Thursday, 14 April 2016

C. The Door to the Paths of the Dead

"The way is shut. It was made by those who are Dead, and the Dead keep it, until the time comes. The way is shut."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.



Three of my clubmates and I entered Wyrd's Iron Painter competition this year, and the above vignette is my entry for the second round. I don't normally do display pieces, so this was an interesting exercise. I built the entire base from scratch, I painted it using almost exclusively washes and glazes over a white undercoat (I just painted on a few highlights at the end to finish it off). Bright colours, as well, are not what I usually put on my miniatures. But this really works. All in all I am very happy with the result and I learnt a lot in the process. Hope it fares well; my opponent is a tough one.

I took some pictures as I worked:
The building began with rough shapes. The wall was cast in plaster, the stairs are balsa wood and the rocks polystyrene. A large undead knight was originally meant to stand on the base, but in the end I changed my mind and went with the ghost miniature.
I had most fun making the door. It started from balsa, cut into shape and textured to resemble wood.
The metalwork is plasticard and pins.

The trees that flank the door are part wood, part air-drying clay.

The modelling part is finished.

I had fun painting with washes and thin glazes. This is what it looked like after the first couple of layers.

More washing and glazing.

The state of the base before I started work on the miniature. Later, when the miniature was in place, the lower steps felt too empty. So I added some bones. They also gave a darker tone to the piece.

The miniature is a simple one. It's one of the Spirit Host ghosts, with a Bretonnian knight's face and a crown. I added the 'hairs' made of thin wire and static grass, each glued in place individually. It took a while... but it was worth it.

The King of the Dead was in a way inspired by this Ian Miller piece:


And the base is an adaptation of the background from this painting by Petar Meseldžija:


Next round of Iron Painter won't start until April 25th, so I'll have some time now to work on the next update of  the Wilderness terrain project.

29 comments:

  1. Amazing work, Ana! Love the use of materials and how you've painted with shades and glazes alone. I see that more and more now the last year or two, but your work really stands out above the rest. I love the references and I think your combining of source materials has worked a great here. I wish you all the best in the competition!

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  2. That's fantastic. Great composition in the modelling and wonderful warmth and cold in the painted glazes. A really atmospheric piece and thanks for sharing the steps from inspiration to making and painting.

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  3. Ana, this is outstanding work. A creepy ghostly vibe is very apparent even without the ghost mini added.

    Very well done.

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  4. That is very impressive. The colours on the terrain are particularly rich and striking.

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  5. Absolutely breath-taking, great work!

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  6. It's beautiful the way your color never sits still. So much movement.

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  7. I just can't stop looking at this piece. Fantastic and so atmospheric!

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  8. Another gorgeous piece! The ghost model is so good, the hairs are such a nice touch. I hope the undead knight ends up being used for something as well, it's off to a great start :)

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    1. Thanks, Remnante!

      Since I really enjoy making undead knights (had a blast making Mor the Armour and Saint Anthimous), there will most certainly be some more in the future. I just need a good excuse to make them. :D

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  9. Great job in nailing the look and feel of that door.

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  10. This is absolutely brilliant! I love your work in general but this ticks all the boxes for me. I recently read the Lord of the Rings again and you capture the atmosphere of the books really well. Love the way this has been painted with glazes and washes!

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    1. Thanks, MarK! I'm glad the project turned out a success.

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  11. Spectacular, Ana. The way you've captured the look of light striking part of the door and the top steps is very impressive.

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  12. That's incredible Ana - so painterly in execution. It reminds me of some of Alan Lee's paintings - it has a real watercolour quality to it. I guess that's from all the layered washes. Gorgeous as ever!

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  13. Love your diorama, such atmosphere in it, and it's nice to see a stage by stage WIP of it as well.

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