WIP Tamerlane bust..suggestions needed

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by Mongo Mel, Feb 27, 2010.

  1. Mongo Mel Active Member

    Hello all!
    Been a while since I posted anything. Probably becaure it's been just as long since I made any good progress on anything ==)

    Here are some photos of my latest.
    It's the OOP Ft. Duquesne Tamerlane bust.
    I didn't like the box art colors and tried to pick my own.
    But I seem to have trouble deciding what colors to paint the various areas on it.
    I've worked on this piece quite a bit and wasn't happy with anything except the face. So I masked it off and stripped it clean.
    I had the shoulder armor a good red but then thought I prefered to go with an earthy tone all over and painted them over in dark leather. Didn't like how that turned out. I did the cape under his helmet in an earthy yellow. Not bad. But overall, I just couldn't come up with the right colors as a whole.
    Had the helmet a good dark steel (versus a bright silver look). and the crown and top piece in gold. Not bad either. Went back and forth on the helmet hair. Tried both darker brown and a more blond/yellow color.

    What I'd like to ask of you all is to suggest the colors I should paint it.
    Please, feel free to suggest something for each area or one or two specific areas.




    Box art

    Full piece

    One thing that I really like on this is the "base" I came up with. It's a soapstone tea light candle holder I found at a local Big Lots store. I inverted it and drilled a hole for the bust. Then I added an LED flickering tea light inside. Thought it looked pretty cool :)

    Thanks for looking,

    Attached Files:

    John Bowery and pmfs like this.
  2. theseeker Member


    I have one suggestion, do a DVD Step By Step!

    I have every one of your articles hanging from my upper shelf.

  3. Augie Active Member

    Hi Craig,


    The above are images of the boxart I painted for the original WARLORDS' release of Timur-i-Lenk in 1997.

    I know your rendition is a wip, but please note that Timur
    had reddish-brown facial hair (beard and mustache) heavily streaked with grey, and dark brown eyebrows. The reason I mention this is that it could have a bearing on your colour selection.

    I painted the yak-hair crest as a warm earthy black (doesn't show-up very well in the image); however, in retrospect, I would now paint it as an off-white. As it could also be dyed, you have a wide palette of possibilities available to you.

    Hope this helps.

    El Passo Honroso
    Augie Me Fecit
  4. TWOMOONS Active Member

    The face is certainly painted beautifully that's for sure....My first thought is to go with red and maybe black laquer on the chest protection...but you seem not to like that. But that's what i would do. If you have seen the film "Mongol" there are a few red armored warriors in that and they look just great!
    Also, there is something that to my eye, seems a little strange about the sculpt. I don't get the feeling (except from the excellent armor of course) that this is an Asian (Mongol) person...no epicanthic folds at all on the eyes...could be the face of a Viking or a Roman or an Irishman, with the right armor or costume surrouding that face.
    Probably just me.
  5. Augie Active Member

    Hey Phil!

    Long time, old friend!!

    That's because Timur was a Transoxianan (Turco-Mongol), at least three generations removed from the Khan's Hordes. The likeness was based on M.M. Gerasimov's reconstruction using the skull acquired in the disinterment of Timur's tomb in 1941.

  6. jcichon Active Member

    Craig!! Long time no see. Thanks for all your help in the past and I will concur with Rocky, when is the SBS DVD on oil pinting coming out from you?!?!?!?!
  7. Christos Well-Known Member

    I like your fleshtones so I would choose light colors to make contrast with the face.
  8. megroot A Fixture

    That face is awesome Craig.
    I like the right picture from Augie. As i see it here on my screen it looks like a dark purple with. The clothing under the helmet is a dark greyisch blue.
    The metalring bronze...
    I really like that.

  9. tonydawe A Fixture

    Hi Craig,

    I'd like to see a bit more red in the skin tone, particularly under the eyes and nose.
  10. TWOMOONS Active Member


    Ha! I knew that all the while...I just wanted to see if you were paying attention, Augie. From his skulll...a forensic sculptor, eh?
    How ya' doin' brother?
    Transoxianan? Jeez....but he was lame, right?
    Sure is good to hear from you...BTW, I did write that it's probably just me.
  11. Augie Active Member

    It was too sweet to pass up, brother! ;)

    I'm hangin'. . . too damn busy in the real world to get up to any hi-jinks. . . I do miss the good ol' days. . . ;);)

    Oh yes. . . VERY lame. This is from the refsheet I included with the bust. . .

    His given name, Timur, means "iron one"; a fairly common name that would prove itself never so apt. Three years short of his thirtieth birthday, he suffered the wounds--ironically in a relatively minor skirmish--that would lead to the name by which he is best known by history: Timur-i-Lenk or Timur the Lame, corrupted to Tamerlane. Conqueror of Persian, Mongol, and Turk, the founder of the Timurid dynasty died in 1405 [nb: 7 weeks short of his 70th birthday!] en route to China at the head of an invading army!

    . . . He was relatively tall for a Turco-Mongol (5' 8") and of extremely robust and powerful physique. His physical defects (whether or not as a direct result of the aforementioned wounding is unclear) were confirmed upon examination of the skeleton. He was lame in the right leg (significantly shorter and weaker than his left--if it were of congenital origin, it could be described as a clubfoot) and his right arm was virtually useless being fused at the elbow. As a result, his left shoulder was noticeably higher that his right and significantly more massive.

    Same here, my friend!

  12. Mongo Mel Active Member

    Hi guys,
    First, thanks to you all for your feedback.

    Thanks, I'm glad you like the articles. But you know, I'm just trying to get something finished here. Doing a step-by-step right now would make things just about impossible :eek: :)
    But, if and when I get back in the groove, I'm going to try for it. I've had a bunch of people ask me about doing a video on painting a face. So that'll be first on the list :)

    Thanks foir the pictures of you rendition. I really like the effect you achieved on the "head scarf". Sorry, I don't know the correct term for it. I'd really love to hear how you did this.
    I also lean towards an off white for the plume. Just feels right to me.
    As many times as I've read your figure notes for the piece, it never registered that his hair was redish brown. Guess I just had it in my head that he would have black hair. I'll have to rework this too now :)
    Doubt that you'll remember this but, you were very helpful to me when I was working on your El Cid bust several years ago.
    Funny, but I had the same problem with color choice on it too.


    Seem like I'm color sense deficient :)

    Thanks for the compliment on the face. As for the red... no, it's not that I don't like it, it's just that I had decided to go a different route. Actually, I did like how it looked. I went with it at first because there were a lot of examples in red when I searched for Mongol warriors. It's definitely not off the table. For the black lacquer, that could be interesting. I did a piece years ago that I painted something like that...


    Good to hear from you again. I've seen how you've progressed with your painting. Really like your work. Glad if I was of some small help to you.

    Christos, Marc and Tony,
    Thanks to you as well. Par for the course, it took me several tries to get the face to this point. I was so happy with it that I had to protect it when I stripped the rest of the figure with Easy-Off oven cleaner. Got very lucky that it worked and I didn't damage it at all. that said, I don't think I'm comfortable trying to rework it.

    Thanks again everyone for your comments and suggestions. Still not sure what I'm going to do but you've given me some things to think about.
    Craig :)
  13. jcichon Active Member

    Craig, you have no idea how much you have helped me in learning oils!!! I saved all your emails and still refer to them often. I really hope you will do an oil SBS one day because your video I refer everyone too on oil painting is way to short!!! Thanks again bro and I hope I can pick your brain from time to time!! I already have an oil mix question for you if you have the time!!!
  14. Einion Well-Known Member

    Face looks great Craig, glad you didn't strip that off!

    In terms of colour planning, do you have PSP, Photoshop or GIMP?

  15. Mongo Mel Active Member

    Hey Jason,
    Anytime you want, just drop me a line. If I can help, I'm happy to do it.

    Hi Einion,
    Thanks. It took me way too long and way too many attempts to paint that face to just give it up without a fight :)
    Sadly, no. I don't have any of those programs. Wish I did. An old on line friend who use to used it in his job took that El Cid (after the fact) to show me a couple of color combinations. Pretty useful tool.
  16. Augie Active Member

    Hi Craig,

    My pleasure. The "head scarf" is nothing more than a non-metallic "aventail". I don't know what the native term would be, though niqab, which is the Farsi term for aventail, means "lady's veil", and thus a good fit.

    The niqab would be made of felt, leather, silk, or a combination thereof. I intended my rendition to represent silk-covered felt. If memory serves, the base colour was mixed from Permanent Green Light plus white, with Paynes Grey added to taste. I then added Pearl White (white with mica flakes) to increase the reflectivity, as well as coarsen the paint. Once shaded and highlighted to my satisfaction, I then streaked it randomly with Titanium White mixed with Pearl White to enhance the coarsemess--and texture!--of the fabric.

    Another colour that would work equally well would be a pale madder; or you could opt for a more achromatic "neutral", like a pale olive drab, or warm grey.

    Glad to have been of some help!

  17. Mongo Mel Active Member

    Thanks for that explanation. Very interesting. I didn't know that there was an oil paint available that had something already mixed in to it to give it texture.
    Thanks again for your help.
  18. Einion Well-Known Member

    Well GIMP is free, and there are a lot of tutorials available online for it to help new users (ditto with Photoshop, which can be adapted to GIMP pretty easily).

    Here's a quick idea of how it might be used for helping decide on colour combos:


    Once you've got the basic blocks of colour in place you can alter them easily for more variations:


  19. Mongo Mel Active Member

    Hi Einion,
    Wow, that's pretty impressive results. I'll have to look into the software.
    Thanks for the info and especially for the trouble you went to do do that.
  20. Einion Well-Known Member

    Welcome, hope it was of some help.

    Even if you don't end up using it for this kind of thing much it's still great to have a good image-editor like GIMP for cropping and resizing (and sharpening after you've done that) as well as for tweaking photos so they look more like the model in the flesh if there's a slight colour cast.


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