Friday, 28 August 2015

The Weekend Workshop presents ...

... Texture and Monster Flesh With David Soper



“Twice Slayer Sword and multi award winning painter David Soper will be teaching you how to create texture and paint monster flesh in this two day workshop!
Using your free GW Plague Bearer model, David will take you through, step by step how to use variation in saturation, colour theory, texture and slime effects to create truly exotic and menacing looking monsters!
The workshop is being held at Firestorm Games in Cardiff on October 3rd and 4th at a price of £125! Places are proving to be very limited so act quickly to ensure you have a place at this fantastic workshop!” 


Tickets are available from The Weekend Workshop

This is something that I'm really looking forward to doing! For almost the entire time I’ve painted miniatures, I’ve done so in splendid isolation. In recent years the online painting community has given me a place to show my work and share what I do, but it’s time to take things a step further!

This workshop gives me the opportunity to demonstrate my approach to painting miniatures and share many of the techniques I’ve used over the years. I’ll be showing how those techniques can be applied to the GW plague bearer and used to create a range of different textures and skin effects.

Then I’ll share some of the effects that can be used to enhance a painted miniature and make it truly special.

Sproket in the flesh … painting flesh, it’ll be a lot less kinky than it sounds!

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Using baking soda to add texture to a mini.

It probably hasn’t escaped the notice of any one who visits this blog regularly that I’ve been using baking soda (also referred to as bicarbonate of soda) on my minis recently. I first experimented with this material when I was looking to create snow effects for the Dark Eldar diorama and you can see the results here. Ultimately I rejected baking soda for use as snow due to its tendency to go yellow over time. The less said about yellow snow the better! 

More recently I was looking for a material to simulate moss and algae on Squarg. I’d seen some examples done using ultra fine sawdust and liked the results but my own tests didn’t prove successful. Remembering my earlier experiments with snow, I wondered if baking soda could be used for moss and algae. 

I was looking for a very fine grainy texture. In the (far distant) past I’d used fine sand for moss effects but the texture is on the course side and, in my opinion, the individual grains are a little too large to work in scale as moss. In contrast bicarbonate of soda has a fine gritty texture that works very nicely in scale. 

To create my effects for Squarg’s base I mixed the baking soda with green paint and a little PVA glue. The PVA helps to bind the mix together and give it a little more strength once dried. Without the varnish the mix can be a bit crumbly. I’ve since adapted my recipe and now use Vallejo matt varnish as a medium. 

I’ve found that a wetter more fluid mix works very nicely for moss and algae as it dries to a softer looking finish. Before it dries you can push it around a little and (using a clean wet brush) soften out the edges for a more natural and subtle look. It can also help to work on a surface that has been dampened with a little clean water. 

Once dried you can add extra layers of baking soda to build up the effect and/or work over it with ink & paint to tweak the colour. I found washes worked especially well to blend the baking soda into the overall paint job, as it’s slightly absorbent. 

To use baking soda for rust/corrosion and dirt, simply make a drier mix. This will result in a rougher texture that can be carefully built up (a few grains at a time) if you wish and pushed around with a clean damp brush. 

The following examples show how I’ve used baking soda to add texture to my minis.

Squarg the frog rider:


I used a particularly wet mix of baking soda, paint and PVA glue to create the algae for Sguarg’s base. After adding the baking soda, I applied washes and glazes of green ink to blend everything together.

Gutrot Spume:


I used baking soda to add some algae to the handle on Gutrot’s trident. I also used a drier, more textured, mix to add some corrosion to the trident and chainmail. 


And for the boat base I used baking soda extensively along with a little sand to add texture to Gutrot’s boat. I’ve applied thicker patches to the sides for algae and a thinner more dilute mix to add some texture to the rope. Notice the difference in the grain size when comparing the sand used on the anchor to the baking soda. 

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Project Nurgle part 18. Painting Gutrot’s Boat - the anchor.

Over the last few days I’ve painted the anchor and finished off the details on the rails and as a result I’ve finished painting Gutrot’s boat. 


I wanted the rope to look like it was overgrown with weed and algae so in addition to the ever present baking soda I used a little cotton wool. Once soaked in green ink it took on a suitably weedy bedraggled look. 

It’s now time to paint the second tentacle for the base and when that’s done I can start to add the water effects. 

I’ve also been experimenting with my camera settings and have finally managed to take some photos of Gutrot that give an accurate representation of the colours! 



Thursday, 6 August 2015

Project Nurgle part 17. Painting Gutrot’s Boat - The Wood.

Step 1 – Basecoat 


The choice of a grey basecoat is informed by a search for reference material. I looked up a lot of pictures of old and wrecked wooden boats and this sort of weathered wood has a predominantly grey tone. 
Grey will also play well into my overall colour scheme as I plan to use colours from the same palette that I used on Gutrot to paint the base. This will help to tie the elements of the piece together. Grey is featured on Gutrot but in a very minor role. Having it as a dominant colour on the base will help to give the base definition and separation from the mini while still making it feel a part of the overall scheme. 

Step 2 – Shading 


I’ve applied the shading with a series of washes followed by some controlled glazing. The shading acts as a sort of under painting to the later stages it also gives definition and separation to the elements of the boat. 
I’ve used Scalecolour Black Leather for this step. This is the same colour I’ve used in the shadows and shading on Gutrot and will further help to tie the mini and the base together. The pinkish look to the shadows is a little odd at this stage but, as the later (and greener) layers go on, it will contribute to the overall depth and contrast of the colour scheme. 

Step 3 – Enhancing the Shading 


This is pretty much a cautious repeat of the previous stage but this time using Scalecolour Boreal Green. Overall this stage doesn’t add anything very dramatic but it serves to work a little of the cool green colour from Gutrot’s armour into the base, and it further enriches the shadows. 

Step 4 – Algae 


A lot of the pictures I looked at showed bright green algae growing on the side of the boats. This is a great way to introduce some spots of vibrant colour and extra texture. To create the algae I used my new best friend baking soda mixed with Scalecolour Sherwood Green and Vallejo Matt varnish. Sherwood Green is the dominant green in Gutrot’s flesh tones. The yellow green of Sherwood Green contrasts with the pinkish and cool green tones previously used and starts the process of balancing out all the colours used on the wood. 

Step 5 – Soggy Rotten Wood 


This is the stage that pulls all the previous ones together. Using a mix of Scalecolour inks (Inktense Green, Yellow and Chesnut) I built up glazes of a dirty yellow/green. 
The ink builds up a layer of shiny saturated colour. This adds significantly to the wet and rotten look of the wood and ties the algae effect into the rest of the paintjob.