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Completed Critique Bolshevik 1919 (version 2)

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by kaz6120, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. kaz6120 A Fixture

    Continued from : http://www.planetfigure.com/threads/bolshevik-1919-250mm-castleminiatures.43318/

    Hi pF friends,

    I painted the same bust around this time of the last year, and to see my progress and experience through some exhibitions such as EuroMilitaire and other events in Japan, I decided to pant the same bust.

    Here's the version 2 of my rendering Bolshevik.

    bolshevik2-fig04.jpg bolshevik2-fig05.jpg bolshevik2-fig06.jpg

    Any comments are welcome, as always.

  2. NickM Well-Known Member

    Kaz, both versions are brilliant - I'd be happy if I could paint like either of these!
    However, there are some definite improvements in your second version, particularly the skin tones and stubble.
    Great stuff!
    kaz6120 likes this.
  3. sarouman A Fixture

    A bust legend ....
    And this time i see it very well paint again.
    Well done my friend

    kaz6120 likes this.
  4. housecarl A Fixture

    Lovely work on both Kaz.
    kaz6120 likes this.
  5. Gaudin A Fixture

    Definitly more confident shading, volumes better defined, also eyes in second version are more expressive and " present " - very well done.

    I notice some green hint in the stubble on the chin - I am not sure if its photography. Also his shirt could be a shade greener ( as per references) - that would give you a better contrast between clothing.

    Excellent progress, very inspiring(y) . Did you take any SBS pics with this one?
    Serebryakov's genius is also unquestionable.
    kaz6120 likes this.
  6. Helm A Fixture

    Great work Kaz

    kaz6120 likes this.
  7. housecarl A Fixture

    [quote="Gaudin, I notice some green hint in the stubble on the chin - I am not sure if its photography. Also his shirt could be a shade greener ( as per references) - that would give you a better contrast between clothing.
    Perhaps he didn't have any Persil.
    kaz6120 and Gaudin like this.
  8. Gaudin A Fixture

    Most definitly not(y) . He probably didnt have any soap ( or only as a rare treat) and most certainly had lice. But lets not ruin his romantic image any further :D. Revolution is serious stuff, you know.
  9. Edorta A Fixture

    kaz6120 likes this.
  10. Gellso A Fixture

    Lovely colours on the face and exceptional eyes. Nice tones and shading.
    kaz6120 likes this.
  11. Figurenfreund66 Well-Known Member

    amazing work - i like it !

    kaz6120 likes this.
  12. DEL A Fixture

    Brilliant work Kaz. The face is excellent and the beard stuble is perfect.
    kaz6120 likes this.
  13. Gellso A Fixture

    I think the green works extremely well on his flesh tones. The uniform is bang on also.
  14. Gaudin A Fixture

    Grant, are we talking about same thing ? ( cause I think you are replying to my comment - if not, please ignore me) - I mean this specific area here - I dont think its my monitor- these patches look green to me

    Attached Files:

  15. Sturm Grenadier Well-Known Member

    Hello Kaz, Both busts are excellent. Your second version is more defined with your shadow and highlight color mix. The face and eyes are brilliantly painted which give a great atmosphere to the piece. Also, you are absolutely correct about sketching the eyes before painting. I've learned of the many different parts of the eye and socket and where to place highlights and shadows. Thanks for the suggestion and tip. Regards, SG:)(y)(y)
  16. megroot A Fixture

    Great work Kaz. Like this more then the first one who whas allready amazing.

  17. bagelman1952 Well-Known Member

    Both versions are superb
  18. bonehead A Fixture


    I am going to go against the grain here (as usual!) and say that I prefer your first version to the second. There are several reasons for this. But before I explain my reasoning, I think it is important to address a subject which I have never really seen mentioned by anybody else - trends and fashions in painting style.

    There is little doubt that in recent years the "new wave" of Korean painters, such as Young Song, Sang Eon Lee and Man Jin Kim have created a new trend in figure painting. The most noticeable change is the use of complimentary colors in shading (green coloring on a generally "orange" face for example). This is taken right out of the lesson book of traditional techniques in oil painting (on canvas).

    It is an "artistic" fashion, as opposed to a trend in model making as exemplified by so many figure painting fashions of the past. I believe a similar revolutionary trend took place some 25 years ago when "the California boys" took Euro Militaire by storm. The immediate response back then was that fashions in figure painting techniques became much tighter and showing more contrast. This simply made for "sharper" looking models. While the former trend (tighter technique) improved the "art" immensely, I have mixed feelings about the latter (extreme contrast).

    Certainly the use of greater contrast made for figures that "read" better from a distance. Indeed, a figure held at arms length could really show extremes of "form" without squinting at the subject. I think the main reason that extreme contrast became a popular fad in figure painting is that it showed off the painter's abilities and painting chops in a more dramatic way. Nobody can deny the great painting chops of a Mike Blank or Diego Ruina, for instance. For me, that style works great in two dimensions (on canvas), but not so much on a 3-dimensional model.

    The practical problems with a model are that the "form" of the object is already established because the object is 3-dimensional. The form doesn't actually need so much "help" because the object is three dimensional and light falling on it will naturally establish shapes without resort to exaggerated effects by the painter.

    Since the light falling on a model is, in most situations, out of the control of the painter the use of extreme contrast can often go contrary to the ambient lighting that is the figure's natural environment. In those cases, you end up with a confused vision where paint shading and ambient lighting are at odds and the overall effect is more confusing or exaggerated than "realistic". This is further compromised by the fact that when extremes of contrast are employed willy-nilly, it soon becomes difficult to tell what colors are being depicted. You cannot have such extremes of contrast and still maintain the "dark blue" or "white" look of a piece of clothing or what have you. When pushing these colors to the outer limits of the painter's ability to blend extremes, the net effect is that everything takes on a kind of overall "grayness" that is the natural result of utilizing extreme darks and bright highlights - everything just becomes really nicely painted variations of gray.

    Of course, this tendency applies to face painting as well. When the cheeks of a figure become dark brown, you are no longer painting subtle variations of a flesh tone - you are trying to paint in extremes of "lighting". It takes a very harsh directly over-head light to produce dark shadows in the hollows of the cheek. This is just a fact. If the ambient lighting in a room does not correspond well with this extreme exaggeration, then the paint is in conflict with reality. The model is fighting the fact of its miniaturization in an arbitrary lighting environment that is more likely to be diffuse and random than harsh over-head. In other words, the modeler has moved away from a balanced realism into a kind of "forced" extremism. (Gee, kinda sounds like politics......!)

    I, on the other hand, have always seen miniatures as a "modeling" problem rather than an academically obtuse "artistic" one. When I put a model on the display table, I want there to be no question which garments are which relative color - and no extreme conflicts between the lighting in the room and that depicted on the model. So, for me, the face is painted with a more "generalized" shading that takes into account the fact that i cannot control the lighting. This means the shading is both omni-directional and not pushed to extremes on vertical surfaces (such as cheeks, for instance). This means that the figure will look balanced and realistic in any number of different lighting conditions.

    However, this is all theory and such ideation often gets trampled under by the lumbering juggernaut of fad or fashion trends in technique. My understated painting is no longer in fashion. I now get silver medals because I am unwilling to undertake the extremes of exaggerated contrasts that are currently fashionable. If you think that a person's cheeks look "chocolate brown" under normal lighting conditions, then these are the days of wine and roses! However, I do not share in the deifying of this conceptual oddity. It kinda looks over-done and out of control to me. Go ahead, give me silver medals for my lack of conformity. I don't care. That is because i believe the object of a model is for it to be a realistic representation of an object in space, not an oddly 3-dimensional canvas for extreme 2-dimensional lighting effects.

    The example of your figure shown here indicate that the face painting shows much more extreme contrast than the hat or clothing. The two elements of face and clothing are somewhat at odds with each other. In fact, if you were to combine the clothing of your latest paint with the face of your first, the result would be more balanced because you have not carried the extreme contrast of the face painting into the clothing. And, in my opinion, the face of the first figure does a much better job of achieving the generalization of the kind of diffuse lighting that the figure is most likel to appear under in most circumstances.

    Yes, just my opinion. But as you can see, it was not an opinion that I came to casually. That is just my silver medal winning two cents. But, at least I can say I am not a slavish follower of fashion..... o_O:wideyed:
    kaz6120, Maki, billyturnip and 4 others like this.
  19. Mike Stevens A Fixture

    Well done sir
    kaz6120 likes this.
  20. Meehan34 A Fixture

    Awesome work Kaz. I really like they way your style is evolving with each piece. Bonehead's comments do seem well thought out (as does his handle selection). I like where figure painting has evolved to. Even in my few years of painting I have seen it and really like it. You are painting at an extremley high level and have adapted and changed your painting to fit the current style. I don't think it is a style that will go out of fashion either. Again, well done sir, don't change a thing.

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