New Home Base for ToadChapel

Wow, been a while! I’ve been busy with the brushes, if lazy about posting. I’ll try to make up for that with a few looks back at the last few months.

Most importantly, July turned into renovation month as I transformed my studio space top to bottom. I’m really happy with how things came out, even if I have a few weekend projects left to really finalize the project.

I devoted a ton of hours to this effort, taking three weeks off of mini painting to make every hour afterward more rewarding.

Continue reading “New Home Base for ToadChapel”

At Last, It’s 2021!

Happy New Year, mini painting friends. 2020 has finally released her crushing grip. We are, of course, no better off than we were two days ago, but I believe in the psychological power of beginnings, even when nothing has ultimately changed. The new year is a time to set goals and define success in the months ahead. So I shall.

Read on to learn my miniature hobby resolutions.

Continue reading “At Last, It’s 2021!”

Lovecraft Sculpture Complete

I returned from a wonderful Thanksgiving trip with my family, which included a crackling fire at my parents’ cabin, a nice walk in a dark, quiet forest, and a ton of great food. Upon my return, my miniature Lovecraft was eager for some hair & clothing.

A small bust of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft made in Sculpey for a gift exchange run by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society.

I’m fairly pleased with this result. I obviously have areas that could be improved, but it’s pretty close to my original idea and I learned some things along the way.

I used a mixture of Original Sculpey and Sculpey Firm. I built around a little wad of aluminum foil that I added for bulk and to help in evening out the baking. I baked at least 5 layers into the sculpture without cracking or even browning, which had been a concern.

Stay tuned to watch this little fellow come together!

Little Lovecraft

I’ve got to let my streak of monster drawings lapse because once again it’s time for Eldritch Elf! This is the international gift exchange run by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society. I really love this opportunity for creativity and generosity and look forward to it every year. I’ve sent weird little things to England, Argentina, and New Zealand, and this year I’m sending a gift to Sweden.

A WIP shot of a mini bust of horror author H.P. Lovecraft.

So far I have most of the work done on a little bust of Lovecraft himself. I still need to add the author’s hair and whatever clothes I think will work best. I haven’t decided yet whether to add tentacles or something explicitly creepy or just play it straight.

We’re out of town celebrating Thanksgiving with my family, so I had to put the sculpture down for a few days. When I return I need to finish off the figure and get it painted. I have an idea of how I want to approach that.

If you’re interested, there are quite a few posts regarding the creation of last year’s Eldritch Elf gift on the site, starting here. You can find the entire series under the Arkham & Environs tab.

Stay tuned for updates as I complete this little guy!

Another Base without a Face

I’ve found time here and there to complete another little vignette. This one features a dead tree, which I haven’t done in a while.  As usual, this one is a kind of lesson to be applied in basing minis, as well as a little imaginative refuge in its own right.

A detaile base featuring a forest scene without a miniature.

The base is 1.5″ square. I like the challenge of telling a story or creating a scene dense in interesting details on a very small scale. Continue reading “Another Base without a Face”

Lichen It: Another Forest Vignette

I finished off in just a few days another little test scene. I enjoy creating these little vignettes for their own sake, and I can practice techniques or experiment with ideas I might draw upon when I’m basing a mini in the future.

A forest scene that could serve as the base for a miniature.

For this little forest scene I focused upon an idea I had for creating lichen and continued messing around with leaf litter. Continue reading “Lichen It: Another Forest Vignette”

Mushroom Preserve

I think I’m going to call this little scene finished.

I experimented with my mushroom building process (that was useful), I tried adding some leaf litter (useful trial, but I’m going to keep working on it), and I failed, in my judgement, with the larger plants. I’ll keep working on that one. Continue reading “Mushroom Preserve”

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”

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”