Two photographs of the 'just finished and glossed' artist vignette. The small clumps of foliage and easel were also glued down only minutes ago. Herr Biedermeyer von Spiesburg (in the brown coat) is busy micromanaging our artiste-at-work while the former's valet fetches something from the painter's kit on the bench.
The figures are from Blue Moon, including a converted duelist, who has apparently become a painter in his spare time. The chair, bench, and crate are from Foundry, and the bucket is a spare from Minden Miniatures. Foliage and grass scatter are Woodland Scenics while the sand beneath, which was first stained brown, comes from my deceased maternal grandparents' place in Berks County Pennsylvania, where I grew up. I collected a small pile of dry sand from the creek bed in front of their fieldstone colonial house during July of '84, and I've carted it along with me ever since in an old loose tea tin. Oh, and the easel is an original Stokes. . . Without a doubt, it will one day fetch a huge sum at Christie's!
As has become the usual practice during the last couple of years or so, most of the painting was accomplished with Winsor & Newton Alkyd Oils that were thinned liberally with Liquin Original. Small details were picked out with Citadel acrylics. The scenic bass is basswood. I used Liquitex matt medium to tack down the sand, which was next stained with a runny wash of brown acrylic paint, before adding the Woodland Scenics materials. The grass is held down with more matt medium while the three clups of foliage are simple glued down with tiny blobs of plain, old super glue gel.
The easel was made with a couple of toothpicks and some slivers of balsa wood and the "canvas" is just a piece of white illustration board that was was base-coated with some white acrylic gesso, given a coat of tan, and then dry-brushed with pure white to give it a little texture, depth, and tone down the stark white of the illustration board.
One thing I seemed to get right with this particular base is the amount of grass scatter material. There isn't much of it and quite a bit of the "dirt" beneath is allowed to show through. It seems to result in a more realistic, effective appearance than when a base is absolutely covered in grass scatter material so that is resembles a well-manicured golf course, which isn't really the effect we want for vignettes of 30mm miniatures. Lesson learned today? Less is more when it comes to scenic materials.
Ok, enough prattle! Time to finish base-coating on the rest of those frolicking 18th century Jackdaw aristocrats and (hopefully) apply their flesh tone this evening.
Later Replies to Comments and Etc. . .
Thanks everyone for the kind remarks! These were terrific fun to paint up and went very quickly. They are indeed glossed heavily with a new medium, Liquitex acrylic gloss varnish. This is considerably easier to control than my usual stand-by that I've used since 2006, Future/Klear acrylic floor polish, which runs everywhere, something I've increasingly grown frustrated with in recent months. The Liquitex stuff, in contrast, while slower to apply, stays put and thus provides a thicker protective coating once dry. It even appears to be slightly glossier, which is fine by me. I think I've found my new gloss medium!