I've been attempting to paint shiny tentacles without resorting to glossy varnish. While a layer of gloss varnish is a great all-around solution for rendering a shiny surface, I wanted to challenge myself in my painting skills. In any case, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me start at the beginning of my personal lack-of-decision-making:

Thank goodness for social media. I needed a second opinion. After that, I took Denniz's suggestion and started on the base of my most recent Speed Paint Challenge #4. I've wanted to finish this miniature I mounted on this base from Micro Art Studio. I really like this base. I'm attempting to paint glowing rune-like shapes & glossy tentacles emanating from her feet, as if she's summoning magical energy to defeat potential foes. 

I'll need to consult my Color & Light book for a few tips. The biggest obstacle I have is the two-dimension vs three-dimensional issue. While it would already be a personal challenge to paint the dark, shiny tentacles in a two-dimensional format, I need to paint it where it looks interesting and accurate from most angles. My approach was to wet my brush and give a light wash over the tentacles. This way, I could mimic the natural highlights that the light source would identify. It's not unlike a "Paint By Number", reminiscent of those old children's puzzles I enjoyed as a child. In any case, I decided to once again use social media to reach out for some additional advice. 

In the meantime, I'm opening a box of prize loot won from a Reaper forum contest where I won second place in the Single Figure category. Jasper was nice enough to sort & ship miniatures he'd been storing, after his friend closed a miniature shop. The best part? He gave us the opportunity to pick from the mostly out-of-production miniature hoard & he then arranged to have them sent all the way from Canada. So generous!

I'm truly looking forward to giving these miniatures a new home where they'll be lovingly painted in addition to having a "Cool, where'd you get this one?" story. These minis are classics and easily date back to the early 90's. While it's exciting to paint recently-released miniatures that are newly popular in the industry, there's something rewarding about the knowledge that you're probably the only person on the planet painting this specific miniature at this one point in time. 

In the meantime, if you haven't watched the new Star Wars trailer, you should. After chuckling at the light saber that sprouted hilt-like additions (What?! That's not a thing!) and the fudgesicle land speeder, I admit this has more potential than I initially thought. Some of my best childhood memories revolve around the original trilogy, so I'm keeping an open mind, despite being an enthusiastic, reasonably discerning critic when it comes to Star Wars. Many of us have been traveling over this Thanksgiving weekend, so if you haven't yet seen the Star Wars trailer, enjoy!