Hot off the painting table, here are the latest three miniature scenes to take their place in the Grand Duchy of Stollen collection.
Most of the day free today! One of the fringe benefits of it still being very early in the semester. Fear not however. I'll get my comeuppance in a few weeks once things become more, and then exceedingly, busy, which is always the way. Still, with the Grand Duchess on campus most of the day, and the Young Master happily engaged building his version of Stonehenge, why not wrap up a few things at the painting table?
'The Thrown Shoe.'
So, here are the three latest vignettes, all using 1/56th Minden figures and mostly painted with my usual Winsor & Newton alkyd oils thinned way down with Winsor & Newton Liquin Original. Smaller details and some limited, fine lining with dark brown have been done with Citadel hobby acrylics as is also routine. I'm also getting a slightly better grasp on photographing the finished figures using my home-made foamcore lightbox from last month, three 100watt daylight "bulbs" (actually those ugly corkscrew looking "green" thingies) bouncing diffused light around the inside of the large box, and my Sony Cybershot camera.
'A Suitor Refused?'
Still not perfect photographs, but better still. The trick seems to be to back off beyond Macro range and shoot from between 8"-10" away from the subjects instead of getting as close as possible to the figures (Thanks for the tips Jim and Henry!), which throws some things out of focus in each shot. I then cropped and finally enlarged today's pictures using Photoshop Elements, whose virtues my artist/photographer mother in Mexico has been singing for several years. Still much to learn and perfect, of course, but I'm reasonably pleased with these photographs.
'Von Zieten Sends a Missive.'
What's next in the vignette painting queue then? A mounted Minden Austrian cuirassier officer shouting to a nearby RSM95 infantry officer on foot, Hans-Joachim von Zieten's horse and a dismounted horse-holder (both Minden) in a uniform similar to the one above, another mounted Prussian general (actually a Fife&Drum figure of General von Knyphausen) shouting to a dismounted Minden hussar officer, and finally a Minden Prussian hussar officer and his trumpeter at the gallop, presumably leading a charge.
Then, there are eight singly based Aides de Camp -- consisting of various RSM95, Minden, and Fife&Drum figures -- and at last the decks will be clear for brushwork to begin on the pontoon and wagon train, which should take much of the rest of 2014 to complete. . . Provided the college semester and life do not interfere in the meantime of course. Oh, and I've also just committed to teaching a short summer film appreciation course to high school kids in June or July, so there is some planning for that. But, both the Grand Duchess and I have pledged not to let work overtake our lives during 2014. Let's just see how long we are able to hold on to that lofty ideal.