Monday, January 21, 2013

The Fantasy Palette

'Thuvia, Maid of Mars',  Frank Frazetta,  1974

I'm working on other projects related to my painting/gaming hobby, but the projects don't lend themselves as well towards adding a photograph to my blog articles.  The projects are taking up as much time and energy as my painting and gaming, however, so I want to share their progress.

I'm using this classic fantasy illustration by the great Frank Frazetta to introduce a slide presentation that I'll be presenting to the National Capital Model Soldier Society (NCMSS).  The topic is the use of color in fantasy illustration and now miniature painting.  I explore the history and evolution of using rich, kaleidoscopic colors in this genre, and I show the experiment from one of my earlier blog posts, where I attempted this approach to color on a Troll (with marginal success).

I have about a dozen slides so far, most of which show the progression of fantasy illustration from Frazetta and Boris, through proteges like Suydam and Bisley, and on to modern guys like Bonner.  I'm now in the process of collecting photos of miniatures that show this same approach.  I'll finish the presentation with my Troll experiment, and I'll have the actual miniature at the meeting for folks to look at.

Another project I'm working on is organizing Demo Day for the end of February.  Most of that work is done, but I still need to produce a flyer and post announcements on the various gaming forums.  Much of the miniatures painting I'm doing right now is driven by the goal to have factions ready-to-play by the time Demo Day rolls around.  There's the possibility to play Alkemy or Eden for the first time, since one of the game-hosts plays those games.  I'm also preparing two or three Carnevale miniatures, with the hope that I might demo that game.  That goal might be ambitious, though, so my fallback plan is to demo Fantacide.  I haven't played the game yet, but the thought is that it's achievable for Demo Day, since you can use any miniatures in your collection.  The down side is that I'll need to define the stats for the factions and produce reference sheets, so there is still plenty of work involved.  We'll see where things stand at the beginning of February, when most of these other projects are either finished or fully prepped.

The beginning of February is a milestone also because I'll be putting the new NOVA Open judging system to the test.  Another big project over the last couple of months has been overhauling the scoring and judging criteria and logistics for both the Appearance Judging and the Art Competition for NOVA Open 2013.  I developed rules and material for both of these events, and wrote up formal primers, which should be released by February 1st.  We still need to do some final tweaks.  Mike Brandt (NOVA Open CEO), Bob Likins (regular NOVA Open painting judge), and I going to test the Appearance Judging standards on February 2nd, at a 40K event at Huzzah Hobbies in Ashburn, Virginia.

Two of these projects will tie together, when I convert my slide presentation into a training tool for NOVA Open judges.  I'll be composing a training presentation to cover art concepts such as:  composition, color harmony, thematic unity, value/contrast, and other similar topics.  Plus, I'll cover techniques more specific to models and miniatures, like weathering, basing, etc.

I plan to complete most of these projects by Demo Day.  After Demo Day, I have only 6 weeks to build and paint my diorama entry for Adepticon!

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