Sunday, April 29, 2012

Male Warrior With Battleaxe by A Novice Painter

This is the fourth miniature I have painted and is from Dark Sword Miniatures. It is the first male that I have painted and the first figure to have armor.


For those of you who are new to my blog and those of you gamers in hiding that are reading it (I know you're out there) I have learned to paint by instruction from Kris at Wargames and Railroads via email, by cruising around looking at blogs and from the critiques of some very helpful and talented painters and gamers.


I wanted this figure to look like he had just come from battle so I chose to paint the armor looking rough and dirty.  This figure has much more detail than I have done in the past and is the first time I have experienced eye-strain and headaches.  Painting is a bit difficult for me as I have no real vision in my left eye due to an accident and my right eye is a -16.0. Standard contact lens do not go higher than a -12.0 so I paint without lens or glasses with my left eye shut.


I think I showed improvement in painting the cloak this time and I added embellishment to the bottom. Not perfect, but a first effort. I did the hair in black and I think I should have brought the highlights up higher.


I took this photo to show the work on the battleaxe and for a first effort I think I did okay, but the differences in shading as you go along the weapon should have been greater. This shot also shows my failure to give enough highlighting to the hair. Also I think I should have had more silver highlights on the mail on the skirt.


This is a closeup of the face and I'm pretty satisfied with it. I used 4 different shades to build the color from light to dark and provide shading to the area under the cheeks and to highlight the cheekbones, browbones, chin and nose.  I also added a hint of color to the lips.


This shot of the face shows the eyes and again I hand painted them without washes (I don't like washes).

I have to confess something--I do the faces last. I know, I know I'm a heretic and should be burned at the stake, but it works for me.  And I know that the shine is too high on the figure, but I don't have matte varnish and will have to twist the Hubby's arm to let me buy some and to order some gold paint and other colors I want.

I'm just too tired to see all of my mistakes, so I'm going to let you guys point them out to me.  And if there is something I've done that you think is good please point that out as well.

The Hubby had a rough night and I haven't slept since Friday. So as soon as I push publish I'm going to go down like a ton of bricks.  I'll check back in around 7:00 p.m. EST to deal with any comments.



84 comments:

  1. First with my burst
    Penguin man is worst

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    1. Oh now you have to deal with comments huh? You are such a heritic and all the liquor inside you will just make you burn faster. Can the cat light the match?..lol

      I think this one is my favorite so far. The axe looks deadly and I like how you did make the armor seem more war torn. Does it really matter if you do the face last? What's the big deal with that? Face looked great too. I'm no expert crtiquer with such things but you get better with every single one.

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    2. It's 7pm est or past it now, you lied! Shame on you.

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    3. I kept hitting the snooze on my alarm. If the Hubby hadn't yelled at me to turn the bloody thing off, I'd still be sleeping.

      All the articles I read said to paint the face first, but I didn't do that like I refuse to use washes on anything.

      Dez and I took care of your comments yesterday while you did god knows what with who knows what. Filthy feline.

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    4. You can hit snooze on mean meow too unapologetically.

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    5. haha the cat didn't even bother to hit snooze the other day, so yes you did take care of the comments at my bay. I guess the alliance is good for something every once and a while.

      Bah! Do it how you want, who says the articles are right? If you like doing it last, do it last.

      a mean meow will never snooze and just keep coming.

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  2. Hi! Blame Fran/Ray/Lee for me being here :D

    Like it - certainly better than I'd manage. You're not alone on the iffy eyesight - my right is -2, but that's because it developed a cataract about a decade ago, when it was -18, and the lens implant they put in had some serious correction. My left is slowly developing another cataract and is currently -17 and blurry :D

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    1. That was so nice of the boys to have sent you over. I really appreciate t input from experienced painters. It's hard not having another person in real life to talk about this stuff and to compare work.

      You're as bad off as me then with vision. My damage is to the optical nerves and can't be repaired, so I've just adjusted my life accordingly. Are you going to have laser surgery on that left eye?

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

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  3. Nice color choices- the olive & ocher around the armor help with the dirty & weathered impression of the armor. I think you're doing your best work with the faces, getting some nice realistic skin tones. Why heresy? I always do faces either last or nearly last.

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    1. Thank you Ferret. I think I'm good at faces because I use to do portraits for people when I was a teenager, so I have a pretty good feel for bone structure. Everything I've read says to do faces first and that's what Kris taught me to do. Although I rebelled against him!!

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  4. I love how his cape has a life of its own!
    Oh, dahling, I shall send Jonathan Rhys Meyers to tuck you in .... and Colin Farell to bring you some warm milk to bed....

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    1. And that right there, Dez, shows what a wonderful friend you are!! Sending over just the men to tuck her in =)

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    2. I've always been ever so kind :)))

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    3. Thank you darling. If those two came over I don't think I'd be doing any sleeping though!

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  5. Okay, to start I see a huge leap in technique on this one. I think everything is really starting to come together and it just becomes practice, practice, practice!

    I think there is a whole strand of hair coming across his face that you forgot to paint. The highlights should come up higher on the hair, but black is one of the hardest colors to deal with as far as shadows and highlights. I typically go for a really dark dark purple as the shade, black for the mid tone and then a blue for the highlights and then maybe just a touch of white on the highest highlights. If you highlight with pure white or with grays he just starts to look old.

    I like the weather beaten look to the armor, one of the more effective colors for beaten up armor is a Vallejo Model Color called smoke. It is not an opaque color but one of their transparent colors and it is best applied as a wash but it doesn't take much to thin it down. It appears as a brown but it has flecks of metal and green in it which really add some depth to the color.

    The cloak is showing a lot of improvement, I think you can still push the highlights a little bit, but it needs more shadow. Darker shadows will really help push the contrast.

    I called her a heretic on the faces, 'cause I paint them first! Ultimately you paint things in whatever order works for you. I was taught to paint a figure like you are getting dressed, so from the skin out. So now you are thinking that's silly because you could do a lot of work and wipe it out in one careless swipe of the brush. Painting the face first allows you to be sloppy and really get into face without worrying about any other paint work you have already finished. You can still save final highlights for later. What it does teach you is control, once you have but that much work into the face and really defining the personality of the miniature you will make darn sure you don't make a mistake while painting something else!

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    1. I've got a female figure that I think would look best with black hair so I'll try that color combination on her. I understand what you mean on the colors and mainly because my daughter dyes her hair a deep purple with blue highlights and it looks more like a deep, rich black. I did miss a strand, but I didn't see it until I looked at the photos.

      On the first one I did the face first and kept getting paint onto the face and that's why I switched to doing it last. And for some reason I don't "feel" the personality of the piece until I've done the clothing. When I first looked at the piece I saw him as a blonde, but after I'd done the clothing I knew he needed black hair

      I'm still really struggling with my mouse warrior though. He's getting used to swimming in pine sol now!

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  6. Through you I'm starting to see the skill involved with painting miniatures. The detail you have on this is really great. Also, I don't have the patience for a hobby of this skill level so I really admire this. I'd break down and dunk the figure in turquoise paint (the color is chosen not by me, but by the gremlin in my head who loves turquoise). Well done.

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    1. Thank you Pickle. While I'm painting I feel serene and only get frustrated if I've been at it for too many hours.

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  7. I think you've done a great job with this Anne, I really can't see any visible mistakes anyway.

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    1. Thank you Matthew. Oh the mistakes are there, but they're finally getting to be over smaller details so it's getting better.

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  8. Fabulous! I love the armor the most, I think because it looks the most authentic and like it will "clink" when he moves. I love the added stripes at the bottom of the cloak. At first I thought you matched the battleaxe to the garments but then realized, no, silly!!! In the last shot, it's clear the colors are different, duh!

    Now for my inner geek - you already know I'm a D&D fan so when I saw the battleaxe, I of course thought of my favorite character, Bruenor. I think you did a great job here as well. I don't see the flaws that you see...and, I also think he is well suited for the dark hair...it just fits.

    I'm sorry that hubby didn't sleep well, that you haven't slept at all (I'm right there with you sweetie!) and that you've had headaches. Much love, Anne! Hope you get the rest you deserve!

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    1. Why oh why did Salvatore kill of Bruenor!! I'll never forgive him for that, not in a million years.

      You and I both need to go to full service spas and get a good pampering followed by twelve sold hours of sleep!

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    2. Bruenor is not dead! I didn't finish reading that book so I am in full blown denial of his death because I didn't see it with my own eyes LOL

      Funny, when asked what I wanted for Mother's Day - I said a Spa Day!!!

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  9. Wooow. Great painted figure! I like it as it is. Your painting of the face looks really good. You found your style and it is great in my opinion. Keep on your good work!

    Regards
    Bruno

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    1. Really well done Anne!! You have really picked out the detail well on the armour and I like the shading that you have achieved on the cloak. Black hair is really difficult to do well and I fail at it miserably.

      I have not seen any Dark Sword miniatures "in the flesh" but I do like the look of them and your painting is bringing them to life.

      Hope you had a good, peaceful rest by the time you read this!

      And thanks for the link to Kris' web page. Now a follower!

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    2. @Bruno Thank you, it's nice to hear praise from someone whom I've been following for so long and whose work I've been admiring.

      @kingsleypark I do like the Dark Sword mini's they're well made and have loads of detail and good dynamic poses. I've seen some really amazing figures over at the Ferret's place and some of those are on my wishlist.

      Kris is a really talented painter and make sure you go through his backlog so you can see the variety of his work.

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  10. Your really getting the hang of this Anne, we'll all be sending our figures over soon to get that O'Leary look!!!!
    Keep up the excellent work!!!

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    1. Thank you Ray. I wish people would send me figures to do for them, then I could paint and not have to spend money on the figures. This is an expensive hobby and you've a good missus for putting up with it!

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  11. Well I hope you get plenty of sleep. The figure is looking really good, I'm impressed at least. Plus, hey, I'd kill to look like that. God damn I'm old fashioned.

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    1. He is handsome and he's got such lovely cheekbones so that's what drew me to the figure. I'm going to be going back to sleep for round two here shortly.

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  12. This is awesome Anne. His hair - makes me feel jealous. I have one Schleisch figurine I got from Sears sale with axe similar to this. Same attention to detail and wonderful work. Loved it.
    That hairline in his right cheek, is interesting for a second I thought whether it could be a microphone, that would be interesting axe and microphone.
    The figurine is perfect and awesome paint job.
    You are a wonderwoman.

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    1. His hair is so thick and gorgeous and most of us women would kill for hair like that. If he had a microphone he'd could front a seriously heavy metal band!

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  13. Dont worry I'll have a pic of myself on my blog eventually lol :) That figure looks awesome I know how hard it is to make those look good I used to try to do all the special paint effects on model tanks with burlap and other things.

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    1. We've been asking to see a pic of you for a while now Baur! You must meet our demands or perish!!! I've seen some great work done on tanks. My favorite is the Panzer. Love that tank.

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  14. Is it bad to do the faces last? If it works for you, then I don't see a problem with it. I'm no artist, but I think it looks great!!

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    1. I don't know how many people do the faces last, almost everyone I've talked to on here does them first. But the Ferret does his last and he's an amazing painter, so I'm in good company.

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    1. Thank you Captain and I really appreciate your stopping by today.

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  16. Sweet!...you've got a style that takes control of the brush...for the better.

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    1. I really appreciate you stopping by today Jay. Now have those aliens disembarked yet?

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    2. No. They are still somewhere out-this-side-of an outer rim. They think they are heading to home planet...wrong! Keep up the great work, it's a pleasure to view your painting.

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  17. The small details like the belt and the bracers are really well painted, what size brush do you have to use to get into all those nooks?

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    1. I use a 7 for the really small details but use a 4 quite a bit for detail work. Thank you for noticing the bracers, I wasn't at all sure about the color on those, but I think it worked out okay.

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  18. I think it looks pretty rad. I don't have enough patience for this sort of thing. I remember looking at the miniature models my grandpa used to make and wish I had such cool looking stuff as that, but then realizing I could never probably make something so cool/tiny as myself. Painting these things must be pain staking. Kudos.

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    1. I tend to get lost in the piece while I'm working and forget to do things like eat and sleep and housework. God this place needs a good hoovering!

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  19. Beautiful job on this mini, especially great job on the eyes. I've been painting for years and mine never look that good. You are taking to mini painting like a fish to water.

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    1. Thank you Joe, I really love doing it. I've downloaded a ruined church from Papermau and have to take it to the printers. I hope I can work out how to assemble it so I can pose my mini's with it and take photos. I'm going to get more scenery there. I need to find the right thing to go with my frogs because they'll make a nice scene I think.

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  20. Very impressive. I have been meaning to ask, have you ever or do you now, build models, of such things like ships, planes, cars etc? I have been thinking about getting back into it. I haven't since I was a kid but if I do I want to go all out since I have more patience as an adult and have a bit more attention to detail.

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    1. I used to build model planes and cars when I was a kid. I'd hang the planes from my bedroom ceiling afterwards and had painted a lot of cars. I liked cars because I really liked style. I never did a ship because the rigging intimidated me. You should do it again Bama, there are ships out there that would look wonderful with the decor of your home.

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    2. Oh sweetie, that was a joke blog post, that is my uncle's house. Although mine is nice too, if I could ever get it to sell in this shitty economy and get my EX wife out of it, haha. xo

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    3. I thought that was your house. See how blonde I am!

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  21. I can't pretend I know what I'm talking about if I said anything. I know that I like the details though, eyebrows and such. I know that the hair looks off, but I don't paint so I don't know how that would fix. I'm just a regular non war-gamer.

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    1. You should see this figure done by one of the master painters at Dark Sword. She was so subtle and perfect with the brush that she managed to give him a five o'clock shadow that looked real. I'm not a gamer either and there are a lot of guys that are strictly painters.

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  22. I'm impressed with how well you paint, especially considering how recently you started. I wish I could highlight cloaks as nice as yours.

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    1. Thank you Adam. There's still a room for improvement on my cloaks though, but each one gets a little better.

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  23. you are getting really good at this...i am digging the layering you are doing...really well done anne...hope you had a great weekend.

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    1. Thank you Brian. I'm really enjoying the challenges presented by each new figure I work on.

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  24. ...and I thought I had bad eyes.

    The guy looks FABULOUS! He looks splendid (and I'm not exaggerating).
    My favourite shot, however, is when you show his cloak. The picture looks cool.

    Do you use an SLR camera? Looks like manual focus.

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    1. I do have an SLR, a Canon Pro-Shot. I used the Macro setting for this and let the camera make the adjustments for the low light conditions. I probably should have manually changed the ISO, because I really needed more light to get into the lens.

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  25. Great work here Anne. This guy looks awesome. Love the painting of the face, puts mine to shame!!Wonderful!!

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    1. Thank you Rodger. I'm completely hooked on painting miniatures now. I have definite goals of the quality of painting I'd like to get up to. I've got a ways to go, but in a few years I think I'll get there.

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  26. Hey Anne, I'm a bit slow getting to your post this week.

    I have to agree with Kris's comments generally. This is definitely your best miniature to date – bit of a benchmark piece I think. I really like it. I like the way you're getting a feel for the model as your painting, re. hair colour. I think this is a fundamental ability and shows you're a natural.

    Seriously, if you want more figures to paint, email me your postal address and I'll send you a few – I have loads!!

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    1. Thank you so much Templar and I would never say no to free figures. I think I'm beginning to see that each figure has it's own personality and am trying to capture that with the paint. Dark Sword has some good sculpts and that makes it really nice to pain them. Eventually I start putting them into scenery.

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  27. This is your best work so far, what a great face you've painted, better than I could have done Anne!

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    1. Thank you Angry. On the next one can you tell me you're proud of me?

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  28. You've gotten really good at this. If it weren't for all the war game blogs, I wouldn't know what it takes to detail these things. Can't wait to see you build a collection.

    Also, re: today's comment, thanks for your support! I feel I have to say that we aren't stopping our reading and commenting entirely, we're merely limiting this and restricting it mostly to our close blog friends (you most definitely included). So we'll still be by, just not as often as before.

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    1. I understand boys and I know you're going to be busy while your taking on a completely different medium. It's going to be fun to watch it develop. I'll understand if you can't get to me very often and will hang in there with you guys no matter what!

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  29. I think you did a fantastic job! I realize most painters would have giving him more highlights on the chainmail (like what you wanted to do) but I must say, I like how his chain mail looks as is! It looks like how I'd imagain chain mail would look after a dark and bloody battle!! I like the over all feel of the miniture! Its as if the miniture its self is a more dark/realistic statue! I'm definitely loving the shading and tone of him!

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    1. I fell in love with this figure as soon as I saw him. I've got a female elf that is a direct contrast to this one. She's going to be done in really pale, soft blues. She's pretty and she has nice Boobies.

      I'll see you tomorrow my Evil Nemesis for our Challenge!!

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  30. HOLY SMOKE........AND I MEAN THAT!.....Jeez you did better than a lot of things I have seen on the webz, and with only 1/2 of 1 of yer sixth sense's..wow.

    My hat is tipped to you (As always lol), KEEP IT UP!

    :)

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    1. Thank you Kriz. I've still got to get back to you on the gallery pics. I'm behind on everything right now due to the Hubby's health and preparing for another surgery. But I'll get to it. This week is going to be horribly difficult as we've got appointments at two different hospitals in 2 different cities between now and Friday.

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  31. Anne - he's looking gooooood. Well done. The face is great. You are picking up what you need to do to improve and self critiqing (the worst kind!) - that is the artist in you coming out, just trust it. Be intersting for the readers to see this in scale I think.

    Personally i think the top of the mail is light enough, but perhaps darken the depths - Washes - yes i know I don't favour them either , but for some things they really do the hard work.

    Looking forward to the next one

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    1. Thank you Dave. I'll shoot the next one with a scale reference as it will help non-painters and non-gaimers see just how small these figures are. I know the washes are a quick way to get those dark colors into tiny crevices and I'll eventually give in to them.

      I've got two on the painting table right now.

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  32. Painting those things takes loooooooooooaaads of patience very hard for me to paint models lol

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    1. It does take patience but I get so lost in it, it's almost like meditation.

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  33. Bravo Anne!!
    Now, you're better than me!
    For me it's an artist work not a wargamer painting: it's different, as you understood....
    I find this figure so beautiful! the face is very well painted (I don't paint the faces!)
    The Castle in ruin from Papermau is not difficult to build, just need time because there is a lot of parts... I will show it very soon, because I've almost finished it...)

    You can show us more figures: I'm very happy to see yours!!!

    MORE !!!!!!!

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    1. Thank you so very much. I can't wait to see your Castle ruins. I've got to get mine on a memory stick and take it to the printers. After I get the hang of making scenery I'll do some pics with my figures in the scenery. That should also drive me to paint a larger variety of figures.

      I'm starting work on a female elf sorcerer and a fully armored knight. I'm using a completely different color palette on these two and I'm really excited about them.

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  34. Hi Anne,
    Saw your message you being in hospital with hubby, is everything alright? Wishes for him to get back to normal and wishes to enjoy your vacation fine. Take care.

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  35. Hubby's had a couple of really rough days and we were able to get him into his neurosurgeons on short notice today and that took most of the day. We're part way through preparing for another spinal surgery, but this new development has to be looked at first. I'm not going on vacation though. I'll be doing the Women of Ireland Challenge post tomorrow. I'm going to beat that wiley Canadian!!!

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  36. Looks nice but if he just came from battle shouldn't there be blood or something to that nature on his armor too?

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  37. Anne this is fantastic! You're getting better and better with every next figure you paint. It took me years to reach this level. And considering that you have bad eyes, you're even better as me.
    Good thing is that you stay focused on one figure at the time, and not like me on several figures.
    I'm really looking forward to your next figure!

    Greetings
    Peter
    http://peterscave.blogspot.com/

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  38. My Prayers and best wish's to you and the Mr, hope all turns out well.

    No worries about the gallery for now...when you can.

    Sincerely.
    Kriz

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