You'll find a little of everything here. Genres covered in this blog include (so far) prehistorics, fantasy, old west, swashbucklers, pulp, Blood Bowl, Ghostbusters, gladiators, nautical, science fiction and samurai in 6mm, 15mm, 28mm, 40mm, 42mm and 54mm sizes. You'll also find terrain, scenery, basing, gaming, modeling, tutorials, repaints, conversions, art and thoughts in general about the hobby.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

54mm Gladiators: Retiarius face detail

Josiah asked for a detail shot of the retiarius's face, so here ya go. I used the same flesh palette I mentioned in a comment earlier, but I'll touch on that again here: Going from base to highlight, I use Foundry Flesh 5A, Games Workshop Dwarf flesh, Foundry Flesh 5B, GW Elf flesh, and Foundry Flesh 5C as the final highlight. Then I use GW Tanned flesh for nipples and lips.

I had been having problems with my Foundry Flesh 5C being too thin, so now my base coat for caucasian flesh is a 50/50 mix of Foundry Flesh 5A + GW Dwarf flesh. (On a side note: Honestly, I like the Foundry flesh palette, but the old GW paints I have have have given me some of the best flesh results sitting on my shelf. I haven't looked to see what the new GW flesh colors are; hopefully they haven't changed to much. The pots I have are at least 5 years old, but the paint ((somehow)) has managed to stay a perfect consistency. I'm glad I rediscovered them for this gladiator project.)

I layered the paint up as I would the rest of the body, working from base to highlight. I then did two separate washes of GW's sepia ink. After the ink, I retouched the last couple highlights.
As for highlighting, I hit the bulb and bridge of the nose; I added "false" brow furrows with some strategic highlights; highlighted the brows, the top of the cheeks, the chin, upper lip and the jaw line.
You can't really see (for good reason) if I've highlighted the gladiator's right jaw line; I haven't-- When I highlight faces, I always try to do so as if the sun is striking them from the left. It's a really small and easy way of doing a bit of light sourcing (notice how his chin has highlights on one side.) Anyway, I didn't get to the other jawline for two reasons: It's in the shade of his galerus (shoulder armor), and it was too difficult to get to that area with the brush because, again, of the galerus being in the way.

On some of this company's figures, most noticeably the germanics, the sculptor has actually sculpted eyes! He used a statuary technique where the whites are modeled but the pupil is left as a cavity. Unfortunately, the casting has to be perfect for these features to be well-defined. Lucky for me, I got a decent casting of this retiarius, AND his is only one of three faces I have to paint (wait until you see George Lucas! ((You'll understand when I get to that figure.)))
But, for the white of the eyes, I use the same final highlight I use on the flesh (in this case, Foundry Flesh 5C.) This is a small technique I picked up in art school: The whites of the eyes should not be white, they should be light reflections of the colors around them, which, in this case, is the flesh. You could even step the color down a shade or two for the whites without ill effects. I think it makes for a more realistic look and helps to defeat "surprised, googly eye syndrome."

So, Josiah, I hope that detail is close enough for ya-- I hate showing closeups, because you can see how sloppy my brush strokes really are :)
Honestly, these sloppy, blocked-in strokes are actually deliberate. For one, it simplifies painting. I'm not painting these for entry into competition, I'm painting them for the game table, so I'm slapping on just enough color to be viewed from about 3 to 4 feet. I call it an impressionistic technique: Like old French impressionistic paintings, your eye blends the rough strokes of color from afar, only to see how haphazard the artist has been when you get closer. It's a good cheat that only shows in detail pics :)

Some day, I'll get bored enough to try 50 well-blended layers on a face ....

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Sir! I wasn't expecting all of that but I sure do appreciate it! I am getting ready to do some ACW command stands and I am really anxious to try out some of the techniques I've picked up from you.

    I do agree with your comments on impressionism. I have been painting some honestly kind of cartoony figs, and magnified or close up they look incredibly sloppy, but at arms length they really look great.

    Once again, thanks for all of the tips and of course for the closeups!