Monday, October 7, 2013

BAM... and then SUPER BAM! Part 2..

And so we continue with the saga that is the Dwarf Slayer. And just like when I was painting it, it took forever to realize getting close to the end.. so I want to drag this series out a bit to help you feel my pain a bit more also :D

But that being said, the story does go on, as it was in the actual class that I got to really dive into the model. And I do mean dive! Massive Voodoo crew did forewarn me that I can get too deep into a section of a model, and indeed I fell victim to that a few times. Which is really not surprising considering how much detail this bust has!

So we left off at basecoating all the areas on the bust. And giving it a consistent coloring throughout just like we did on the original workshop model, Brekk, in the first class of BAM. Only difference here is that it took over a day to do it for this bad boy!

Now we began to dive into the model itself. In this aspect I began to work on the skin ( since it was the largest area ) and work on the light/dark contrasts between it. What is both cool, and scary awesome was that I was still sitting within the mid-tone colors for this, but just cleaning up the edges.

You can see the beginning work here where the "volumes" of the muscles begin to come together. Or rather separate is probably the better wording for it :)

Here it was where I got my first really big solid "click" moment! Because while going down the right side of him, I could begin to see the real impact of taking the basic skin tone and first shadow color and how when put to a very harsh direct line the contrast began to appear more and more. Although I was not using a bright or darker color, the contrast between them grew and grew! BAM! Ok.. now I can understand this aspect of contrast a lot more, and it was really fun at this point. Raffa had shown me this step, walked away for 10 or so minutes, came back and saw that I had this. I had this down solid, and was just plowing through the skin areas, moving from volume to volume quite clearing. His only comment being "When did it click? At what point?" And then smiled as he walked away :) I would continue on with the skin in-between the presentations that occurred throughout the class.

And if there was a click moment for me, there was also one for Roman and Raffa in this class.

As stated before, they had really embraced the comments being given to them from the first classes students, from close friends such as Michelle, Heiko, and from newly made friends like me and others lurking around the Wu Dao. It was from these comments that they took some of the live demos and transformed them into presentations! And the click came from the fact that they had just unlocked several hours of more painting and 1to1 time with the students within their workshops! BAM! CLICK! KAPOW! Massive Voodoo has just leveled up, and brought 13 painters with them!

This would pay out in mass dividends to me as it allowed them to give me more time also! Half because I had taken the class already, but half also because I got lost a few times and they came up with some even more new techniques to show me the trees from the forest!

One such instance was with the notorious beard of hatrad +12! This thing just did not want to cooperate with me.

This was where I began with the darkening of the shadows on it. And we had to try a few different techniques. The first being, crevice by crevice. I think I lasted all of 20 minutes on this as it got me about 1 volume of beard completed. Any more at this point and I would have taken out half of the class while channeling my inner Dwarf! So sensing my frustration, they offered that I try a thinned wash into the shadows..

Much faster, almost like wet on wet, but not. However we then faced the issue where the shadows became tooo dark, and the transition was not smooth, but stark in comparison! Seems my light/dark training worked, but was not the right technique for the beard.

This continued for about 6 hrs on Saturday... 6 hrs! But in the end, the boys kept me going along, and ensuring that they had plans to make it turn out all right in the end. Raffa and Roman each sat down at different times to help me with this beast of a beard. Raffa taking one volume and painting it up to the 70% level to give me a reference model, and Roman offering words of encouragement throughout the process. .

Or critiquing Raffa's work when he was not looking :) Either way, their help got me through to the next stage. I cannot say that I have a "click" moment here, but I am hoping it comes when I return to the beard in the future.

The next section, and the part that I would spend the remainder of the class was the face. With the beard to a 70% level, it was framing the face quite well, so I could really push the contrasts and color tones there a bit more.

You can see that I really began to strengthen the contrast lines throughout his face. Trying to focus on where the light would hit on the model, and applying highlights, and where the focus should be ( the eyes in case you were wondering :) I know I was at a few points throughout this process! ). I also painted the eye black to give me some reference here also as to what would be the eyes compared to the skin around them.

At one point Raffa took a photo of the model, and then took me to Heiko's computer where photoshop was up and running. Here he went through and helped to show me, without painting, where the shadows and lights should be intensified. You can see it in the above photo and then gave me motivation ( again! ) on where to apply more highlights and more shadows.

Biggest things here was constantly going smaller and smaller as I got deeper and deeper or higher and higher on the model. I also had to fight the urge to jump to other sections of the model when I began to get frustrated or felt I was spending too much time on this section. Massive Voodoo warned me that I would need to dive, and that there would be a moment that I could begin to go too deep and drive myself insane.. and knowing the difference or beginning of this was what I should begin to work towards.

There were also the comments to step back and see the whole picture at times. See what more is needed, where less is required. And also where glazing of colors could be added to really turn parts of the model into life!

This is where we began to add some colors to different parts of the models face. Red to the nose to give it a bit of depth, brown to the shadows to intensify them, green to the shadows to give them some variation, yellow to the forehead to give it a brighter light, and purple/violet into the eye sections.. why? No idea, but it seemed to work.. :)

Again Raffa showed me where to place things via Photoshop..

Both in a subtle way.. 

And a not so subtle manner :)

While also showing me what it could look like on the model itself from the photo we took. As stated, this was again very helpful, and allowed us to see what it would look like without actually painting the model. So that we could see how well it would work before doing the actual work. Reducing the chances that it might be too much, or ruin the model. "Click!" This makes me rethink photoshop, and makes me think I need to get it installed on my computer :)

But I think I will stop here for this article.. looking back at the length of it, and the content held within. It is quite massive and could probably be enough to overload anyone in one go. The last parts, and last section of this bust from BAM workshop will be tomorrow.. the final effects on the face.. such as eyes, mouth. While also covering how we painted up the leather bracelet. 

Hope you all like.. comment below on things that you think are good, bad or could be improved! More tomorrow! BAM! In the meantime, check out Massive Voodoo's review of the second class.. some items I will cover as well in the coming week of SUPER BAM here on Mr Lee's Painting Emporium.. but awesome great fun from their point of view as well! Massive Win/Win workshops!


  1. Really fluid to read and such professionell photos...
    I enjoy your blog more and more

    1. Thanks "Denny" ;) Am always glad for the feedback on how to improve.. from painting to blog posting :) Let us hope I can continue it!

  2. Very nice results! Looks like you had fun. Time for me to visit there workshops too.

    1. Indeed Michael.. you need to join one in the future! Though I see you had a lot of fun with Simon as well so.. hard to find time for both!

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks.. wait for tomorrows where more of the model is seen :)

  4. Wow wow wow. Really awesome stuff here. And your will of getting me to feel your pain has totally gone amiss. I am just awed and love this post.

    1. Thanks Paradox0n.. much appreciated here.. just wait till the next post where the face gets a bit more finished ;) I am sure you will like that one as well!

  5. This is an intense experience and I'm liking the use of photoshop to act as a guide on where to highlight and just how much contrast is needed in places like skin. Well worth the time and efffort. He's looking good!

    1. Thanks Anne. It has been a week, and I am still feeling the effects of the class. Great time.. just wish I could spend more time there! Just wait for tomorrow's post where you see more progress of him!

  6. Hola
    Madre mía que trabajo os estáis metiendo
    Pintan muy bien
    Atento sigo
    un saludo

  7. Also have this wonderful model. I can not seem to break down and start painting it ... but as I look at your photos I have wanted to grab a brush.
    Coloured Dust

    1. It means a lot to me to see you commenting here ARBAL.. really admire your work and am honored that with me starting to paint this makes you want to pick up the brush to it as well! Looking forward to your version also. Hope the beard doesn't cause you as much problems :)

  8. It`s a real pleasure to follow your journey into the hidden dwarf cave of know what i mean! It seems that i might need to do a 2nd BAM^2 in the future..
    Looking forward to your next report, Chris

    1. Highly recommended here mate. More progress on it today on the blog :)

  9. Fantastic this model , great work Mr Lee .

  10. A good idea looking at the pic in B&W to show up the high and low lights.


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