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.
It’s been a while since I’ve added to the hobby tutorials on ToadChapel. Let’s remedy that! As we near Christmas, I’ve painted 18 miniature busts since COVID sent us all inside back in March, so I figure that would be a good subject to explore.
The essence of any bust is the face. Many busts consist of little more than the head. In this tutorial I’m going to focus mostly on painting the face, though I may make incidental reference to how I approach other elements on the model.
A few days ago I finished painting Touille, a delightful new miniature from Blacksmith. The model gave me a chance to continue my exploration of strong saturated colors, complex color composition, and vivid skintones.
I enjoy peaceful, happy, whimsical minis. Too often I show my enthusiastic two-year-old daughter a figure I’ve painted, only to have her point out that he’s ‘really grumpy’ or ‘really scary’. When I find an excellent sculpt like this one, then, that I know will catch her eye, I’m excited to get my hands on it. To be clear, these are also the kind of miniatures I like to paint most. I have no more fondness for demons clutching severed heads than my daughter does. Ok, maybe a little.
It’s been sheer joy painting Lucas Pina’s Cormac bust (Black Crow). Every pose and gesture is super expressive, and the face shines with humanity. It’s my first time painting one of Lucas’s sculpts, but it will definitely not be my last.
I’m daydreaming of painting Cormac when I’m at work, eager to explore his character and effects. I have a clear plan of how I’ll handle the various textures, but the spirit of discovery will guide my brush.
I’ve gotten in the habit in recent months of mostly showing finished minis around ToadChapel, and I figured it might be fun to work through my next project with more of a log running. My next model is Cormac, a classic bust from Black Crow Miniatures that has been painted well in a variety of styles.
I’m hoping to bring to this project a clear aesthetic direction and the patience to see it through. I’ve been thinking a great deal about what I want my figures to look like, what my style is, and I intend to apply the fruits of that reflection to this model.