I recently put my thinking cap on in an effort to help a fellow painter who entered the crystal brush competition this year. He was pleased with what he had done and it was some of his best work to date. I have modified this write up to be a bit more general because as I was writing things down for him I thought hey this could be helpful to many people thinking about how to improve and the difference between what we see in real life and how we choose to paint it in mini form.
Skin is tricky and it may seem weird to use darker colours but for what we do adding contrast pushing the tones using greys,brown, reds what ever, down to black if its needed. I used these reference pictures of a statue to help with light and shadow.
what we see in real life.
What our eye needs to see in smaller scale to figure out whats going on and look good.You know what you see in both pictures. Grey, white, tones of brown, flecks of others and colours of the environment. When the light and shadow is increased those colours are emphasised, you feel more emotion in the piece. Think about this and move on to the next step.
Spend some time evaluating what you see and how you could increase the contrast if it was smaller in every day life. Walking down the street seeing a rubbish bin. Maybe a few scratches that could be more defined in it if it was a mini, maybe the post is a bit bent that holds it. The idea is Emphasise it. Seeing the colours and emphasising the light and shadow in your head. Yes I'm MAD but it helps when you sit down to paint having the thoughts of the day with you.
Reference pictures on what it is you want to replicate are very helpful, so find some pictures of rocks in a grassy field, what ever your plan is and use that to help transform your base. This is what I looked at before I did my dwarf. I didn't add trees and ferns but you could imagine if it was a bigger base it could sit in there, I hope. (laughs in head)
****Sticking foliage on is not enough!****I also put some wash and paint on both the moss and grass, dark green and brighter green then a few spots of 97% white with mix of the bright green, Emphasise! ( I only used pure white on the face this time) Then added some water effects mixed with the same dark and bright green. The water is not green in the picture I just took the liberty to make it more interesting(I hope).
Integration of base and mini, Harmonising
I used teal and the orange/red colours to bind the mini and the base together, it does not have to stand out, just be there for the subconscious to work it out. You see further down Skettets uses blues and purples to bind and build emotion. In your head you don't instantly think oh that's the same colour, you feel the emotion of the piece. Upon further study you can see how it works.
Shape of baseIntegrating items into your base to build reality making a hill slope or letting mother earth take back some ruins. Making a dynamic, angled, or varied level base can be more attractive than a flat one.
Wip of angled base with split level.
One that I'm working on which will have a breaking wave in front crashing onto the rocks.
Emotion, a feeling of depth and the feeling of a living environment. Shadow and light needs to be picked out, variation of colour and variation that you see in real rock, plant, grass, ivy.
I hope this is beneficial and you have something to think about after reading this. The last thing is practise no amount of watching and reading can turn you in to a master it just helps to realise and understand what your trying to achieve.
Pick up that brush and Paint on!
Pick up that brush and Paint on!
#making a miniature base