Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Midwinter (take 2)

There's a time for speed painting. There's a time for detailed paint jobs. And then, there's a time for experimentation. This was one of those times. Now as a disclaimer, it's important to note that I never expected this to turn out great. I expected to fail miserably.

The Vision: I'd always been inspired by this paintjob. The OSL work is remarkable, and the limited palette makes for a really compelling piece. For some time now, I've wanted to try my hand at something like this.

The Setup: Again, I knew full well that it would not turn out even remotely close to what EricJ did. He's so far out of my league that there's several leagues between us. But, I firmly believe that the difference between an average painter and a good painter is that the former settles for what he can do, and the latter forces himself to push his limits and learn new things. This was me trying to push my limits and move out of my comfort zone. I've dabbled in OSL before, but this was a gigantic departure from what I'd done before.

The Canvas: I chose Midwinter to use for this experiment. He seemed an obvious choice, and since I'd already done one before, it seemed like a good opportunity to experiment.

The Results: Well, I give myself a B for effort, and a D for execution. I could have easily put more effort into this, but it was uncharted territory. I decided early on that I'd just dive right in and study it after I finished. The reason is that until the whole piece is done, it's hard to really analyze the overall OSL effect.
I used a total of 8 different paints for this model, counting black and white. I used no washes, and no inks.
I'm not too happy with the overall brightness balance. The OSL broke down for me in application when I needed to start thinking about distance and incidence angles and such. Clearly an area where I could use more practice, but it was quite the learning experience.
The lighting on the ground has too sharp of an edge to it also. It could have benefited from a little fuzzing to make it more realistic.
The runes on the back turned out pretty well I think. I opted for smaller runes to include more of them, but the implementation would have been the same if I'd done larger ones.
The center of the model, around the amulet on his chest and such, tended to get a little muddled. This could have been more crisp, but it was a facet of the model that I didn't anticipate when I chose it. The OSL is really hard to handle in those little details.

The Photos: Ok, here I had a huge failure. The photos aren't terrible, but they could obviously be much better. I have no experience photographing dark models like this, and particularly in a situation where it really should have a black background instead of gray. So, I tried a couple different versions for comparison purposes. Both sets are bad, but it'll give you a general idea of how the model looks.

Overall: It was nice to do this as an experiment, and I certainly learned a lot by doing it. I'm glad I didn't dwell on it too much either. It will look strange on the battlefield, but I could care less about that.

To my readers: If there are any of you out there, I'd appreciate feedback on this experiment. Let me know what you notice that doesn't look good and leave a comment. I'm very interested to get others' perspectives.

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