Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Mixing Bowl

So, we move on with the ten ninja archers from Red Box Games.  I thought at this point it might be helpful to get a look at the colors that I was supposed to match.  The dark greenish/blue will be an interesting balance against the warmer black.

Here's the color test figure, where I tried to figure out where I could translate the color information of the piece of art to an unrelated miniature!

I started working on the greenish parts by mixing up a turquoise color along with a touch of the flesh tone.  This would grey it down a bit, and make sure the color would not be too 'unrelated' to the nearby skin colors.

I'm working a little less transparently now than I did with the skin colors of the previous stage.

As with everything Shaded Basecoat, working quickly is the key!  Don't linger in any one area on any figure.

To get a little more snap to the green, I added a little warm yellow green into the mix.  The bright teal color would also make it lighter.

The idea here is only to figure out where I want lights and darks to be.  There is no blending or any high level work going on.  Also, I am not exactly sure what the final colors will be, since I am matching unrelated art to a set of figures.  

Instead of investing hours in painting an area, only to find out it's not going to work out, I am simply spending a few minutes here and there to block in colors and see how things look!

The hood would obviously catch the most light, but as you can see from the artwork, it's also going to be very dark.  Another interesting challenge.

A touch of that green is kept in the mix from keeping it getting too blue...

The greenish colors on the cloaks are not lightened nearly as much.  In fact, at this point, I wasn't even sure they would have that greenish tint, or any freehand designs.  Once again, I can change everything on the fly if need be.

Since I have some kind of color on all sections, I do not have to guess in a 'vacuum' (that is, comparing it to white or black primer). I can get a hint of how these colors compare to each other.

I'm also adding a bit of red accents here and there on scabbards and quivers.

While there are no streamers coming off these figures like the art, I thought I could still work on that red via the scabbards and quivers.

Next up, the Glazing stage!!!  Stay tuned.

As I mentioned in part one, the Shaded Basecoat video is available on Kings Hobbies and Games.  It is but one of the 53 different programs that I made, which includes basing, terrain, color theory, skin colors, NMM, and much more!

Time for some paint!

All right folks, time for some of those step by step images I told you about.  This is going to be a modified version of my Shaded Basecoat technique.

The point to this technique is to allow me to paint large numbers of figures in a much easier fashion, using a simplified mix of colors.  The simplification means that matching something which may have been painted long ago will be a lot easier!  I won't even need the same jars of paint, since I am not relying on any one specific color.

Normally I prime things grey, but this was a unique situation where the figures would have to be attached to the bases prior to painting.  I definitely prefer to paint this pinned to a dowel rod off the base, but the unique set of circumstances dictated otherwise.

I knew from the many previously painted figures that a lot of tans, browns and gray would be involved.  So, I was going to take the same few colors that would be used to paint the rocks of the base right up through the figure itself.

Using the filbert brush, I mixed together a greenish tan, starting at about midtone level, halfway between dark and light.  All of this is done very rapidly.  Keeping inside the lines, so to speak, is not part of the shaded basecoat technique.  This is very similar to blocking in colors as if you were doing a 2D painting.

The plan is to quickly designate areas that I want to be more light, and to drop down the colors needed on the base, fur, and other spots that will be a grayish brown in the end.  Also, I want to have an 'underpainting', which subsequent layers of skin colors and such will be added later.

I moved along each of the ten figures, gradually lightening the mix that I was applying.  It is important to note that I am not dry brushing.  The paint is damp enough to flow cleanly.  The shape of the filbert brush allows me to place these oblique angle strokes in such a way that I can catch details without losing my darker areas.

I will eventually progress all the way to the lightest lights.

Another side benefit of this method is that I am firmly reminded to keep the lightest highlights on the upper surfaces!  Working "globally" across the entire figure all at once in this manner prevents me from getting locked into one area, and ending up with a foot that has the same intensity of highlights as the top of the head or shoulders!

Lighter and lighter I go...

In all this time, I have used the same blue/white color and the same dark sepia.

All of the undercoating is complete, and I have a much better idea of where I want light and dark to be placed.

To this, I will start to add some 'unique' colors, such as the skin, cloak, and hood colors.  This first skin color layer is applied in a slightly transparent manner, so that the underpainting comes through.

Doing so will allow some of the cooler greens to come through this new layer, and add more depth to the skin color with a lot less effort!

I will do a similar 'shaded basecoat' layering on this skin color... working from that middle tone all the way up to the highlight.

Keep in mind, the shadow areas will be created with those later glazes!

Yes, all of these ghostly pale skin tones that you see now will have a host of shading and tinting added to them.  Again, this allows me to not only get through all ten of these in a more speedy fashion, but this color scheme can be replicated over and over again without the need to remember any formulas, or rely on specific colors.

We all have had favorite paint colors be discontinued.  Therefore, I try to keep any color scheme down to 5-7 core colors, usually ones that could be made by my if the need arose.

Stay tuned for the next episode, where I tackle some of the other shades of tans and greenish black!

The Shaded Basecoat technique is featured in all of my instructional videos, but it is also shown to a higher detail in the first of all the titles... Shaded Basecoat Technique.

That is available at Kings Hobbies and Games: