September is almost over. Which means not only a new month but the end of Q3 of the RCL. I did not get as much done as I had planned for ReasonsTM . Life happens and it has happened hard this month.
So because of all of that I’m tentatively going to take October off. I’ve been working on the All Mini’s Eve calendar for a while now. It is still not done and I don’t think I can get it done in a few days and paint everything the way I want to.
I’m going to spend October and probably the first couple weeks of November writing and doing real life stuff. Hopefully this time off will help me recenter and get things done when I return. I might post some small updates here and there during this time.
September is coming up very quickly; I’ve got a little less than a week to finish things for August. Some things are not getting done that I thought would and some that I didn’t expect to get started got started.
First off here is my list for the month:
I finished everything highlighted in green as well as the Trio category. It is not yet highlighted because they have not been submitted for points yet.
I’m still not clear on what the current New Release guidelines are so I never got around to doing something with that. Fungal Queen is going back on the shelf for a while.
Since most of these are not available for general sale I will list the closest name and corresponding “SKU” from the Kickstarter.
Please forgive the lack of nice photos for several of these. I have been busy and haven’t had a chance to mess around with light settings and whatnot to get them where I’m happiest.
We are more than halfway through the quarter now so here is what’s going on with that.
Going to go down the list then talk about the pop-up challenges.
Diorama: Eldritch Desert
This is on hold while I get other things done. I’m hoping to be able to pick it back up soon(TM)
Quarterly Contest: Female Minotaur
This is also on hold and may not get done before the end of September due to not being able to locate her.
Large Model: Overgourd
I’m actually almost finished with this one. Need some details and touch-ups but otherwise it’s ready to go.
Large Group 4+: Terror Fish w/ wings
This one is finished. Need photos and to submit still.
I don’t do these. My skills with modding is not good enough currently to make anything count as heavy.
Seasonal Themed: Powder Monkey (#732 from Brinewind Bones V KS)
Doing talk like a pirate day for my seasonal category. Thus painting a pirate.
Bust: Dragon Bust (Bones V Add-on)
I have started on this. I’m debating what color it should be but the plinth it is on is painted up like marble.
Pop-ups. These are extra challenges presented for more points each quarter. This is the list of pop-up challenges for Quarter 3:
Cake Topper: I haven’t yet picked minis for this, I’m thinking something horror themed though.
Under-lighting: I’m not very good at OSL so I may not do this one.
Trail of Blood: I’m having trouble picking a mini. When I see it though, I will know it.
Textures! Oh, my!: I have a mini pulled, I’m hoping to do an awesome worn leather on the cape of the mini.
I have finished the Spirit of the Forest category.
My goals for September are pretty much do as much RCL as I can cram in. This includes quarterly minis because Q3 ends at the end of September. Once I get a list together for monthly figures I will update.
July is almost over. I have no idea where the month went. I feel like I never know where the time goes. Anyway, a quick summary of July and goals for August.
Overall, July was pretty productive. I managed to get all but two of my RCL minis done. I still might finish them since I’ve still got a few days to get them in. I just need to start the monster and finish my new release minis.
I finished the following in green:
As for August I’m mostly planned out. I’m waiting for our shipment of Bones V before picking the rest for sure. This also means I don’t have access to photos of these yet with the exception of the Fungal Queen, which I don’t currently have a photo of where it’s at.
I’ve got a lot of quarterly things planned but again I’m waiting on the shipment to decide. It should be here tomorrow.
I’ve got other things I need to do this month that are hobby adjacent but I’m not talking about that yet since a lot of details have changed surrounding it. So for now I’m going to keep working on all of that and the RCL.
It’s the last night of June. I figure this is the optimal time to go over what I did accomplish this month.
My goals for this month were pretty simple. Finish the duo and trio groups I was committed to and do some small paintings. I did all of those things. I did not get to magnets or frames though. I did have more things I wanted to get done as far as cleaning and reorganizing the hobby room but there was a heatwave across the PNW this past week hitting record breaking high temperatures. Needless to say, because of the location of the hobby room, I did not even set foot upstairs during the heat wave.
I am planning on carrying those organizing goals over into July which should be much cooler. Here is the list of those:
So I’m probably going to spend the rest of this week and the better part of next week doing these things. I will be a busy bee.
For the RCL I have come up with this list:
I am lacking plans for a few things but I will work on getting the rest of it nailed down this week.
I will also note that there are several quarterly goals that I am planning but have not finished ironing all that out yet. I will make a post at a later time with those laid out.
I did pick back up my All Minis Eve calendar. I have started doing more embroidery for it. I need to order a few things to keep me going but that all shouldn’t take too long to get here. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll finish it before October of this year. *Knocks on wood.*
I also do plan on looking more into frames and stuff for the small paintings, that will just be on the back burner for a little bit while I work on all of this and getting the shop set up.
Now let’s break the general anatomy of the bristles down a little more starting with shapes. While there are tons of shapes, I’m only going to go over the ones that I find myself using most often to save some time.
TALK ABOUT SHAPES AND HOW THEY WORK
Round brushes are very versatile. They are made up of hairs that come to a sharp point. They can be used for almost, in my experience, any application. However, rounds are often used for detail painting.
Flats are used when you want to get paint over larger surfaces and doing washes. While small flats are made I find myself using larger ones. I have found that flats are harder to keep in shape so they usually end up being my go to when I need to do something that is particularly rough on them.
Brights are flats but considerably shorter. They are generally made with stiffer bristles than other shapes. They are helpful when I’m painting something like a cloak. It gets into crevices and covers broad areas well. In my experience, these hold their shape a little better than the flats.
Filberts are flat brushes that have rounded tips. These are also very good at getting into small places and covering larger areas. They can also be used for some detail work. These are also ideal when doing blending.
Angled brushes are flats with a tip that is angular. I like these even better than filberts and brights for getting into small places. However, like the flats they don’t seem to hold their shape as well as other shapes.
Now for sizes. This is where it gets complicated.
“Why is this the complicated part?” Brush sizing is complicated because it directly affects working time. Combined with the fact that there is no international standardization amongst sizes. So something that is labeled a 1 could very well be a 0 or 2 in a different brand.
It is important to mention, the size of the paintbrush will be printed on the handle. Sometimes it will also include the company name and/or brush shape.
The general sizing starts at the smallest being a 20/0 (brushes of 30/0 sizes are made but are not common) to the largest being a 30.The most common sizes are 000 through 20. For miniature painting I have heard of people using up to a size 4 at most.
Brushes that are X/0 are very small and as the number X gets bigger the smaller the brush gets. For example a 30/0 is a smaller brush than a 20/0. However, once you get to a size 0 the sizes then continue in sequential order as would be expected (0,1,2,3,etc.) getting larger the higher the number is.
This not only can be confusing but it makes it hard to recommend brushes in specific sizes. Like I said previously, the only brush that is “right” is the one that works for you. So play around with sizes as well as shapes and when comparing brands, in person, take a look at how the length and width of the bristles compared to one another. After a while you will get a general sense of what makes something a 0 for example.
“How does all this affect my working time?”
The widest part of the bristles is called the belly. Essentially, the larger the belly, or bigger the size, the more paint the brush will hold. It is important to know when you need a bigger brush. Larger brushes are good when you are doing large areas. The brush holds more paint so you need to go to your palette less.
This can be a confusing topic, I know it is for me. However, I’m hoping I’ve shed some light on how shapes and sizes affect your painting.
Uhh, time kind of got away from me here. I’ve been on a mini vacation the last week so this month has been totally thrown off.
My main goals for the month were to:
Start and finish my two RCL minis I committed to.
Get some small paintings done.
Figure out how to make frames for said paintings.
I have done most of these things already. My two RCL minis were for the duo and trio categories.
Crab Man and Ape
Now my second goal has two parts listed but it’s definitely more complicated than that.
I painted a total of twelve (12) complete paintings, two of them being triptychs. So if you count those as separate paintings I’ve done sixteen (16) of them.
I’ve managed to do about six (6) in two days each. So less than 48 hours per six (6).
The first six (6) I did about a week and a half ago:
These came out much better than I’d anticipated. I’m still getting used to tube paints and how they behave. I will get back to the frames shortly.
These are the second set of four (4) single paintings. I did these plus the two (2) triptychs in about 36 hours. The pink tree and the island triptych are done on 2.75-inch by 3-inch canvases.
The two triptychs:
Now for the second part of my second goal. Frames.
I decided I would make my own frames. I took craft sticks (i.e. Popsicle sticks) and cut them down to fit. This is more or less working. However, I did not do the best job at this. I am looking into some tools to make them more even cuts so, hopefully, it will fit together more snugly.
Those are the two I finished. I simply used a ruler and heavy duty Xacto knife to make the cuts. You can see the gaps at the corners don’t fit together very well. I had to trim them down small amounts after I’d made the initial cuts and this just did not work. On the first one I attempted to shove pieces of discarded craft sticks to fill the gap. Again, not working. I have some small tools on order that should make this much easier or, at least, more uniform.
As for the canvas pieces. I have not figured framing out yet. I’ve watched a few video tutorials on how to do it but I currently can’t find the materials to make it cost effective for myself or the customer.
The other thing that I’ve done that you can’t see is on the backs of the framed pictures. I added small magnets to them. Frames and magnets will be add-ons once I get set up to sell them. The ones on canvas paper will be mounted onto the same canvas paper that has not been painted. I hope to be able to use actual photo mats, or something similar, soon. I also have ideas for some slightly fancier frames but have not tested this out yet. That is next on my to-do list.
That is what I’ve been up to. I’ve been very busy, even on my mini vacation, but I am getting things done. I hope to have July goals up in a timely manner.
It’s the middle of May already? The year is almost half over already? I feel like things just started.
I thought I’d take a little time to give y’all an update on how the hobby goals for the year are going. If you, like myself, have already forgotten my hobby goals I will link to the original post from the beginning of the year here.
First the hobby goals:
Have not picked this up yet
I have actually started this one.
Baba Yaga’s Hut
Another one left on the shelf for now
Eldritch Desert Diorama
Very slowly working on this one. Trying to find good ideas for wall materials.
Shadows of Brimstone and Forbidden Fortress
Have not touched.
ReaperCon 2020 minis
Have worked on a couple but have not finished any of them.
Reaper Challenge League
This has been going really well. I’m getting a lot of the Shelf of Shame cleared and getting more things out of the way than I anticipated. So that’s been very helpful.
Now onto the hobby adjacent goals:
Work on the blog
I’ve been doing this a little bit at a time. I know most of the things I’ve been posting this year are updates to things that may or may not be noticeable right away. But this will get me back into the habit of writing anything and, hopefully, get back on a content schedule.
Level up photography skills
Still working on this one. Earlier this year I purchased a light box because the one I had was falling apart.
I bought a tripod.
I’ve been getting back into the habit of putting my logo on photos.
Paint and mini situation
I have not put a lot into organizing.
I bought some peg board for the minis still in blisters, that I have yet to put up.
I have aimlessly moved things around the room trying to figure out how I want to organize things.
I have not updated the minis spreadsheet much.
Paint has been slowly rolling in and I have not been cataloging like I’d like to be.
I have not been doing swatches.
I have not been organizing these much either.
Things I have been doing:
Updating the website
Coming up with ideas for fun posts in the future
If you have any topics you’d like to see drop me a comment or sent me a message through the contact page.
Organizing and re-organizing the desk
Setting up shop
Which is mostly currently trying to write an about me, taking product photos, editing photos, working on pricing, some painting, and many other things I need to do that seem overwhelming.
So that’s what’s going on in a nutshell. I’m very busy with Real LifeTM so everything is kind of getting shuffled around to accommodate that stuff.
On that note I’m going to end this very long ramble and hope some of it made sense.
I want to get some painting done, not committing to a lot because of other things going on but I’d like to get one or two of my RCL minis done and possibly work on one of the large model entries.
I have been mostly doing a lot of work to get the shop up and running. Hoping to have things totally set up and ready to sell by mid-June.
This is where I’ll be selling. It also allows me to take donations towards things that will help me with getting things done without taking money from me. So 100% of your donations will go to me. Currently, my goal is $80USD for a new, much larger, micro SD card for my phone. I do most things on it so I need the space for photos and apps that help me get editing done.
I have not posted much so far but am hoping I can find some fun things to do with it and give y’all some sort of rewards for donating, buying something, or commissioning me.
Speaking of commissions, I will be able to list anything from painting commissions to one-on-one help sessions to supporter only tutorials. What kind of stuff would y’all like to see?
Not too long ago I announced that I would be opening up a shop. This is still true but there have been some setbacks that will delay things for… a while. This being said I do still plan to continue to open up just not where I thought I would be opening.
I have several options floating around but have not settled on a good one, for me, yet. I am still working on this though. I am still needing to apply for the business license as well but don’t want to do that until I’m positive I’ve got everything set up and ready to sell.
On another note, I am still also messing around with the portfolio but I don’t think there will be any more huge changes as of now. I’m also not planning anymore overall site changes in the near future.
On an even different note, I’m going to get back to painting some landscapes. I got small canvases that I think would work great for small backdrops for photos. I haven’t done one in a while so here’s hoping they come out the way I want them to.
Anyway, those are somethings that are going on around here. I’ll make my April RCL update a little later this week when I’m sure I’m done doing minis for the month.
I have done a few things around here that I think will help make things better overall on both ends.
I have been overhauling the portfolio section. I am taking some things down for the sake of photo quality. I, most notably, removed that Shadows of Brimstone section. I will be posting this back up in the near future. Because of the way I uploaded it things went wonky on my end and I needed to start it over. Which at this point means I’ll be taking new photos of everything. There may end up being some overlap of portfolio pages because I did paint a lot of Shadows of Brimstone during previous Minivembers.
Also, portfolio related, I have taken some of my older photos and cropped them slightly and updated them with my logo. I will be doing a lot of this.
I have added a WhatsApp button on the contact page. I hope this will be easier than filling out a contact form. I switched around the main color palette of the site. I liked the blue I had but this feels much more readable with the off white of the background. I’m sure I have changed a few other things that I’m not remembering right now.
Please, as always, if you have any feedback (or if anything is borked) let me know and I’ll see what I can do to fix it.