Finding my painting groove...

I'm starting to get back into my painting groove now with this figure.  For efficiency reasons I'm working simultaneously on the figure and the currently detached accoutrements and equipment.  Here are a couple of pics showing the progress on the main figure so far.  


Here the face and bearskin are virtually completed,    The rest of the colours have been simply blocked in at this point to help me get a better feel for the colour interaction between the different elements.  Plus I tried using a mid-tone grey primer for this piece instead of the black I've been using over the last few pieces.  I'm not sure if grey is for me or not and I felt the need to get it covered with some colours as quickly as possible.


I'll be varnishing the bearskin later and this will reduce the reflective highlights somewhat.  Next I'll be stating work on the red of the coatee.


The pic below shows the completed leather of knapsack and pouch.  Flat surfaced items have the potential to be boring so I generally like to incorporate plentry of campaign inflicted dust and wear for added interest.  I'm pleased with how the dust and wear looks on these and the fact that it was fairly easy to achieve this effect by using oil paints.   The effect looks very prominent in this photo due to the direct illumination from my lamps, it's not quite so pronounced under less intense lighting.

Update # 18- 19th July 2015

Update # 19- 21st July 2015

Here are a few more progress pics following a couple of painting sessions yesterday.   I started with the coatee and tried to lay in the various tones a bit more accurately than I normally do but ended up feeling quite frustrated at the end of the session for a couple of reasons.  One reason was the relatively poor coverage of the lighter tones when applied over the base colour making it hard to get a solid appearance to those values (i.e. spots of the base colour coming through).  I had contemplated pre-emptively sketching in the highlights beforehand with some acrylics to help to overcome this issue.  For some reason I decided against doing so but will definitely do it next time I have to paint red.


The other frustration is that there are so many things that still need to be resolved with the tonal values and their placement before I'll be happy with the coatee.  I wasn't expecting complete success 'alla prima' but had hoped there wouldn't be quite so many things to work out the next day...


Among other things yesterday I also painted the canteen (apart from the shoulder strap).  There are just a few adjustments to make including adding the other side of the stopper cord which I've realised I omitted by some oversight.  


The trials and tribulations of the miniaturist!





Update # 20- 22nd July 2015

A couple more pics showing the progress on the coatee after a bit more painting yesterday.   Still some finessing  work needed I think.  Also, adding in the various seams and some dirt and dust effects should help to harmonise things a bit further.  


Update # 21- 23rd July 2015

Since my last update post I've made some more progress with the coatee including some tonal refinements and definition of seams.  I will still be applying some dust/dirt effects a bit later.  Dark separation lining has been added along belts and straps, varying the darkness slightly as needed to suit the underlying shade of the coatee.


In the second photo most of the straps have been painted but the shoulder belts will receive some more highlighting work when I retun from Figureworld, lightening where the strap approaches the shoulder as wel as prominent highlighting along the upper edges for good definition/separation.  Whilst I've painted the straps with Hubrols, I'll do the subtle lightening in the shoulder area with oils as they will be far easier to apply to achieve a smooth transition into existing strap shades.  

Update # 22 - 30th July 2015

One of the things I was anxious about when starting to paint this figure was the gold lace epaulettes, rank chevrons and collar/cuff details.  Initially, I had thought to do these with metallic paints, but the effect of light on these once painted with metallics can make the result unpleasing to the eye.  So I opted instead for a non-metallic approach.


I started with a base mixed from Humbrol colours natural wood (110) and leather (62) plus some raw sienna and naples yellow oil paints.   The equivalent colour could be mixed quite easily just from oils but I find that when  painting details such as these the inclusion of Humbrols helps the paint to flow nicely (and with better coverage, i.e. more opaque) from the brush.  


For shading some burnt umber and more raw sienna were added to the mixture and applied in thinned washes.  For the highlights, more naples yellow and raw sienna were added and used in the usual painting consistency.  I was pleased with the end result and it probably looks more convincing when looking at the figure than in these much enlarged photos.


You'll notice that I've also highlighted the white belts and base coated the metal parts.  These still need to be shaded and highlighted though.   Meanwhile, in the background I've almost completed painting of all the equipment and accoutrements so once the trousers are painted I should be able to push forward to completion quickly.