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Diary X: "May" 2018 v. Ildfus Mahler

Posted by Bluefalchion on 18 Aug 2020, 05:23

The May 2018 duel was postponed several times, but it was finally ready, and published, in September of 2018. Here is a link:

viewtopic.php?f=17&t=21925

The opponent is not known by me prior to publication of the duel, but there was more correspondence shared than usual because of the delays involved. I picked up, from certain clues, that my opponent was highly professional and quite a perfectionist. He selected the figure to be used and even shipped a copy to Remco, which is always helpful.

Therefore I knew I would need to research and paint my entry to a very high standard. My first thought was to make him a Confederate soldier to defy expectations, and, indeed, many colorful units were soon to be found.

But that hat was wrong. The more I researched, the more I realized that uniformity and Civil War Zouave uniforms were concepts foreign to one another! So I decided to use a generic name and pick a color combination that existed and was also pleasing to the eye.

Once I had the colors selected, it was time to plan the painting. I noticed that voters often favor bold colors, so I tried to brighten the red trousers with crimson, but they came out too glossy despite coats and coats of matte finish.

For the jacket, dark blue with golden yellow was a real example I found, and with details that really pop. The yellow stitching was done in 3-4 layers so it would stand out from the dark blue. The sky blue waist sash and canteen made for a nice contrast.

For the face, the figure is somewhat comically looking straight ahead, even though he is theoretically using his ramrod to the side out of his own view. Italeri figures have big faces, and especially, large, expressive eyes. I have painted them previously, and the eyeballs are too big not to paint, but they tend to look ridiculous if painted. I studied my own face in the mirror, and concluded that the eyes might look better if they were depicted as only partly open. The skin of the eyelids, once tanned, tends to stay that way, so I thought to make it a bit darker than the surrounding flesh.
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Bluefalchion  United States of America
 
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Posted by Bluefalchion on 18 Aug 2020, 05:41

Of course, do not forget, there is another duel running currently.

viewtopic.php?f=17&t=23866
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Bluefalchion  United States of America
 
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23 Dec 2010, 07:57

Posted by Bluefalchion on 18 Aug 2020, 05:50

The face turned out all right. During the painting of this figure, I discovered a surprising fact. Possibly all of you have already done so, but I wanted to get a very close look at the intricate details of the jacket as I was painting it. I tried different ways, magnification on my lighted head set, magnifying glass, and the like. The best and easiest way was to take off my own eyeglasses and hold the figure very close to my face and use the naked eye, with no devices or artificial lenses of any kind! I have painted this way ever since, although I put my glasses back on to mix paint, change figures, glue them on, and the like.

I was not aware that my opponent would be further delayed, so I rushed to complete my entry by the end of May 2018. Dark backgrounds often look good, but in this case I thought the bright colors would do well with white. My backdrop for this photo is actually a table napkin, and if you look closely you can see the clam shell pattern stamped into it in a few spots. I also normally glue my figure to a cork during painting so I need not grasp the actual figure, then pop them off of the cork for the picture. But paint of the base sticks to the glue and gets damaged upon removal, requiring repainting. So I skipped that step and just left him on the cork for his picture.
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Bluefalchion  United States of America
 
Posts: 2585
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Posted by Bluefalchion on 18 Aug 2020, 06:04

The months past, and I moved on to other duels. It was a difficult summer for me, but the autumn brought a surprise--my May opponent finally turned in his entry!

And right away I knew that my opponent was none other than David, who uses the name Ildfus Mahler on this forum. I was very excited to duel against him again, because to me he is simply a living legend. He has painted some of the most stunning figures I have ever seen here at Bennos, not the least being his victorious entry in the November 2017 duel that defeated me. While this entry was perhaps not his best, it still bore his distinctive style--stunning photography that has an almost unreal quality, technical prowess in creating light, shadow, blending, and shading, and A+ overall composition.

Remco named the title of the topic "Rescheduled May Duel" or something of that nature, and I recall the duel being published early in the month, when usually the Mr. X duel is the last week of the month or even later. For those two reasons, I suspect we missed some possible voters. The duels around this time were consistently generating about 24 votes, with some months commanding a bit more. So to receive only 16 votes was less than usual. Perhaps Ildfus Mahler would have won the duel if a few more people saw it.

He was very gracious in defeat, but I am sad to say he has not posted again in this forum since that sign-off. I fervently hope he will return some day and share with us some more of his amazing works. As for me, I will publish a few more diary entries to document my career as Mr. X, and then you will not need to read any more of them.
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Bluefalchion  United States of America
 
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Posted by Bluefalchion on 18 Aug 2020, 06:12

If it weren't for the hat (and no conversions are allowed in Mr. X duels), I would have painted him as a Louisiana Tiger!

Image
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Bluefalchion  United States of America
 
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Posted by Bluefalchion on 30 Sep 2020, 01:03

And be sure to check this out:

viewtopic.php?f=17&t=24002
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Bluefalchion  United States of America
 
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