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WIP Critique Are we there yet?

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by Mariner, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. Mariner Active Member

    Hello all and Happy New Year.
    Well, when I stand back, my first model looks great, the war-torn, beaten and worn look I wanted.
    Then I shot my photos and the painting looks a mess!!:notworthy:
    I'm a bit lost; perhaps my technique is all wrong. I do have to finish the stand and the eyes are the best I can manage, but the overall effect in real life made me feel pretty good.
    As this is a major learning curve, don't be shy about your critiques. I'm here to learn and you guys are the best.

    Attached Files:

    mark761214 and billyturnip like this.
  2. housecarl A Fixture

    The leather belt looks excellent, as does the face. You didn't pick the easiest of busts to start on. The main thing is you enjoyed it, and as you say it's a steep learning curve. So what you've learnt on this you can take to the next.
    You should be very pleased with it Mary,
  3. Meehan34 A Fixture

    as Mr. Barton stated, you don't pick it up overnight. You just need to keep applying the things you learn on the next piece. You will keep getting better with each figure you do and will build yourself a really nice collection. This bust being your first figure will always be one of your favorites. Keep at it and have loads of fun with the hobby, it is very rewarding.
  4. Azgaron Member

    I think you did a great job Mary! Looking very good!


  5. Sambaman Well-Known Member

    Geez, for your first figure I think you might be a little hard on yourself Mary. It looks pretty darned good. I agree with the comments so far and I might have just a couple suggestions going forward.

    I have to agree, your flesh tones and the beard look quite nice to me!

    The silver on the chain mail looks a tad heavy-handed to me. A simple wash of black or a similar dark color would tone that down I think. It would bring back some of the low spots into shadow and enhance the details there. I might also add a slight wash of say, raw umber, to the broach to pull out some of the details.

    The yellow stitching on the red cross on the chest seems a bit bright to me. I would approach that sort of detail with just a slightly more subtle hand next time.

    The shield looks good, but it tends to be one shade of beige over all. Remember your overhead lighting technique and be sure to consider even large flat surfaces and the fact that they can be slightly darker towards the bottom, especially since the curve of the shield turns in on the sides emphasizing that fact even more.

    One last thought is the head dress and the cloak. Although I do like the color you use there quite well, I would vary the colors of them slightly (they look like the exact same colors from your photos). I always, in my mind, imagine them being of different cloths, and that they would likely wear differently based on use and exposure. Even if you want to achieve a "same cloth" look, I would still be tempted to shade them slightly differently, with maybe the head dress being just a tad lighter if only based on the fact that it is closer to your light source when considering "over-head" lighting.

    I hope some of this helps. Keep up the good work and keep posting! I still have my first piece and I continually go back to it to gauge my progress. You will look back on this one for years to come I think!

    Jay H.
    Meehan34 likes this.
  6. davidmitchell A Fixture

    Great work Mary for your first figure,keep at it .

    Cheers David
  7. Mariner Active Member

    Thank you, gentlemen.
    Jay, you're absolutely right about the chainmaille; way too 'glaring'. Also, I used a metallic gold on the cross thread to give it a bit of 'pop'....
    when I did the cloak, I highlighted with a lighter brown mix, but it all seemed to fade away as it dried. Perhaps my paint was too thinned out; I have a horror of being too heavy handed with paint. When I read that some artists use oil straight from the tube, I can't fathom how you could do a good job on a small model.
    And, don't worry, I have no plans to part with him.:)
  8. DaveG Active Member

    Don't be too hard on yourself Mary. For a first figure, particularly a bust, you ought to feel quite pleased with results.

    Big question is.....So, what have you started working on now? :D

  9. housecarl A Fixture

    You've probably noticed that acrylics dry darker, the opposite to oils.
    That's probably why you've lost the change in tone on the cloak Mary,
  10. Mariner Active Member

    I haven't tried acrylics yet, too chicken because they dry so fast, even with my retarder medium...:eek:
    I have a couple of smaller models on the way so will try them in acrylic.
    My son (who is now 25 but used to be big into warhammer) saw this one in progress, went snooping and asked me to give him the Blackbeard bust for his birthday (next July).
    I have started it as I bought both models at the same time. Figures he'd con me into it, but he'll have to wait, I can't believe the detail in it!!
    I also bought Calico Jack from Romeo models...he's not here yet. I'm beginning to think I'm a masochist:ROFLMAO: but this hobby is so much fun.
  11. Jazz A Fixture

    There you go Mary. You have just said it yourself. The hobby is so much fun, and thats what it is all about. You have done a really good job with this considering that it is your first time and to use oils as well is an achievement in its own right.
    My wife has some flats which she has had now for nearly 10 years and she keeps saying that one day she will paint them. But she never does. She has just told me to tell you this. You have taken the first and hardest step into being a figurine/bust painter. It gets easier from here on in.
    Here are the good things: The leather belt is superb. I wish I could get a leather effect like that every time. The skin tone is really good, with well pronounced highlights and shadows. The beard is also very good with various shades of grey. You have improved the eyes totally compared to your earlier photos, and I think I can see a bit of a catchlight like I advised you. That in itself is a great achievement.
    If it was me all I would do now is use a black wash over the chainmail. Do this in stages letting an oil wash sink into the lower folds to create deeper shadows in the mail. Dont use too much or it will flood the whole area. Just a little at a time. Place the bust on some bluetack or foam in the right position to let the wash do its work. Then let this dry thoroughly before you move on to the next piece. It doesnt take very long. I would also do some lighter shading on the turban. You could try dry-brushing for this. Dry-brushing is a bit frowned upon by some modellers but I have found that in the right places it can look good and brings out the deeper shadows that are already there. All you need to do is take an acrylic (or enamel) colour a shade lighter than you have used for the turban. Dip your brush in then get a clean cloth or tissue to wipe off the majority of the paint from the brush. What I do then is use the brush to "paint" the back of my hand until there is only a little bit of the paint left on the brush. Then lightly go over the most pronounced areas of the turban imagining from where the light would be coming from. I hope this makes sense as it is easier to do it rather than explain it.
    You have come on leaps and bounds since I first saw your bust Mary. So stop beating yourself up about it. You are doing great. (y)
  12. Mariner Active Member

    I'm only doing great because of Planeteers(y)
    Your encouragement is what made me take the plunge; thank you so much to all.
    now you should see me trying to put Calico Jack together, he arrived today:)
  13. housecarl A Fixture

    You must be a masochist using oils.;)
  14. Gellso A Fixture

    I have to agree that this bust is way too good to be your first one. Obviously you have the perceverence to listen to advice and change things.
    The flesh is outstanding. Try the acrlics but I suggest you keep the oils for the flesh as I think you've a good eye for the colours and tones.
  15. Mariner Active Member

    Other than the 4 tiny Lord of the Rings figures I tried before starting this fellow (they didn't turn out too well; too tiny for me) you all have my word this is my first model. I've painted wildlife, horses and landscapes on canvas for years but was never good at people. In this hobby, horses will be much easier for me than the humans:ROFLMAO:
  16. Alex A Fixture

    Oil straight from the tube is the way to go in my humble opinion.
    People think that since you re painting a miniature that you always have to thin your oil paint. I don't agree at all
    If you need to paint a small area, you just need a very very very tiny amount of oil paint on the tip of your brush. Just what you need to cover the area you need to paint.
    That's it. As easy as that.
    Oh and let those oil paints soak on carboards in order to have a 'lighter' oil paint.
    Oil paints are WYSIWYG and that's why it is my preferred media.
  17. megroot A Fixture

    Congratulations with your first...
    Great work. Now up too your next figure, and you going further into the learning curve. Nobody is born with the art for painting figures.
    We all learning.
    You should see your second looks better and so on.
    Keep painting, you are doing a great paintjob

  18. Wendy Active Member

    Don't be discouraged by the pic. The camera sees so much more than the naked eye (and the camera settings can make a big difference too). In fact, pics are like a fresh pair of eyes that can show little things that went unnoticed and be fixed later. Usually the painter is most critical of his or her own work, so really, the important thing is if it looks good to your eyes, because it probably looks just fine to everyone else's eyes. (y)

    I can't comment much on oils...hehe, they dry too slow... :) ...but the guys have given good advice and I can't really add anything to it.
  19. Tecumsea PlanetFigure Supporter

    HI Mary-really nice job for your first bust-your experience as a canvas painter shows as clearly you know how to use colour. It is just a matter now of refining your technique to the new 3D medium. Some really good advice in this thread-it won't be long before you are wowing us with your work.

  20. itsonlyakit Member

    Hello Mary, I am new to Planet Figure but not to figures. Have read most of the great advise given by your peers about your bust and would like to suggest one more thing. When we paint we concentrate and see only one view, face to face, as it is and our minds eye locks on. Try reviewing this bust in a mirror and see if that gives back some thing not noticed before.

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