Favorites of the Month, April 2015

In a move that is unabashedly stolen borrowed from Volomir's Blog I thought it would be fun to collect my favorite links and articles from each month into a blog post. These aren't necessarily "don't miss" but are links that I found to be inspiring paint jobs, sculpts or just something interesting and worth checking out.

Since this is my first "favorites" entry, many of these are links I gathered over a slightly longer period of time, not just the last month.

G Tell by Arnaud "stranger" Bellier

This is just a brilliant and very dynamic sculpt. I love the contrast of the free-flowing jacket and hair as the archer leaps forward compared to the perfect controlled horizontal line created by the arm drawing back the arrow through the arrow itself. I suppose it doesn't hurt that I've been really enjoying The Arrow on TV lately, so I'm a sucker for a bad-ass archer.

Knight of the Holy Sepulchre by David Powell

This piece won gold in the Crystal Brush competition so has been popped up on a lot of sites recently but there's no harm having it show up on one more. I love the life and depth to the simple "black" and "white" horse and rider (because nothing's ever really just black or just white), the muddy weathering on the cloak and shield, the repeating patterns on the cloak and banner, the restraint used in color choice for the horse's straps and saddle, the little details like the arrows and axe in the base. All around, just a wonderful piece to look at and one I'd have loved to have seen in person.

If you click through to David Powell's site, also be sure to check out another medieval piece, The Once and Future King. Less serious than most historical pieces, there's so much character and story in this - even more if you've seen Disney's The Sword in the Stone!

Kingdom Death Pinups by Scott Hockly

There are a lot of great photos on this page, but what especially caught my eye was the group shot of all the Kingdom Death Pinups about 70% down the page under the "Friday I went overboard..." heading. Pretty much every miniature Kingdom Death puts out is striking on its own, even moreso with a masterful paintjob. What is really wonderful about this group-shot however, is the variety of skin-tones used. Whatever your thoughts on barely-clothed buxom lasses, these showcase a master painter in complete control of the mood and colors put down on the model. When it comes to skin tones, I've not experimented much at all with different hues, so this is extremely impressive and inspiring.

Zeta by Roman Lappat

Speaking of both master painters and skillful execution of skin tones, I bookmarked Roman Lappat's Zeta for much the same reason. The dark tanned barbarian is matched brilliantly with the sun-bleached blond hair and parched yellow base. The overwhelming use of just a couple of colors to bring this miniature to life make it really stand out.

Sorceress by Roman Lappat

While not part of the same group, Roman's Zeta looks like she could easily have sat in the with the crew of Ilyad miniatures on display towards the bottom of this page. The main photo is of the Sorceress which is a beautiful miniature on its own with an emphasis on cold blues and pinky-purples. However, once put on display next to the other Ilyad minis that Roman has painted the power of his use of color from one mini to the next is made amazingly clear. It's so easy to fall into the trap of painting each part of a miniature a different color with minimal regard for the overall effect. However, there is a clear benefit to using a reduced palette and providing the miniature with an overall color scheme as demonstrated here.

Rujo, il Maestro by Ivan Hortal and Alex Varela

Not content to leave a theme alone, let me beat this into the ground with the two more examples. First, Rujo is another fantastic sculpt: dynamic, characterful and unique. I first saw Alex Varela's paintjob on Putty & Paint and loved it immediately. The cold blue skin tones and blue-black armor and hair look great with the snow-covered rocky base. I was taken aback later on seeing Ivan Hortal's version which couldn't be more different in color choice. Golden yellows and browns make a very different (but no less beautiful) impression. Reduced color palette, unique skin tones, gorgeous results...

Ronin Bust by Olga Zernina

While painting Harukichi for my small Bushido warband I spent some quality time with Google looking around at examples for a good repeating pattern to paint on his robes. I made up my mind on a simple geometric repeating spiral. With her Ronin busts, however, Olga Zernina clearly refused to settle on just one fabric pattern and set about painting several different identical busts all with different themes and fabrics. I picked what might be my favorite, but they are all wonderful.

Making Trees Tutorial by C'tan

Ok, so I mentioned stealing from Volomir's Blog at the beginning of this post and this link I found on his April list, but it was too cool not to repost here. I'm not sure when (probably once I get back to painting something other than gaming minis), but I'd love to try out this technique for making trees.