Fungal Treasures

If you visit ToadChapel from time to time you know I’m fond of mushrooms. I love their personalities, opportunism, and gentle tenacity. They inform my artwork, but more than that they speak deeply to my imagination and spirit.

I traveled to Northeast Pennsylvania for Will’s wedding this weekend and got a chance to explore the forest outside the farmhouse we rented. I was rewarded with many wondrous discoveries at my feet. Continue reading “Fungal Treasures”

AndyG’s NMM Rust Technique

Today ToadChapel is proud to present a tutorial from the amazing Andy Gillaspy, aka AndyG. Andy is a true master of NMM style painting, but he’s always pushing himself in new directions. In that spirit, Andy has developed a way to render heavy rust in a non-metallic setting.  Read on to learn how to add this technique to your bag of tricks. Thanks Andy!

AndyG's beautiful Wraith from Black Crow Miniatures

I adore non-metallic metals. It’s my favourite way of painting metals. The control on where the highlighting goes, the matte finish which stops unwanted glints from metallic paints so that the mini appears to the observer the way that you want it to rather than how the lighting in the room reflects offs metallic paints is for me worth the effort. This isn’t to say that TMM is not an exacting and difficult way of painting metals well; for example the work of SkellettetS and Megazord Man is superb and they use TMM most of the time.

That said, NMM for me. However, what to do with rust? There I have previously given in and used TMM rather than NMM and I have been very satisfied with the results; the slight application in rubbed spots of the metal concentrates the highlights where you want them anyway so the issues of glints appearing where you don’t want them doesn’t occur as the rest of the metal is oxidized with matte browns and oranges. It was quite a challenge to come out of my comfort zone and decide to see if I could paint realistic and aesthetically pleasing rusted armour with NMM. Continue reading “AndyG’s NMM Rust Technique”

Grow the Land

I’ve been building up the layers on my Yarry base. I felt that he needed to be in a fairly lush, healthy woodland environment. Middle Earth is the obvious point of reference (especially for a hobbit), and I wanted him somewhere wilder than the Shire but not so gloomy & forbidding as Mirkwood. Troll country, I guess.

Here’s the state of the base. There will be a few more additions, I think, but nothing major, I think. Read on for some WIP shots of how I created this scene. Continue reading “Grow the Land”

Back to Bases

With NOVA’s Capital Palette on the horizon, it’s time I got a base under Yarry. I had originally intended to put that mini on a round base, but I think I’ve come up with another solution that will work well.

a handmade display for the recently completed Yarry Lightfeet miniature from Enigma.

This is a 1.5″ cube, on which I’ve sculpted a rock wall and contoured the earth a bit using Milliput. Continue reading “Back to Bases”

Against Burnout

I’ve been off the blog for a little while as I visited my parents and spent some time in the woods. I’ve got some nice pictures from my little adventure for you to enjoy.

I chose not to bring any hobby projects with me, though it’s a good place to paint & concentrate. Pushing myself hard this Summer both in my painting and in my efforts to create a more exciting website left me a little lacking in direction as I finished up the painting phase of Yarry. Many people believe that you simply have to paint all the time in order to improve, but I’m not certain that’s true.

Sometimes it’s best for me just to recapture the desire to paint and the desire to better yourself as an artist before you get creatively burnt out.

Continue reading “Against Burnout”

What’s Yarry Looking At?

After a couple weeks painting this nice mini I think I’m more or less finished.  There are always tweaks and fixes you discover, but this is basically what he’s going ot look like.

I’ve styled Yarry’s hair, added stripes to his pants, and filled in the last few details.

The hobbit Yarry (Enigma Miniatures) looks at the camera

Oh, and I repainted the face. Minor detail. Continue reading “What’s Yarry Looking At?”

A Few Metal Details and Nearly There

At last I’ve added the metal details to my little hobbit. If I haven’t missed anything, he just needs a jewel painted on the scabbard of his sword and that marvelous pompadour. I’m also planning to put some stripes on his pants, but right now that is still optional.

Yarry, Light Feet with metal buckles and clasps Continue reading “A Few Metal Details and Nearly There”