Fun with Chibis

Sorry for the delay! My internet went out and I'm posting my Monday blog post late this evening after things are back online-- mostly. I've written this blog post about 3 times since my internet keeps crashing and I lose a good portion of it each time. 

I've been working on the Soda Pop "Twilight Knight" chibi and this weekend I had a chance to paint her eyes. While I like to paint miniatures differently than how they appear in the concept art or studio model, I wanted to give her facial expression more personality. As you can tell in the unprimed miniature on the right, her face doesn't have much of a mouth sculpted in. I decided to take a cue from anime and give her a "brat tooth". You know how the mischievous character has that little sharp tooth-- usually on one side of their mouth? Well, I painted in a curved mouth, brat tooth, and a cocked eyebrow. Check it out!


I'm just getting started, and I love her so far! So much that I'm glad I took advantage of the clearance sale on the Miniature Market website. I bought six chibi miniatures for around $40, which is a great deal considering each one is $13 or more. Since I'm pretty much a miniature hoarder, er, "collector", I keep an itemized spreadsheet of miniatures I acquire. Mostly, it's to help me get a realistic view of exactly how many miniatures I own and prevent me from accidentally buying the same mini twice (hey, it happens). While I try to keep them as orderly as possible and store them in bins separated by theme (i.e. Player Characters, Monsters, etc) I find that seeing them listed on a spreadsheet gives me perspective-- mainly, that I own way too many! However, I feel less like a hoarder if I have an organized, running catalog that I keep current (I even have a check box for "Painted? Yes/No"). 

In other news, I bought some new brushes this week. I've been using the same Winsor & Newton Series 7 brush (Size 0) for a whole year. I also have some Rosemary & Company brushes that I use for base coats, but I'm not entirely crazy about them. I know several talented painters that use the Rosemary & Co brushes with much success. However, in my experience, I find that the bristles separate and split very easily which is frustrating. This Size 0 brush has been used once or twice and I've treated it well. I didn't allow any paint to reach the ferrule and I've conditioned my brushes after almost every use. I have four of these in different sizes and I haven't been impressed by any of them-- I guess it just doesn't work well with the way I paint (my friend who loves these brushes this is an avid brush-licker, maybe that's the trick?). I use a wet palette and after I load the brush, I get about 3 light strokes before the brush splits like this (before & after below). 

That being said, different brushes work for different folks, and I'm still on the hunt for brushes that work well with the way that I paint. So for now, it's Series 7 for me. I bought two from Dick Blick, one in a Size 0 and another in a Size 1. I also picked up some firm clay shapers to help shape Green Stuff and Milliput when gap filling. I also took one of Julie Guthrie's sculpting classes at the Reaper ArtistCon and I think I'm ready to try some conversions! In fact, I have a new challenge that I'll write about soon, a "Secret Sophie", a holiday blind gift exchange with painted miniatures.