Samstag, 12. September 2015

Sha´un - Ram Tribe Warrior - Project Diary part 1


the last weeks and days I worked on a bigger project - the Sha´un Ram Tribe Warrior from Forged Monkey. It is a really cool bust - full of character and the promise of painting joy. It is my first real big project after my private practice course with Roman. On this piece I tried to digest all the things I learned. I also tried to make a lot of pictures to document the single steps for the blog. 

From older projects I learned that it is hard to keep record of all the things one does during such an enormous painting process. In retrospective it is always difficult to write an how-to article when you finished the project several weeks ago. Therefore I decided to try a new kind of post: 

Project Diary

I tried to sit down after each painting session (or at least not to long after) to keep record of what I did. So, here it is, my first Project Diary! Be aware that it is a really long article. Therefore I decided to split it into two parts and here is part one.

Day 1 (June 21st) - Assembling Work

I started - as always - with cleaning the model pieces. The warrior comes in several pieces and to my delight the cast is really awesome! Nearly no flash lines. Just a few fine grates you can easily cut away with a sharp hobby knife. Unfortunately I got two of the same horn tips (the endings of the horn - don´t know how to call them...). Both of them are for the left horn... the one for the right horn is missing. Damn! Somehow I´m not lucky at the moment with my orders as they are either damaged due to insufficient protection or the cast is not as good as hoped or something is missing...

The two horns - both assembled with the same ending.
You can see this as the endings both curl to the same side...
Ok, anyway I want to start with the painting and I got this as a present some month ago and on top of it all the Forged Monkey Web Shop is offline since quite a while... so maybe not a good position to complain about it to get a replacement. So I decided to fix it on my own. If it totally fails I have to have a look for an alternative way. The plan is to heat one of the endings up to make it flexible and to bend it to the other side. I did this before with plastic/resin parts and it went quite well. Armed with two pairs of pliers and some hot water I started my work.

One of the horn endings bathing in hot boiling water...

It came out more or less like I imagined it to be. It was harder then expected as the material has some kind of memory effect and tends to bend back into it´s former position. With patience I was able to get it put where I needed it. Not perfect but also not bad. We will see how it comes out in the very end. If I don´t like it I´m still able to just change the ending of the horn instead of the whole part... Anyway I started with assembling the single parts and filling some gaps with putty (green stuff - luckily just a few places).

All the pieces on their working plinth´s

Close up from the main part. Really awesome!

Day 2 (June 24th) -  Priming and first colours

I started with priming the whole pieces. Therefore I used an airbrush. No pictures of this step as it is really nothing special. I first used Vallejo Surface Primer black followed by a mixture of the black and the white one and a finishing overspray with pure white.

My idea is to hold him in an cold atmosphere. Roman taught me to imagine myself where the object is standing and what mood it is in. I see this mighty Ram Tribe Warrior standing on a small rock looking down on a battlefield facing his enemy. It is winter and cold and he is in really grim and bad mood. brrrr... So, the main colours I can see is blue and white (a mixture of it). I will try to use this colour in all the other colours I´m going to apply on the piece to tie everything together and to get a harmonic colour recipe. We will see if it will work out.

I decided to go for the skin parts first. For the first layers I also used an airbrush. I chose Vallejo cork brown and added a small tip of saturated cyan from Hobby Line to it. I sprayed it in several thin layers to the skin parts. I did the same for the fur. Here I used a black and mixed cyan into it.

First layers of colour applied with an airbrush
Next step was to apply the first lights to the skin. I mixed yellow and some white into the basic mixture and applied it to the areas where I want to have the light. I did this very slowly and cautious as I don´t want to hurry it. I did this with a brush. I did the same for the lights on the fur. Here I mixed some grey/blue into the basic colour tone.

First layers of light. Hard to see on the picture...
And the same for the shadows. Therefore I mixed more blue (a darker one) and some dark/chocolate brown to the basic colour. I applied it as careful as the lights. I made the same for the shadows in the fur (added black to the basic colour) and I also painted the eye sockets and used an off white for it.

More shadows and light and some white to the eye socket

Day 3 (June 28th) -  Eyes and skin volume definition

It is time to paint the eyeballs. I always try to go very fast for the eyes as they give the face it´s very special character and makes it alive. I decided to go for an amber eye colour and started with the left eye to test everything. I failed to do pictures of every single step but the approach is nearly as always. Maybe a bit more detailed as the bust is really big. I started with painting the amber iris followed by the pupil in black. Afterwards I added some reflex points. I also used some red brown wash for the wrinkles in the corners to give it a grim and blood shot look (it´s still a warrior...).

First approach on the left eye
I liked it and decided to go for more detail. I used some heavy watered down pink to wash the white part of the eye in the direction of the eye corner. I also highlighted the iris and intensified the white of the eye in several places with really tiny dots. Sounds easy but it really took me a while to achieve the look I liked. I think it is a matter of practice...

More work done on the eye
I couldn´t hold myself back and intensified some lights and shadows on the skin. Especially around the area of the eyes. Also used some red to define the scar and some grey to paint the lips and added some structure to it with some white. Around the mouth and the chin I applied some heavy diluted washs of red.

Some details added to the skin

Day 4 (July 5th) -  Eyes and skin volume definition

I applied more light and shadow to the skin. Therefore I used the same colours than before, just added more white/yellow to the lights and blue/black to the shadows. I still did it very gentle and slow. I tend to go to strong to fast into the highlights and I wanted to avoid this mistake this time. I also quenched the colour on the lips as I decided that the highlights were to harsh at the moment. At the lower part of the face I applied more brownish/blue washes. I did the same to the fur parts near to the skin areas. Added also first highlights to this part of the fur (also to the fur at the ears). Also used more purple and red washes on the skin to get more variation into it.

More layers of colours... 
It was time to paint also the other side of the face. I neglected it somehow what was not a good idea at all. So I started with the first colours for the eyes and also with the first lights and shadows for the skin.

Other side of the face
I painted the armor parts black as they distracted my eyes and I wanted to see the contrast better.  Also added more detail (reflex points) to the eye and eyelid and tried to get some texture to the area around the mouth by painting small dots to it.

Going more into detail around the mouth and eyes
I tried to keep pace on the other side of the face. At this point I added more highlights to the fur parts by applying grey (with some cyan into it).

Other side of the face

Day 5 (July 7th) -  More skin volumes, some work on the fur and starting the horns

I proceeded with the skin by applying more and more thin washes of colours. First I concentrated on the lower parts of the skin (way down to the fur) and applied more shadow colours. Again I did it very slow to not rush through it. Afterwards I concentrated on the cheekbones and top the ears and highlighted them more and more. The final layers at this stage where nearly some of white with a bit of yellow (the cyan blue was still in my basic mixture - either in the shadows and the highlights).

Left side...
... and right side...
In the next step I concentrated on the fur parts of the model. I mixed some black and cyan blue and added grey to it. With this mixture I started to highlight the fur. I did not concentrate on single hair bundles instead I painted it like whole area and started my highlighting work where I imagined the light to hit the surface. Such I tried to avoid that every bundle of hair looks like a separated area in the end. Instead I try to achieve an effect that affects the whole surface. Hard to describe but I hope you get the point anyway. I did go on with more grey in my basic mixture and worked my way up on the light scale by diminishing the areas where I apply the colour more and more. At this stage I don´t go into very strong highlights (maybe 70%); this I leave for the detail work at the end. Around the skin areas I concentrated a bit more on single strands of hair and highlighted them much stronger. Don´t know why but I liked the contrast and couldn´t stop myself here.

Front view - a bit overexposed
Side view
Here I decided to stop for the moment and to go on for the horns. I looked forward to glue them on the main body but to ease my work I first wanted to apply some layers of colour to them. For a basic colour I chose vallejo cork brown and added some cyan blue to it but this time more than to the skin colour. Also added some chocolate brown as I decided that it was to bright and greenish. This mixture I applied in 3 thin layers by using an airbrush. Afterwards I used soft tone from Army Painter to give it a first wash to darken down all the recesses.

Base colour plus soft tone wash. Still wet at this point
 After the soft tone was dry I washed it again this time using the strong tone. Did it twice.

Horns after a strong tone wash.

Day 6 (July 8th) -  More paintwork on the horns and gluing them to the main body

The next step was quite straight forward. You can imagine what was needed to be done. Yes, adding contrast to the horns. So, I used some yellowish browns, creme whites and off whites (still mixed cyan blue into them) to highlight it. Into the shadows went more army painter washes and some chocolate brown (plus cyan blue).

Result after some time of painting

Close up
At this stage I stopped for the moment. Maybe I will go stronger in the end but this I left for the next step or the detail work at the end. To decide about it I need to see those horns glued to the bust.

Left side...

... and right side...

... and from the top...
Ok, you can see that I missed to paint some armor parts black (the area between the horns). Nothing to worry about. This was done within seconds. I decided to add some more highlights and shadows in some places. I made a new photo but it is nearly impossible to see the difference on those on-the-fly pictures. The contrast and exposure is not very good but it is the only way to do it in an acceptable time frame without interrupting the painting process to much. 

I´m a mighty warrior!
I think this is a good point to stop. Part two will follow in a few days.


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