Monday, April 23, 2012

Crystal Brush Winners are Up

The Crystal Brush

Ok, for those of you who haven't been following, the Crystal Brush was Coolminiornot's idea for creating the most competitive miniatures painting contest in the world. They started out by offering huge prize money for the winner ($10,000) and got some outstanding entries for the effort.

This year, they've been offering prizes around the world to the winners of various prestigious painting competitions passage to Adepticon.

It follows that the winners this year have produced some of the best miniatures that any of us have ever seen.

Congratulations to Jose Manuel Palomares Nunez. GEA really is a worthy champion.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Privateer Press shows off first Gargantuan

So, we've seen a few of the Colossals for Warmachine so far, but this is the first one we've seen for Hordes.

I don't know that there's a whole lot that needs to be said about him:

The Mountain King

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

About freehand murals and insignias

Brass Scorpion Eye

A few times, I have been asked to share my methods for painting the more detailed freehand coat of arms and murals.

The first thing to do in every instance is to break the shape you want down into basic shapes- the ones you learned about in elementary school (like circles, ovals, rectangles, triangles etc).

For example, a skull can be created out of a semi-circle on top, with circles for eyes and a squat trapazoid where the teeth attach.

Sons of Malice Skull

You can actually break up pretty much any image into these kinds of shapes. It is sometimes best to use references at this stage. For example, when I first started painting lions, I actually took a good long look at the Lionhead Studios' lion to figure out how to create my freehand:

Praetorian detailed lion

So, after you have a basic idea of the shapes that make up your freehand, paint on an outline in your darkest colors. Shading on a flat surface is a lot more difficult than simply highlighting up, so I always start freehand with some of the darker colors.

Titan Ork Mural

Highlighting is an odd process here. Basically, I fall back onto what I know of miniatures, and imagine where I would highlight the insignia if it were a three dimensional mini. For example, on a face, I would highlight up to the brow, cheekbones, and leave darkened areas in places like below the lips.

Brass Scorpion talon

I tend to work with one color at a time, and then move onto the next one by starting over with basic shapes again. For example, I first painted the outline of these characters, then painted each color separately, adding details like teeth and eyes after the rest of the faces were completed:

Titan Mural

One last note- depending on the look you are going for, it is often best to go back in and add dark lining to the freehand that you've finished. Dark lines help different areas pop- especially from a distance. From my examples, you will notice that I often add lining in this way, but not always. Just be aware that lines that are very dark can add a sort of cartoony/comic book look to a miniature.


It is often good to fall back on some basic freehand designs that you may have used in the past. I use the same methods for jewels, flames, lightning, or starscapes as part of complex murals as I do when I'm painting them as simpler effects. I've even used quite a bit of Object Source Lighting techniques to add some zest to the freehand.

That's pretty much it. Like all techniques, the more you push yourself to stretch, the better you'll get at it.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Some more Puppet Wars minis

Here is another set of Puppet Wars minis from a project I finished a little while ago.

I still love these little minis. They're very small, and have some impressive details on them, but it is also nice to see the sort of parody of Malifaux characters being played out.

For painting them, I feel that it is necessary to try and play up the parody by using colors that evoke the 'standard' studio versions of the characters.


Hooded Rider

Witchling Stalker


Baby Kade