, but he ain't. 
He got a big heart and we are happy to welcome him in the jungle family.
A new monkey will soon arrive in the jungle, but I can't tell you about him ...

... that is his task!

Strange (Magnificent) Worlds!

by -Matt Cexwish-

Today, I would like to share the amazing Miniature Worlds of Matthew Albanese with you...

Matthew says the following about his work:

Strange Worlds

"My work involves the construction of small-scale meticulously detailed models using various materials and objects to create emotive landscapes. Every aspect from the construction to the lighting of the final model is painstakingly pre-planned using methods which force the viewers perspective when photographed from a specific angle. Using a mixture of photographic techniques such as scale, depth of field, white balance and lighting I am able to drastically alter the appearance of my materials." - Matthew Albanese

 Enter Wonderland here...

Why is his work important and what can we learn from this?

It is extremely interesting to see what a Symbiosis of Miniatures and Photography can do!

Not all of us can travel to meet other Painters and see dozents of Miniatures (e.g. to the World Expo, Monte San Savino, the Herzog of Bavaria, a Games Day or other Competitions / Painters over the World) every year... Our communication is sometimes very limited to Pictures, Photography, rarely to Video Footage of the Miniatures... Most of you will already have experienced how much of a difference a Picture can make compared to seeing the Miniature in flesh ("live"... both to the better and the worse...)... Also, taking a picture of a Miniature is the result of a lot of decisions we make (about the Light, the Frame, the Tonality, the Contrast, Sharpness, Saturation, Hue  etc., etc. ...)... A lot of these decisions are taken away from us by High tech gear and Automated Setups of Cameras...

Still, I think that Matthews work really shows how much one can achieve using so little, simple material -that can also be alered in a direction he chooses- in order to create an atmosphere that really blows your eye and mind... That´s why I think that it is important to always keep the head out of the box, get inspiration from "different" fields then the usual Miniature World (with all it´s pre - set imagery, ideas, dogmas... conventions... history...) and explore new techniques...

Learn about Photography, about Scenography, Film, Art, Classical Painting... The List is Endless... Although I don´t know where our peculiar journey is leading us, I know it will be well worth and merry traveling the Path...;)...

WAMP: Infamy Contest

by Roman aka jar

posted by roman, jarhead, kong

click the banner to get directed!

Step by Step - Disturbed Sin, a Slaanesh party

by Roman aka jar

posted by roman, jarhead, kong

Aloa brushfriends,

Again another Step by Step that was once announced hits the fan.
I try to collect all that was done from the depths of my mind, but sometimes my creative mind is like a fan :D

So please do not search for colour reciepes in this article, but for inspiration which I hope there you may find plenty.

Now to the big monstrum.
The Slaanesh project, a Forgeworld piece I did for a long time german collector of my figures whom I owe gratitude because of his patience with me. I'll try to tell some steps I have encountered during that journey, in fact the project is already done while I am writing these lines and it costs me some motivation to sort and prepare the photos for the blog, but hopefully in the end it can appear in a big step by step article ... and it can!

The early start on this big figure was way back in the past. I try to recover all of it.

Starting the "figure" with taking care of cleaning, glueing and filling gaps.

Those big demon dreadlocks made me mad. I put them into cooking water and moved them gently to the fitting dynamic poses. Take care of your hands, do them one by one and ... maybe there is an article missing in the tutorial section.

Base was build with plastic card, aluminium foil ...

Followed by crack! crack! with hammer to stone ...

... and superglue plus roots.

And after the figure was pinned to the base 
I finally added some soil/dried natural earth and primed white:

I was searching for basic colours and went at the big model using my airbrush first with a very, very bright tourqouise/white mixed tone, also made some pfft! pfft! with the airbrush and some unserious purple:

Sketching the base appearance too ... and added some more serious 
sketches of purple areas:

Some gentle magenta sketches to some areas, some sandy brown sketch to the horns ... right now I was losing interest in the figure and it stood untouched for a while after this step:

After a year has passed it was time again to get back to the project. It's clothing was done with a red basecoat. The last view on the figure looked like this - I planned to put other figures to the base to make a big party of sin ...

Now after some days without work on it I took a moment to step back and saw the first thing I got to handle is some work on the base. To see the figure better in the end. For my taste the base was way too bright for such a demonic evil scene. I took some black/purple and threw it to the lower areas of the base:

Next step was working on the skin areas again. I did clean up the main areas, put some shadows here and there and some lights there. Using glazes and some weird wet in wet technique to recieve the better saturated transititons on the claws. It is still wet on the photo, the reason why it is so shiny:

I decided to use dark grass on the base. Using products from MiniNatur and priming them black before applying them to the base. On the base they will recieve some gentle drybrushing on the upper areas with some bright grey I guess.

I felt something else was needed to bring it all together on that base. I choose black/brown pigments and rocked over the base. I was pretty happy with the result. Additional I used some gloss varnish to her feet and claws. The first layer applied here, some more will come. Some areas, those I could not identify as what they should be (ripped skin in her face and chest), were painted in Elf flesh as a basic tone:

During two Painting Classes in Augsburg I painted the two demonettes in the same colour scheme. They are not completly finished as my plan told me to check back on them when the whole project comes together. A little additional light here and there will follow.

The same happened to the Beastman and the Chaos Warrior Conversion. Painted to 90% somewhere in between those countless days of painting, yet they are not finished and I even forgot to take a decent photo of their progress.

In the final steps of this big demon I went for the purple claws and made the purple stronger and darker in contrast by using glazes of Magenta and glazes of Magenta mixed with black.

The horns have glazed with a more intense brown. As far as I can remember I started glazing on the already applied bright basic tone with graveyard earth (sand tone), followed by glazes with an additional drop of bestial brown in the mix. It was time for detail work on the metals, skin, claws, horns, face ... and this has been - again - a fail by me as I did not really made decent photos again. It is often very hard to step back in the last hours as I am doing small things here, small things there, over there and there and I just failed to take a photo all the time. In the end I can say the final work is all about contrast, edge highlights, dark lining, making colours stronger and effect work. This sums it up pretty well. Sorry for my failure at this point.

I placed the other folks around the big lady and checked where something was missing for the overall picture. Like I told you: A little light or shadow here, more colour here, more cleaner here or there, a little black bush again over here and so on.

Gore! I was missing gore in the end, so blood was applied to these demons and the guitar playing beastman. A raging party of Sin who cuts through their victims.

After this monster was done my wet palette looked like I felt - exhausted :D

The comissioner and I were really happy about the end result and the fact that the project was finally done in such a cool way. There was no real plan in the beginning. The collector just said that he wanted that piece of demon booty painted by me and the muse made me do this scene. Here you can see the final result:

If you want to see more shots check Putty&Paint!

I hope you enjoyed reading this step by step. 
Let me know what you think? Let me know where my words did not explain right?
Let me know if you got questions left?

Keep on happy painting!
Best Wishes