Friday, August 10, 2018

Apfap, The Graceful Gobliness

Hey Everyone!  Today I wanted to go through my journey of painting a miniature bust for the first time as it was something very different for me and my hobby skills and I found that I enjoyed it quite a bit more than I anticipated.  Before I begin I want to give a shoutout to the Sculptor's page, Iter Miniatures, as when I saw this Miniature Bust I simply fell in love with it and knew I had to try to paint it.  They are newer and only have a few sculpts, but their quality is great and I will certainly be picking up more from them in the future.

I first saw the sculpt entitled "Zayna, The Golden Gobliness" online while the official commissioned piece was being worked on and while I have never been a fan of goblins the piece really stuck in my mind and I knew I needed to paint it.  That didn't stop me from waffling as my hobby skills are tuned toward army painting above all else but after encouragement from my friends I bit the bullet and ordered the piece.  It arrived packaged very nicely in a sturdy box with the piece itself in a soft bag.  It came with its own Plinth and a card listing its number since the piece was a limited run.  I was thrilled with it, but let it sit for a long time as I was honestly afraid to paint it.  Thankfully I mustered up the courage as you are about to see.

The model is a hard resin so I gave it a nice bath to get rid of any release agent used during casting and after affixing her to her plinth I added on the few strands of hair and jewelry that were separate from the kit.  Thankfully I had a new airbrush compressor so I was able to quickly and easily lay down some primer and give a quick zenithal highlight.  I once again got some cold feet and filled my time working on some other army projects, but the bust sat close at hand until I felt inspired to pick it up again and get some color on the miniature.

I had a lot of internal debates on choosing a skin tone for the bust.  Green was an obvious choice and blue was originally a close second.  However, after searching online and seeing some of the great artists painting her in those colors I felt the need to go in a different direction so I wouldn't be comparing myself to the work others had already done.  I ultimately decided to go with a brownish tone similar to the skin tone of Orcs from World of Warcraft as I felt comfortable with the color and I didn't see anyone else using at the time.  I am very happy with the choice in hindsight and have no honestly thought about using it for a Destruction army in the future.  It was a joy to paint and blend the skin tone and I would like to do more of it in the future.

I wanted her robe to be something bold as I envisioned the piece being very outgoing and not afraid to be the center of attention.  I felt the blue worked well with the skin tone and being familiar with using the color I knew I could blend and shade it pretty much any way I needed to get a nice final result.  The grey fur I chose to keep neutral to help separate the skin tone from the robe color without distracting away from either.

As I mentioned above painting the skin tone was very enjoyable and it taught me quite a bit about blending and playing with light and shadow on a miniature.  I used a thinned down brown was to start and after a few layers, I used a thin line of black wash for the deepest recesses on the model.  I kept the fur simple and did a few lighter shades of grey with drybrushing.  The robe was more challenging than I originally thought as highlighting this scale is much different than smaller wargaming pieces, but after some blending and washes, I felt happy with the result.

I got really into a long session of painting and failed to take progress pictures as I did the face and hair as I went.  I painted the hair black followed by some highlights using a blue-green color before a black was over it all.  I then added more subtle blue-green and finally grey highlights to finish the hair on the piece.  I used a thinned down bit of the blue-green for her makeup as well before mixing a bit of a more typical Caucasian flesh tone with the model's brown flesh tone for a very light drybrush to pull the face together and lighten it up a bit.  The jewelry was some simple washes and drybrushing to finish it off.

The last bit to tackle was the eye and the part I was most excited for and most feared to begin. However, I was on a roll and dove right into painting them up knowing patience was my best friend for this bit.  I chose purple to really help them stand out and to work with the green in her hair and makeup.  After a bit of work and touchups, I was pleased with the result and could call the piece complete.

With the model complete I took some pictures and then discovered the hardest part I didn't even know existed.  I put the model down in a display case.  I know there is more I could go back and do, but I would risk ruining the piece by continuous subtle tweaks.  After a bit of time letting my mind think of a few potential names, I settled for Apfap after my Goblin on World of Warcraft as that was the only other goblin I ever found any attachment toward and it seemed to suit the piece.

I am very happy with how the piece turned out and I am equally excited to enter her in competition in a few weeks.  I am not worried about winning anything, but looking forward to the experience of it all.  I will be sure to let you know how that experience goes in a future article, but if you are attending NOVA Open this year you'll see this piece on display at the Capital Palette.  Hope to see you there.  Happy Hobbying.

Chuck Moore

UPDATE 8/24/18:

I have worked on the piece a bit more and I wished to include a new updated picture.