With the addition of the bonus rounds to this year's '4th Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge' I found myself in a bit of a spin - in a good way I should add! These are the sorts of distractions that seem to punctuate my hobby, that bring the variety to the painting table and I am determined to try and get an entry into all seven of them, starting with these 'Victorian Gypsies', entered in the non-combatant round!
This trio of lovely ladies are made up of a mixture of makes with a metal 'Westwind' tambourine player, a 'Reaper' metal in the flowing orange dress and a 'Reaper Bones' with an alluring digit! This was my first experience of the 'bones' material and I have to confess that I am a little unsure of it. I had read that giving them a good wash and prime was essential, but the painting experience was a little odd given the subtle movement of the plastic. That said the detail is ok, but obviously not as crisp as the metal counterpart and the final result is of a par with the other two so I may yet try a couple more pieces.
There were one or two raised eyebrows over at the challenge regarding my the blatant labelling of them as 'Victorian', some ne'er-do-wells even suggesting that birth certificates be produced in support of my historic claims - of course being a Gentlemen I couldn't possibly do that to them, but to my mind they were obviously Victorian characters.
Often romanticised in literature, the Romani people have brought mystery, intrigue and colour to some of the Victorian era's most influential texts. Think of the English Romanies that visit Thornfield Hall as fortune tellers in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, Stoker's Dracula features a group of Romanies working for the Count and then there are the demonised Gypsies accused of the murder in The Adventure of the Speckled Band, a Sherlock Holmes mystery by the great Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. These just a flavour of what I was thinking when referring to them as 'Victorian'.
Painting wise they were great fun to do and this time I tried to be a little more even with my brush strokes to give a softer look to the skin - the finished result is better than I had managed with 'Hildy', but there is still more to learn when it comes to the painting of the fairer sex. The palettes are fairly generic, although Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame should be credited as the inspiration for Esmeralda's purple dress with green corset.