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The Process of Painting Lysette, Elf Wizard (Again)

Storm, earth, and thunder, heed my call!

Do you want to know why I'd only had one post about miniature painting in November and why I'd been complaining about frustrations with painting in other posts? This, this right here is the reason. I tried biting off far more than I was ready to chew, so it took me fucking forever to get this done. I don't even care that I took the lazy way out on the base, the staff, and some of the leather details. After how long it took me to get to that point, I was just ready to be done with it and to move on.

However, I'm getting ahead of myself. As ever, the starting point for this miniature was to come up with a color scheme. I'd wanted something very different from my previous go at this model, so I decided to go with some green hair, which lent itself to have red as a featured color on the clothing in order to have some strong contrast. Once I decided on that, though, I decided to just go crazy with the rest of it, and in this instance, going crazy meant doing some glazed color blending magic. After some thought, that settled into trying for some sheer cloth effects as well as multi-chroma blending on the skirt. I honestly didn't care too much about the rest, so I figured that I'd just wing it for the remaining details.

Just to have a bit of a different experience, I also decided that I'd pose the right arm differently, and furthermore, I decided to glue it on in advance, just to see how much of a difference that would make in the ease of painting the miniature.

For priming, I decided to go with black. White probably would've been a better choice, honestly, but again, in the spirit of experimenting, I wanted to see how painting medium-to-fair flesh colors over black would give a different result than painting them over white (whether white primer or just Bones material).

I really would like to learn how to paint this look on a finished piece

As usual, I started with the eyes. Again, for the sake of trying something different, I painted one of them as being a blank red iris. It's not very noticeable at a glance, but I think it helps to give a little nudge towards making the whole face look more sinister overall. I also mixed up a medium flesh tone from some of my browns to paint in all of the skin (including the chest/leg areas that I'd go over later to add the sheer cloth look).

The black undercoat really gives a different look to the flesh

Up next was the hair, and if nothing else, that bright green sure did pop. I also did the highlighting on the hands and face, as well as giving her some green lips, just for the hell of it. Since the flesh highlighting came out quite pale, I decided to just try out doing something different by glazing the bottom half of the face with some red. I wasn't sure exactly how it'd go, but it ended up giving a sort of perpetual bloodstain look (or a suitably less gory form of make up, if you prefer), which I liked.

This looked pretty great so far

In order to give some depth of character to the hair, I washed it all over with blue, followed by a second wash on more or less the lower half of it with purple. While waiting for the first wash to dry, I also coated the skirt with a nice bright red.

Ahhh, the return of the blurry photos!

Yes, as usual, I took these pictures while the ink wash was still wet

Then, after doing some highlight and shadow layers all over the red in order to have the shading in the undercoat, I started glazing on purple.

That's a neat look as it is, but I wanted something stronger

I also mixed up a very dark brown glaze to use for the sheer cloth, and after freehanding in a black bra, I kept going back and forth with those glazes to build up to the looks I wanted (plus painting in some more red and purple where I'd wanted it).

After working on that for a couple of weeks and still not being where I wanted to be, I put this miniature aside. I was just so frustrated by the lack of progress with it that I needed to take a break. Obviously, I did come back to again, and between having a refreshed mind and some advice from the Reaper forums, I was ready to work on it again. To that end, I made a mixture of the red and purple to put over the entire skirt, from which I could glaze in both directions to try achieving the colors that I wanted.

That's a pretty nice color in its own right, too

From there, I did my glazing, along with reapplying highlights (I left the shading alone because I thought that it was in a good place already). I also made some glazes from highlight/shade colors for the black cloth and applied those, too, along with painting in highlights/shades on the solid red and purple areas and painting in a red flower.

I was feeling quite happy with how that all went, but after spending so much time on it, I was ready to just be done with the miniature at this point. Thus, I painted most of the rest of it with a leathery brown, along with using a dark black/metallic silver mix for all of the parts that I wanted to be metal except for the studs on the armor and a dark grey for the base.

More coats would follow to firm up those colors

That all got hit with a black wash, and then I highlighted the metal parts with some silver. Finally, I did a basic "warm brown + dark brown wash" for the staff to finish it off. Yes, I could've done more with it, as I'd done with my previous Lysette, but again, I was in the mood to just be able to put this behind me and move on. Besides, despite the obvious difference in quality between some parts, I think it turned out pretty good overall.

That smudge on the lowermost belt buckle was annoying

Looking pretty sweet from this angle

I probably should've blacklined around the ear

Now with superior lighting!

Very happy with how the skirt ended up

The redness on the front of it is more subtle, but that's quite fine by me

Overall, while it was definitely a trial at times, I'm glad I went through with what I did. It helped me learn a lot, and it also helped to remind myself that I've still got a lot of room for improvement. Most importantly, of course, I had fun doing it. I'd like to push my boundaries further with my next go at Lysette, but before that, I want to do a few other pieces. I'm not sure exactly which one I'll go for next, though, so no preview to finish off the post this time.

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