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Welcome on my blog, you will mostly find post about miniatures painting, photography, music but also other stuffs according to my mood... 

Freehand - experience sharing

February 19, 2015  •  Leave a Comment
Here a quick experience sharing about freehand.
I am actually a big fan of freehand on miniatures! It adds so much character and story to a miniature that it is a technique to have, train and develop with the overall miniature painting skills!
I have poor drawing skills but I try to copy some designs I like and found fitting the mini design well. Being said that while increasing my miniature painting skills I realized that I have also increased my drawing skills, especially the coloring part of it obviously.
Now drawing with a pencil and adding color on a piece of paper is quite easy (if you know how to draw) but drawing on a 3D surface with a brush and acrylic paint is another story.
Here my experience sharing about acrylic freehand:
Technically wise, the most difficult aspect of acrylic freehand is to control the paint, too much water it flows everywhere without covering anything, not enough water it dries and sticks to your brush without getting on the model. So you need to find a good balance, my first reaction was using a drying retardant, which works really well, but then I have tried Liquitex Flow improver, which is technically a drying retardant. With this medium your paint is getting really fluid. You need to add a really small amount of it in a non diluted paint. It will keep it flowing and under control without drying fast. You can even use small bristle paint brush. So then you can remove this potential frustration out and continue your freehand experiment... 
I always paint my freehand after the area is finished with all the highlights and all the shadows applied. I paint on top of it then I apply the own highlight and shadow of the freehand with its own color scheme.
Then you will think that you need to be good with your drawing skills, in a way, yes it will help you, but if you are not that good, as me, no need to worry... My freehand, for the moment, are mostly based on some designs or pictures found on internet, like a drop of blood, just google "drop of blood" then you can select what you are looking for, and so on... You can use soem illustration that inspire you and modify them. You can ask a friend which has better drawing skills than you to draw you something. Then it is just a question of reproduction...
Reproducing a drawing on a model can be difficult, what you need is patience. I always start with key points, for exemple a face, I will use the eyes and other key points which will give me the overall scale. So I place 5 or 6 key points then I draw the overall structure with the main lines of the drawing. Then step by step completing the drawing, adding it shadows and highlights and even mid tones as you would do on the model itself. 
You can also train on a piece of white paper, which I strongly advise at the beginning and before the first freehand experiment.
If you have any mistakes, no panic it can be covered up with the colors of the model under layers (try to keep your color scheme in a notebook so you know which colors you used). 
Freehand is always a really tiring task for me... I am so concentrated that I often sweat during the process. You need to be 100% focus on the job... Normally miniature painting is really relaxing hobby for me, but freehand is not, but it is so rewarding that it really gives value to the efforts!
Here some miniatures where I have used freehand:
And many more to come! 

Online "informal" painting competition

February 13, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Finally I have came to a point where I needed to continue this blog. 

I have not much time recently, my work is draining all my energy, but I have found time to paint. I have, few months ago, participated to what I call an informal painting competition. Some people around a forum are starting a discussion "let's start painting the same mini, we have 2 months to complete while posting progress and asking questions". I have participated to one, and it was one of the most enjoyable experience I had in miniature painting recently.

First of all, most of the people which participated where easy going and not taking this too seriously which is really enjoyable. I have painted my version of it and enjoyed everything. I have also learned a lot while posting progress. It is also motivating knowing that other people are painting the same miniature.

I would advise any person lacking motivation to start or follow some of this competition, there are no prizes, there is no competition, there are just a bunch of friendly people painting a miniature and helping each other. What do you need else??

Here the thread I have participated:



And here some final and work in progress, mine is the second one on top started from left:

Here better pictures of mine:

And here one more (I didn't participated because I didn't have the model) which is going on right now on coolminiornot forum, I believe there are other on similar forums


So if you have the occasion, I strongly advise to participate to such "informal" competition.

Astorath The Grim

May 25, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

I have recently participated to a painting competition from a local game store, actually the only one here in Shanghai...

So I have picked up a mini I liked, I took this Astorath for his dynamic pose, despite the finecast quality which was so so, as usual, I have achieved to paint this guy on time, by spending a fair amount of time on him.

The armor is quite easy to paint due to this fins design, then I have done some gold NMM on the surrounding parts. I have then painted the rest in cold blue steel NMM, the wings structure and the elbow pad. For the wings I have opted for a slightly deeper blue and tried to make them glow. I  wanted to add a freehand, but no flat area to put it, so I have added one blood drops on each wings.

For the base I have used cork as main material covered by PVA glue + sand, some bits from other mini, and barbed wires from Secret Miniature Weapons. The base can be removed, and Astaroth can be playable character.

Finally, I won the painting competition with my Astorath.


Oil painting for miniatures - Experience sharing

March 06, 2013  •  1 Comment

I have recently started some oil painting, with the help of Cool Mini Or Not forum, I have bought few colors advised for a starting palette. Good quality ones mostly from Winsor and Newton artists line. I have painted a small mini entirely with oil to see how it will work... Strange medium when you have only worked with acrylics; feathering, layering, paint drying so fast... You need to start over except for the color theory and experience of color schemes.... 

Here some quick points/experiences that I found while trying:

- Don't try to thin your paint, which is normally the first advice for acrylics

- The paint is simply really really slow to dry, which has major advantages and disadvantages

  • advantages:
    • creating your palette is so fun, when I started I have put all my colors on the palette then mix them together trying to reach certain colors. At the beginning I have spent a long time doing this. It is so fun and you discover a lot. I even found it relaxing...
    • No rush, you can mix your paint, think about your color scheme with some paint on your brush, rectify stuffs later on, etc...
    • wet blending, this is also really fun, everything can be blended on the miniature. You can blend one color on top of acrylics to create your gradient, or two colors together without any stress, taking, applying and blending the paint together
    • Again, I repeat myself because I found to be one of the major advantages of oil painting, I found it extremely relaxing... 
  • disadvantages:
    • if you only work with oil, you need to be PATIENT. Which is my major difficulty. I am used to work fast, and try to paint faster and better. with oil you need to wait each layers are dry, it can take up to 3 days! But it is also a lesson, by working in China everything is constantly moving and going to a pace unknown in Europe, you get into the flow and have difficulty to go out without drowning. So I will have to master my patience using oil paint
    • no need to thin your paint, it is disturbing at the beginning because you cannot really change the thickness of the paint. As soon as I have put a small amount of thinner, it cannot be controlled easily. You cannot make different layers because it will take you over a year to finish it because you need to wait for the layer to be dry. The consistency of the paint is not easy to handle at the beginning, need to take a really small amount of paint.
    • Price, it costs quite a lot when you start. but few colors are required and they simply last FOREVER

- Mixing the color is fun, but also difficult. Especially when you want to fit an existing acrylic color... with the actual oil paint you have! 

- Oil paint over acrylic is quite efficient. I always find quite difficult to make my acrylic highlight avoiding chalky effect, you need to be really careful and patient going slowly to the highlight you want. If you have your base in acrylics make you general shadow and started your highlight then you can switch to oil to finish your highlight and kick it!

- You can also use oil to add some midtones quite easily, by simply slightly dry brushing the surface you want it with your brush with almost no paint. It will let a color film, adding a slight color variation really well blended

- If you want to continue with acrylics after oil, the best is to have a cheap airbrush and compressor to add a matt varnish layer (after oil paint is dry). It will cover the oil paint allowing you to continue with your acrylics

- Dark oil color + thinner (mineral spirit/white spirit) can be a good quick wash which can be adjusted using a cotton tip removing the oil where you don't want it. If you have a layer of gloss varnish (using an airbrush) before applying your wash it will almost flow by itself in all the recessed parts of your mini... Personally I didn't have convincing results. Maybe I am doing something wrong.

- The thinner/cleaner is quite smelly and can also be a problem. Acrylics are more convenient, using water as solvent! 


That's pretty it with my first experiences, don't hesitate to let comments to give me your point of view on oil paint for minis.

Now I can share some pictures I got using oil paint! 

My first oil palette I bought, I have added few colors to complete it:

My first 100% mini painted with oil paint:


My latest try with acrylics as a base highlights, midtones using oil


Complementary colors - Satheras, Elf Warlock

March 06, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Long time no post... But I have painted a lot recently, despite moving apartment, and being quite busy at work. I have tried oils, I have finished some of my ogres for my never ending army, starting my custom made base for Cannibal, and other WIP I have. It seems that I have a lots of WIP on going, that's true but I am finishing one to start a new one from now on. 

I have also improved my beginner skills at airbrushing, actually so much stuffs were done since last post. 

So I read a bit about color theory and complementary colors. I wanted to try on a mini that a friend gave me, Satheras from Reaper. I have two goals, first the use of complementary colors then finishing it in around 5 hours by using wet blending and feathering techniques. I have spent a little bit more than 2 hours on it with the following results, I am quite happy about it, what do you think?

I have tried complementary colors, dark green blue vs orange brown. I have shadowed my two base with the corresponding complementary color (having same shadow color) then a tad of black for extreme shadow. After highlighting with an off-white (white with a touch of the complementary color) then glaze of the complementary again to add a tint to it... I really tried to be extreme playing with the two colors to see how it will work switching between cold and warm colors. You have this cool shadow for the down part of the cloak then warmer highlight, and reverse for the middle cloak.

Here the pictures, my lighting during picture was bit too harsh:

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