About a month ago I went up north to visit with some friends, and while there I found out that it was one of their Birthdays. Well with not much to offer in the way of gifts I asked what my friend would like. The response was to paint one her miniatures, Kirai from Malifaux to be exact.
We spent some time discussing colors, and fleshtones, and things of that nature, but I was also asked if it would be possible for me to do some freehand on the back. Specifically a Sakura Tree (Japanese Cherry Blossom Tree). I accepted the challenge.
I feel like I succeeded pretty well! I admit to being a little jealous as this Kirai is better than my personal one.
While it could be pointed out that over a year has passed by and I've gained a few new tricks since I painted my own I'm still a little jealous. I'll take comfort in the knowledge that my skill is increasing.
I figured I'd share how I ended up doing the freehand. First we'll start with the robe itself since that was painted first. This is the robe, sash, and obi (belt) with the base colors and a wash of blue ink.
Once the wash was dried (you can tell that it wasn't when I took the picture by how some of the recesses shine) it was time to give it a couple of highlight coats.
This is the part where I get nervous. The robes like this look really nice, and for a normal miniature I could have left it here. However I had to plod on, but first I needed a plan. I felt that the best way to do it would be to layer up like normal, except instead of shades I'd go with objects. First was the tree trunk itself.
Ok it looks a little rough, but I knew that it'd change pretty quickly. I've actually got three layers of brown. I used a nice dark brown as a base, followed by a mix of the dark with a medium brown, and topped it off with a dash of the medium brown. Next up was the flower blossoms.
You can begin to see how things are going to take over. Lots of little dots that would have some shading to them later on are able to cover more of the tree and take away some of the rough edges. This is what I had first, but felt it could use a little more. My favorite images of Sakura trees are ones that involve the cherry blossoms blowing in the breeze, and with that I decided to do the same here.
That looks MUCH better. I actually ended up adding a lighter shade of the pink to the blossoms, but you couldn't really tell I had. Sometimes I run into that issue, where I try to add a lighter layer on, but the shade isn't that much of a difference and is really difficult to see. Instead I mixed a little of the lighter shade in with some white and used that instead.
I was really pleased with how it turned out. It looked like I wanted it to, and I was happy that the lighter shade of pink turned out exactly like I wanted it to.
Here's Kirai in full:
With Kirai done all I have left is this motley group of models for a different friend:
I think it'll be somewhere between three and five weeks depending on how my work schedule ends up going.
The more I look at Kirai's face the less happy I am. While that's supposed to be a blood splatter it ends up looking like a beauty wart. My friend agreed with me, and so I went and touched it up.
I can sleep easier now.