Wednesday, May 7, 2014

MFCA 2014 - Off to Valley Forge!

It's that time of year again!  Tomorrow I head south towards Philadelphia and Valley Forge for the 2014 MFCA show. This annual event is the premier miniature figure show in the country in my opinion and artists from all over the world attend and show their brilliant work. I always look forward to seeing so many of my old and new friends and meeting new artists who come for the first time. Something wonderful can always be found in the vendor area, from bases to books, militaria to figures and flats.

This year I will be posting photos each day from the show on my Facebook Wall and once home on Sunday I will post some of the best here on my blog. I hope to see many of you there so stay tuned to see what surprises this year's event brings.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Battle of Strasbourg - Update #1

Although these pictures are a few months old I wanted to post an update on the SBS for this vignette I have been working on. If you saw my first post you will remember that this will be a two figure vignette, one on foot and one mounted. Progress has been slow but this where we stand at the moment.

I began by painting the horse a basic mix of Mars Black and Burnt Umber. The armor was given an initial wash of Burnt Umber followed by a second wash of Burnt Umber with a bit of Mars Black added. The groundwork was given initial washes of Burnt Umber and Greenish Umber.

All of the leather was then painted with a mixture of Mars Brown and a touch of Yellow Ochre. The armor was lightly washed with Mars Black to further bring out the detail of the various plates.

The next step was to apply a thin wash of Burnt Umber to all of the leather. This ages the leather, tones down the bright base color and begins to pop out the stitching details. I have also applied some brown glazes to the horse to "warm" the tone a bit.

All of this work is designed to give a broad feel to the look of the horse and his armor. details will now begin to picked out and cleaned up. The armor plates will be NMM on these figures. A lot of my time has been taken up recently with experimentation using acrylics. This piece will be a mixture of both oils and acrylics as I try to hone some of my skills with the new medium. Cloth will be acrylic but the flesh and armor will all be oils. I have attached the rider's legs to the horse and my next post will show progress on him and the foot figure.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Something is wrong with George! Completion #2

Something didn't feel right about George! I'm a professional and whether I'm painting for myself or doing a commission, it's gotta be right for somebody.

Well after talking with Mike at Michael Miniatures we agree that the bust needs something more. As I said before, this kit is meant to depict George as President. In an effort to make him more "civilian" in appearance I left the colors a bit monotone (blue) and we both agreed the bust needed something more. Thanks to the fact that this is really Mike's kit and that I am painting the box art for him, we were able to determine something that will add interest, a bit of pop and hopefully help people to want this kit even more. George has been depicted wearing the standard blue overcoat but with a red/scarlet lining that carries over to the collar as it folds over the shoulders. This harks back to his Generals coat and really makes this a more appealing paint job.

Now he is done. (I think)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

President George Washington - Completed

Well, I have completed this wonderful new portrait bust of President George Washington, an upcoming release from Michael Miniatures and sculpted by Matt Springer. I feel this is quite an accomplishment for me as it marks my first use of acrylics on a miniature. I have been a dedicated and avowed user of oils for over 33 years but except for the face this miniature is all Vallejo acrylics. The experience had it's up and down moments but by the time I was done I had gone a long way to nailing down consistency of paint and how much load should be on the brush.

So much fun and the fastest piece I've ever done. I'm all excited and ready to start the next bust. I'm not sure I'm ready to use acrylics on a 54mm figure yet but we shall see. Enjoy, and more importantly buy one of these busts when they hit the market!

Monday, March 17, 2014

President George Washington - New Michael Miniatures Bust

A bit of a surprise here! I am happy to show my progress on a new bust by Matt Springer and soon to be released as part of the Michael Miniatures line. The bust depicts George in his later years as President of the United States. I delayed talking about or showing any pictures until I felt comfortable with the direction it was going.

The base color was Burnt Sienna pure from the tube with highlights being built using my usual Titanium White and Cadmium Yellow Medium. Burnt Umber shadows and Alizarin Crimson for the lips and thinned to represent the prominent crimson cheeks found in all of the contemporary portraits.

The hair at this point is simply a "sketch" of color to lay in the highlights and shadows prior to more crisp detailing later.

The photo above shows my bench as it typically looks with the paper palette showing oil colors used to this point. The photo below shows a bit of surprise for those that know my medium. If you have been observant to this point you would have noticed that the bust is primed black from the neck down. You will also have noticed that the drawer below is full of Vallejo acrylics. My plan is to paint the clothing in acrylics so stay tuned and hope for the best!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Tribe Chief Morrow - All Ready to Go!

I really enjoyed painting this piece and I hope it shows. My intention was to balance the realistic appearance of the Gorilla with the fantasy aspects of Raffa's brilliant sculpt. Hopefully that has been achieved.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

17th Century Polish Hussar - Update 2

A few refinements on this wonderful bust to share. The face is near completion with further highlights, hair painted and the eyes further refined. I have to say that I'm not totally thrilled with the eyes. From some angles they look great, while from others they aren't quite right.

The pattern is outlined on his coat in a mixture of Mars Black and Cadmium Red. I wanted the pattern to be present but subtle. I plan to go back and work subtle shade shifts into this area to bring out the pattern more.