I'm continuing to make progress on the gladiator. Quite a bit more work on the armor. I've got a little more to do on the geaves, but that's about it. I also started a bit on the white metals, doing some of the details on the cuirass. However they still need a bit of work. After all that metal, I needed a break before tackling the chainmail. So I working on the cloth and skin. I initially based his clothing in blue, but the color just didn't work for me. I decided to switch to a pale purple instead, which is a complementary color to the yellow metal. I could have gone brighter on the purple, but those dyes were extremely expensive in ancient time. So pale seemed a bit more realistic to my mind.
Here's a look at how the figure has progressed. You can see the stages for the cuirass. I begin with a dark base (metallics work best over a dark case), in this case purple as it contrasts with the yellow metal. Then I do a sketch with metallics to help me figure out placement of the lights and darks (middle image). This involves about 5 shades (base, 2 shadows, 2 highlights). It's quick, without much attention to blending. I just want to see how it looks and then I can make corrections to shadow and highlight placement as needed. At this stage the armor looks decent, but it looks even better after I go in to refine it (right image). I sharpen up the shadows, going to pure black, and further extend the highlights (using Citrine Alchemy from Scale75). I also mix a number of intermediate shades and blend everything together. Stippling is used in parts to help with the blends while also adding some texture. You can see from a comparison of the middle and right images that the final result looks sharper and a bit brighter too.