This last weekend was a very busy one for us. My parents were in town and our son Jack was baptized, so understandably I was too busy to attend a painting class put on locally by Privateer Press Studio Painter Meg Maples. I was very jealous of fellow Pressgangers and other who got to participate and even more so when I saw the pictures from the event and their work here and here.
These pictures and the discussions I had with the attendees got me motivated to finally paint up the pNemo that I’d had sitting around for about a year. All these photos are from last night and this morning, so only about 2 hours worth of work so far.
I didn’t take an WIP pics of the base assembly, it should be pretty clear how it was made. This is part of a recent trend to make my Cygnar bases more interesting than just plasticard and silver paint. See this article about the Storm Strider to see the more complicated bases I’m doing now.
As always I started with zenithal priming. I don’t use the glazing technique that really makes this priming shine, but it is helpful to see where shadows and lights are, even if you paint more ‘normally’ as I do.
One thing that I heard from all the class participants was that Meg recommended using a #2 or #3 brush for blending and most of her regular painting. Apparently this is pretty standard in the studio, and consistent with what I’d heard form a number of other people whose painting I look up to. It’s also something I heard when I was developing the Double-ended Brush and I’m working with my supplier to develop another available size of brush more in line with a #3 sable.
Up to this point in my painting however I’ve not really tried to use a larger brush like that, so I actually had to run out yesterday with the baby on his first trip to the art supply store to pick new brushes. Since this is just a test project I didn’t go for the W&N Series 7 #3 (since it’s like $30 dollars) but did find these brushes: Utrecht Kolinsky (and actually this online price is 1/2 what I paid in store). I’ve only used the brush for a little while, but so far, for the price I’ve been very pleased, and I can see how it will affect my painting. Plus there’s just something satisfying about using a new brush.
Generally, though not always, I like to start from the ‘inside’ of the model out, so on this project I started with the face. Another reason to start with the face is that it’s probably the most important part of the model for taking the effective realism to the next level, one of the hardest parts of the model to get right and the one I’m likely to fuss with the most as we go along.
That being said, the formula they give in the studio guide in the Forces: Cygnar book is really good, and easy to make look good I think. It’s basically a layer of Midlund Flesh, followed with two washes of Midlund/Thornwood Green and Midlund/Skorne Red. It sounds counter intuitive, but as long as you apply shade color with some moderation the red and green counter-balance each other an make a very convincing shadow. The highlight is just straight Midlund again and at that point I was happy to move on.
All these WIP pics were from my phone, so you’ll have to excuse the lack of overwhelming awesome picture quality.
As I have been painting a lot of Morrowan Cygnar for an ongoing commission project see: Here and Here and as a result have really started to grow fond of a blue and white or blue and cream Cygnar scheme. My Cygnar has been much more blue and cold white/light blue, but I decided to do the cloak here as a dark cream color, very much in the style of Ghool’s very impressive Cygnar and generally following his shading scheme for the white.
This was after the initial basecoat and first shade:
I basecoated with Menoth White Highlight and shaded with a 50/50 mix of MWH and Gun Corps Brown. Again, I’m using a larger brush than I’m used to for this, and more consciously trying to follow the advice I heard second hand from this weekend’s class. Namely, blend perpendicular to the color gradient, rather than pulling paint through the gradient, use a slightly thicker than normal paint to blend with to avoid ‘bathtub rings’ (I was only marginally successful at this), and prewet the blend site if you’re having trouble. All this advice was good, not surprisingly.
I decided to punch of the shadows more on this model, since again, according to both Meg from the weekend and Ghool’s articles on the subject, more contrast is better.
This is after the second step:
and then here after another level of shade, this one with some Umbral Umber mixed in:
For not that much work this morning I’m very pleased with this outcome. It’s a little hard to tell in these pictures, but as I went along I was also punching up the highlights on the cloak, eventually getting to 50/50 MWH and Morrow White.
More on this model to come as I go along. Hopefully the other folks from the class will continue to post their progress too and I can try to keep up. I added this to my painting project queue in some haste, but it’s not as though there aren’t a lot of other projects:
1/2 finished E Haley
14 Tharn Ravagers for a now ended Journeyman League
Several hundred points of Pan-O Infinity
Updates to American FoW army for 3rd Edition
A whole bunch of Legion
Second Mercs Faction
and an entire Borka Army still in boxes.
So there’ll be plenty to write about for a long time!