Monday 24 February 2014

Jason - Part 2

After a busy week I finally got to put some paint onto Jason over the weekend but first I made one more tweak to the mini. I've twisted the hydra's head around so its face is now more clearly visible in the final composition.
Having considered the colour palette using I've opted for a brown undercoat - so no surprises there. 

The first task was to get Jason's face painted. Like many other painters I tackle the face as soon as possible as it sets the character of the mini and if you can't get the face right nothing will save the mini from disaster! To be honest I dread painting human faces as they can turn into an epic struggle to get things looking right. I was also a bit shocked to realise that it has been a few years (at least three) since I painted a humanoid mini with the face showing. 

Overall things went surprisingly well. I picked a pinker base colour than I might normally use as I wanted a fairly ruddy complexion and then I went in with some washes to create some definition. After that I painted in the eyes and then I painted in the eyes again several times over. Once I'd managed something that wasn't too ugly or comical I moved onto building up some highlights. For me the process of painting a face is one of constant adjustment and refinement. I constantly moved back and forwards between the shade and highlights to develop the face slowly resolving the features and definition of the face.

Coming back to the mini the next day I repainted the eyes again. I've been using a sable brush and although it gives a beautiful crisp stroke it was too soft to get a good dot for the pupil. I switched back to one of my older cottman water colour brushes and the slightly stiffer bristles and blunter point made the task a lot easier. That's something I will need to remember next time as it could save me a lot of time. 

For the time being I'm happy with the face although I may need to adjust it as the mini develops.

Monday 17 February 2014

Jason - Part 1

Deadline April 12 2014!

With Chee-Chee finished and roughly a month and a half before Salute 2014 there's time for me to see if I can get another mini ready for the painting competition. To be honest I've always intended to get Jason (the Salute 2013 mini) painted but I finished Chee-Chee a little later than intended so my plans are a bit skewed. But what the hell I'm going for it any way!

I spent the best part of last week's hobby time prepping the mini and quickly decided that I needed to do something to make a bit more out of him. The original face was a bit bland for my taste so I've performed a little chop and swap and given him the head off the statue that came as a part of his base. I just think that there's a bit more to work with on this face.

I've also fully prepped up the base and overall composition (there's a first), as this will save me a bit of time and effort once the project nears completion. All I have to concentrate on now is painting.

The base is an unused one I made or my Hellion in the run up to Salute 2013. It's funny how things work out as I've had the basic idea for Jason's composition right from day one but didn't realise the key element of the base was there all the time! The tree for the Golden Fleece is made up of root fragments scavenged from the Tombs of the Kings on Cyprus and the Ram's skull comes from a GW basing kit. The fleece itself is still a Work in progress, as I need to sculpt the wool texture onto it.

Thursday 13 February 2014

NMM Colour Palettes

I don't suppose it's escaped anyone's notice that all my recent projects have featured quite a lot of Non Metalic Metal (NMM) painting effects. 
I've already posted some step-by-step guides on this subject for my Scourge and Tomb King minis. 

Painting NMM armour - an illustrated guide. 

Coping with NMM Copper - an illustrated painting guide. 

The colour paletes below were put together after my recent experience painting the NMM on Chee-Chee and they incorporate some of the new colours from Games Workshop. I hope they are useful.
All of my NMM is highlighted with ivory. Keep white to an absolute minimum and use it only for the smallest & most extreme highlights to give your NMM a glint.

Base colour: Mournfang Brown/Ratskin Flesh mix
Shade: Rhinox Hide
Mid tone: Ratskin Flesh
Highlight: Valejo Ivory

The key colour for the copper is Ratskin Flesh. I like my copper to have a pinkish tinge to it and Ratskin Flesh gives me exactly what I’m looking for.

Base colour: Mournfang Brown/Iyanden Darksun mix
Shade: Rhinox Hide
Mid tone: Iyanden Darksun
Highlight: Valejo Ivory

For the mid tones pick a muted yellow ochre and avoid too bright a golden yellow colour. I get a more pleasing (to me) result in all my NMM if I keep to a muted palette and steer clear of bright/saturated colours in the mix.

Base colour: Mournfang Brown
Shade: Rhinox Hide
Mid tone: Iyanden Darksun
Highlight: Valejo Ivory

This uses the same colours as the gold but mixed to create a muted & darker effect. The mid tones use a lot more Mournfang Brown in proportion to the Iyanden Darksun. I wanted my bronze to have a dark patina so I restrict the brighter areas to where the metal would be polished by wear & tear.

Iron/dark steel
I’ve used a conventional mix of cool greys but the addition of a little Thunderhawk Blue really gives the colour a lift.

The idea is to create a stained look with tidemarks left behind as the paint dries. The exact opposite of what you would normally do when applying a wash!
I’ve used a dilute mix of Ivory and Hawk Turquoise applied as a wash and allowed to pool where you want the verdigris. As the wash begins to dry dab in a little more of the un-mixed but diluted ivory & turquoise. The colours will run into each other and partly blend as they dry. Once dry repeat until you like the look of it.

Saturday 8 February 2014

Chee-Chee - Finished

Well that was a struggle! I've come down with a heavy cold this week and I'm really not firing on all cylinders. It's taken me longer than planned, but Chee-Chee is finally done!

You can see high res versions over at Putty & Paint here

Friday 7 February 2014

Chee-Chee Part 12a - Finishing touches

Chee-Chee is very nearly complete and I'm in the final stages and adding a few finishing touches to the overal piece. Heres a little tease untill the final reveal.

Sunday 2 February 2014

A step-by-step guide to painting rusty iron.

I've always intended to paint up the lamppost on Chee-Chee's base as though it were heavily corroded. Having found some good reference online I decided to add on real texture rather than just going for a painted effect as I think this will give a bit more realism. 

Step 1. 

I wanted to create the look of heavy paint that's being popped off by the rust forming underneath it so I daubed some brown crackle paint onto the base of the lamppost. I then left it to dry out and do its thing. Once dry the crackle effect wasn't brilliant but it did mean that the paint chipped off in a very pleasing way when I scraped at it with a metal sculpting tool. 

Step 2. 

I base coated the rusty areas in a mix of Mournfang Brown and blazing orange. 

Step 3. 

I first dry brushed Vallejo Dark Sea Blue over the base colour and then a lighter mix of Dark Sea Blue, Hawk Turquoise and a mid grey over that. This gives me the paint colour for the lamppost and begins to define the textures. 

Step 4. 

This step is achieved with washes of Blazing Orange, Iyaden Darksun and Mournfang Brown. I worked in lots of stages sometimes letting the paint dry completely and sometimes adding a little more colour to already wet areas. Working wet on wet enables the colours to bleed together. Once I was happy with the effect I added a layer of paint splatters (Rhinox Hide) and glazed over a little dilute Agrax Earthshade.