Monday, December 18, 2017

Knight Part 8

I feel like I'm really in the home stretch on this one.  If it weren't for the holidays, I'd be sure I could finish him by the end of the month.  But, if he has to wait a bit longer, that'll be okay.

Over the weekend, I finished off the chain mail on his legs and then did a bit more detail work.  There was the leather on his feet and some clean up needed around the dagger (I'd knocked it off a while back and had to re-glue it).  The only details left on the knight are the dagger handle and the arrows in his shield.  I gave the base a first coat, but still have plenty of painting to do there.  Once all that is finished, I'll do the final weathering and call it done!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Knight Part 7

I've been working on my TMM approach and made a number changes for this piece.  I normally mix in some matte paints with the metallics to control the shine (mixing dark matte colors into the shadows keep them from reacting to the light).  Previously I'd work with several shades of metallics, a dark, medium, and light silver shade.  This time I ditched the additional shades and just worked with the medium metallic shade.  As I add in dark matte colors to make the shadows, the balance of metallic finish vs matte finish seems to be better than when I started with an already dark metallic.  For the highlights, I mixed the light color into the metallic.  This keeps the highlights where I want them and they're less dependent on the room lighting.  The blending with that can be a bit tough, so I'm still working on that.  But I feel like it's headed in a better direction.

Another change to my approach is to use more stippling in the metal application.  It gives the surface more texture and helps with the blends.  That's helpful on the larger surface, don't quite know of a way to do that on the chain mail.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Knight Part 3, 4, 5, 6

Wow, so I've been pretty behind with posting here.  I didn't realize it'd be so long!  Well, let's try to quickly catch up...

After finishing the basic color on the surcoat, I took on the leathers.  Here a big focus is the texture, in addition to lighting.  It's an area I feel like I've struggled with for a while, but am finally starting to feel comfortable painting the leather sections on my figures.

Next I did the design work on the front of the surcoat.  My plans for this figure changed along the way.  In the end, I settled on a griffin image (found it in a reference on English heraldry from the 1200s, but switched up the colors to match this figure).  The approach started with a simple sketch before filling in the pattern and then adding the final details.

After that, I took on the shield.  Obviously I used the same design as the chest.  But, since the shield gave me more room to work, I went into greater detail.  Here's how that design progressed:

And, just the other day, I had a bit of time and decided to take on more of the metals.  I focused on the helmet.  I approached it more through stippling.  I started with a dark undercoat and applied some brown tones on top of the black (broken up).  This will be mostly covered up, but will still show through in spots.  Then I started with a dark metal (Scale75's Heavy Metal + Reaper's Pure Black).  This was applied all over, but through stippling rather than a complete layer.  Thus the underlying color still showed though in areas.  I then started lighting the metal (more metallic, less black) and applied lighter and lighter layers through stippling.  I concentrated the dots in the areas I wanted more light reflected.  On edges I did use some long, continuous strokes.  But even these I tried to break up a bit to give the surface a more uneven look rather than appearing too smooth.  The benefits of the stippling approach are two fold.  First, it gives you a beaten sort of texture to the armor.  Second, it helps create some blends without being true blends.  I find metallics hard to blend, but the grey metals are especially troublesome.  A section might look like it has a decent transition, but it's being hidden by how the metallic paint reflects the light.  Turn the figure and change the light angle, and all of a sudden that smooth transition looks anything but.  So stippling helps create the look of a blend without being a true blend and, for me, helps avoid the trouble I was having before.

And with that, we are back up to the current state of the figure.  I need to continue on with the metals for the chainmail.  The stippling won't quite work there, so I'll have to play around a bit to figure out my approach.