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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Painting My First Horse-15mm Essex

I started painting about five months ago and began with 32mm, then did some 25mm and am now doing 15mm. I've enjoyed every figure I've painted, regardless of scale and it's all still brand new to me and therefor loads of fun.

This horse is one of four from Essex limber with horses BROE 3.



I don't think it was too bad for my first effort. But there are some problems. The biggest one being that the transition from light to dark is too abrupt.  And the second being that the coat doesn't look "natural" enough.

Another wash or two should take care of that though. I did ink this figure after priming in order to pre-shade it and to show me where the natural contours were.  That did help me out and it's something I'll do until I get a better handle on these guys. Really the hardest part was the photography. It's completely different from photographing a 32mm, much more difficult to have the camera 'see" what the eye sees.

I'll take any advice or critique you guys are willing to give me and apply that to the next horse. When they're all done, they will appear in a diorama with some of the Essex troops I purchased.

Tomorrow I hope to have the Cast of Characters posted for my story and after that I'm going to be taking at least a week off to get some painting and terrain building done. This story is burning a hole through me right now and it wants to be done, so I'm going to get cracking on it straight away.

I'm knackered right now, so I'm posting this and then it's off to the Land of Nod with me, but I'll be back in a few hours.

Well folks it's Tuesday and it's a long ways till Friday. So grab those reins, dig in your spurs and ride that horse till it lathers. I know I will.




82 comments:

  1. I think it looks alright. As you found out with all your other figures you'll get better the more you do it.

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  2. 15mm horses.. all those straps, what a pain. not a bad first go. not sure what you mean about too quick of transitions.. do you mean the levels of the brown, or the white socks & flare? the white is fine, it would be abrupt, the brown looks fine, especially for 15mm. if you want smoother then yeah, a glaze will help, but with 15mm being so much smaller, sometimes the starker contrasts work better, the moment it's 2 feet or more away the eye will blend that transition, and if more subtle it might be lost.

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    1. I mean the levels of the brown. There's no appearance of subtle blend like when you see a live horse. Their musculature is beautiful and I wanted to capture that. I'm off more than a bit here!

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    2. have you tried 'wet blending'? instead of a lighter color layer on top of a base color, lay down the base color first, then when it is dry put another layer of the same base color again, but quite wet- like with some medium or flow improver added to the paint, and then take the highlight color and paint on the areas you want light,and work the two together while wet, directly on the miniature, same way you would with canvas, letting the colors blend together, work them back and forth a bit to smooth the transition. can add a glaze of midtone afterwards too. takes some getting used to, but it will make much smoother blends than layering. once you get the hang of it, it is much faster than a score of thin incremental layers would be. to get the hang of it, practice painting on canvas (or junk dishes, plastic picnic plates,. etc. ) but again, it's 15mm and not easy to get a smooth blend with reflective hair sheen in such a tiny space of horse.

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  3. That horse looks nice, Anne.
    I think the main problem is that people try to paint a 15mm Model the same way as they do with 28mm or bigger scales.

    The smaller scale forces you to paint much higher contrasts to the model as you would normally do on bigger models.

    Some nice looking 15mm-horses can be found on the batlefront-website.
    Maybe this will help you a little.
    http://www.flamesofwar.com/hobby.aspx?art_id=3206

    Cheers,
    Thomas

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    1. I'm finding that out. I've got three Dark Sword 15mm that I've just gone back and added a lot more contrast too. Those figures are highly, highly detailed and I want all that detail to show up.

      I went and bookmarked that page.

      Thank you Thomas!

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  4. Nice, I've never been that good at painting horses for some reason, not enough uniform:)

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    1. I've got to learn to paint uniforms. That will be hard for me, but I'd better get the hang of it or you boys will call me out on it!

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  5. That Horse looks good to me:-) Its hard to tell how the end product will turn out until its based etc, the basing of a figure or unit can turn a good paint job bad and make an average paint job good. 15mm!!?? wait until your giving 10mm and 6mm a go :-)

    Jason.

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    1. This will be part of a diorama so the basing will be a bit different than normal. I'm going to try something new with it. Don't know if it will work, but I'll give it a try.

      I'd say never to 10mm or 6mm but I know better, eventually I'll do some for the challenge of it all!

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  6. Very cute , and funny Anne .
    Good Tuesday .

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  7. That last paragraph is exactly how I plan to operate this week Anne haha, great post, I love how good a job you've done with the horses, I know I know next to nothing on model painting but damnit you aren't half improving.

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  8. Well done on the horse Anne! I always find horses a pain to paint, but oft a necessity.

    Christopher

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    1. I've seen a lot of guys say that they don't enjoy painting the horses. To that I say this-send me your horses, I'll paint them for you at no cost!!

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  9. Looks good enough to me. My first horses were painted terribly, it is really a matter of practice.

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    1. By the time I'm done with this group and with my Cavalry I'll have it down.

      Thank you Andrew!

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  10. Nice nag Anne. The painting looks great and iy has a funny look in his/her eye.

    Well done.

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    1. He does have a wild look in his eye. I always paint eyes on my figures, just doesn't seem complete without them.

      Thank you Paul!

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  11. Hi, Anne. Your painting of the horse is fine. Ditto Ferret and Thomas.

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    1. Thank you Jay! One day I shall paint a pig in your honor!!

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  12. Looks like a good first run to me Anne. I think Ferret and Thomas gave sound advice. Friday just won't get here fast enough...

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    1. Friday needs to get here at a gallop because I'm owed money and it won't come in till then!!

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  13. This is amazing work for a 15 mm horse, do you sit there with a magnifying glass? I would say the knee joints could be darker, where the light would hit make it nice shiny and light, google a few horse pictures and have a look, they just have super glossy coast them brown horses - I think it just needs a tiny bit of tweaking and then it would look even more amazing. I wonder if you could use a lack (is that the english word) to make the coat glossy looking?

    I any case I would never be able to do that.

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    1. I did look at some pics and I grew up around horses so I knew what I wanted, I just couldn't get it to work. There are gloss varnishes out there and semi gloss, but using those won't do it. It's a matter of technique that I don't have just yet.

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  14. First up, that's a good looking horse, so you have a great start. Second, almost afraid to tell you this but the best way to get better results (for me anyway) is to use paints that are horse colours. I really like the Miniature Paints range as they have a nice sheane to them. But if your not going to do many I would carry on as you are

    Ian

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    1. There are horse colours??? Is that how you would get the glossy look for the fur?

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    2. Oh bloody hell, I didn't think to look for colors made specifically for horses and I'm flat broke right now! I've got 10 of them to paint right now and plan on doing many more so when I have some spare dosh, I'll invest in some of those.

      Thank you Ian!

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  15. Ain't nothing wrong with that horse Anne. I find painting all the belts etc a real pain, but yours look really good. Keep going you are doing very well.

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    1. The belts were a bit of a drag to paint. But I've got Cavalry coming up and I'm looking forward to painting the saddles. And one day I'm going to do some mounted knights and those will be loads of fun.

      Thank you Rodger!

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  16. I think you made a great job Anne, I'd be pleased to have the horse in my collection, 15mm are hard to paint up good because like Thomas said above, your trying to paint it like your 25mm figures, which is bloody hard at that scale. Like you I find taking the pics a real grind and normally take around 20 pics per model and only use 1 or 2, because the photography unlike 25's can really make the figure look like a 6 year old painted it sometimes. If you look at my pics, most are a little further away, around 12-18 inches, try taking some pics like that.

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    1. Thank you for the compliment Ray as it was your horses that made me want to paint them in the first place. Remember all those comments I left about your horses when I first started following you. I love horses and want to paint many, many more of them.

      I shot some pics from a greater distance and lost all the detail. I've got to get the knack of highlighting properly on these guys. So different from 25 or 32mm.

      Delete
  17. It's been five months? It doesn't seem like it at all, it's just flown by, Anne. You've been taking everyone's advice and adding your own unique eye to your minis and making them your own. I've seen hubby's 15mm mini and I know I couldn't paint them, I don't have the patience. I think the horse looks great. And, I find it a bit scary that I know what website Thomas is referring you too. My hubby's hobby is creeping into my life Anne!! LOL

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    1. It has been 5 months and it's hard for me to believe as it seems only a few weeks. I like that you know this stuff as you're the only non gamer who really knows what this stuff is!!

      Devins mini's creap into your living space as well!!!

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  18. Hola Amiga
    GUAU 15MM pero que pequeño..pues el caballo tiene una buena pinta,y seguro que en mano mas,al ser tan pequeño tiene que ser dificil todo,fotografiar y pintar.ç
    UN SALUDO

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    1. Hola Amigo

      Es difícil. La fotografía es un reto para hacerlo bien.

      Un Saludo

      Delete
  19. Anne - that horse looks great, much better than my first efforts. As others have already said, at 15mm you do need the high contrast between the shaded and highlighted areas, which looks awful close up, but at normal viewing distance looks right.
    If you want to discuss with me how I do mine, drop me a line via the Kontactr link on my blog.

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    1. That's one of the things that has been messing me up with the grey horse. Up close it looked hideous while far away he looked okay. And then I tried to tone down the highlights, then bring them back up and wound up with a black horse!

      I'll take you up on that offer as I want to paint a lot more horses and I need to find something that will work for me every time.

      Thank you so much Tamisin!

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  20. It looks great. Especially for the size. I don't think I realized just how small these figures you paint are. I don't have a lot of experience with these things, but from an inexperienced person's POV, it looks damn good.

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    1. I'll have to put a coin in the next batch of pictures to give an idea of the scale of these things. Until you've held one in your hands, it's hard to grasp how tiny they are.

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  21. Nice work and now some small hints...;-) for the horse start with a dark brown washing and after a black washing, and for drybrush use a light cream colour, it' s a warmer hue then white...:-)

    Marzio.

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    1. I did a black wash on the grey I was working on and I must have mixed it up too strong (I make my own washes) because I ruined the figure entirely. I have a selection of creams and thought about them but was afraid they'd be too light. I know now that isn't the case and will go back and hit those high points with it.

      Thank you!!

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  22. i agree with your asessment...there is too hard of an edge between the horse and the tacking...and the coat could use some breaking up to give it depth instead of being flat...for only 5 months i think you are doing a great job though

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    1. It's the depth and subtlety that are lacking here. Looks more like I colored in a picture of a horse than a real horse. They're such gorgeous animals, so fine and honorable that I want to do them justice.

      Thank you Brian!

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  23. 15mm? That's 1,5 cm, that's extremely tiny, Annzie, you will ruin your eyes! Take some real sized plastic horses and paint them for your garden :PPP

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    1. 'Tis tiny indeed. My eyesight is already shot darling and due to the accident, I've no vision in the left eye anyway! You know most painters have bad eyesight to begin with and I find that interesting. But then again most Prof's I know are bald and wear glasses and there's a connection there. I need to come up with a theory!

      The Spawn would kill me if I put horses in the gardens. Gnomes and statues of the Virgin Mary have been banned by her!!

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    2. 'tis true, I'm a prof and I' bald and wear (Fancy) glasses :)

      I'm with Spawn on Gnomes (my late grandma had a Snowhite surrounded with gnomes in her front yard) and Virgin Mary, but horsies are lovely :) and unicorns, and coons and possums.....

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    3. My mother had gnomes and the Virgin Mary and The Spawn was horrified and mad me promise to never decorate my garden like Grandma Mary did.

      I do have a frog in one of my gardens. You should see the price tag on the garden sculpts. A small fortune they cost.

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  24. I think it looks great - I do get what you mean about the photographing part. Food is a total bitch to take pictures of...it just never looks right to me. And speaking of photos - I LOVE the last one...the flower petals kind of look like fairy wings. And ever since spending time in that little fairy garden at the Ren Fest the other day I am seeing fairies everywhere!(And per Ray's request, there will be more pictures on Saturday night!)

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    1. I'm glad he requested more of them as it's the only way I'll ever see what one is really like. Dammit, now I really want to go to one of those fairs! I don't know that they have them in my area. This place is like the ends of the earth, not a damn thing of interest to do or see.

      I love Fairy's and one day would like to paint some up. I just have to find exactly the right ones.

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  25. I'm going with the higher highlights and deeper shadows crowd on this one. Its hard to make 15mm stuff really pop they way you can with the bigger miniatures. As someone up above there mentioned its hard to get horses right and a lot of that is we can't seem to get that same sheen that a horse seems to have, its not glossy, its not really even semi-gloss and its certainly not dead flat (well most of the time). Painting 15mm is even more about the illusion of detail than the larger scales we are tricking our eyes into filling in the details and you do that with more contrast. Nice work, now let's get moving on the other three.

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    1. Jesus, I've got so much on the painting table right now that I'm having trouble focusing on just one thing. I know, I know I told you off for this very thing and here I am doing it myself. I didn't quite understand the nature of the disease back then!!

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    2. It is insidious! We have successfully brought you over to the darkside. And yes, we do have cookies. Just think of it as a way to make sure there is always something there that you are in the mood to paint. That's what works for me!

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  26. Excuse me ma'am, may I borrow that magnificent looking horse? I'm making turtle soup and I need to get to the grocery and pick up some ingredients.

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    1. Oooooh you bugger!! Don't you touch that turtle!!! There's a clown out there looking for you Dan and I think he's found you quite attractive. Just don't bend over to pick up the soap is all I'm saying!!

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  27. Firstly its very good Anne well done. I've not been brave enough to paint anything smaller than 25mm yet. Photography is an art in itself to be honest

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    1. It's a completely different world at 15mm. Tough adjustment to make, but I wanted to do it early on before I get too locked into one scale. I've got a 10mm Sheriff that the sculptor Tom Meier gave me and I won't tackle that until I can do it justice.

      I like your new avi Brummie. Nice to see your face!!

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  28. Yep, photography at this scale is definitely a learned skill, one I'm still working on as well. There was an article in WGI over the summer I think, but the issue sold out locally before I could get to it. Supposed to be good though, and might be worth a look for ideas.

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    1. You're a hell of a good painter and you know how to photograph your work, so if you're having trouble with it, I don't feel quite so bad.

      I've got a couple of tutorials and have taken a bit of this and a bit of that from each one to find what will work in my hands. I need a single system that will work for every horse I paint.

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  29. Nice work. For me 15mm is a little bit too small but you've done it very well.
    Regards
    Bruno

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    1. I have to learn it as I want to do a couple of dios on The French and Indian war and the figures I'm looking at are 18mm. Great, great sculpts by Tom Meier and I absolutely have to have them. The whole collection will be my next purchase. Hopefully before the end of October, I'll buy them.

      Thank you Bruno

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  30. You've done well there Anne, just maybe not so close to the miniature when photographing the subject, looking forward to the whole kit!

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    1. I did shoot them from farther away and lost all the contrast. I'm going to go back and darken the recesses, bring up the highlights and photograph as I go till I get the proper balance. I'm terrified of painting up the soldiers. You know if I get those wrong the lads will chew me up and spit me out. I'm determined to paint yellow chevrons on them, but have no idea what regiment to say they're from. That's bad isn't it Fran!!

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  31. You're making fine progress, sis. There's a nice bit of chatter from me waiting for you in your inbox :-).

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    1. Thank you sis. I'll write you back tonight. My kitty Fang isn't pregnant so I'm not to be a grandmother after all. I'm really disappointed!!

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  32. Did you dry brush it? I can't tell, and my head hurts too much, right now, for me to try and figure it out.

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    1. I did and then followed that with a wash, but I need to go back and drybrush in some cream on the highpoints to really bring them out. My drybrush technique really isn't up to snuff yet.

      Hope your headache eases up!

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  33. Well that looks mighty fine to me Anne, 15mm is something that I've not been brave enough to attempt yet so it's hats off to you on this one.

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    1. There are some nice sculpts out there in the smaller scales that I want to paint. Especially some of the historical stuff and I want to do some of that. It's a different ballgame though and I need to get a handle on it.

      Thank you Michael!

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  34. I actually thought those transitions on the brown were really nice. Then again, I was also considering the size of it. That entire horse fits on a bottle cap, the way I'd see it from a normal distance would be a bit more abrupt. Dunno, I don't paint these things.

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  35. Very nice work so far Anne, nice tones.

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  36. Don't wash over your dry brushing. It washes it out. The wash should really be for darkening the crevices, so that should happen after the base coat and, usually, not again, unless you have some specific agenda with it.

    It's not actually a headache; I'm sick for the first time in years, and it's kicking my butt. I do have a headache, but it's a sick headache.

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    1. Things got a bit "chalky" after I put the wash over the drybrushing. This is going to take a little time for me to master.

      You've probably picked up a bug from one your your students. They are germ factories!!

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  37. The horse looks great, not as great as the cat god of course, but then no one can look that great. Oh the cat is never going to let you live that down. But the cat has one gripe, he is not going to ride no horse, that is such an awful beastile act. He is going to give the viking woman a go and chew some extra fat just for you. Maybe even send some ass hair folicles in the mail, that should get your juices flowing hahahahahahaha almost forgot.....

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    1. Go away Cat, or I will taunt you a second time!!

      Delete

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