Friday, February 22, 2019

Chaos in Oils!

Something old and something new.  In oils. Here we have some old timey Chaos Nights which were painted with oils, which is relatively new for me.

It was really interesting to work on figures which are this old, utilizing a very new product such as the Mig Ammo Oilbrushers!  I had a lot of fun taking advantage of the extended drying times to be able to create various blends without having to rush around in a frenzy.

There are also a number of muted tones here, and being able to pull the oils from one area into another keeps things in line color wise.  All it takes to shift a color more towards the cool range is to slap a little blue or green, and mix it right into those wet oils!

At first I thought the oils would mostly work for painting historical figures such as my Bolt Action armies, but I have been so pleasantly surprised that they have worked for everything else as well, even figures with much brighter and saturated colors.

Here's a recent YouTube live session where I work with the Oilbrushers and traditional oils:

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The Lady Val Live!

My latest YouTube Live session showed how I painted Lady Val from the Song of Ice ad Fire Miniatures Game.  She's another NCU, and now joins Craster and the Savage Giants!

I tried to show how to get interesting and unexpected colors in the shadows, as you can see in this image.  Grays, blues, purples and even greens were used, although the cloak registers to the eye as "red".  This kind of subtle addition makes what could be a bland area far more interesting!

I even went into the use of the Green Stuff World leaf cutters and the Secret Weapon crushed glass method on the base.

Here's a link to the live session!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Awards Ceremony

This is something I don't believe I have ever done, and it seemed like the right time to do it before I lost track of more of them!  I attempted to track down as many of the awards as possible that I have come my way over the years... Best Painted Armies, Adepticon Awards, Crystal Brushes, Golden Demons, Reapercon Awards, etc.

This is certainly not all of them, because they are probably buried or hidden somewhere behind terrain or miniatures!

As some of you probably know already, Army Painting is by far my favorite thing.  I really love coming up with color schemes, stories for the armies, making conversions and scratch builds, etc.

These plaques go back to the heyday of army painting, when I was making 40K armies, Fantasy armies, and Lord of the Rings armies.

While the most recent was the Operation Sting Fallschirmjager army on the Monte Cassino display board, it all began with the Lizardman army:

I still remember the very first Adepticon we attended back in 2007.  I taught a number of classes, and it is also where I saw wonderfully painted armies and amazing display boards for the first time.  That had a dramatic effect on me, and I set out to do so myself.  I made a 40K Demonhunters army that played many games, along with my Dark Elves and Sisters of Battle.  All of those are on the blog:

The medallions that you see came from the old Adepticon Rogue Demon painting contest.  We participated in that every year until it was ended in favor of the Crystal Brush.  I think I have 11 Crystal Brushes, but this is all I could fit in the picture.  My Tomb Kings won a number of those awards:

The large trophy that you see here is still my favorite one of all.  This was the award for the United States Armies on Parade, which was won by the Lizardmen.  Hence the "Babo's Trophy" sign.  This was where I first learned to create a display board around the army, to create unique bases, and even to scratch sculpt what I wanted!

I created a number of those scratch sculpts, like these Engines of the Gods:

My Lord of the Rings armies for Bilbo's Bash were a pleasure to create, and to play in that amazing tournament.  You can also see the brand new Operation Sting award, which is bookend fashion was put on by the same good folks who used to do Bilbo's bash!

Here's a peek at that army:

I also won some Best Painted at various Blood Bowl Tournaments... most notably with the Mimes of Moria!

While they were still held here in the U.S., Cathy and I did the Games Day routine each year.  That meant the Golden Demons, and the Art Contest.  I would enter in stuff from my armies at the start of the day in the Demons, and then head off to the art area.  That is where I created this portrait of Stikki Wikkit, and even the sketch that started off my Tomb Kings army.

Ironically, the last trophies that I won was for Mage Priest Babo, the main character in my Lizardman army!

I also remember getting the Gold for my 40k Grey Knights Terminator squad that first year.  Eventually they stopped holding the event.

Here's the last sketch that I did during that final Games Day:

Monday, February 18, 2019

How to Take the Black

The final episode of  Army Painter Series 6 is now available to the Patrons... this was a pretty epic series on some principles that seem so simple at first.  That is, painting "black" and creating interesting snow/ice effects.

Each series is usually 5 episodes long, and it begins with basing.  In the case of the Song of Ice and Fire units, it includes the movement tray.  Here is an example of that first episode:

While every series begins with basing... it also concludes with basing!  Most of the Song of Ice and Fire trays require some kind of snow effects, but those around and above The Wall need even more dramatic looking snow and ice!  Check out this video of a Free Folk Savage Giant towards the end to get a peek at how that's done:

I try to show a number of different options along the way, so that you can pick and choose what kind of material that you might want to use.

As always, the why is just as important than the how, and these long format videos really allow me to dive into why I make the choices that I do on my techniques and materials.

Each series is 10-13 hours in duration, and I try to involve you in the process as much as I can.  The "Currency of Time" is something we all have in short supply, and I will actually try to keep track of how much time a given effect might have taken to achieve.  Then this is multiplied by how many figures are in the unit, and then again by how many are in the army.

From there, I try to ascertain what is possible and what may have to be trimmed, saved for special character figures or even left out completely. 

Painting the color "black" is a difficult task... especially to keep the interest of both the viewer and the painter!  I have already seen many posts on the SoIaF pages about boredom when painting an entire Night's Watch army.

It is understandable, because there are no bright distinct colors as you might have in Lannisters.

As I work through the episodes on this series, I attempt to show you ways to make the painting more interesting by creating variations in the colors... a little more greenish here, a little more blue or red there.  You can see in these back views that the leather of the packs and bedrolls are no simply 'tan', but have greens and grays in the shadows as an accent.

At the end of the series, I show the snow and ice process, including my favorite... icicles!  Those tiny twigs were placed in crucial areas of the bases in the very first episode, and now those branches are getting the final decorative elements.

Over and over again during the series, I mention how the "context" of how you will see the colors you are painting will have a huge effect.  The simple act of adding the snow and ice effects darkens the colors you painted by several shades, so it is important to keep that in mind, and not go too crazy with extreme dark tones.

Colors that seem too light next to the dark, snow free bases transform when the snow is placed.

The is the second Song of Ice and Fire unit that I have done as the subject of an Army Painting series.  many more are on the way, leading up to Adepticon.  My next Song of Ice and Fire unit is a set of Free Folk Spearwives.  This is not limited to that genre, however.  I already have 2 Lord of the Rings series, an Age of Sigmar and even a Bolt Action tutorial series on the Patreon Page.

The Army Painter pledge level is $15, and as I mentioned, it will provide access to all the various tutorials that I do that month, which is at least 16-22 hours of brand new video tutorials!

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Release the Hounds!

The latest unit painted for Victoria Miniatures complete with the shotguns and their dusters are the Sandor Rad Hounds!  Here they are on the website:

These coats were very similar to the Bolt Action winter Soviets that I painted for an earlier Army Painter series.  While the overall color is tan, I attempted to work in greens in some areas of darker tones.  This gives a little more depth and interest to those shadow areas.

There was also much more of the copper metals required to match the color scheme I had to work from.  Such is the case when doing commission pieces... you have to stick with "but also reinterpret at times" what is required.

All of the figures you have seen here on the blog and the video tutorials will be on display in the giant display cabinet which Victoria usually sets up at Adpeticon.  Come into the vendor's hall and check that out!!! :-)

I have done a of these squads as Tutorial series, which you can find on my YouTube Channel:

Friday, February 15, 2019

Massive Metals 2

Here's a massive example of a figure painted with oil paints, especially the Mig Ammo Oilbrushers.  To give you an idea of size and scale, that base is 60mm!  To work on such large surfaces, using oil paints makes creating subtle blends much easier, as that paint has a much longer working time.

I was even able to "glaze" the rust effects onto the weapons while the other layers were still wet!  Yes, you can do that with oil paint.  You can wait for layers to dry if you want first, but the key principle I mention over and over and over is the idea that thick paint will always stick to thinner paint, and vice versa.

I learned that when I was 11 or 12 years old watching Bill Alexander doing his oil paintings.  He must have said that same phrase a hundred times... just in his thick German accent.

As most of you already know, I LOVE to get a huge variety of shades and tones in my metals... turquoise, purple, reds, blues, etc.  Since puple and green mixed together make gray, it makes sense that placing those colors next to each other here and there will trick the eye into believing it is all gray.

This video shows the Mig Ammo Oilbrushers in action!

There are already several Non Metallic Metal videos on the Patreon Page, covering several miniature ranges, and even entire units!

I will also be doing more videos on large creatures for the Patreon Page.  The $15 Army Painter pledge level will provide access to all videos made over the course of the month, which is usually 12-20 hours of content!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Shining the Light!

Here are some scenes from Episode 10 of my Painting Dark Sword series on the Patreon Page.  I wanted to feature some Object Source Lighting in this video, but also how to get more variety in shades of blue.

I used the Reaper Clear paints quite a bit, in conjunction with the Vallejo Fluorescent paints, as they really go well together.  The Clear paints are very richly pigmented, and can also be thinned down into wonderful glazes.

I even got a chance to utilize some of my home made flower tufts!

Each tutorial is usually 100-120 minutes long, and takes you through every brush stroke, and every concept along the way.  The idea is to present you with as many options and tools as possible, instead of "rules".

I will discuss certain basics, and how using those in your favor can make your life a lot easier, and let you get some very nice looking figures in a drastically reduced time frame.  We have precious little time to work on our own figures, and there seem to be many instances where they never get painted.

That is due as much to the fear of not making them look as good as you would like, especially if they are a more expensive/elaborate figure.  Figures sitting in blisters and boxes don't do us any good, so best to get those painted and on the table/display case!

I try to show how I used the varieties in my blueish tones to set off the greenish glow.  It is pretty apparent that the main focus was making the blue more reddish, if not a blue/purple.  This difference with the greens meant that I could have even more contrast without having to go a lot darker with the blue... or even lighter with the green glow.

I really love the detail on Dark Sword figures, which is why I created the $10 pledge level that features a number of new lessons each month.  You also have access to other tutorials created that month on skin tones, color theory, etc., as all of those are designed to tie into this series!

The Dark Sword series is a real favorite of mine, and Episode 12 is already under way!  You can join in on the tutorials at the $10 level here on the Patreon Page: