There is always a place on any project where you start to feel like you are over the hump but the reality is that details take longer than large areas of color. It may look OK now but it will need lots of work on shadows, highlights and details before it is truly complete. I gave the garter details and jewels a wash of burnt umber to draw out the details (kind of like an outline). The base color for the Red velvet consists of a mixture of Cadmium Lake Deep, Cadmium Reed Extra Deep and a touch of Lamp Black, all old Liquitex Oil Colors. Once dry I will complete the shadows with black glazes and highlight with Cadmium Red Deep. The face was completed in the usual way as described in previous postings. My next step will be to paint the hair and begin working the whites.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
OK, so like I said - I hate having something out there that looks so incomplete. So despite the fact that it has that glossy newly painted look I wanted everyone to see the painted mantel. I said in my previous post that I planned to mix Prussian Blue and Ultramarine Blue but after experimenting for about five minutes ( and really, I think I knew this would happen) I wasn't getting the highlight tones that I wanted so in the end I mixed Prussian Blue with Indigo, both from W&N. So after applying the deep base color I proceeded to stipple mix Titanium White into the highlights to develop the first soft highlights that you will see in the larger rolling folds of the velvet. Right now the bust is drying under the lamps in the basement and I will continue tomorrow night with any crisp highlights needed in the blue mantel and start working the final highlights and shadows in the face.
I promised that I would post "regular" updates on my progress with this beautiful bust and I keep my promises, but boy do I hate showing things at the stage that this is at. I started painting the face, hair and white satin over the last two days and all of these areas are far enough along that they are recognizable but not far enough along that any one could possibly get much from it. However, maybe I can share my thought process to this point.
The first thing that anyone who knows me well will notice is the blue acrylic base coat. No I haven't gone mainstream, sold the farm or whatever, but yes I decided to lay down a bit of acrylic basecoat. I'm not sure what possessed me to do this but maybe I will gain a day on this figure by doing so. My plan is to mix Prussian Blue and Ultramarine Blue to get the initial shade I am looking for and this will leave me with a more transparent mix than I like. So I hit the figure with some Jo Sonja Ultramarine acrylic.
The face is a lightened mix of Burnt Sienna, Prussian Blue, with Medium Cadmium Yellow and Titanium White to start pulling the highlights. A bit of Alizarin Crimson was applied wet on the lips and blended in. The eyes were started with an outline wash of Liquitex Extra Deep Cadmium Red with Burnt Umber for the initial eyeball laid down. I will carry on with shadows and highlights tonight and tomorrow. To check my facial tones I applied an initial wash of Burnt Umber to the hair.
Now the white is another matter. I started with a mix of Raw Umber and Titanium White, various shades of which were applied to the different white areas of cloth as seen in the painting shown directly above. Further shadows and highlights were applied with either of the two colors used to create the mix in the first place. As you will note in the painting there should be a lot of reflected light and color in the satin and silk and my way of tricking the eye was to add light touches of Dioxazine Purple in certain areas like the waistcoat and sleeve that are nearest to the Crimson Velvet sash. A final wash of Raw Umber was applied around edges and deepest shadows. After this dries I will start to layer glazes of Titanium White which will bring out the highlights and pop the reflected highlights.
So hopefully this "ugly duckling" stage will keep everyone appeased for the next day or two until my next post.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Let me be the first to show everyone the newest upcoming release from Michael Miniatures - George I King of Great Britain and Ireland from August 1st 1714 until his death and ruler of Hannover from 1698 (1660-1727). This beauty is sculpted by Aaron Brown and is my newest project. I will be doing a step by step for the blog as I paint this bust for the boxart and wanted to start by showing the raw casting and all of it's detail. The kit consists of two pieces, with the body being the largest and the small knotted section being seperate. Casting is perfect with all the details you would expect from this firm and sculptor. This bust offers a lot of challenge to the painter as the lace detail, blue and red velvet, satin and awards allow for a lot of different techniques on one piece. So stay tuned as we tackle this beauty over the next three weeks. Then you should contact your dealer for one of these for your own collection.
Monday, April 19, 2010
A week ago I put together a little painting demo for the local IPMS show. "BuffCon" is an annual event put on by the local Niagara Frontier Chapter I.P.M.S. that I would highly recommend to anyone in this neck of the woods. judging by the turnout each year it has maintained a wonderful following with people coming from Toronto to the North, to Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse here in the States.
Anyway, as I said, I volunteered to put together a little display of my most recent work and do a little live action painting for the folks. I wanted to work on something large enough to see and since I had this old Ft. Duquesne figure primed and ready I decided to use it as a simple painter's figure for the demo. This is one of my old figures from the line I used to produce and it is sculpted by Mike Blank. I had primed it with the intention of painting it for display at shows on my table but somehow never quite got around to it. Mike did such a great job painting it himself and I had agreed to use his for the box art as part of the original deal so there it sat for all these years.
The face is painted in the usual way. The hair is started with Burnt Sienna but I will be going in to work on the shadows of the hair with Brown Madder Alizarin as a complimentary shadow color.
I promised the people at the show that I would post pics of the face once I got home and finished it so here it is. I will post more pics as I progress but it will be awhile as I have to now focus back on my other pieces that are beginning to pile up.
I'm putting up two "in-progress" pics here as I near completion of this bust. I feel that by next Monday or Tuesday at the latest it will be completed. That being said there is a lot to do at this point. I am working on slowly bringing the lace at the sleeve and collar up to snuff. Although very hard to see in these pics I have been working the center stripe of the sash with light linear lines of color to simulate the silk. It's one of those things that will only show in real life ( I took 8 photos with three different backgrounds trying to get it to show.). Next will be the two red stripes which I start tomorrow. The waistcoat has been painted but will receive a light coat of pearlescent white to replicate the silk. The gold lace has been given a wash of Burnt Umber before starting work. The medals/awards/orders are basecoated prior to picking out all the individual jewels and metallic bits. I will also work on the collar, cuffs and piping/lining of the coat a lot more. Like I said, lots to do but very close to completion.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
I am now working on the medals, waistcoat and details but I thought I would put up this post showing the painting of the coat using step-by-step photos as I did with the face. In talking to Mike Cramer the owner of the beautiful painting that this bust is based on, he mentioned that the coat had a brownish tint to it in the painting. I have not been fortunate enough to see the actual painting but I could see a bit of what Mike talked about in the photos I have. I also went online and pulled up other paintings of this individual and all show this very dark green jacket. In an effort to capture the feel of the coloration in the painting and keep with the spirit of the project I began with two thin coats of Greenish Umber over the white basecoat. No matter how opaque the oil paint, whatever color is underneath always shows through affecting the tone of the top coat. I try to use this in my favor. White basecoats brighten colors, the olive tone will give that brownish hue in the light of the case. Before applying my green top coat I painted the deep shadows with Mars Black. Once dry the coat was painted overall with Prussian Green. Highlights were added using a mixture of Prussian Green, Titanium White and Yellow Ochre to brighten the tone of the green highlights. These highlights had to be subtle to retain the darkness of the green jacket. The collar and cuffs were painted with Liquitex Deep Cadmium Red and Extra Deep Cadmium Red. Further highlights and shadows on the cuffs and collar will be completed after the waistcoat area is complete. I have left the red edge and lining of the coat until the end to keep a buffer zone between the coat and the center panel remaining to be painted. The waistcoat is white silk or satin and this with the medal ribbons and sash are fun to paint.
There has been a bit of progress so far on this EMI kit. I painted the face using the standard mix and techniques spelled out previously. Once completed I spent some time removing the mask from the helmet and armor and applied a black wash to both. More time has been spent on the base. I have applied multiple (approx. 10) washes of color as well as a few layers of color on the water. The stone quay and steps are washes of Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Greenish Umber, Mars Black, Indian Red and shadow glazes of Van Dyke Brown and Mars Black. The water was a mix of Prussian Green, Greenish Umber and Lamp Black applied in random spots and then stippled with a soft brush until they had been slightly blended together. All of this work is simply a rough sketch base coloring that I can now define more and detail.