Here's a rather dark photograph. But it does show that I spent some time last night working on the next (second) company of Von Flickenhoffer's Fusiliers. I always like to start with the green bases, followed by flesh tone on the faces and hands. These two preliminary steps make the figures come alive, to my eyes, almost immediately. And doing the green bases early, while my enthusiasm is high, saves having to do this admittedly less than exciting step much later in the game when the figures are all but finished.
And here is a picture of the tube of fleshtone I've used since the winter of 2001, when the Grand Duchess and I began skiing and spending time together up in Minneapolis, Minnesota -- although neither one of us realized at the time that we were "dating". But I digress! Prior to my discovery of alkyd colors, I had always used pure oils for my fleshtones simply because good ol' Mom, who is an artist, had an extra tube lying around, which she gave to me when I began painting those Jacobite British Napoleonics way back in January 1984.
But as many of you will no doubt know, the problem with oil colors is that they take some time to actually dry. So when, many years later, while perusing a Dick Blick* catalog, I spotted alkyd fleshtone, I jumped at the chance and purchased the tube you see above. Alkyd colors provide all the brilliance of oils, but they dry to the touch within 12-24 hours. I've been very pleased with this tube of color and will continue to use it. . . probably forever. Given the size of the tube, and the small amount it takes to paint things like hands, ears, and faces, I suspect that it will outlast me, unless some mania comes along that enables me to complete large units at the rate of one per week!
*Dick Blick is a huge mail order artists supply house here in the U.S., based in Galesburg, Illinois (about two hours west of us), but with several large retail outlets around the United States. We had one in Emmaus, Pennsylvania -- not far from where I grew up -- where I purchased brushes and other supplies many years ago whenever Mom needed to ride over for tubes of oil color and canvas.
Addendum. . .
Managed to get the hair and mustaches painted on the same nineteen figures late this afternoon and began applying the tan undercoat to the officer and drummer before dinner. As you might remember, white is then used to highlight the tan, approximating the appearance of natural wool and providing some shadow between arms, torsos, legs, shoulder belt and torso, etc. I'm using a #5 round for this, but it's not exactly fast going since I need to take care NOT to slop tan on those items already painted. This extra care helps minimize the time necessary to fix mistakes. Hopefully a photo or two tomorrow evening after the tan step is finished. Charge!