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garbetsp

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Everything posted by garbetsp

  1. "The man who crucified Conan. The lover of Salome the witch." --Monolith Happy Holidays to all.
  2. garbetsp

    Scrolls Of Skelos: Cache One

    Nice. I don't speak French, but google translate shows nifty rules for negotiating roofs and falling off. Like it!
  3. garbetsp

    Painting Minis

    I needed to prime this weekend and live in an old drafty house and it was around 20 degrees outside. I wanted to warm up the can, so I put it under my shirt to use body heat. I was jumping about making yipping noises when my wife said, "Why don't you just use the heating pad?". DOH! 🤣 So I did, and primed in the basement. The heating pad made it really easy to have the primer at a reasonable temp coming out of the can in the winter. Also, multiple short passes with primer are better than one thick pass. Got to come at all the angles quickly. It reduces risk of gooping.
  4. garbetsp

    Painting Minis

    Yellow is a difficult color. It takes a lot of pigment and our eyes pick up any variation in brush stroke or thickness so easily. I saw a presentation on just how difficult yellow was at a medical imaging conference. I don't remember the details, but it focused on the wavelength and energy spectrum properties. It's difficult in a lot of other contexts as well. I find it usually takes several carefully placed brushed coats of yellow to get it look okay. Pure white and pure black are almost non-existent in the real world. You're better using those to tint and shade other colors or really thin white for highlight. For something you think is flat black, tint it a tiny bit with another color it can stay really dark just not pure black. That was the advice from an oil-painting class years ago anyway. One of the more difficult things to do as well, that really stands out on a miniature is eyes. There's a chunk of our brain devoted to facial recognition and it will pick up details on the eyes over everything else. A little off in any way and it pops out. I don't quite know how some of the professionals do it. I generally use a black ink or shade in the eye sockets to darken them. When that's dry I use a 10/0 brush to put a small horizontal oval using an ivory or bone white. Pure white stands out too much; look at peoples eyes in real life and what color do you see? Then using black (yeah I said don't above but it's soooo tiny), try to make a triangle pointing down starting from the middle top of the white oval. I do this by putting my 10/0 brush onto the center of the top of the white oval and then stroking down a tad. If the stroke goes over below, it's not too hard to come back with flesh color and correct it from the bottom of the eye using horizontal strokes. All this said, I mess up eyes about a quarter of the time, paint over it and try again the next day. Doing it immediately is too frustrating, and I usually don't wait for it to dry and it just becomes a bigger mess. Sometimes I just give up and figure it'll just always have that goofy expression and I'm moving on because it's just not going to happen. Aka, don't sweat it too much.
  5. Given the other thread on helping a beginner get started in the hobby of painting minis, so much discussion resulted about what folks used. Sometimes it's better with a picture. So here's where I work at painting.
  6. garbetsp

    Painting Minis

    I almost forgot, "Brush Cleaner" really works. It extends the life of your brushes and keeps the tips pointy.
  7. garbetsp

    Painting Minis

    Excellent job on the mini! I've had mixed results with primer. The expensive ones have disappointingly varied in quality from can to can (except for Citadel's which is excellent) and I've bought several of them and ended up throwing them away. The cheaper ones at the local hardware store seem to be more consistent and work just fine. The master mini painters generally use an airbrush to prime. My wife used to work with airbrushing and she doesn't want one in the house due to fumes. 😞 Red sable are the absolute best brushes for this. Otherwise, any cheap set will do. I've got almost all cheap brushes and a few red sables. If I buy any more it will be the red sable ones. Paint however, has a variety lot of grades. Most of the miniature lines are fairly the same (but price varies widely). The big cheap tubes at the craft store are a grade below, they seem rubbery and need a lot of thinning and the color washes out a bit as you thin (i.e. short on pigment, heavy on medium). The art supply stores sell the highest grade, but you have to mix all your own colors and mediums yourself so it's more of DIY of paint making. I prefer miniature lines in the dropper bottles just because they dispense a drop and don't dry out as fast. We just may have to start a "Show your paint station" thread...
  8. garbetsp

    Call for content for Scrolls Of Skelos: Cache One

    What happens is the pages get printed on double sized paper. The ordering is worked out such that you can just fold these printed pages down the middle and staple. The digital presses now provide full automation of this. They really love you if you provide in CMYK encoded colour scheme, 300dpi and the left and right text margins for manuscript pages should not be less than 7/8ths (0.875). Page Bleed is usually around 1/8". I think one can have the cover be image that goes over margins--however the requirements for this will vary depending on the printer. The presses today are fairly accurate, but things happen on the way to the folder and cutter and it's a generally safe assumption that any print could be shifted 1/8" of inch on the paper and designing around this.
  9. garbetsp

    No more Conan until 2020??

    It has a really good article on creating scenarios and balancing as well.
  10. garbetsp

    Call for content for Scrolls Of Skelos: Cache One

    It the page count is a multiple of 4, then there are print on demand presses that will print them and staple them together.
  11. garbetsp

    Painting Minis

    I grew up in a print shop and used to mix inks for colors. My wife has banned me from discussion on color theory, but since you brought it up... Having more colors is easier to reproduce without mixing some folks get a "wet palette" so they can mix up colors and have them over a few sessions. All you need in a mixing pigments (a subtractive color system) is white, black, cyan, magenta and yellow. Metallics are specials because they actually contain flecks of metal so those have to be bought outside the mixing system. There are greens which we don't have pigments to reproduce but those colors are not common unless you work in a metallic chem lab oxidizing metals. However, to reliably mix colors from that you'll need a color mixing guide and those surprisingly aren't cheap. Also surprising, most pigment sets don't have cyan and magenta which is weird. There's this antiquated idea that red, blue and yellow can mix anything which is bunk (red, green and blue can in an additive system i.e. mixing light beams). All that said, I would get a set that had at minimum the basics white, black, cyan, magenta, yellow, metallics. Then round out with commonly used paints dark flesh, light flesh, leather, earth, natural tones, and some oranges, reds, greens, blues to round it out. I prefer the little squeeze bottles with a tip. They keep better. Then the starter set of shade inks from Citadel is a great ink set.
  12. garbetsp

    Painting Minis

    Just remember these golden rules: 1) Relax, take it easy and have fun. 2) Try 1 or 2 new techniques at a time and don't be afraid to experiment. 3) There will be times when what you did doesn't work for you. It's no big deal, you can keep painting over unless it's so thick it's lost detail and then you can strip. 4) Thin your paints. 5) When in doubt see (1).
  13. garbetsp

    Painting Minis

    Simplest method: just dunk the whole mini with all areas painted flat in black ink. Some folks are quite happy with just doing this and moving on. It does turn the whole miniature darker, so you want to use lighter shades than you intend for the final. It's also called "slop and go." From your questions, I don't think this your intent, you seem curious to learn. Better slower method: layer appropriate colored ink along all the lines of shadow under crevices using a 000 brush after filling in areas. Is it essential to drybrush? A better question to ask is it essential to highlight? Highlighting areas can be done via multiple methods. Dry brushing is very destructive to a brush, but quickly gives a highlight to an area. One can also use really super thin white or near white paint to highlight an area and feather the edges. Not as destructive, but takes more effort and the results tend to look better. But not always, sometimes dry brushing texture is perfect for what you want. Try both and see how they work. I tend to do all flat paints, gradients for broad areas. Then ink. Then highlight (occasionally dry brushed). Then touch up till I'm happy. Others suggested watching some videos that walk you through a mini. Zarastro on youtube does this for a lot of common miniatures. Follow along with his instructions and do a few. You'll get the hang of it, and eventually develop a feel for just how thin is the right amount and what color works where.
  14. garbetsp

    Show your Conan!

    I forgot I had this on my shelf. >Runs off to dig through shelves<
  15. garbetsp

    Show your Conan!

    I really really like this sculpt.
  16. garbetsp

    Painting Minis

    All good advice above. I posted another article on Forced Shadow here, I recommend reading it for color theory of what your doing. How much you use forced shadow is a choice, but the inking in the crevices is the minimal amount. SImple painting steps: 1) Thin your paints. Not to the point that they just run out of control. Using medium matte thinner is probably the best option. Also you don't need a lot of paint this way either. Tiny drops are usually sufficient unless the area to cover is really large or doing multiple minis. 2) Start with the biggest innermost areas and work outward doing a broad pass. Detailing comes at the end. 3) For the broad areas that need gradient pick 3 colors or shades. You can even just take one shade and mix up with a bit of black and down with a bit of white. Use these colors to *quickly* paint in areas with proper shade. Don't worry about clean lines or getting 100% correct. If you did (1) above, they will blend on their own. Wait a minute or so, and see how their blending. Touch up the areas with light and dark. Maybe even keep a brush for feathering the colors together. 4) With broad areas done, paint all the details their neutral colors. 5) Now apply inks. Shade corners, cracks, all the details. Think about how shadows fall under details. Use a lot of black on metals. Also when inking, it's better to put it where you want carefully than to just slop it on. However, for a beginner slopping it on actually works out okay. You can pull ink off if you wash and dry a brush on a paper towel. The dry brush will pull ink out. Move it around till it's where you want it. A few areas will be problems of pulling too much ink in. You'll have to figure out a solution for those--usually painting back up to neutral colors. 6) Dry brush furs (or metals) and hairs with lighter color. 7) Now using really thin white and your finest brush, bring back details where needed. For your first one I recommend picking one that has broad areas and little details (i.e., not the Conan minis). Painting up a cloak or fur, or the broad skin of an ogre or troll is a great way to start. Monsters are more forgiving. Now, if you totally mess up--it's completely okay! Just soak the mini in pine sol overnight and scrub with a toothbrush and soap and boom, you can try again. Or you can just keep layering over the top--that works too. Tips for getting better. 1) Take pictures of your mini with a cell phone. Look at details. What worked? What didn't. 2) Look at professional pictures and see if you can figure out how to approach what they did. 3) Look at similar things in real life and notice the color gradients. 4) Learn basing techniques. 5) Experiment with more exotic paints (translucent and textures). 6) By ALL means have fun. It's for your enjoyment and whatever you do is yours.
  17. garbetsp

    Quest of Conan Part One

    I found these: https://paizo.com/products/btpy91ln?Pathfinder-Battles-Skull-Shackles-Shark Nice sharky. Good boy! Although these might work well for Batman. He does have that Shark repellent on hand. And yes, I'm drifting the topic so back to your regular scheduled crushing of the enemies.
  18. Just finished it. It was good, thanks. That "Wildside" journal sounds interesting. If my credit card wasn't overheating from xmas buying I would subscribe today.
  19. Being of an analytical sort, I put all the scenarios into a spreadsheet (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1tzOjjd9tsUtBXHhG8maKCfavdmw2IqRKHN16NVWKrmo/edit?usp=sharing) to track what I've painted and what I've unlocked. I started to noticed my painting order was not optimal for unlocking scenarios and started getting more strategic about which groups I was painting besides the 'ooooh I really want to paint that one next' which I had been doing. Given that I now had the data, I got curious if it was possible to open a scenario per figure group painted or how closely this could be done. So I ran a greedy algorithm that chose miniatures to paint based on opening a scenario with the minimum number of groups painted. If there is a tie, the winner is the one with the most scenario dependencies, and in case of a further tie the first one in the list. The results are interesting (I reran with what I have painted and my personal ordering has diverged). The first scenario is a third of the way down the list. The campaign scenarios don't come out in order, but with a little tweaking they could be made too as at this point it's mostly single models. In general the median number of groups to paint to open a scenario is one and the average is one point three. Seventy-five percent are two groups or less. The worst and it falls to the bottom is Khitai, as one has to pretty much paint everything to open all it's scenarios. Nordheim starts opening early. Yogah is curiously near the top, and you best get those Bossonians done first. Here is the resulting ordering: 'The Wrath of Anu' by painting: Conan, Bossonian Guards, Thak 'Run Till You Drop' by painting: Atali, Crows 'Yara's Trap' by painting: Yogah of Yag, Captain, Bossonian Archers 'Infernal Pursuit 1' by painting: Shevatas, Pirates 'Trapped Like Rats' by painting: Hadrathus 'Infernal Pursuit 2' by painting: Zaporavo 'The Key of Kuthchemes' by painting: 'For All of Ophir's Gold' by painting: Thalis (Princess), Hyenas 'Yogah´s Rebirth' by painting: Kushite Witch Hunters 'The Cursed Mirrors' by painting: Belit, Belit's Guards 'The Terrible Lovers' by painting: Conan (Thief) 'Conspiracy in Khauran' by painting: Crossbowmen 'Hunting the Tigress' by painting: Skulthus, Outer Dark Demon 'The Crawling Shadow' by painting: Valeria, Thog 'The Serpent's Awakening' by painting: Conan (Warlord), Olgerd Vladislav 'The Treasure of Tranitos' by painting: Taurus, Dark Demon 'In The Name of Ibis' by painting: Mummies, Skeletons 'In the Heart of Darkness' by painting: Giant Snake, Khosatral Khel 'Damned Resurrection' by painting: Conan (Wanderer), Natohk 'The Hammer and the Anvil' by painting: Niord, Giant Wolves, Giants 'The Resurrected Horde' by painting: Aesir Warriors, Vanir Warriors 'A Red Sun Rises' by painting: Pict Hunters 'In the Clutches of the Picts' by painting: Zogar Sag, Pict Warriors 'The Final Ritual' by painting: 'Red Dawn' by painting: 'Facing the Serpent-Specter' by painting: Pict Archers 'The White Witch' by painting: Zelata 'The Thing From the Swamp' by painting: Tentacles 'Sacrificial Heroes' by painting: Pallantides 'The Last Ditch Invocation' by painting: N'Gora, Pelias, Thaug 'Uproar in Messantia (1)' by painting: Belit (Savage), Conan (Amra) 'When the Dead Walk (4)' by painting: 'The Mad Shaman (6)' by painting: 'The Cursed Treasures of Khawarizm (17)' by painting: 'The Last Dagonian (19)' by painting: Balthus/Slasher 'A Terrifying Incantation (11)' by painting: Khemsa 'Approached by the Vandal (12)' by painting: 'The Horror from the Abyss (13)' by painting: 'A Lion Among Panthers' by painting: Forest Demon 'Behind the Barricades (15)' by painting: 'The Treasure Chest (8)' by painting: Hyperborean Primitive 'Death from the North' by painting: Conan (General) 'An Explosive Enigma (10)' by painting: Grey Man Ape 'The Unmasked Pirate (2)' by painting: Gitara 'An Ape, Several Kegs and a Girl' by painting: Constantius 'The Crook's Hideout (7)' by painting: Giant Scorpion 'The Inn of All Dangers (5)' by painting: Bone Golem 'The Woman Who Never Died (9)' by painting: Akivasha 'For the Blood of a Barbarian' by painting: Ageera 'The Mystical Dagger (14)' by painting: Swamp Demon 'The Fortress of Xapur (18)' by painting: Giant Spider 'An Improbable Alliance (3)' by painting: Kerim Shah 'The Spellbook of the Gray Man-Ape (16)' by painting: Warlock 'Where the Thunder Rumbles' by painting: Sabertooth Tiger 'A Dragon on the Marches' by painting: Dragon 'Sedition' by painting: Amboola, Conan (Mercenary) 'The Iron Hand' by painting: 'The Zamboula Strangler' by painting: Baal Pteor 'The Curse of the Shape-shifter' by painting: Camel 'The Fifth Plague of Stygia' by painting: Thot Amon, Assassins, Eternal Guard 'Defeat or Die' by painting: Ikhmet 'The Lost King' by painting: Scorpion Broodmother 'The Curse of the Scorpion' by painting: 'The Price of Success' by painting: Balthus, Kothian Archer, Black Dragons 'The Magnificent Three' by painting: Shentu, Foo Dogs, Honor Guards, Javelin Throwers, Khitan Guards 'A Bloody Burglary' by painting: 'Smoke Screen' by painting: 'The Remedy' by painting: There is of course the possibility of mistakes in my scenario numbers in the spreadsheet, if you notice any let me know.
  20. garbetsp

    A Scenario per Group painted?

    Of course, given the next Kickstarter for more Conan is some unknown time in the future this post is probably moot as most of us are painting--but if there are any stragglers just getting started this might be helpful. I've added every scenario that Monolith, Modiphius and the recent campaign published here. The order changes a bit. I love the fact that the Guards are really Conan's most consistent enemy (which is why I gave them shiny black leather jack boots in my paint job). Yogah coming early and rounding out the guards is curious. Then the pirates being his second big group of foes follows the books quite well. The Picts and snake don't start until 20 in the list--which is where most start because of the first scenario in the book. Oddly in this run Atali and the crows dropped way down. 1 'The Wrath of Anu' by painting: Conan, Bossonian.Guards, Thak 2 'Torrid Night' by painting: Valeria, Captain 3 'Yara's Trap' by painting: Yogah.of.Yag, Bossonian.Archers 4 'Infernal Pursuit 1' by painting: Shevatas, Pirates 5 'Trapped Like Rats' by painting: Hadrathus 6 'Infernal Pursuit 2' by painting: Zaporavo 7 'The Key of Kuthchemes' by painting: 8 'Camel madness' by painting: Camel 9 'The Killing Floor' by painting: Kothian.Archer 10 'Thak the simian' by painting: Grey.Man.Ape 11 'Mayhem at Sin Valent Inn' by painting: Belit, Thalis..Princess. 12 'For All of Ophir's Gold' by painting: Hyenas 13 'The Crawling Shadow' by painting: Thog 14 'Conspiracy in Khauran' by painting: Crossbowmen 15 'Yogah´s Rebirth' by painting: Kushite.Witch.Hunters 16 'The Cursed Mirrors' by painting: Belit.s.Guards 17 'The Terrible Lovers' by painting: Conan..Thief. 18 'Vaniria is the fort' by painting: Valkyrie 19 'Grudges and Secrets' by painting: N.Gora, Forest.Demon 20 'Death on the Tide' by painting: Zelata, Pict.Archers 21 'The Sleeping Serpent' by painting: Mummies, Giant.Snake 22 'Facing the Serpent-Specter' by painting: Zogar.Sag, Pict.Hunters 23 'In the Clutches of the Picts' by painting: Pict.Warriors 24 'The Final Ritual' by painting: 25 'Red Dawn' by painting: 26 'Secrets in Stone' by painting: 27 'The White Witch' by painting: Giant.Wolves 28 'The Thing From the Swamp' by painting: Tentacles 29 'Demon From the Depths' by painting: Outer.Dark.Demon 30 'Hunting the Tigress' by painting: Skulthus 31 'Of Man and Beast' by painting: Belit..Savage. 32 'Uproar in Messantia (1)' by painting: Conan..Amra. 33 'The Cursed Treasures of Khawarizm (17)' by painting: 34 'Blasphemers from the Past' by painting: Dark.Demon 35 'A Lion Among Panthers' by painting: Balthus.Slasher 36 'Behind the Barricades (15)' by painting: 37 'In The Name of Ibis' by painting: Skeletons 38 'When the Dead Walk (4)' by painting: 39 'The Mad Shaman (6)' by painting: 40 'The sails of wrath' by painting: Thaug 41 'The Caller from the Depths' by painting: Amboola 42 'Sacrificial Heroes' by painting: Pallantides 43 'The Treasure Chest (8)' by painting: Hyperborean.Primitive 44 'An Explosive Enigma (10)' by painting: 45 'The King's wolves' by painting: Conan..Wanderer. 46 'First mistake, last mistake' by painting: Crows 47 'The Woman of the Mist' by painting: Giant.Spider 48 'The sepulcher' by painting: Taurus 49 'Balthus' grief' by painting: 50 'Halls of the Scarlet Citadel' by painting: Swamp.Demon 51 'Horror of the Fens' by painting: Giant.Scorpion 52 'In the Heart of Darkness' by painting: Khosatral.Khel 53 'The Last Dagonian (19)' by painting: 54 'The Last Ditch Invocation' by painting: Pelias 55 'Death from the North' by painting: Conan..General. 56 'Attack on Fort Tuscelan' by painting: 57 'The Crook's Hideout (7)' by painting: Constantius 58 'The Inn of All Dangers (5)' by painting: Bone.Golem 59 'The Fortress of Xapur (18)' by painting: 60 'A Glimpse into the Dark' by painting: 61 'The Woman Who Never Died (9)' by painting: Akivasha 62 'Reason of state' by painting: 63 'Dreams in the Lotus House' by painting: 64 'Cimmerian Walkabout' by painting: Conan..Mercenary. 65 'The Treasure of Tranitos' by painting: Conan..Warlord. 66 'Crimson night' by painting: 67 'The Serpent's Awakening' by painting: Olgerd.Vladislav 68 'The most barbarous game' by painting: 69 'Sedition' by painting: Kerim.Shah 70 'The Curse of the Shape-shifter' by painting: Warlock 71 'The Spellbook of the Gray Man-Ape (16)' by painting: 72 'A heart to be taken' by painting: 73 'The Iron Hand' by painting: Khemsa 74 'A Terrifying Incantation (11)' by painting: 75 'Approached by the Vandal (12)' by painting: 76 'The Horror from the Abyss (13)' by painting: 77 'Run Till You Drop' by painting: Atali 78 'Damned Resurrection' by painting: Natohk 79 'The Mystical Dagger (14)' by painting: 80 'A Surprise Entrance' by painting: 81 'For the Blood of a Barbarian' by painting: Ageera 82 'An Improbable Alliance (3)' by painting: 83 'Bridge of Death' by painting: 84 'An Ape, Several Kegs and a Girl' by painting: Gitara 85 'The Unmasked Pirate (2)' by painting: 86 'Valentine day's ball' by painting: 87 'The Price of Success' by painting: Black.Dragons 88 'Where the Thunder Rumbles' by painting: Sabertooth.Tiger 89 'A Dragon on the Marches' by painting: Dragon 90 'The Zamboula Strangler' by painting: Baal.Pteor 91 'Sacrifice of the Black Ones' by painting: Black.Ones 92 'The Hammer and the Anvil' by painting: Niord, Giants 93 'A Red Sun Rises' by painting: Aesir.Warriors, Vanir.Warriors 94 'The Resurrected Horde' by painting: 95 'Dreams of Atali' by painting: Ikhmet, Shentu, Thot.Amon 96 'The Trap' by painting: Assassins 97 'Defeat or Die' by painting: Eternal.Guard 98 'The Fifth Plague of Stygia' by painting: 99 'The Lost King' by painting: Scorpion.Broodmother 100 'The Curse of the Scorpion' by painting: 101 'The Fate of Yag-Kosha' by painting: 102 'The Streets of Khemi' by painting: Shuang.Mian, Javelin.Throwers 103 'The Time for Flight is Nigh' by painting: Honor.Guards, Khitan.Guards 'A Bloody Burglary' 'Smoke Screen' 'The Remedy' 'The Magnificent Three' 'Rescue at the top' 'The Time for Flight is Nigh' 'Fight or Flight'
  21. garbetsp

    No more Conan until 2020??

    Thank you Matt. That is completely transparent and clear language.
  22. Can you give specifics about a single scenario? Your request is very broad and hard to say without details. The best would be to pick a recent scenario you played, then walk through a specific fight for a round or two. Thus if it's either strategy (the scenario), or something in the immediate tactics of the fight folks can help better. Our group has gotten quite good and I'm having problems as OL keeping up with them. Last two games have come down to a single die throw in the last round.
  23. garbetsp

    No more Conan until 2020??

    Monolith if you're listening, I have a request. This Conan and Monolith fan would like a press statement that clearly says what the current plans and status for Conan in the future is. Not a commitment, just clear language about what is presently planned and maybe even what hurdles need to be cleared. Epaka's post on Kickstarter is an excellent template about what folks are trying to piece together. Personally, Conan feels a bit neglected. It was going to be after Mythic Battles, then after Batman (we all assumed you had to wait for a previous retail contract to expire so okay at least we have someone external to scorn), then after Mythic Battles 1.5, then after Claustrophobia, and now everything appears to be in some limbo status yet again. If you still have a license, then I don't care what Shinobi 7 does. In fact, I will probably not care no matter what, since they're talking about a card game then miniatures in the future. Monolith has already set the bar quite high in that regard so for them to go down that road it's going to be quite difficult--especially if you saturate the market again before they have their offering. I'm already invested heavily in the Monolith system, especially having gone all-in on Mythic Battles and the crossover, I don't think Shinobi 7 can tempt me over as i'm quite happy with what your producing.
  24. I've had this idea for some time, and googling returns nothing, so I thought I would share here. The basic theory of painting in miniatures is what I have come to call 'forced shadow'. Being miniatures the scale is different, so light works differently and the painter is trying to force the coloration to look as if it were full size. I find thinking about it in this context is helpful when painting and feel it has improved my technique as I focus on this aspect. Forced perspective is a fun thing when one encounters it. When an artist draws or paints something that makes it jump out of flatland and look like it's a 3d object and it plays with your sense of space. I've seen sidewalk chalk paintings that looked like stairs going down or giant pits into the earth. The coloration and perspective drawn by the artist tricks 'forces' our brain into seeing depth that isn't there. Forced shadow is a similar idea, to use the shading to force our minds to see a miniature as larger than it is. The root of the problem lies in the inverse square law of light. Light falls off with the square of the distance travelled. The inverse square is a highly non-linear effect. What happens between 25mm scale and full size? The falloff from an inch of full size compared with 1/64 of an inch is multiplied by 1/(64^2) or 0.00024. A tiny fraction of what is expected from real life. Thus if one painted the areas of their miniature flat colors, then there would little discernible shadow when compared with life sized. The miniature painter has to force the shadow fall off back to what's expected at full size. Thus inks, whites, etc become important to create the proper gradient. There is no simple rule either of dividing the shades evenly--there are anything but even divisions given the inverse square. One is going to have to study photos, real life, and compare with other professional painted miniatures. When walking about in daily life pay attention see just how different a single shade appears in shadows, notice how it changes based on viewing angle. One caveat, staring at the folds of a someones pants to study the color on the elevator will get you labeled as a creep. Just like forced perspective doesn't work from all viewing angles, forced shade has a similar issue. It's not as pronounced as the illusion doesn't completely shatter at different angles for shadows, but some viewing angles of the miniature will look 'off'. One has to make a choice about lighting sources when painting: how many, directions, harsh or diffused? This determines the ratios of dark to white in shading. Once that choice is made, it fixes the overall shading into that context. The more colors on a miniature the harder it becomes to keep all the shades consistent for the lighting choice. If one turns the miniature the light sources turn with the miniature for the paint job chosen unlike real life. I typically will make a choices about lighting, and apply it both to the front and flip the miniature to it's back side and then make the same choice for consistency as the viewer is apt to turn it around and pause at the back to examine. The side views are the ones left looking slightly off, like a hiccup in an image stitch--but with respect to shading and shadow. I had a fortunate accident that has proven quite helpful. I purchased an inexpensive Morduedde magnifying glass on a loupe stand with led light. The led light was on the back facing forward. If I set anything in the loupe it's backlit with a point source. At first I thought what a poor design choice on led placement. For working I must want my light source from the front. Turns out it's a great design choice, the placement is such that I can hold the miniature horizontal I have a perfect light source reference to how the shading should appear with a light source from above front. I paint my flat base coat, hold it under the light (the angle to the light and closer or further are all choices), and look where it's dark and light and shade it up or down paying attention to where the dark and light lines fall. It's taken me some time to realize just how much darker and lighter I have to go, because the light falloff isn't the same on this scale--but I have a non-linear reference built into my workspace so figuring it out has gotten so much easier. Thinking about the idea of forced shadow has been very helpful for me and really turned up my results a notch. The understanding of the non-linear effects of light fall off across scales is a principal concern of the miniature painter and understanding this provides a solid mental context to approach the art. Finding real world references and a back point source led light can be very helpful in improving technique. Forced shadow has become my default viewpoint in painting miniatures.
  25. I've seen what you refer too, I think when taken too far forced shadow leads to cartoonish looking miniatures. In photography, harsh direct lighting rarely makes for a good photo (although some shots call for it). One can take the technique too far. In the end it's all personal taste. I try to go for some, but not too much, an ombra non troppo if you will.
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