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  • Steve The Novice

Highlights and their placement

I have recently begun working on the correct placement of volumetric highlights, which feels like the next step in my painting journey. I spend a lot of time painting, trying to improve, whether it be just general brush dexterity, wet blending, glazing or trying to nail those damn eyes. This is is the essence of learning...by physically doing the thing you want to get better at, by learning through action, or as Jazza would say (kinesthetic learning). However, sometimes it helps to be able to visualise what it is you want to achieve, and then working backwards. Where Instagram has been really helpful, is in connecting me to truly amazing painters, from all round the world, allowing me to see what high level paintjobs look like, and to then trace how I get from where I am, which is a competent tabletop painter, to being a true artist of the form. I recently painted a space marine, my first in fact, using what I had known so far, and was reasonably happy with it, though I knew it did not contain the contrast that I wanted.

It was competent enough, edge highlighted, even a bit of very basic freehand, but compared to some of what I had seen it was not where I had wanted it to be. However, rather than continue painting this model, I decided to keep it as a record of my first attempt. I am now attempting to do a monochrome version, focusing on the highlight placement, and trying to get to grips with how lights fall on on different volumetric shapes. Here is where I am up to so far.

Reflections are the hardest part, but by asking others for feedback, and examining good reference pictures, I hope to get this looking as dynamic as possible. Onwards ever onwards!

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