Friday, January 14, 2011

WIP: High Elves Sea Guard part 4

WIP: High Elves Sea Guard part 3

The next step is painting the white/grey of the shield. First I'll shadow the sides of the shield with a mixture of red and blue Andrea inks, airbrushing very very gently (to work as glazes). Also, I'll glaze over with a bit of dark green in the transition between the pure white and the shadow done (all the job with airbrush).

Then I'll give a bit of pure white for the lights in the shield, airbrush again.

I finished the airbrush work in the shield, so now I can remove the masking stuff.

The rest of the work on the shields will have to be done with normal brush, so I'll get to that on a later stage. I need to take advantage of the use of the airbrush as much as I can so I will delay the normal brush stage until I finish all the airbrush work.

I see that I have covered by accident some parts of the robes, that was because of my lazy job at masking properly, but anyway, I'll repair it with a touch of airbrush whenever I have some spare colour on the airbrush cup matching the robe's one.

And now let's pass on to the metallic parts. First of all I'll basecoat all the parts in metal, with simple Mithril Silver from Citadel. I would normally use Boltgun Metal but because I want the shiny look of elvish metal, I'll stick to something lighter, like Mithril as the base.

Painting metal can be tricky, you need to keep transitions very smooth or else you risk losing the appearance of real metal. This means I need to use the airbrush as much as possible, to be faster and smoother. But there are too many different metallic parts to be painted. With these elves, I have to get something in between speed and quality.

The process is simple, but it's going to be long and tedious. I'll put masking tape over the blades which I won't be painting each airbrush round. I have four different blades in a single spear, two on each side of the spear. Therefore, if for example I'm painting the left blade of the spear, I have to mask the right one, because the lighting there will be done the opposite way and I can't risk painting it with the airbrush (which is totally inevitable because it is a very small space to paint). This means that I would have to do the airbrush painting job 4 times for each spear (because there are two sides to each spear, and two blades in each side), masking the opposite blade each time. And making a decent gradient between shiny metal light and matt metal shadow will force me to use at least 4 different mixes of colour. For each different mix I'll have to change colours in the airbrush. 4 changes of colour in the airbrush for each blade, multiplied by 4 different blades in each spear, and by 9 elves which I still have to paint (10 in total minus the one I painted for the colour scheme) means changing colours in the airbrush 151 times! Totally inefficient. I need to think of a way to optimize this.

What I need to minimize is the number of times I have to change colours in the airbrush, which for me is the most tedious job of all. Also I can reduce the number of times I need to mask the opposite blades, if I mask front and back blades of the spear at the same time. This halves the number of times I have to use masking tape for each elf. If I use this and paint all the spears at the same time (serial painting), I can use the same mix of colour in the airbrush for all of them. The number of different mixes of colour is something I definitely cannot reduce. So, with this method, I have to change colours 4 times (1 for each mix), multiplied by the number of times I have to change masking tapes, which is 2. Meaning that by painting all the blades at the same time I reduce the number of times I have to change colours in the airbrush from 151 to 8. Quite an improvement isn't it?

This explains why I have decided to paint them serially. Beginning with the spears, I'll put all of them in a piece of wood so I can have them all in my hand at the same time. I mask the front and back right blades at the same time of all the spears.

Now I airbush with Turquoise, front and back blades of all spears.

Second mix, adding Andrea Blue Ink to the Turquoise, again front and back blades of all spears.

Third mix, Andrea Blue Ink and Andrea Red Ink.

And finally, I added number 5 from the Andrea Color Black Set (some sort of black but not the darkest one) for the final shadows, once again on the front and back blades of all spears.

There you have it. Now I repeat the process for the opposite blades.

Final lights will be done with metallic medium from Vallejo, but with normal brush, so I'll wait to finish the airbrush work to do these.

Quite a job isn't it? The whole weaponry of an elf unit done in no time. I feel proud of myself!

This does the trick for now. Stay tuned!

WIP: High Elves Sea Guard part 5


Porky said...

The metal effect especially is just incredible. Good guide, and it's very generous of you to share such a powerful technique, and in such detail too.

CMDante said...

Excellent articles - really enjoying these!

I have an airbrush but feel I have yet to make the most of it so I have found your articles very informative and helpful!

Keep up the great stuff.

Sigmar said...

The spears have come out superbly. Nice work Volomir.

Excellent tutorial, thanks for sharing.