Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Painted this for a friend. More SketchStyle practice. I spent extra time trying to work on flesh techniques which sort of worked and sort of didn't. Painting flesh tones directly over the sketch as a glaze doesn't actually work well at all, so I need to figure out how to handle that.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


So this model was actually just for practice. At my LGS they have a "scratch and dent" section with discounted items. Wong here was in a Mk1 box and discounted to $2, so I snagged him for painting practice. My goal was to use SketchStyle, but to use a bit more color in the process like I would when I do my traditional painting. It worked out pretty well honestly, and I feel like I'm one step closer to merging sketching into my regular methods. The trick here was to still use the wet palette and still use thin glazes, but to use more colors and control where I put the glazes more carefully. The robe for example is just two colors (light blue and purple) but I carefully controlled where I put the purple glazes. My next step will be to take this process even further and work more colors in.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Pistol Wraith (take 2)

So this was done a while ago but I forgot to post it. Literally it was just a practice model for SketchStyle that I had sitting around waiting for some reason to paint it. Nothing amazing except that this was roughly 75 minutes of painting max.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Claw

So switching back from SketchStyle to my more traditional painting methods, I used Thorn here as a way to re-examine my normal painting method. More about that in my other musings post. This model was just a nice quick break from paying so close attention to practicing SketchStyle.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Sonnia Criid

So this one was significantly different from the rest of the crew box. I used this as an opportunity to practice doing OSL with SketchStyle. It was also the first time I used Stynylrez primer, which I sprayed on using my airbrush obviously so that I could put the lighting exactly where I wanted it. From there things were relatively straight forward, and that initial airbrush process made it easy. Where things didn't go as well as they could was the light from the sword. I ended up with it being too bright on her leg. Also the overhead ambient light is a little too bright as well. However all things considered I learned a lot doing this one and feel even more confident.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Samael Hopkins

This one didn't go so well. The sketch for it looked great, but when I got to the step of painting the flesh, everything went wrong. I tried to mix my own flesh tone and he ended up looking undead and just got muddled up. Lesson learned: Don't try to mix my own flesh tones yet. More practice first.

Honestly part of where I set myself up for failure was I was forcing myself to only use my Golden heavy body acrylics, which I have a much smaller range of colors for. I need to practice using all of my paints with SketchStyle. That's probably the real lesson I should be learning here.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Witchling Stalkers

And here's the Witching Stalkers. These were a delight to paint SketchStyle. They have such perfect poses for it. Just everything about these went well and really helped me feel like I have a good handle on SketchStyle now. More on that in future posts though.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Purifying Flame

This is the first of the models I'm painting for a friend for their first Malifaux crew. I agreed to paint the models if I could use them as SketchStyle practice. This one is particularly odd for SketchStyle since it has lots of glow. Still though, it worked out quite well and was super fast. I think this model took me all of about 75 minutes of painting time, not counting priming.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Style: Musings part 1

This post (and future ones titled like this) may not make a lot of sense to others. I'm trying to work through some painting style stuff. These posts are just me working through my thoughts.

After experimenting with SketchStyle so much recently, I've found myself at a difficult impasse. I need to somehow make the process my own by merging it with my existing personal style. SketchStyle was never the end itself, but rather another tool in the toolbox. My existing techniques carry a certain amount of me in them, and I want to preserve that. So first I'm going back to painting a model my "old" way, and thinking about the process very carefully. Specifically I'm painting The Claw from the Malifaux line. Two reasons there: it has lots of good texture that suits my techniques well, and it was already in my paint queue.

So at the stage of this photo, I'd only done 3 layers of paints. 3 on the skin (a thinned base coat, a wash, and a second wash), and 2 on the armor (2 washes). The washes are a common technique for me, and as I was doing this model, I realized there's two big factors in how I take steps: color selection and contrast creation.

Contrast creation is something I like creating by using washes over white primer. It's something I've done for several years now. Ever since I read a Brushthralls article about painting Bane Thralls using many layered washes. I like this because it creates contrast, particularly by picking up the texture of the model. I also like that it naturally creates some amount of irregularities in the coloration.

The color selection is something I don't really know how to explain properly. I tend to look at the hue when I'm picking a wash and try to answer questions about what effect I'm trying to add in. For example in this model, I used Greatcoat Grey over Gun Corps Brown for the washes on the bark armor in order to create a colder wood effect. This model has a backstory of being an aspect of winter in his Queen's court. The cold look helps reinforce that winter look. From here I'm looking at it and I now want to create even more definition to that armor, but I want to preserve the cold wintery look of it. I'm not entirely sure what I'll pick next, but probably something with a cool brown tone to it.

These things together have created a style that my friend Bryan referred to as a "watercolor style". I start with washes to create overall tone and mood and definition of the model, then go in afterwards and use thicker paint and two brush blending to force more shadows and contrast.

Pictured here is further work I did on this model. It's nearing completion. What I added at this point was 2-brush blending in some Coal Black to create deeper shadows. Coal Black is sort of a favorite color for me, and I like using it instead of straight black to create shadows since I feel like it adds more interesting color dynamics. I also added some glazes of Bloodstone in select places as well. Much of this was done to push a more dynamic contrast. The trick here is that I tend to use that mid-tone to further shift the color, and I use the coal black specifically for shadows. It isn't always coal black of course, but I do 2-brush blend the shadow tone into recesses as a part of my "normal" process. This is something that has suddenly come to mind to me as a key ingredient to my painting style that will need to somehow work with SketchStyle.

I'll probably come up with a test model to experiment with next for merging these styles. This mode was a nice project model for reflecing on my old style since it had limited different surfaces and great texture in those surfaces. This allowed me to stay more focused on how I was painting rather than what I was painting.

More musings later.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Why I'm in Love with SketchStyle

Since starting to paint SketchStyle, I've found it to be fairly straight forward. And really throwing myself into it and aiming for speed and practicing the core technique, I've quickly grown to love it. But why exactly?

Well the answer starts with speed, but it's not the obvious reason. Finishing a model fast is certainly a nice sense of accomplishment in terms of getting things done. Beyond that though is the fact that if I'm turning over models quickly, then I feel like I'm more free to experiment. I'm actually more roadblocked by getting models assembled. This whole thing is quite freeing and makes me want to paint even more.

It's also just expanded my skill set. I'm using paints I never used before (heavy body acrylics) and using the wet palette far more than before. I'm thinking more carefully about light and value. I'm being even more accurate and controlled with my brush. Heck, I'm even forsaking trying to watch Netflix while painting and just putting on my headphones and focusing on my painting to a level I've rarely done before. All of this together is both challenging and empowering.

So where do I go from here? Well my next goal is to figure out how to make the SketchStyle technique more of my own. I have no idea what that's going to look like though, so this should be interesting.