Thursday, April 2, 2015

Figopedia: Light & Colour - Theory and Practice

Figopedia Volume 1: Light & Color – Theory & Practice

Written by Jeremie Bonamant Teboul (JBT)
120 full color pages

One of the nice things about this internet era of things, is that you can get a taste for how something may work. For example, prior to the book launch of Figopedia, there was a Youtube video. It provided a great overview of what was going to happen on Indigogo.
The campaign was well run. The updates were on a regular basis. The stretch goals were modest and met. Part of that included some lady adventurers that would be NSFW cast in resin with very fine detail on them.

The communication after the campaign were well done. The books weren’t shipped out on time. There was some item, I’m not sure if it was stickers or something, but that held things up.

Only briefly.

Biggest problem? The way it was shipped. My book had numerous scuff marks on it and I was fortunate that the miniatures were still in the package because the package was ripped open at the top due to a tear. It was a big envelope basically as opposed to a box. Bad shipping on that. Good news the minis look okay.

The book itself? Gorgeous. People talk about food porn all the time. This is miniature porn. If you like looking at well painting miniatures, this book is right up your alley. The miniatures are identified in both scale and company. For example, there are many from Figione but there are others from companies including Games Workshop. The painting on the cover? That’s a modified Games Workshop Eldar walker.

The book is not a step by step in that the author doesn’t grab one figure, prime it, put a color on, tell you the color, shade it, tell you the color of the shade, and so on.

Rather, he provides ideas on how color works. It’s a bit technical in some areas but the biggest thing I got from me, is to push the paints further then you might normally. He does this by providing information on the different parts of light and color.

For example, how does light fall on the miniature? Is it falling from an angle? Is it all around light? Is it directly overhead? Each way that light is cast provides it’s own highlight and shadows and must be followed throughout the whole miniature as such.

Another aspect cover, is how light hits different shapes. Large flat shapes versus folded cloth for example.

In terms of idea, he hits the following: Hue, lightness and saturation.

He does this by discussing how to make colors ‘cool’ or ‘warm’ and how to harmonize them.

He does this by showing how to take the opposite color to darken a color while retaining a richer color. For example, to get a deep rich red, add green. I’ve seen the advice before but there are more examples here and it’s clearly demonstrated.

One of the nice things, is that while there are is no single walk through, he uses the same model to discuss different aspects several times so you get to see how each of the theories applies to the same figure with vastly different results. Want to see how the figure looks when it’s ‘cool’ or ‘warm’? It’s there. Want to see it when the painter has harmonized it? Done.

In this way, the making the reader think about how the figures are painted, not just the use color a, color b, color c, it is more of a workbook for the reader. It’s more of a “here’s WHY you paint it this way as opposed to just paint it with these colors.” For some people, that’s a good thing. After all, what if he used Citadel paints and all you have are Vallejo’s?

No, instead, it’s take this red, darken it with green, lighten it with yellow, pay attention to where the light is falling, how the light is falling, how much light is falling, and don’t be afraid to have extreme highlights and extreme shadows but only in those spaces where they are needed and no further.

It’s not an inexpensive book. It’s overall value may depend entirely on what you bring to the reading. But even if you just read it for the art and the ideas, you may be motivated by the miniature porn to push your own painting skills a little higher while motivated to do so. For me, it was a worthwhile purchase and I will be supporting any future books done in this manner, although with more feedback to the author to ship in a box or better padding.

Those interest in the book and it’s website can go here.

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