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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Betty, Space Babe-Critiques Needed

This is Betty, Space Heroine from Reaper Miniatures and she's meant to be a Pulp figure. I'm having some problems with her, particularly the base and I would like to request critiques and advice.





I have not begun working on her hair yet and her raygun still needs to be painted. I know I need more contrast on her breasts and on her boots. She can be better and I know it, but I've lived with this piece for so long, I need help seeing it.

Her demon familiar needs more depth of colour and more contrast as well. What else can I do to make him "pop"

The base is an absolute horror right now. I've laid down base colours and begun a little highlighting. The biggest problem I'm having is adding variety of texture and height to it. I can't use woodland flowers and such and beyond rocks, I don't know what else I can add. At this point, my imagination has run quite dry.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

103 comments:

  1. Hello Anne for me this figure are perfect , for the base it is true that it is years space, as it is a vegetation of science fiction I think than that it goes well , this is my personal view .
    Sorry for my english is always very bad .
    Greetings
    Vincent .

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    1. Yes it is science fiction and it's supposed to look like living tissue growing out of rocks. Don't worry about your English Vincent. It is fine.

      Slainte!

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  2. The figures looks pretty cool Anne, what are the coloured bits on the base supposed to be? It might help us give you a few tips?

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    1. It's bio matter-living alien tissue that is wrapped around the rocks. Hideous isn't it?

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  3. Hey Anne, the miniature itself looks pretty nice. I think the problem is the base which is too neon and therefore you loose focus of the miniature and your eyes are drawn to the base. Also that you have pink in the clothes and on the base (maybe this is from the pictures and looks better in real) hinders focusing.
    Perhaps darkening the colors of the base and thus increasing contrast between mini and base could help?

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    1. That makes sense. I've never used a scenic base before and basically saw it as a continuation of the mini. That's the wrong way to think about it! I'll definitely tone it waaaay down.

      Thank you!

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  4. Cool Anne, but I read somewhere that the base should never be brighter than the figure, maybe just tone it down a wee bit with a darker wash or something?

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    1. I'm glad I asked because this is a new area for me and I'm clueless!

      Thanks Al!

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  5. As mentioned above, the quickest way to improve her is to tone down the base so that she's the bright spot. Now, sometimes a bright base can work just fine, if it's a spot-focal point, like a glowing crystal, a lantern on a dungeon floor, etc, because then the light is interacting with the miniature and once the eye is drawn to that light source it will then travel to the miniature if it's illuminating the figure. But here, the very bright bio-matter draws the eye and doesn't let go.

    Is that a Micro-Art Studio base?
    I used some of those on the Genestealer Cult project- I wanted the bases more muted and less saturated,but the client wanted them to be equal which I still don't think worked as well as it could have- but to go more rich & bright than the mini is detracting from her.

    I'd probably go with a light flesh color for the bio-matter and then use drab-pale color in light wash targeted layers to bring color to the ends of the strands, letting the color fade out in the middle, and color for the round nodules. Transitioning from a neutral flesh to a color will give the alien bio stuff the feeling 7 impression of color & bright, pulpy alienness without actually requiring much color.

    Then Astrogirl will be able to be the center of attention. along with her friend, although he too is more saturated than she is, so he's drawing the spotlight from her too. Maybe for her alien friend, mixing some flesh color, or beige or pale green into the red, layering up for highlights would work for him.

    Also for Astrogirl, I'd change the blue belt out for the same aqua green she has for boots & bracers. I like the pink & aqua, it has a nice retro-future vibe to it, which will be stronger without the primary blue.

    that's my suggestions any rate

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    1. Thank you Ferret. Yes, it is Micro Art. I almost went with Entrail Pink which is a fleshy pink and I forget now why I didn't. I like the idea of the targeted colour wash and it makes sense.

      I wasn't sure about her demon at all. After I put them together on the base, I didn't like the red, but had no idea what else to do with him. I'll strip him completely and start over again. I like the idea of a flesh and green rather than the red as red really is too warm a colour to go with her. He's small so it will be easy.

      I can easily change the colour of the belt to the jade colour of the boots.

      Everyone is reading her outfit as pink, but it is a pale lavender. The other colours show true so I'm not sure if it is my background interfering.

      Thank you so much Ferret!

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  6. I think she looks okay but I've said before I'm not really one for advice on things like this. Although it sounds like there are a few good ideas floating around already and I'm sure Ray will have some too.

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    1. I'm doing something that is new to me and am trying not to much it up too much!

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  7. I don't paint figures, but I have done a lot of web graphics, and my only thought is the attention should be on her. A couple people above had the same thoughts, so toning down the base might help.

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    1. I think everyone is right Alex. It's obvious, but I'm still a newbie painter at one year and I just couldn't see it.

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  8. With those breasts all attention should be on her

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  9. Hola
    La escena esta muy bien para ser de ciencia ficción,de algún planeta de plantas carnívoras y demás,tipo barbaría...pero la solución puede ser para apartar un poco la vista es oscurecer el maganta de las raíces con u rojo negro o algo parecido...y el verde refractario lo mismo con verde negro,son dos colores que vienen bien para este propósito.
    A la señorita pues puedes darle un poco mas de luz en los pechos en concreto en la parte superior,pero en la barriga a my personalmente no me gusta una señorita con la tableta de chocolate marcada jajajaja.
    Y al elemental ese que lleva le puedes dar mas luz con naranja....
    Pero como siempre digo TU la tienes en mano y decides como te gustara.....
    UN SALUDO

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    1. Gracias

      Estoy de acuerdo con usted. Los bares están esculpidos en el vientre de la chica. Tengo que pintar sobre ellos. La base va a ser trabajado de manera diferente.

      Slainte!

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  10. Sweet work Anne!

    I am not a expert in these matters but I agree about the base 'Brightness'. Maybe the cheek lines could do with a tiny bit more shading and her boobs a tad bigger.

    All in all shes a pearler! Well done.

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    1. Thanks for dealing with the face. That has been troubling me. I'm used to getting right on top of the figure with the camera and the detail on her face is getting lost at this distance. I'm going to fix her boobies by highlighting more strongly at the top and by using a light line between and underneath. Those puppies should pop!

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  11. So your the one monopolising the flouro Vallejo game colour paints, I was wondering who bought 'em all up. Nice one Anne

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    1. It's truly neon horrid isn't it!

      Thank you Dave!

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  12. Ummmm....yeah. I think she looks pretty incredible, so I'm probably no help at all...

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    1. She's absolute shit at the moment. I can't believe I screwed this up so badly.

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    2. What????? Have them check your meds, sister, because while she looks a little undone at the moment, all I see is amazing!

      The only thing I can suggest, since you said you have spent so much time on her, is to put her away for a little bit and come back to her later...you might get the inspiration you need!

      Then again, I could just be talking out of my ass! xx

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    3. That's what I've been doing with her until the last few days. I've painted four other figures while I've had her on the table. But I'm at that point that drives all painters mad-those final details that take so much time. And they are so small you get bad headaches from them.

      I go through an insecurity phase with every figure. But this one is for a competition so she really matters.

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    4. Well, that makes a lot more sense!! I wish I could give you some pointers, but I have none...deep breaths...you can do this...you have an amazing talent! I look forward to the end result. I KNOW its going to be good!

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  13. Advice? Okay...Uh...You should probably drop some acid to ensure you see all the colors in the rainbow and have those colors talk to you. Yeah, a dab of LSD will ensure that the figure will tell you how to paint it. Also, never follow the advice of a maniac who has a sentient pickle as an avatar.

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    1. It does look like I got hold of some acid doesn't it. This would have worked well in one of those 60's acid KoolAid movies. It's too psychedelic and trippy and not Pulp at the moment.

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  14. i think you nailed it with the need for contrast...there are a lot of red variations in this, pink, even the orangish skin, it all kinda comes together a bit...imho...cool job on the base and the bright colors....

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    1. Thank you Brian. She's a competition piece and right now I think the judges would have a bit of a laugh over her. And truly that's not what I'm going for:)

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  15. She looks good Anne, though as mentioned her rack needs a little definition to make them pop. They only other thing is to tone the garish base down as she is lost in all that colour

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    1. I knew it was "off" but my instincts would have been to add even more bright colour. It's how I approach gardening-cram as many bright colours into as small a space as possible. One of my neighbors asked me if there was a species of flowering plant I didn't have. I said "Yes, there are quite a few, but give me time and I'll get them all in here." I cook this way too. Just keep piling on layer after layer of flavour. Mo' is better is my usual standard. That approach does not apply to basing figures though:)

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  16. I will not give you any criticism. I don't think you really need it. Her trousers look effortless which means it either went right first time or you sweated for hours over them. I hope it was the first. Your style is for bright colours and I respect that. and remember "No monument has ever been erected to a critic!"

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    1. Actually the trousers were easy. I did them once and the only thing I had to change was to increase depth on the shadows and that took only a moment. It's the base that's killing me.

      I like that quote and it's true. Thankfully we forget those people and remember the artists.

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  17. The commenters above us have already given great advice about the color of the base (which we agree with), so we'll just say this. Her heaving breasts were the second thing we noticed. That doesn't seem right!!

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    1. Oh no, that's exactly where your attention should go first. I must tone down that base!

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  18. Lots have been said already. I think it is all about making the base and sidekick a bit more muted in their colors. Am facing the same issue with Alice and her base at the moment.. too much pink on the base that I have decided to switch completely into a new direction! Need to have a contrast between base and model, and the model should be the one that wins out.

    Looking forward to how it turns out and if any of the above help from everyone assists or makes you cry and start a new model instead and use the advice there( my route usually these days it seems! ).

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    1. I'm going to take that advice as I think it will work better. The figure should be the focal point and as it is, there's too much distraction from her. Knew her demon wasn't right, but I thought "demons are red" and just did that. This is where the newbie in me really shows!

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  19. When in doubt, add glitter. That's my solution to everything.

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    1. I did! It's in the black rocks. I couldn't help myself!

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  20. I'd put fluorescent shrooms on the base since she seems like she's from some poisonous planet :)

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    1. I think the idea is to cut that fluorescent back by a ton. She's an earthling in space. Should look like a Pulp piece, but not quite getting that yet:)

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    2. you cutting back on fluorescent, dear? :PP Now that will be a first one :P

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    3. She is lovely Anne, I just found the base very busy, maybe a little less!

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    4. That's the consensus today! Actually I've another Micro Art base that is less "busy" than this one and I'm going to put her on that.

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  21. I agree with earlier comments about the base. After you have repainted it, look at the rocks and decide if they need to be lightened. You can use them either as a contrast to the alien flesh. or a compliment.
    It is a nice miniature.

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    1. I didn't like the rocks either. Too strong a black.

      Thank you Mike!

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  22. Nice figurie Anne, I will expect you finish it with highlights

    Slainte

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  23. She sure isn't afraid to bare all. Attention grabber right there. Like the little evil dude there to. It looks fine to me, but yeah I'm no judge.

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    1. She's got a nice rack! It's a must have for babes though. I'm changing the colour of her demon for sure!

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  24. Sounds like the "darken the base down" advice has already been given, but I'd also suggest using a more uniform set of colors on the biomatter part - multiple tones of (say) green, or red, but not both. That'll help keep from drawing the eye away from the figure's, ah, figure.

    You also mentioned wanting to add height and texture. Maybe some small vertically-oriented crystals, maybe with a gentle lighting effect coming from them? Alternately, how about some random silvery-metallic wands as science instruments or probes spiked into the biomatter? Pulp scifi art is rather fond of unidentifiable technological widgetry, and there must be something in the old bits box that would suit - or check the kitchen or bar for decorative skewers or something. You just want something slender and oddly shaped.

    Of course, if you want to go XXX, they do make some odd novelty toothpicks and straws for bachelorette parties. I've still got a pile of them left over from when a friend got hitched and his fiancée kicked us all out of the house for the night. Come in handy for Slaanesh conversions and adding bits to Circle Orboros satyrs, although they are kind of hard to explain to non-gamers so I keep them buried deep.

    And yes, I do get some really strange commissions sometimes. :)

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    1. I was thinking of adding something that looked like the hokey silver gadgetry of the era. And I do have some real crystals in a box somewhere. I thought of those as well. They may be a bit large though. I'll have to check.

      I don't have anything XXX lying about the house at the moment. But I can see how something like that would go well with the satyrs.

      Now did you notice that this is a Raven haired beauty? I do seem to remember reading a comment that said you are going to vote against my blonde in the Neapolitan Challenge. Shame on you Rich:)

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    2. I have indeed. And yes, my current lady love has long dark hair, which will no doubt bias my vote. :)

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    3. That's fair. It's just for the fun of it and it will be interesting to see which way you guys vote. The other two are much better painters than I am, so I'm beaten before I begin, which I don't mind a bit. I'll have to do some smack talking about brunettes and red heads here in a little bit:)

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  25. Hi Anne! Some seriously good advice already so I'm not sure there is much more I can add at this point. I'm going to ignore the base at this point, as pointed out we are losing Betty as the center of the piece. I agree with changing the blue out for the aqua. The blue just looks awkward there. I think you should go in and finish here, getting the highlights in on the skin is going to lighten her up and draw attention back to her. I would highlight up her black hair with blues, stay away from gray here as it will dull down the hair to much. I'm not reading her as pink as much as other folks are but I can see it moving from the lavendar to pink. I would glaze it back with a darker purple that will shift it back to your lavendar and smooth out the blends a bit. Glazes are great for smoothing those blends and I tend to use them a lot. This will also get add some more depth to the shadows on her and make her pop a bit more. Don't forget you can use glazes on her skin as well to help darken up the shadows and keep her skin warm. Seriously you are close on her and it won't take much to make her the center of attention.

    The little alien familiar should be an easy fix and your right even if you strip him down he is pretty simply. He needs to be less intrusive color red, red really draws the eye and he is a big blob of it. I would be tempted to go with blue, but he might clash with Betty. You might consider a darker version of the aqua. Look at the Ocean Colors Triad from Reaper (9726), the individual colors are 9076 (Deap Ocean), 9017 (Marine Teal) and 9078 (Surf Aqua).

    Hopefully this will get you back on track.

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    1. I'm going to put her on a different base. It's like this one, but much less "busy" I've used Dark Elf Shadow on her hair and was planning on going up to a lilac for the highlights as there is some purple in the colour already. I'll definitely do a glaze on her clothes. I have Marine Teal, but I don't have the other colours. I can't buy them as someone hacked our bank account, and used our debit card and spent $250.00 at Walmart online. So I'm broke we get the money back and I have to wait two weeks for the bank to issue another card.

      I have a really nice Vallejo Jade that will work up well to the Reaper Mint on her boots. I'm thinking about mixing that with skin tone and building up from there.

      Thank you so much Kris!

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  26. Maybe paint some texture into the "bio-matter"? I find you can sketch brushstrokes in a way that builds a sense of texture / light / shadow, etc., and that might work here. Re: the familiar, use a little yellow / orange to really jack up the highlights, and then a thin ink glaze to bring the red back?

    FMB

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    1. I'm going to swap out the base for a simpler one and re do the familiar completely. The red really doesn't work with her at all and I should have known that. Thank God I have time to make all the changes I need to.

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  27. Hi Anne, the figure looks great. I think her abs and buttocks are really well done in particular. As for the base, I'll pile on to the tone down. I would also finish the biomatter with something that makes it look slimy like gloss varnish. Have you thought of plastic aquarium plants to give a spot of alien vegetation?

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    1. I do have one little bit from an aquarium plant that may work. I also found some really small odd looking seed pods that I can use when I was out on my morning walk.

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  28. Looks great to me so far Anne! Keep up the good work!

    Greetings
    Peter

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  29. It overall looks really good, but I have not gotten the blending down as well as you have. The lavender uniform looks really nice! I do agree with the rest on the base. Using darker or more muted colors. I'd also use the color wheel to shift the eye around. Some judicious application of contrasting colors could help tug the eye and aid the pop of interest spot. Like the demon thing is red, so more green in the tentacles which could be a wash of green hues over a fleshy paint. The demon himself would pop with purple shading in some of his shadows. A workup from red to orange, then a final highlight of yellow on him would brighten up the red with the advantage of yellow and purple being contrasting colors to add further depth.
    Red is a chore for myself! Even in my illustrations it can be a bother. Pink and white makes it chalky, and hues of red absorb a lot of time or look too subtle for where I want more "drama". With chalk and coloref pencils, sucessive layers of blue in the crannies give me the rich purple shadow, while layers of yellow build up the highlight. I cheat when painting minis by getting to the purple washes and using orange to buffer the yellow edging. A light brush of scarlet will hold it all together nicely.
    I rattled on a bit, but I'm certain that you can see where the color wheel can be applied further!

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    1. I've really got to find time to learn some colour theory. I know absolutely nothing and it's holding me back. Mixing colours like that is so far beyond me right now. All I know to do is to go from dark to light and use colours that appeal to me. I run on instinct alone!

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  30. Nice start. Maybe the base color scheme is winning the battle for drawing the viewer's eye to it, too flamboyant maybe. Why not consider painting the things tentacle-like-things a flesh color. Then paint Betty's boots a dark red, and add a light coat of Future Floor Finish to them, to give them that "patent leather" look. Toning-down the rest of the base's colors will also help the eye to focus primarily on the Spacer, IMO. Drink a Root Beer, it'll help.

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    1. I've heard about using Future and I'll have to pick some up. The base is so loud, I can almost hear it screaming! She's now off it and I'm getting ready to put her on another one. Wish me luck!

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  31. I´ll agree with toning down (or even possibly using a different) base. Just by Holding my Hand over the base and looking at her with only the Background refocuses (is that a real word?) and "alters" the colours,,,brings them more into Focus. A base with some colour similarity (maybe a touch darker) with the Background and Bingo.

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    1. ..I just laughed when I saw the post titel on your blog roll. Why?...I don´t know..possibly cos I´ve got a dirty mind
      Poop Brown by poke the rock.....

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    2. When I begin to scroll down the page, she looks good until I hit that horror of a base. You do have a dirty mind Paul:)

      I didn't know you read Poke's blog. She's funny as hell and is currently at the forefront of the Poop Art movement:)

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    3. She´s german and living in Ireland..interesting. I like the way she started with pet rocks and has moved onto painted fingers...I get the theme now.

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    4. when I say, "moved onto painted fingers" I mean artistically.......and...er?...I´ll stop now.

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    5. She's really loads of fun. Her finger art is hysterical and her mum buys her little clothes now to add to the characters.

      She moved from Germany to work in IT in Ireland. It's funny really, the whole idea of somebody moving TO Ireland for a job when everyone else is leaving Ireland because there are no jobs.

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  32. Looking great to me, but if you pushed me with regards to additions to the base I'd add some seed pods something like this perhaps:

    http://www.123rf.com/photo_15396266_dried-lotus-seed-pod.html

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    1. Ah ha! I have something that looks spacey like that-poppy pods. I've loads of them right now and some are perfectly dry. They look so cool when you pry the cap off the top. I always pull about a dozen off and keep them aside to resead in the Fall. I get thousands of seeds from a handful of pods. I'll try some out tomorrow.

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  33. Such a lot of excellent tips. Its a nice piece. Hmm Water effects perhaps or some slime dunno :D

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    1. I'm clueless too Simon. This is way out of my comfort zone. I'm a very basic woodland baser. Give me ballast and clumps and I'm good to go. Anything else and my brain seizes up.

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  34. I'v got nothing but a word of encouragement. I think you're much closer to the finish line than your eyes are telling you. Once the base is tamed, you're almost home!

    Oh, and her stomach tells me she's a PX90 devotee ;-)

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    1. I don't know why Ridolfi sculpted her stomach that way. He's one of the best babe sculptors IMHO.

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  35. Looks like you have a ton of advice already. So I'll just say Good Luck and do what feels right!

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    1. I'm going to need luck to pull this off the way it should be. I've still got four other figures to finish for a "Team" competition. I'm a slow painter and right now I don't think I'll get all of them done.

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  36. Some good advice here Anne, left my two cents worth on Reaper

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    1. I'll go log in and check. Thank you!

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  37. Looks really good Anne with purple suit in particular very nicely done. Suggestions as requested would be to add a bit more highlight to the skin and assuming it's not your intent maybe tone the base down some as it's a little distracting.
    Christopher

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    1. This is a skin tone I've never used before and I'm still getting used to it. I need one half step up on the highlights and I think they'll be okay.

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  38. Hi Anne the little lass looks very nice and some very nice work on her but the base is a little busy. I would remove anything for the base, gosh you have spent all that time and trouble on it but mute down the colours so the eye wonders back to the figure and not the crazy scifi-ness of the base.

    I actually think the base is good but just a tab bright. Now you can either repaint the alien weed in muted tones, washing it down with a chestnut brown wash, but use black as it will kill the colours and simply repaint them, I would wash to mute the colours. This also means the little dude should stand out a bit more to.

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    1. I am with panzer, the base is taking the focus away from Betty, your eyes don't know where to settle down because there is no strong contrast. Even muting the pink of the base might sort it out...and then her demon might just pop a bit more.

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    2. I I love the suit of betty it looks really good and the demon as well, my 2 mustards are under PanzerKaput comment :)

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    3. Thanks PK, I've got her on another base now and am going to do that one completely different from this one. On the one hand, it's Pulp and that means colour and loads of it, but if I'm taking away from the fig, then it's counterproductive.

      Hey Poke! It's good to see you out and about again. We were just talking about you and your Poop Masterpieces! You're going places sister and I can say "I knew her before she was shite":)

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    4. Anne thats sad to you have taken her off the base and put on another one as I think the base had mileage in it. But the base should be in harmony with the figure and not fighting it. Believe it is a very had think to get right, I have many times totally screwed up a figure because I screwed the base up. Its a learning curve and one you keep making the same errors again and again. But do take heart as all figure painters do this.

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    5. can't wait to see the new base! I will call my auto-biography "Before it all turned shite!"

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  39. Anne, I was told by an ex. GW bigwig that with figure painting, it's all about 'faces & bases' so I wouldn't change the base at all. If anything thing I'd add more detail such as the mushrooms you've used previously but painted different (alien) colours.

    Being hyper critical with the figure I'd increase the contrast in the skin areas but you can do this simply by using a flesh or chestnut wash. Use the wash to paint in the shadows (if that makes sense) in the appropriate areas i.e. focal points like the cleavage - yep, afraid first thing most men look at is the boobs.

    Regards,
    Matt

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    1. I'm using a flesh tone I've never worked with before. It's a Rosy tone. I'll go back under the cheeks with slow, thin layers of Reaper Flesh wash. I didn't want to do it, but it has to be done. I'll do the same with the boobs.

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  40. She looks great to me. i could sit and stare easy enough

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  41. I have no advice but I can offer words of encouragement and support. If anyone can figure it out, it's you, Anne. Good luck! I can't wait to see how she turns out!

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    1. I'm already onto changing the entire base. Thank God I have a week to get her done.

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  42. Wow! I love the wild colors, Anne. It reminds me of Peter Max works. Best, Dean

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  43. vivid... how to sum up the base in one word.

    urr well I am colour blinds, red-green, red-blue, so I am not the best man for the job of suggesting colours.

    but certainly toning down the colour a bit might help (says tha man who could not tell he was using super vivid green on a kit until his father told him so) one thing that might work to keep the disgusting biomass look would be to make those tenticle things very pale on a darker rocky base, some disgusting pale colour to make that flesh look like its decomposing. would make sense, I can't imagine that a girl like her would not stand over something like that without blasting the alien crap out of it... well I would at least.

    just an idea.

    really up to you but certainly something needs altering there even if its only a slight change. the figure itself is very nice and will turn out great when its done and her friend there looks really fun. I can imagine that he tells the best jokes, dirty ones mind you.

    now is he a pet, friend, in her debt, stalker (looks dodgy enough)or a guardian?

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  44. Lovely color palette and tones, looks great.

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  45. A plus size alien warrior? She looks amazing and awesome. Advice obviously you aren't asking me. She is fiesty and girly maybe because of pink color. Base I didn't quite catch then I saw that alien gloob matter, rocks it :)

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  46. This looks awesome, as usual!

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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