as promised in the last part we start with the actual painting right now. All important preparation steps are done and we are ready to go wild with some colours.
|Eitu - final result|
It is always important to keep in mind what your goal is. Should it be a single standard miniature out of 200 others for your new favoured mass combat system or is it more a miniature for a small skirmish game or none of both and you want to put it on a nice display for your cabinet. The quality of your paintjob depends on the option you choose. You will most likely never finish your army by putting up to 8 hours into a single miniature. In this case here it is the second option, the skirmish game with up to 10 miniatures a side we paint for. Therefore we aim for a good quality which we can achieve in around 5-6 hours. Or even faster if you are….hmmm…well… fast. I´m not….
The miniature we want to paint in this first part is Eitu. I chose this as a start because he has a large skin area and therefore we have one element we can focus on and by finishing this we are 50% done with the paintjob. Quite good for a starting point.
First we need a concept or at least a basic idea in which direction to go with our colours. I decided to paint him a tanned skin tone as he looks like a guy being outside all day long without wearing so many clothes. Bearing this in mind I chose the following colours from my painting rack:
On the far left side you can see a dark blue (dark sea blue to tell it by name) colour. This is a very important colour for the shadows and in my humble opinion for skin tones (some brighter blues are also fine). You can also use it to desaturate your skin tones to give it a more realistic touch. The other colours are mainly yellowish browns for the skin. The bottles with the red cap are washes from army painter which I can highly recommend. They are used to intensify the shadows and in contrary to many other washes these dry out really dull and not shiny!
This is what it looks like on the wet-palette with some of the colours mixed together to get some intermediate tones. First step on the miniature is a basecoat of brown for all the skin areas. I used the airbrush and flat earth from vallejo for this step, but a brush will do fine also.
The next step is to paint the eyes. This can be tricky, especially if you are a beginner. You need some brush control and this you just get by practicing. This is how I do it in general: First paint the eyeball black, this don´t has to be very precise. If you hit the basecoat of your skin area you can correct this quite easy at this stage of the painting. The second step is to paint the eyeball white but leave behind a thin black line at the border. In the last step you paint the pupil with black in the middle. Looks like this:
Most important is to stay into the borders of the eyeball. Don´t extend it over the outer rim as you would produce a real scary look….
At this step of the painting process I like to start with the first lights (=brighter colour of my base tone). Most times I dilute the paints with some water, but not too much at this step as you either would flood your miniatures or you would apply just a tiny amount of paint and won´t see any progress. The further you advance in your painting process the more control you need and therefore the thinner your paint should be. At this step I take my brush and dip it into some water. Most of it I get rid of by brushing it over a tissue. With the still wet brush I apply some paint to my tip and again wipe off the most of it on a tissue. My tip now holds some diluted paint of a colour brighter than my basecoat (here: a 1:1 mixture of some flat earth and brown sand and bit of tallarn flesh to give it a reddish hint). This I apply onto parts of the skin areas where the light hits the miniature (have a look from above to identify them). To apply the colour use the the side of your brush (not the tip) and pull your brush from the dark part to the place where the colour should be. If it is not enough, just do it again, and again…. Better to do it in 5-6 strokes than in one big uncontrollable stroke… After this repeat the process with a brighter colour (more brown sand and/or bleached bone added to the mixture). The result of this first steps you can see here:
Now that we have the lights we need some shadows. Basically it is the same process vice versa. I dilute the paint a bit more at this step as it is much easier to achieve a visible result with a dark colour than with a bright one. Less painting steps are required here. To get a darker colour I gave some dark washes (dark tone from army painter + flat earth) into my base colour. Also some blue (dark sea blue) and red dark brown washes (like a chestnut) is perfect here.
The red will make the skin tone more vivid. Play around and don´t be too shy. Apply it at the shadow areas but do it slowly. So you have control over the process. You end up with much more contrast:
After this step I start to intensify the shadows. To get more contrast I used some purple wash (again army painter but you can also dilute some purple acrylic colour). This I apply very carefully to the shadow areas. I dilute it 1:1 with water (if it is a wash; if it is a “normal” acrylic colour dilute it much more), soak it into my brush and wipe off the most of it into a tissue (always the same…). This I brush from the brighter areas into the really dark ones. Repeat it until you are satisfied. I´m not quite sure if one can see the difference on this (bad) picture as the effect is quite subtle. But it is still there, your eyes will recognize it. Have a look at the right knee, there it is quite obvious to see…
This looks quite good so far. Let´s come to the cloth parts. I decided to paint the trouser in a neutral green colour.
I started again with the base colour and the first highlights and did it the same way as before.
These steps were followed by painting the shadows. I chose again the army painter washes and some dark sea blue (a must have colour!).
Use them to darken your base colour, dilute it with water and paint it to the shadows.
Ok, let´s head over to the turban and belt. It is a smaller part than the trouser so I decided to give it a more concise colour. You can see the colours used in the background, for the really strong lights I did use some khaki with I added to the base colour. Technique was again the same.
Next step was to paint the burden he is carrying. As a base colour I chose again some light khaki and applied it in 3-4 layers to get a smooth and opaque surface. Let it dry between the separate layers, be patient.
Ok, guess what comes next…. Yeah your right, we paint some shadows and therefore we use?... yes some army painter wash. I did use all three of them. I applied them with the brush at different locations. The more you come to the bottom the darker wash the wash and in the deepest recesses I used the strong tone.
To give some interesting detail to the burden I decided not just to go for some dark brown shadows, instead I played around with some colour and applied carefully some green, red and purple washes (recesses and lower parts).
Last step was to paint all the details, the funny birds on top of it (I decided to go for a colourful version), the rope that hold together the burden, the shoes. Not to forget about the base which I painted in a dark brown and the edges in a neutral black. This is what it looks like:
That’s it for part 3 of this article series. It is a quite lengthy article but I thought I had to describe some things in detail. For the next parts it is maybe easier for me as I can refer to this article.
Stay tuned and all the best