16 March 2011

Quick and Dirty Painting ~ Calandra and Janissa

So, my first offering to the painting section on the Scrum finds me at sort of an impasse. I am not a terrible painter, but I am a new painter. So take what I write here with a grain of salt and learn from it (if you can) all of my quick and dirty techniques to completing a model quickly and for a nice table top quality finish.

In started initially painting Calandra for this Blog, but seeing as it’s my first you lucky Trolls get a double feature. As I also painted a wonderful Janissa! So, below I will detail my process.

She has got quite a bit more fine detail then the Caber I painted for the Show Me Your Caber Contest, which presented me with a few new challenges. Also, she’s the first female model I have painted so painting highlights and such on her was particularly difficult.

Step 1

Starting out I base coat her with simple colors. Trollblood base for skin, bootstrap leather for all her leather pieces, Cold Steel for her armor, a Burgundy red for her skirt and bandana, Trollblood Highlight for highlight for her kilted areas, Violet for her slip, and a dull gold color to base coat her shinny bits.

I used the grey for her kilted areas specifically because I am bad at doing fine lines for the kilts and the grey is easy to highlight and wash to make it look at least decent without being extremely detailed. I started with the regular base coat of our blue so even thin areas of my second layer which brings out her more albino nature won’t look bad considering how thin Underbelly Blue can look.

Step 2

Here I put on my second layer of paint for Calandra’s skin giving her a much fairer complexion. I also dot her eyes and do her mouth, finger nails and teeth before I start washing the model so I can give her sockets and teeth more depth.

After that step I wash everything except her skin. She has a lot of fine details that really pop once a simple black wash gets into the cracks and brings her colors out. It also makes darker cloth look very natural and flowing when the wash settles. Be sure to not mix your wash too think. I use an almost 60% water mix to ensure I can easily wipe away excess wash without it making the flat areas look too dark.

A note on Washing

Washes are one of the easiest ways to make a lot of the details on your models just pop. Washing your models is actually pretty simple. Load your brush up nice and heavy with your wash. Paint it into the areas you wanted darkened and make sure you do it heavy. Then, on a paper towel or cloth make sure you brush off excess wash in the brush. Once that is done go back and sop up the extra paint in areas you don’t want it. Repeat this as needed until you have a really even mix of darker areas without muddling the colors on the model.

Step 3
After you’ve washed the model and it looks nicely shaded you want to start doing your flesh highlights as well as your shiny details like gelds and silvers that are meant to pop, specifically things like her medallion and the golds I chose for her bracers, knife hilt and the beads on her skirt and shirt. Also take not of the lining on her armor and belt buckles. Don’t be afraid of messing up a little on those fine lines in the mode as it’s much easier to come back with the base color and simply touch of the effected areas. When you have a larger spot to paint back over along the fine line you can be more discerning about where your color lands. Doing this after the wash makes these bright colors really stand and out seem not tarnished by wear or years of use. This also lets you balance the highlights on the models skin so they can be appropriate for what the model will most likely end up looking like. The amulet while it looks nice is very simple. Use violet for the center, dot a small white dot on the top and then burgundy red with a little bit of medium to make it all shinny. Make sure when you portion those colors out to put a little bit of medium in it to make it shinny.

Now, faces are really not my strong point and neither is muscle definition. Lucky Calandra has some strong bones in her face so highlight lines are much easier to do. Take a small bit of the Trollblood Highlight and paint the hard lines on her face and then use a slightly wet brush to blend into the recessed areas on her face. Do the same for the raised section of muscle without using too much paint so the muscle tone doesn’t just turn into nothing but blending. After that touch up and wayward spots of paint and take a final look over the model to check for any bare metal or misplaced color. Don’t fret too long over it otherwise you will never finish or make more mistakes then you intend to. Set the model to dry for a few minutes before applying a Varnish and you are finished!

I was feeling pretty confident with this model and decided Red would be my accent color to make the model pop. This model was a bit of a challenge as it was much smaller then I was used to, but I think it turned out well and refined my skills on doing armor and leather.

Step 1

Starting with the base colors Trollblood base for skin for the same reason as Calandra Burgundy red to make her sash and skirt really pop. I would later use the same colors for the hair, lips and nails to tie the model together. Trollblood Highlight for the small stone runes and her pick. Bootstrap Leather for the rim on her skirt and the straps on the rest of her gloves and clothes and finally, Cold Steal for the armor. As always make sure to not leave much bare metal or blank spots if you can help it as touching up later will be much easier.

Step 2

I do a second layer for her separate armor colors, including the chainmail, necklace and breast plate. Then I move to the straps on her arm guards and use a very small amount of black to bring the color darker in my Bootstrap Brown so offset the color there and on her legs and feat. I also give her base skin color a second coat.

Step 3

On this step I decided since I had very small and intricate buckles on Janissa’s armor that I would do most of the fine details like the buttons, buckles and bolts on her armor before the wash step. I did this because I want the wash to clean up my sloppy fine line on the buckles instead of trying to clean them up later. I also add the hair, lips and not shown in this picture, the shoulder spots, which are all also done in Burgundy red.

Step 4

Here I move to the Weapon as it very important to the over all look of the model. (Sadly I don’t’ have any work in progress picks for it.) As I said before I started with a Trollblood Highlight for the weapon to begin. Next I mix a small amount of black into my Cold Steel for the handle. I do the gold highlights and then I fine line a very light green into the runes on the weapon. I then go over the outside of the runes to cover up and excess green I used. After it dries I wash with the same green into and around the runes on both sides to simulate a glow effect of sorts.

Step 4 is the over all wash on the darker areas that aren’t her flesh making sure not to muddle the details on most areas and to get into the crevasse on things like the runes on the front of her skirt. I also wash her Hair, eye sockets and the weapon making sure not to go over the parts where I washed green before. After the wash dries I do final skin highlights and touch ups then Varnish!

Well folks, that has been my quick and dirty tutorial on Trollblood painting for the week. Both of my finished products are viewable above. So now you too, can use simple colors and tools to make your models look good.

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