About Me

My photo
United States
My name is Jessie Carlile and I paint miniatures and love to roll dice. I began painting miniatures in 1999 and have never looked back. Painting is very relaxing and rewarding for me and I hope you enjoy the works I share on this website. I have won many awards for my work including the Silver in 2008 and 2009 Privateer Press Masters Painting Competition as well as a Gold in 2010. Enjoy your stay and if you have any questions feel free to contact me!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tabletop Kriel Warriors and a rookie mistake.

I've had my Trollbloods for quite some time now, and in light of my recent post, I decided to power through my unit of Kriel Warriors and make something work. I figured out the recipe for a skin color that worked for me and painted these guys up in a couple of nights. They are only tabletop quality and I had to let go a bit, but they represent what they are meant for and look good from 4 feet away.

So I finished them and went to seal them. I walked outside and grabbed the can of what I thought was my sealant. I sprayed some and thought it looked awfully brown, one more spray confirmed it, I hit a few models with Testors model color brown. So now, if you look closely, you can see a few warriors look like they've been through a mud bath. I was irked for a few minutes but decided not to go back and repaint them, they will just be a few who got in the way of a couple of Dire Trolls and got tossed aside in the mud. Snow and dead grass will be added to the base since these guys follow Borka around.

Friday, March 18, 2011

"The way that can be told to paint is not the way to paint"

It occured to me as I was driving into work this morning that I should have added a preface to my previous post.

A while ago in my Understanding Asia course we learned about Daoism and a phrase from the Dao De Jing that always stuck with me which was (this is a rough approximation), "the way that can be told is not the way". Translate this to painting terms and we get, "the way that can be told to paint is not the way to paint." Some of you may be confused by this statement, but I assure you there is reasoning, experience and thought behind it. This idea came to me a few years ago in the midst of a personal attempt to expand my painting skills.

I felt very strongly that my figures were not to the level I wanted them to be and that my painting skills had platuaued. My highlights weren't as crisp as they should be, my shading was too dull and my figures looked very flat and uninteresting. They were dull. I was so worried about transitions that I built every thing up so gradually there was no contrast whatsoever. My paint was also inconsistent. It was too thin or too thick and not as smooth as I wanted it. I was discouraged. What did I do? I started looking online to see how everyone else painted and tried to copy thier methods to improve my work. I failed miserably. I would try one technique that worked for someone else and have disastrous concequences. Paint additives others used wouldn't work for me, wet blending wouldn't work for me, unique methods of highlighting wouldn't work for me. It was a trying time for myself as a hobbyist. I tried to master the two brush blending method and obsessed about it for a long time. Now, I should mention I use this method presently, but only after developing my own techniques.

It got to a point where I sat down one day and just started painting. I painted and did nothing else. To wax hippie for a bit, I let the paint do what it wanted to do. I simply painted how I felt I should paint. I had in mind what I wanted to do and tried my best to accomplish it anyway I could. And thats where I had my breakthrough. Instead of trying to replicate exactly what others did, I did what I felt was right. I took bits and pieces from the other techniques and made them my own. I found out what worked for me and used that to achieve the results I wanted. What happened then? My painting skills took leaps forward. My figures no longer looked dull and lifeless. I had broken through the wall that was holding me back. In the course of developing my own technique I also learned that not every mistake will ruin your figure. Sure, some technical mistakes may mess your figure up when it comes to blending, but others lend some realizm to your figures. Real life tanks and people aren't perfect, why should your figures be?

The point of this long post is that though I may have told you how I paint my blues, develop your own way to paint your blues. Take what works for you from my process and make it yours. What I tell you, and what any other painter may tell you should only be a guide to let you flex your own creative muscles and work something out that is yours alone. Sure basic techniques can be taught, but the advanced stuff that really makes figures come alive has to come from you. If you try to keep copying the techniques of others exactly, you most likely will end up frustrated and discouraged like I was. But with that said, we come back to the title and theme of this post, do what works for you. No one can tell you what that is. If exactly following someones elses technique works for you, then it works for you. All I can tell you is to keep your enthusiasm up and keep on keeping on.

I hope some find this advice helpful, and see thier work improve because of it. Remember, "the way that can be told to paint is not the way to paint."

Happy painting!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cygnar blue mix

So I've had a few people email me about my process for painting the blue on my Cygnar, so I thought I would just go ahead and post my formula to help those out who may be curious. In every step except the glazing I use the two brush blending method.

Here it is,

I use a formula very similar to what is presented in the Cygnar forcebook with a little variation. I start off by laying down a good layer of Cygnar blue base. I then shade this with Exile blue and then add a little Battlefield brown to that for the deep areas.

To begin the highlights I start with straight Cygnar blue highlight. Now, I know that may seem like a stark jump but the two brush blending method really helps here. Lay the color down where you want the highlights then feather the edges out with your other brush. This will allow for the transition between your CBB and your CBH. From there I add Frostbite to the CBH and use the same technique to blend. I usually do this twice before adding Morrow white for the final razor edge highlight. I use the edge of my brush to get straight lines on the hard edges I wish to highlight.

You could leave it at this stage but I highly recommend the application of a glaze. It will make your blues look more intense and hide any flaws you may have made in your blending.

I prepare a blue glaze with the P3 blue ink. I have no exact formula for this since I add water until it feels right for me. Aim for a consistency similar to milk. One way to test is to paint it on a piece of plasticard to see if it beads up, thats usually where you want it. Just make sure it's very thin and watered down. I then paint multiple, thin layers over all the blue areas. The glaze should be drying very shortly after leaving your brush. After this stage you will have to go back and repaint your razor highlights to make them "pop" once more. Lastly, I make another glaze with the blue ink plus some brown or purple ink and apply this glaze only in the shaded areas. This gives your shading a little more depth as well as making the shading richer.

I hope this helps in the way you paint your blues and if you have any questions feel free to ask!

Monday, March 14, 2011

The much maligned Triumph

Unlike many, I like Triumph. So I painted him. You may notice he has no base yet, and you can thank my final semester in college for that. Many papers loom on the horizon and painting has taken a back seat for a while, but Triumph was finished quite some time ago. He does have a base made complete with sand bags and dirty trench goodness but alas, school.

With the idea in mind that next to nobody likes Triumph, I wanted to make him look as grimy, scratched up and drug through the mud as much as possible. Of course, blood also had to be splattered all about the shield that so many believe is useless. So I loaded up my brush and flicked away with mud and blood and ended up with this,

Eventually his base will be finished and Triumph will be fit for the front lines of Northguard!