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Composition Help

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  • Member since
    June 2017
Composition Help
Posted by UnwaryPaladin on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 6:35 AM

Earlier this year I made this diorama with two of the Greek Mythology figures from Master Box. I don't feel the two figures are visually tied together in this diorama. Putting something vertical like a tree or archway would seem to further divide the figures. Maybe a broken down wall or some plants?? What are your thoughts on how I can tie the subjects together in this composition?

And pardon my scratched up wall, there's normally a small decorative box on that shelf sitting against the wall. Smile


  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 11:28 AM

I dunno, it works for me. The centaress with the bow and the satyr with an arrow in him really links the two figures together. And the base isn't that big, the two looking at each other also help to link them. 

BTW: also really nice work painting them and the base. Great job all around. 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen


  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 4:01 PM

The only thing for me is that they feel to close together. Would it possable to seperate the 2 bases, add a third piece in the middle and maybe add a broken wall between. Also, try looking at it from different angles. Maybe the archer facing the front so you are looking at it from behind the satyr.

''I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so''

On the bench: Revell 1/72nd S-100/AMT STAP/ Youngs Miniatures 1/10th Templar Bust

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 5:09 PM

Showing both parties in combat  is hard to pull off if it’s not hand to hand. As Mike pointed out, the space between them sets a scale that’s usually too short. 

But they are really great figures and the action is exciting.

I don’t know if you can modify her, but it would be suspenseful if she was struggling to knock her second arrow while he is charging.



  • Member since
    June 2017
Posted by UnwaryPaladin on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 8:58 PM

Interesting, I originally had them on two seperate bases. The idea was to let the viewer decide how much distance there was between them. I wound up attaching the two bases together into what you see here. I played around with it when it was two bases and the distance they are at now seemed about right. He's not in a pose that would indicate he was closer and ready to strike. Further apart and, like Bish said, another structure might fit.

I like the idea of her trying to nock an arrow, but I'm not confident in my skill level to do that.


I was also thinking about adding something like a spilled bag of gold coins. It might add to the story and the trail of scattered coins could visually tie the two figures together.


  • Member since
    July 2008
  • From: Co.Kerry, Ireland.
Posted by Est.1961 on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 5:11 AM

Your figures look great and dramatic, which leads me to suggest that if you opt for a centre base you add an injured satyr along with the bag of gold.  A lot of work but you do have a talent for figure work.


  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 7:26 AM


     I would space them a little further apart and put a rubble mound ( LOW ) between them with grass and moss( Not to Much ), On it. T.B.  I wish I could paint figures that well. When I do it, they all come looking like Joe Stalin !!

 P.S. If you elevate the Satyr a little it could work. Not to much though. She has the Arrow and Bow at a slight downward angle.

  • Member since
    July 2014
  • From: Franklin Wi
Posted by Bakster on Thursday, September 12, 2019 8:50 AM

I like TBs advice. I will add that I think the satyr is positioned too low. I would have positioned him elevated in relation to the other, which in my opinion, would add greater suspense and a greater sense of menace to the dude. Like--dang! That satyr is near on top of me. Splitting hairs though because I think what you did is awesome. Great work with the paint. 

I enjoyed seeing this. 

  • Member since
    June 2017
Posted by UnwaryPaladin on Thursday, September 12, 2019 4:50 PM

Great suggestions. And thank you for the compliments and encouragement. Your comments about the spacing and elevation are interesting to hear, both were something I played around with when the pieces were on seperate bases. I wish you guys could have been here in person during the planning stages and could move the pieces around. 

I was originaly going to put the satyr at a slightly higher elevation, but I couldn't figure out how to position the centaur to make her shot. She would have been aiming at his groin, and man, that would be a cheap shot! Tongue Tied

The bases would be easy to seperate. The rocks are made from dense pink insulation board. If you break the insulation sheet by hand it fractures on a plane and looks like rock. And a whole new base is not out of the question. 

The diaroma won a bronze at a show in early spring. I usually try to get feedback from the judges but did not get a chance at that show. I'm happy that it placed, but in my mind it's missing something. By the way, the title is "When Seconds Count". Refers to a second shot, and for both combatants, time.


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