Tuesday, September 15, 2020

September Challenge - Part Two

Carrying on where we left off after Part One ...

Once again, all of the selections from this week are John Blanche illustrations copied from the Black Library book The Emperor's Will - Agents of the Imperium. The original illustrations are © John Blanch and/or Games Workshop/Black Library and my studies  were done purely for my own private entertainment and education purposes and are presented here simply to share with the community a creative thing that I did. They are not now, nor ever will be, for sale. I do not take commissions of any kind. 


Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Starting Week Two, I wanted to do something a little more challenging - so I selected this piece with more than one figure and a much more detailed background than any of the works I copied from in Week One 

Comparison - I don't know if it's the pigments in the watercolours being more reflective than those in the ink of the book, but the study looks WAY more washed out and bright in this picture than it does in real life - compared to the original I was working from!? 

Having trouble getting the contrast just right... How dark do I go!? Usually erring on the side of NOT DARK ENOUGH! 

Also... on Tuesday I backed the Lost Tomb of the Bitchin' Chimera - Dead Milkmen RPG Module on Kickstarter. I'm not a guy that backs a LOT of Kickstarters - compared to many I know (or follow)... but I had to jump in on this one... 

It's.. a long story... 

The short version of which is I am a HUGE Dead Milkmen fan - have been since Big Lizard and it's probably not too much of a stretch to say I only survived high school because of the Dead Milkmen... and then this... my favourite band in the world, and an official role-playing game adventure!? How could I NOT!?

 I also assembled these beasties... 

Other than this, however, there was ZERO work done on any miniatures this week...

Wednesday, 8 September 2020

Not sure what this guy is... Tech-Priest...? Kind of like an Omnissian Axe...? 

I wanted to do something with a simpler, but darker background. 

A little happier with the tone and contrast today. I've been using gouache to do the smokey-highlighty-bits on all of these so far - this one I used a bunch more (red, yellow and a touch of blue) on the background to get that deeper colour. 

This paper... yeah... so not meant for gouache... 

I am pretty happy with how this one turned out. I mean, every one of them could be like one of those Spot the Differences puzzles - there are hundreds that I see... I need to shift from seeing what didn't work to what DID WORK!!!

I do want to play with gouache more.... 

I should probably go grab a few more tubes while Art Placement still has their sale on!

Thursday, 9 September 2020 

As Wednesday's study was SUPER warm in colour, I wanted to try out some cool colours - and I wasnted to try out this blue watercolour stick I got ages ago as a free sample... 

Things were too bright and blue and I tried adding in brown and it got WAY TOO BROWN before I realized what I should have been adding was a red and make it a washed out purple... and then  I tried to fix things and it just got overworked... and... well... I called it a day. 

Lessons learned (maybe). Time to move on (regardless). 

Friday, 11 September 2020

Imperial Assassin - probably from the Eversor Temple. A friend on facebook said "that outfit does not whisper sneak-sneak-stealth-stealth..." I'm not sure the Eversor Assassins are all about the sneakiness. I'm no master of the 40K lore, but my understanding is that they're not really big on subtlety or stealth. They're more about murderifying their targets (and anyone in the way of getting TO their target) in the most showy, horrific fashion, so that none of the witnesses are left thinking that what the deceased did was in anyway something that the Imperium would tolerate, and following in their fashion would greatly reduce one's own life expectancy.

This one is a little simpler than some of the other studies for the week - largely because I had a LOT to do on Friday. Electrician coming - that I was to work with on the basement wiring... An appointment downtown in the afternoon... Hurrying back to meet with a plasterer, because we're now adding wall repair to the list of things Amanda wants done by October... 

This is as far as I got before Steve the Electrician showed up at 10am... not a bad start. 

I didn't get to work on this again until the evening... I'm pretty happy with how this one turned out in the end. Got the darks dark enough. Had some fun with the background - which isn't TOO far off the original. It was a good end to the day... 

I did get out for a short ride in the countryside today. Amazing how much things change in just a couple weeks - especially if you're not paying attention... 

Saturday, 12 September 2020

ANOTHER quick one today because... you know... things to do. This is as far as I got on this Tech Priest before I had to take Keira to her first Tap Class this (school) year. 

Unfortunately that new Tap class is in one of the worst parts of towns to get to now. She used to dance at the University of Saskatchewan School of Dance - but in the spring the entire program was shut down and all the staff unceremoniously turfed. A few of the teachers banded together and started a non-profit Dance Collective and determined to carry on teaching classes... But had to find a new space. I guess rent must be cheap out here. Not only is it not a great place to get to - by bike, at least - there is no place anywhere nearby to kill 45 minutes while she's IN the class - at the university, there were all sorts of lounges and cafeterias that I could sit and read or draw or write in... Not sure WHAT I'm going to do once the snow starts flying!? 

Saturday's finished study. 

Amanda and I actually played a game today - Terraforming Mars! We played on Hellas with Prelude.

I had Point Luna with Supply Drop and Loan and took Rim Settler and Space Baron. Amanda had Phoblog with Galilean Mining and Experimental Rainforest - took Deversifier, Energizer, Magnate, and Contractor. I only lost by 15 points, and Amanda didn't even make any dick moves... so it was a pretty good game! 

No Wrath & Glory this week, though... I did pop on to Discord briefly to have a chat with a couple of the guys. I'll probably be shelving the Wrath & Glory game for a bit. Just too much going on and I'm feeling just to scattered and listless to keep a game like that going... 

Woody, on of the guys playing in the game said he'd run some Traveller for a bit and I'm keen to try and run a few one-shots with Fate Accelerated. 

Sunday, 13 September 2020

Sunday I tried out some Speedball coloured acrylic inks - the inks, unlike watercolours or gouache - won't reactivate once they're dry. I thought i'd try using them for a background wash, hoping I'd get cleaner misty/cloudy bits instead of muddy messes. I found it a little unforgiving and hard to control... but since it was largely being layered over with the gouache, I wasn't TOO concerned. 

Not too bad. I'll definitely have to experiment with the coloured inks more in the future. I may have also used them for some of the reds in here...? 

In the afternoon, Brent and Kurtis joined Finnegan, Amanda and myself for another game of Sidereal Confluence. 

This time I played the Faderian Conclave (Which Brent had played in our last game). Amanda played the Im'Dril again - she is DETERMINED to figure them out. Likewise, Finnegan played the Kjasjavikallim for a THIRD time... having only marginally better success. Kurtis tried the Eni Et, which was one we hadn't seen before. Brent played the kt'Zr'Kt'Rtl this time, which is rated as the easiest. 

Brent won - but, strangely, this was a MUCH lower scoring game than the previous game. I think, partly, it was due to no one playing the plants (I forget their name, but I played them in the last two games) - they increase (like, DOUBLE!) the production of any colonies they acquire, so perhaps there was just less resources available in the game - and less of certain types - food, for one. Also, it felt like there was a lot less trading. Everyone just tried to run their own little engines as best they could and wouldn't give up anything... 

Part of my would like to try with seven or eight players... part of me thinks it would just be MAD!?  

Monday, 14 September 2020

I got started on this pretty late in the day. I was up pretty late the night before and then the electrician was coming to work on some of the rewiring we need to do in the basement. I had said I'd have a few more walls opened up and so I had to get up and do that before he came, and then worked with him for a few hours... and then I was utterly distracted reading about the Fate Accelerated RPG... and... stuff... I didn't actually get started on this until the evening. 

I tried using some red (and a dash of yellow) inks in parts - the star in the background and the turn-backed part of the clothes. 

(I actually had to finish this off Tuesday morning...) 

I only had the white highlights to finish up... 

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Half Way.

I made it this far, seems likely I'll finish the project!

(I feel like I should not have made such a bold statement...) 

Immediately after finishing up the previous days work I got started on this one. This is how far I got before the Electrrician showed up, again, at noon. 

more background washing with inks. 

The finished study. 

Tool of the Trade

In case anyone is interseted, this is the stuff I've been using for this project so far...

I guess I should have included the sketchbook itself... and maybe the ruler. 

Iv'e been using staedler lead-holders to sketch things out, the do the majority of the ink drawing with Rapidographs. I started just using the watercolour pencils (I'm not sure when or where I actually got these?) and then adding the Windsor & Newton watercolour markers to darken things up. the White Gouache is used afterwards to add a few highlights and "smokey/misty bits". Teh last few days I've been trying to use the Speedball coloured acrylic inks - mostly for washes in teh background - in hopes that when I try to do the smokey stuff over top it doesn't pick up the colours (as it does - sometimes - with the watercolour, and makes a muddied mess!). 

(the blade is for sharpening the pencils as a traditional sharpener just breaks the watercolour lead). 

Coming Soon To Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Probably Part Three of the September Drawing/Painting-a-Day Challenge. Doesn't seem to be much else going on around here... well.. other than the renovation... Not much in the way of miniature painting or gaming. I don't think I've finished painting any miniatures in the last three weeks... which... is... kind of unheard of for me!? 

Hopefully I'll get out of this slump when the reno is over and I can set up a proper hobby/paiinting area in the basement again. Unfortunately, I have my doubts that that is going to happen any time soon - despite Amanda's assurances to the contrary... 


  1. Your Blanchian works are looking really good. You are capturing the look and style quite well, I think, and getting the drawings down brilliantly.

    I'm not in you league by any means, but have started playing around with gouache (never used it before, and haven't really painted much at all (flat art as opposed to minis)), and also with a few other arts and crafts supplies. In addition to maybe making some pictures I'm also experimenting with ideas and techniques for terrain. Maybe some day I will actually produce some finished pieces. In the meantime just playing around is fun. The smoke here is not conducive to outdoor activity, but I have been trying to get my old bicycle back into shape to do a little riding once the smoke clears.

    1. Thanks!

      Enjoy your experimentation with art-stuffs! Hope the air clears enough to get out and ride soon too!

  2. I'm thinking I actually like the inked drawings even more than the colourized paintings. Most of them have better value contrast (dark vs light) and thus provide better areas of focus. An experiment to try: make your drawing as per normal and then only select one or two colours and just lightly put them in in just a few select areas and see how it turns out.

    For that blue watercolour pen, you could also try mixing a bit of orange with it to get the brown (in colour theory, with pure opposite colours you'd get black, but in reality it never really works that way). By playing with the ratios of the colours, you could get some nice related browns. You could also get some ugly ones too.

    1. I know what you mean - I feel a little like Terry Moore when I go in with the colour. I read an anecdote in a book by Dave Sim (of Cerebus fame) who was writing about not falling in love with your pencils and how Terry Moore LOVES the pencil work and then always feels like he's "ruining" his art when he goes in to ink it.

      I totally agree, I like a lot of the ink drawings too. I'm happy with where my pen and ink are at. So, that's not really the point of the challenge. I wanted to push myself in areas I am less comfortable with - COLOUR! and experiment with some materials and mediums that I haven't had much opportunity or desire to make use of in the past.

      There is definitely a loss of value once I add in the colour. Part of that is these watercolours I'm using (or maybe all watercolours? I don't have THAT much experience with them) dry a LOT lighter so I finish it and things look good, and then I got to photograph it and import it into the computer I'm all "WTF!? WHERE DID ALL THAT CONTRAST GO?!" Maybe it's the paper? When the paper gets wet it looks darker and makes everything on top of it darker? Could be the pigments are more reflective than those in the printed book, because when I look at them IRL there is a little more contrast than the ones I'm looking at on the computer... Oh, they're still washed out and definitely don't carry the same definition and value contrast that the originals have... but it's one more thing.

      Mixing in a bit of opposites is something I have been experimenting with a bit - clearly I need to do more! In the case of the mostly blue that ended up too brown, yeah I could have added in bit of orange watercolour pencil with the blue, at that stage... but once I was adding in the markers the orange is not an option as the orange watercolour marker is a VERY VIBRATE ALMOST NEON orange!! There is a lighter brown - I think it's called "Yellow Ochre"? That I've been using as an off-orange when I don't want ORANGE-ORANGE!!!!

      Actually, thinking back to that drawing, now, I remember I didn't use the watercolour pencils as much - this was because I was trying out that watercolour stick and it was very... waxy...? and din't really mix well with the watercolour pencils - or it resisted the pigment of the watercolour pencil on top of it once I'd done the first layer of sketching in colour with that...

      (excuses, excuses...)

      I do appreciate all these comments. Thank you so much!

  3. Really nice studies,gouache has been the go to illustration material for some time, you get the white of the page coming through but at least some of them are opaque so you can successfully work over them at a later stage( with some care) watercolour is a much less controllable medium that you have to kind of go with and not go back to, in my experience all watercolour dries lighter, not missing the miniatures, there's still creative stuff happening, sounds like the basement is a big job!
    Best Iain