Thursday, April 24, 2014

Praetor WIP 2

Okay, on to the body.  I was trying to avoid doing the black armor since black can be a tricky color to paint.  So I started with the gold sections since lately I've been having fun with metallics.
(The head is just sitting there to see how it all looks together)

I've found a mix I like for yellow metal (gold and bronze).  I start with Reaper Master Series Old Bronze and mix in a lot of pure black.  The mix should look almost black but under the light you'll see the metallic paint reflect a bit.  This gives you some nice dull shadows in the recesses.  From there I work up in several layers to pure Old Bronze.  This is my midtone, but I apply it more like a highlight (in very limited areas).  Up to this point you can get away with any brand of black and bronze paint, but the next step works so much better if you use Vallejo Model Air gold.  This is a very odd gold shade, but it works wonderfully as a yellow metal highlight.  Since it's designed to work through an airbrush it's amazing smooth and flows so nicely off the brush.  Other metallics (especially the GW ones) often feel chunky, like painting with paste.  This stuff is as smooth as any nonmetallic paint I've used.  As before I start to slowly mix in the VMA gold into the Old Bronze and take care of those top highlights and edge highlights.

When I place my metal highlights and shadows I look at non-metallic metal work for direction.  Although the metallic paint with naturally catch and reflect the light, you really want to exercise some control over it and force it to only shine in the areas you want.  That's one of the reasons you use flat black mixed in with the bronze to create your shadows.  That flat black really dulls the shine and keeps those shadows dark.  The knee below is a good example where I've tried force those shadows to stay dark and then just hit small edges with the VMA gold.  There are a few areas where I've done a small gradient from dark to light (on the bottom section dark in the top right, light on the lower left, and opposite of that on the upper panel).

I wrote a section on my metals in the Hoplite tutorial.  For the Praetor I've made the light to dark more extreme, but the idea is the same.

Okay, I've stalled long enough.  Next time I'll start working on the black sections of the armor.

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