Sometimes a mini is very challenging to paint.
There are a number of reasons this can be the case. Sometimes the mini is poorly sculpted, and the challenge is to keep the badness of the sculpt to a minimum. Sometimes the mini is extremely well sculpted, and you want to do it justice. Sometimes the mini doesn’t suggest its own composition, or has a lot of blank space and you need to fill it with freehand and your own detail work.
In this case, this mini was a challenge because the mini itself is extremely busy. This guy has tiny bobs and baubles on him from the tip of his nose to the end of his tail. He’s broken up into many areas, and since he’s a swampy gator, they each individually lend themselves to be variations on brown.
But I was painting this mini for Clash for a Cure– and I wanted to give them some of my best work. Not to mention, he’s grouped with miniatures from some very steller painters.
So, I needed to overcome these challenges. In order to help each and every one of those tiny fiddly bits show up, I used some intense black lining. Everything on this mini is outlined in black (black makes things show up a little starker than other colors).
Back when I first started painting, lining like this was only used to divide light colors that are right next to each other (like white and yellow). Nowdays, not only is lining often done in other colors, but it is used to divide areas all over the mini.
The other thing that I did was take a very careful look at each and every area, and made sure that the color values were working. I lightened up the bones and muscles from where I first had them because they needed better value contrast against the skin. I also painted the leathers in much lighter colors than I normally would have.
Overall, I feel like I’ve accomplished something challenging here.