Kitty it's Cold Outside

My last post was about my lacking of posting in 2016 (and my lack of painting). It mentioned a second miniature that I had painted late in the year, for Monday Miniatures. This snow leopard was it. Now that I think about it, this miniature was actually painted before the Stone Lurker, and I was really proud how quickly I got back into painting after such a long time.

I also did some experiments with this miniature - this one on creating snow. While this model is not the first time I had used Bi-carb to make snow, I wanted it to appear wetter. With this in mind I tested a few different hypotheses, once again based on using modge podge.

Usually when I make snow I mix Bi-carb with PVA glue to form a paste that has the same consistency as toothpaste. For this experiment I did this on two of the squares (the one on the far right and the middle one). For one of these (the middle square) I coated it in Modge Podge to give it a gloss to appear more wet. The other I left to compare the original method with the other two. The final experiment was actually what I wanted to test, which was to substitute the PVA glue with the Modge Podge. I figured it would give a wetter appearance. Surprisingly, this didnt happen - by mixing in the Bi-carb the Modge Podge lost all of its gloss properties. So for this miniature I ended up using the Bi-carb & PVA and coating it with 2 thin layers of Modge Podge to give it a more wet appearance.

A final note about making snow. The first time I created 'snow' for a miniature base was when I painted Anirion as a winter wizard. At the time I didnt have any Bi-carb and I used Baking Powder, as I figured it was much the same ingredients. However Baking Powder has an additive that really mucks up the process.  To the right you can see a comparison that shows how much of a difference it makes (also how much my photos of my miniatures have improved - though that is probably more to do with my photography equipment.)

As for the painting, I am both really proud of this miniature and slightly frustrated with the end result. I love the free hand I did on this miniature and while it was time consuming and tiring I had a ball bringing this miniature to life though the details. My frustration lies with the shading, before I started with the leopard spots I had painted in the shadows with the tan. At the time I thought they were a little strong and after some umming & ahhing I decided to go back in with the white and soften them. However once the spots went over the top it the shading was now unnoticeable unless the mini is an inch from your eye. I tried to go back in over the spots but it didnt work very well - in some places its too strong and in others I couldnt do anything without destroying all the hard work of the freehand. I did consider re-painting the entire thing but I was still really pleased with the spots and did not want to have to repeat the process of putting them back on.

Overall I am still really happy with this miniature. I love the spots and I am really proud of taking the time to add the second colour to the spots because it really helps it stand out more and reflect what they are like in nature. I had such fun painting this miniature and was so impressed with the varity that people came up with in the Monday Miniatures post, that I actually ordered another set of the animal companions. So you may be seeing this model again in a totally different colour scheme. 

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