Tuesday, March 28, 2017
DungeonQuest: Vikas Swordmaster
Decided not to save the best for last here. Vikas is my favorite so far and the one I'm most happy with. At the risk of being immodest, when I hold this guy up I get a big smile. I really nailed what I was going for and the figure "sings."
The checks took every bit as long as they look like they took, a full three hours, longer than I spent on all the rest of the figure. First green, fully shaded and highlighted, then black lines, then "white," which is actually muted, because pure white looks fake. Where a lot of painters go wrong with checks or any freehand on a flat surface is they paint each check lighter a top and darker at the bottom, a kind of sculptural lighting approach. This looks awful in my opinion, it really dispels my interest in what might be an otherwise nicely done figure. The tricky part with these checks was having them converge at the sides in the folds. It took me some give and take there going back with green then white and then putting the black lines back in.
Really happy with his face, with details like the subtle five-o-clock shadow, and his yellow boots. Wanted the boots to glow with old school Snakebite Leather. I have a mostly full screw top era pot of that paint, my second pot of it after I used up the first I got in the early 90s. The trick or balance between brightness and believability comes in putting gray in the top highlights. The highlights should always be less saturated.
The gems are in the classic style Mike McVey taught many of us. I make the contrast a bit muted here too because these stones are rounded, and not sculted as faceted gems, and when done in stark contrast with black at the top and a dot of pure white they look a bit more like glass than a precious stone that captures my interest. I prefer it to appear semi-translucent and appear as what we call a semi-precious stone these days. I tend to use photo reference even for tiny bits like stones, even when I have the general principle of how I'm going to approach it down pat.