The Walking Dead

And finally, the first of the two big projects that I painted for the Chicago Crystal Brush Awards: The walking dead. Remember that the second one is in progress.

Although everything about this piece will be explained in detail in the tutorials I'm preparing for the contributors of the Indiegogo campaign, I want to explain now some features about how I prepared the piece.

I love zombies, I grew up with Romero´s classic movies, and although the genre has taken a direction that I don´t like too much, the vast material that is now available makes me happy and gives me the chance to choose between films, tv series, comics, games, merchandising, etc. So I was waiting about some high-quality walking dead miniatures to make a diorama. I would have preferred that there was more zombie figures of this scale in the market to make a bigger diorama, but I had to resign myself and I thought in a small scene, as close as possible to a film poster, where it seems to someone has pushed the pause button and the main character remains in his coolest pose, completely ignoring what happens around.

The composition of the scene is a classic isosceles triangle where the main figure, the zombie hunter, is in the upper part. The effect is accentuated during the painting process, because as you can see, the lighting level is higher in the main figure and a shading circle is surrounding it.

I wanted to give a very dark atmosphere with the painting so I used a lot of black paint and desaturated colors. The result in person and in these pictures is much more evident than in the photos that were taken for the contest, over illuminated and making colors much more intense than in person.

Also note that the fat zombie is my first attempt to sculpt and although it is clear that it doesn´t have the same difficulty that a complete body figure with another pose and full detailed, I have to say that I´m very proud and of course it won´t be the last one!

Like I said before, I´m preparing the first tutorial of the Indiegogo campaign, where you will be able to learn every point of the process (I have more than 500 pics). How to paint dead and human skin, blood effects, how to built a scenic base with several figures and other elements, how to use pigments, ultra zoom pictures, sketches, detailed explanations...among other things.

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Comments enabled!

I´ve decided to enable comments in post entries, so now you´ll have the possibility to ask me whatever you want!.

Some rules:

1. All the comments must be written in english. Any comment in spanish will not be published.
2. Anonymous comments won´t be published.
3. I don´t use colour recipes, so try to avoid this kind of questions.

Who will be the first to comment?

Mini Ogrum Ironheart

This was my last figure before I started to paint the Crystal Brush projects. As you can see, it´s a version in miniature of the big scale figure "Ogrum Ironheart" from Pizarro Miniatures, originally sculpted by Alfonso Giraldés a few years ago.

The new figure from Tale of War miniatures is sculpted by Ivan Santurio in 30 Mm. I've added some pieces of my spare parts box and some putty for the mechanical arm. A simple conversion that only has taken me 20 minutes. I have also added other pieces to make it as similar as possible, although it is not my intention to match the figure to 100%. If at first glance looks very similar are more than enough.

I´ve changed the base after Leganés contest because I wanted to make a little tribute to Alfonso´s original figure, not to my version.

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click for ultra zoom

Sorry for not to continuing the step by step, but I didn´t have time with the Indiegogo campaign and the Crystal Brush projects.

It won a gold trophy in the Chicago Crystal Brush awards and a gold medal in Leganés contest.

The figure is for sale. Contact me if you are interested.

Crystal Brush review

I´ve come back so happy to have lived a new experience in that wonderful city that is Chicago. How could it be otherwise in the Windy City, the flight to Chicago was not as quiet as I wished. The last 40 minutes were horrific into a storm. I looked out the window and the only things that I saw were big black clouds and lightnings...things were falling inside the plane and of course I had to use the barf bag...things did not start well.

After two days of museums, skyscrapers and thousands of photos we met the rest of the Spanish expedition, Marc and Iago. We decided to rent a car, because the Westin Hotel was at 28 miles from Chicago...traffic jam of course. Once there the first thing I noticed was the impressive buffet of Mediterranean diet that welcomed to all the visitors, hamburgers, pasta, pizza and all kind of refried things. It reminded me the Simpsons episode when Moe purchase an industrial fryer for his new family many things on this trip I have reminded the Simpsons!

The contest area is located in the hotel lobby, so everyone who walk around has access to it, which makes that there is always people watching the glass cabinets. Around it were a few huge conference rooms with a lot of gaming tables. There was also a shopping area in another room. And when I speak about conference rooms I mean that each room would have the same surface of a Spanish Games Day, stunning.

The contest, as everyone knows, is not characterized by the average painting level as that usually seen in European contests. I think that most of the American painters must be change their painting concept to jump from very well painted gaming miniatures to showcase works that could access to one of the big prizes. The good thing is that I think (and wish) that they are on the right way. Try to organize a big panting community is a work of a few years but is the only way. Also, US need more contests in its territory like this. Please, keep the Crystal Brush in the US.

From my point of view, and is something that everyone there agreed, only 5 or 6 works were eligible for the first 3 prizes. For me, It was clear that 2 works was the first and second prize, and the rest would compete for the third prize. With a little change in the order of the winners is what happened. Of course, the online vote is very important (50%), so I think if you don´t follow a strategy from the beginning you are making a big mistake. I am referring to subject, composition, technique, base and main views for the photographs among other things. The online vote agreed with Roman´s judgement (the other 50%) as to the top 3, but not in the same order. The sum of Roman´s judgement and the online vote lead to the final result: 1- Jeremie Bonamant. 2- Me. 3- Raffaele Picca.

Jeremie Bonamant´s figure and my diorama "the walking dead"

Raffaele Picca´s figure and Marc´s figure

Nakatan´s figure and his impressive freehands

I don´t have photos of the diorama "so high" (Marc Masclans and Diego Esteban), one of the best miniatures in the contest and I don´t find good pics in internet. You can see the miniature in the Crystal Brush winners webpage. EDIT: Now, you can see pics of their diorama here

Probably the only criticism I would like to express is about the photographs. It can improve, and although I understand that lot of figures wait to be photographed, it would be desirable that at least the photographs don´t ruin the color and atmosphere work.

The awards ceremony was simply the best I've ever attended. Finally a good speaker, a lively public that knows when to be quiet and be respectful and when to cheer, clap and scream... you feel that contestants are really enjoying when they are rewarded. Sincere congratulations from people, contrary to suspicion, resentment, pouting, empty criticism and envy that are usually seen around here. I come very surprised and happy in that way. We have much to learn in that sense. From here I would like to congratulate to all the CMON staff for their friendliness and professionalism.

I want to congratulate to all the winners, and although my english level is too basic, I'm glad to exchanged a few words with Roman and Raffa of Massive Voodoo, and have shared good times with Marc, Iago and Jeremie, and of course Jara, without her this trip would not have been possible. Also I would like to send a big hug to Lola and Nacho, the Chicago connection. I hope to see you soon again! and once again thanks to all the contributors of the indiegogo campaign for their invaluable help. Soon you will see the tutorials and the other stuff!

And stay tuned for the next days, because I will upload good photographs of the Crystal Brush entries and there will be some changes in the blog and of course, next year I will be back to Chicago!