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View Full Version : Trying to Improve My Painting - A Progress Log



Col.Gravis
08-11-2007, 17:02
I think alot of people will have seen my Praetorian logs on various forums or my blog, the thing is the project always has been, and always will be gaming standard - and truth be told thats the only level I've ever aimed for. I'm happy with that for an army, I think its a good standard to aim for BUT I'd like to try to go that bit further.

I've always looked an envy with some of the really good painters around, and I've finally decided I'd like to see just how close I can get, to try my hand and doing something more intended for display standard. I believe I'm a long way from that but I know I can get closer. The thing is I've always painted my own way rather then trying to listen to the established 'best ways', often painting with only minimal watering down, very limitied highlight and shading (often no more then 3 shades to a colour with no blending).

So thats what this log will be all about, just picking off one model after another, all 40k, models I want to paint as opposed to being for an army, and hopefully improving through reading up and hopefully getting some help from you guys along the way!


The first model I've chosen to do is the new Commissar with Bolt Pistol, I decided against the normal black and red scheme preferring to try something else. After a bit of thought I picked to base the model on something closer to a WW2 Russian Commissar as below.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v628/colgravis/Painting%20Challenge/Commissar%201/m35ob.jpg

Working from a white basecoat, I applied Catachan Green with 50/50 water mix (was this too much?) in three coats, the pigment did seem to settle very much in the creases, I then worked up in about 5 stages mixing in a little bleached bone each time with a reduced water mix maybe 75/25 paint to water, upto a final highlight of bleached bone.

Does this look right or should there be additional layers? Or maybe I'm doing this all wrong? Critisms, comments, sugestions, tips all very welcome! :)

(Full size picture linked below)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v628/colgravis/Painting%20Challenge/Commissar%201/Commissar1001L.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v628/colgravis/Painting%20Challenge/Commissar%201/Commissar1001S.jpg

Light of the Emperor
08-11-2007, 17:49
I like the green a lot. The highlights are there but not excessive which is perfect. I can also see shading in the recesses where it needs to be. Good work Col!

Extension
08-11-2007, 19:51
Looks nice so far. Maybe you should shade with a little brown to bring the color to life.

Cheers

Starks333
08-11-2007, 20:23
well lets start basic:

first every display piece you paint should have the tags cut and be pinned, why? because you cannot create a nice base for him otherwise, its a limiting factor..also once pinned you can paint it by sticking the pin in a pin vice, and now have a handle...avoid touching the model when painting


next, the image you shows has a ncie desaturated green..what this is is a less intense version of green...the colour he has is probably something like camo green+yellow+red+grey the red may desaturate it enough as is

so for your green, an idea for you having done a darker one is this: mix red into the green for shading..you can then mix in blue, or purple or a dark brown, or even a touch of black to darken further and underline your folds, this will emphasize the small shadows folds cast

as it currently stands you simply have highlights and shading in the raised areas and crevasses, to move on you wanna look into lighting..zenithal, directional which ever..its more natural lighting and casts shadows

so the shoulders will be brighter than the feet, but everything perpendicular is brighter than other parts

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y218/Starks3333/Tutorial/ColourControl.jpg


your colour is decided by the spots parallel to the light source(so the sides) the angles are transitions from the main colour to either light or shadow

i can comment more later, ill eltcha eat this up first :)


Starks

Col.Gravis
08-11-2007, 20:25
Thanks guys,

Extension, what sort of shade of brown would you recommend? I assuming a slight mix again with the base green colour? I really a complete novice to the concept of shading one colour with another though I've heard of the technique before.

EDIT: Reading Starks post now, posted while I was posting

Many Thanks

Crube
08-11-2007, 20:25
Certainly a nice start, and interesting info from Starks too....

Col.Gravis
08-11-2007, 20:46
It certainly is interesting, I think I understand what your saying there Starks, basicly I need to pick from which direction the light source is originating and shade and highlight more effectively by that?

So taking the green areas as an example, the area directly below the ridge line of the carapace, should be great in shadow then currently, but the section of cloth then below this piece of cloth would be in shadow slightly further (darker)and then the area around the crotch further still with this repeating again still further in the downward facing folds of the trouser legs.

Meanwhile the higher up the figure the lighter the fabric should be where it would be direct light source so lightest colouration applies to the lower, more visable portions of upper tunic, then the lower tunic and finally the trousers?

Have I grasped that right or am I off track?

I assume also then it would be a good idea to start expermenting a bit with colour mixes

Either way, thankyou very much, thats really rather helpful!

EDIT:

Okay, assuming I've followed correctly, I've done a little extra shadow, I'm not entirely happy with it especially around the middle tunic section, and more needs adding to the lower legs - plus they'll need to be a little more blending. Ah and perhaps its a bit too dark higher up, I can work on that though.

And then on the other end of the scale to lighten other areas, I guess adding a pale yellow would work best for this, with small amounts of bleached bone again? Anyway, if thats the right general direction with shadows I'll do some more tommorrow.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v628/colgravis/Painting%20Challenge/Commissar%201/Commissar1002.jpg

Starks333
09-11-2007, 04:19
It certainly is interesting, I think I understand what your saying there Starks, basicly I need to pick from which direction the light source is originating and shade and highlight more effectively by that?


correct, the reaosn is by doing this you now have a way to create and contorl your colour, because by simpy highlighting raised areas and shading recesses you can actually change the brightness of your colour...the brighter you highlight the brighter your colour instead of the brighter/more intense the lighting.....the reason is because of how your eye understands the colour of an object(which is what the hexagon shows)



So taking the green areas as an example, the area directly below the ridge line of the carapace, should be great in shadow then currently, but the section of cloth then below this piece of cloth would be in shadow slightly further (darker)and then the area around the crotch further still with this repeating again still further in the downward facing folds of the trouser legs.


directly under his armour, a thin line would be as dark as between his legs and under his coat(where it meets the legs) the same thing goes when a fold is very bright on top...if its bright on top it means its gettin all light on the top..which means the bottom is getting no light(the underneath) so it will be super dark

the areas that are most affected by gradual shading are the transitions, the areas not in complete shadow or parralell to light(as thats where your main/original colour goes)

so example would be the areas on the inside of the knees and where the leg comes out from under the coat



Meanwhile the higher up the figure the lighter the fabric should be where it would be direct light source so lightest colouration applies to the lower, more visable portions of upper tunic, then the lower tunic and finally the trousers?


correct, this draws focus towards the head, but also shows the effect of lighting

this is a more zenithal look, it could be a bit better done, but its the only example i have to show you can see how the colour is still purple even thought its brightened considerably....i did not however take into account shadows from the arms and weapons

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y218/Starks3333/Crimson%20Fists/100_3697.jpg


this is a directional lighting effect i just did, this shows several things combined (toning and lighting) it shows how you can control lighting and still maintain your colours even when changing tones and adding very bold brightness and shadow

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y218/Starks3333/Fantasy/LotR/100_3785.jpg

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y218/Starks3333/Fantasy/LotR/100_3786.jpg



I assume also then it would be a good idea to start expermenting a bit with colour mixes


there are several things that prevent improvement...arrogance(not listening to others opinions and thoughts) ignorance(not knowing) and fear(not wanting to try)

colour is the MOST important thing to improvement simply because without knowledge on colour you cant create an atmosphere..you cant control your colours and you cant create them



as for the mini, paint the basecoat for the rest(all colours), and ill PS it to show you what you can do with it, this way you will be able to see the lighting done on yoru actual figure, and interpret it easier

that work?


Starks