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Suggestions for improvement

Discussion in 'Brutal Honesty - Critique Center' started by Geoff W, Sep 28, 2020.

  1. Geoff W New Member

    Have been painting for about threee years and looking to improve. Since there are no shows going on, can't get feedback like normal. Entered competitions for last several years and always walk away with Bronze, would like to make the jump to the Silver level. Sorry about the pics,not very clear. The dog is Pip mascot of the 24 th Foot at Rourkes Drift. WWI officer not finished yet

    IMG_0313.JPG IMG_0308.JPG IMG_0312.JPG
    Jed, Erbay, malc and 4 others like this.
  2. Mookie PlanetFigure Supporter

    Well i think you have done a lovely job with your creations.They are excellent.
    captnenglish likes this.
  3. DaddyO A Fixture

    Hi Geoff
    It's an interesting topic and I'm sure more experienced painters will give you specific suggestions, but firstly I would like to say paint to please yourself not others:) This way you'll have more fun and you'll notice that your figure look better too

    I understand what you are asking about, and regularly enter contests (and judge) myself so I understand the frustration(?) that you may be feeling. Remember most judges are either volunteers or 'volunteered' and try to do the best that they can, but they may not be the best to tell you what is good or bad about your figures and, of course, everybody has their own opinion about what is good;)

    Right having said that a few things to try -
    Chat with as many other painters and judges as you can. If you see a figure that you really like try to find who painted it and get them to explain the techniques which they used to do the bits you like.
    Practice. But practice different methods and be open to try new things (By that I mean if you are painting say white don't just reach for the same colours every time try using different ones add an unusual colour to see what happens and have fun with it)
    Read and really study other work - Imagine trying to paint a specific piece; blow up the photo and really look closely at how the marks are made and see the colours used. (You might be surprised)
    On a similar note to above hold your model up to a mirror - you'll be amazed at what things you spot:eek:
    Try to learn a bit about colour theory. - This will help with your colour mixes and make your figures a bit more 'punchy' (For instance adding some dark green to the shadows in red to darken it rather than black or brown)
    Be honest with yourself and what you are able to do: Accept your limitations and make the most of the bits you are good at.

    Suggestions for comps -
    Make sure you meet the class criteria with your entry (Been there, done that):(
    Take photo's of your entry before the contest and blow them up to look really closely to see if there are any areas which you can improve
    Make sure the basic bits are done well (Did you cleanup all the mould lines properly? Is the figure mounted and presented neatly? ie no excess glue anywhere, nice nameplate etc.
    Try to have a chat with whoever judged your model to see if they have specific suggestions about your entry (Afterwards not during the judging - bear in mind they are trying to do the best they can so be nice)
    Don't worry if you don't place as highly as you expect remember the judge is seeing your entry for the first time.

    Looking at the pictures, first of all congratulations they are very nice and not everyone honestly wants to expose themselves to suggestions.
    A couple of things you might like to look at -
    The cuff lace and wrist inside the cuff on the arm of Pip still have a small amount of flash showing.
    Both figures would probably benefit from some more contrast (ie deeper shadows and brighter highlights) This is something I'm guilty of myself and I've found that your figures may not be viewed in the best light and nearly every figure can benefit with a bit more contrast.

    I hope that some of the above is useful and that you take all suggestions with a pinch of salt.
    It's a hobby to be enjoyed and that is reason which we do it.

    All the best
    Chris Oldfield, Jed, arj and 8 others like this.
  4. Geoff W New Member

    Thanks much, just the kind of feedback I'm looking for. Did not notice the cuffs before, definitely need to clean them up.
    DaddyO likes this.
  5. Geoff W New Member

    Thanks Mookie, Pip is a favorite figure, not the best sculpt,but a fun figure.
  6. KenBoyle PlanetFigure Supporter

    Welcome to Planet Figure Geoff. :) Paul had some great suggestions. I echo his suggestion of deeper shadows and highlights. In addition don't forget about edging whenever possible with a highlight to make things pop a bit more. Often I over highlight things like the hands and then use games workshop's flesh wash to tone it down a bit and blend it all together. I also over highlight leather and use Gm's sepia wash in the same manner. All this is easier said than done. :) I'll be posting a completed figure later today that uses these techniques. It's far from perfect but still a good example.

    By the way your work is very good and shows a good grasp of techniques. I'll be watching for more posts in the future. (y)

    Chris Oldfield, Nap and DaddyO like this.
  7. TERRYSOMME1916 A Fixture

    Hi Geoff welcome onboard, you will certainly get any help that you need on PF and so far the guys have come up with plenty of good advice, I can see by your picture that you have an extremely busy work bench with lots going on and as already said you do have a decent skill level already so I can only echo the others, more contrast to everything using shadows and highlights and don't forget to apply some weathering at the end to give the figure a touch of realism but don't over do it, watch videos on youtube you will find lots of tutorials on there from master painters and remember its not a case of banging out as many figures that you can quickly, if it takes another couple of days just to make your latest figure better than the previous one then its worth it.
    Don't despair even guys who have been painting for decades try to better their last figure and we all still experiment and mess things up so stick at it you are almost there.
  8. Babelfish A Fixture

    Welcome Geoff. I'm a bit late to the thread but here goes anyway:

    I'm not sure there is even such a thing as "Silver level" (or any other medal level for that matter). Much of it depends on the judges on the day. I've seen masterpieces by some of the top guys in the hobby get Gold at one show and just Bronze or maybe even no medal at all at another.

    As Paul says, the main thing is to enjoy what you're doing and first and foremost paint for yourself. Then as you get better and better over time, the medals will eventually come. If medals and competitions are even that important to you. And I don't mean that in a negative way by the way, it's just that some guys are more competitive than others and there's nothing wrong with that. I even know of one painter who is very well-known in the hobby (I won't name him) who boycotted one major show for about 3 years because one of his entries "only" got a Silver when he himself thought it was worth a Gold. Some guys take the whole competiton thing and medal colours very seriously.

    Sign up to Putty & Paint if you haven't already (www.puttyandpaint.com)

    It can be a tad "elitist" and a bit of a clique-ish circle-jerk at times. And a few of the top guys (again, no names) chuck their toys out of the pram if you give them anything except fawning praise and a Gold rating (I learned early on that if you think that any of their work is less than perfect even by their own stellar standards, the best thing is to just say nothing and move swiftly on). HOWEVER, there is some stunning work on display there and it is very inspirational, and you can give & receive Gold / Silver / Bronze / Props ratings which eventually transform into an averaged rating for that piece once it's received 10 ratings. So its a kind of a perpetual online figure show, and if you like you can gauge yourself against other painters and see where you stand.

    - Steve
    Chris Oldfield, arj and Nap like this.
  9. Nap A Fixture

    Hi Geoff

    Great to see you posting and busts as well which is what I only paint , I have recently finished Pip myself and throughly enjoyed it

    Lots of good advice and wise above .....

    so I am going to say I echo Daddy0's comments ..."PAINT TO PLEASE YOURSELF NOT OTHERS"

    For only 3 years of painting its a good result on both

    We do run a friendly comp each month both for figures and also Vignette & Diorama ......see threads here

    ....feel free to message me if needed

    I would suggest your try and also consider a WIP in our V Bench that way you will get comments as each build progresses to the end ...once finished post in the Compketed forum

    Do introduce yourself in the Welcome Aboard part of PF as well

    Happy benchtime

    Nap ( Moderator/Admin)
    Chris Oldfield and DaddyO like this.
  10. jimpy New Member

    Glad to see Pip has his tunic properly buttoned up. Colour Sergeant Bourne would approve.
    Nap likes this.

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