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By Geoff Davis
I needed to paint a tartan. The miniature and the reason are here:
02178 Knight Templar with Royal MacKenzie Tartan
Painting a tartan in detail would be very hard. Here is the source material picture I worked from.
Most of the tutorials I looked at involved painting a black grid and then painting in each square individually. I'm too lazy, was in too much of a hurry and don't have the quality of eyesight for that.
My daughter who is a highland dancer and water colour painter helped me figure it out. We figured out which of the lines of the tartan would actually be visible at arm’s reach. Then we worked out which colours are forming those lines. Tartans aren't generally composed of stripes of solid colours. The colours come from the mixing of two colours of wool interwoven. So, we worked out which two colours were involved in each stripe.
For example, red and green give you brown. So, by putting a stripe of green glaze over red basecoat, I get a brown stripe. If I put a second green stripe over the red at a 90 degree angle, I get another brown stripe, but where the two cross I get a green square with crisp corners. I put a thinned dot of the green in the middle of that square to deepen the green colour, and voila, a cross hatch of brown stripes and green squares on red.
Then I sketched a map of it, noting that the tartan is not a perfectly spaced grid, and selected colours which when added together will produce the colours needed.
This proved to be still too difficult to paint clearly, so the number of thin lines was further reduced for simplicity.
I started with a red basecoat and gave it minimal highlighting and shading. Then I started with one black line running parallel to the characters belt, midway between hem and belt. This is marked on the photo below. This gave me the line from which to measure out and place all the other lines.
After that it was, in order:
- green horizontal stripes
- green vertical stripes
- enhance green squares
- black lines.
The lines in the source material are not actually black, they are sets of black lines and blue lines. So each black line was traced over with blue as well to tone it down a bit and give a slight blue hue. It may not seem like much, but the before and after change was remarkable. Then the very thin yellow lines, with paint thinned somewhat. Finally a yellow dot at the intersection of the yellow lines.
Here's a close-up with the starting line marked.
It doesn’t look very good up close, but it looks good from a distance.
Looks pretty good in other colours, too.
Iron Wind Metals 67-005 Female Sibeccai
I have some miniatures on the way in the mail which I had intended to use for practicing tartan and other free hand designs. I will post one as a step by step at a later date.
So my 8 yo nephew asked Santa for a fig for D&D. Here is what he drew so Santa knew what he wanted.
So working with my sister this is the fig that was decided on.
I need to add a plume to the helm, and paint it by Sunday morning when I meet my brother in-law for a hand-off. I have asked Talespinner's advice and he has been gracious enough to assist me. Stay tuned for further updates.
I sent DSMiles some stuff for the miniature exchange!
He wanted metal, preferably, and stuff from lower SKUs. I hadn't spent a lot of time down there, so it was fun to look around. I picked out a wizard that looked fun, a knight with an unusually short cloak (more historically accurate, but less epic-looking, I believe?), and three wraiths--which I hadn't seen before, and thought were pretty awesome!
I hadn't really done any basing before. Sorry about that! I hope you found the basing at least marginally acceptable. I was aiming for a bit of a dungeon-y look with some moss to match the old-school vibe of the minis. Speaking of those, I have some individual pics!
Tox was my favorite. He's also one of my best jobs so far! I had a lot of fun with him and the wife was sad to ship him off. I may have to paint up another.
02188: Knight Templar
I had fun with this one too. I think he'd be great for freehand but I don't think my freehand is up to snuff for a mini exchange yet. Lots of canvas to make your mark on.
02617: Female Wraith
The wraiths are just cool. I had a bunch of ideas for things to try--one of them involved suspending some bluish-white-ish pigments in clear acrylic in the hoods to give a lighting effect, but I couldn't get that to work too well. Oh man the Vallejo water effects were awful to work with. Interestingly enough, because they're water-based, they slowly dissolve the drop of paint and create a solution of water, water effects acrylic, and pigments. It's a cool process to watch but also a sad one as you watch the blob of paint you were hoping to keep get slowly disintegrated. And then you have to scrape all the water effects out.
02148: Guardian Wraith
I wanted to give the wraiths some sort of effect to show from a distance that they're not just dudes (or ladies) hidden in cloaks. You see wraiths all the time with glowy implements, so I tried to recreate that. With at least some success, I think! It's hard to get the blending to look right on the dark cloak. On the lighter brown clothing, experiments showed that it would look green, which I was not expecting! But weirdly enough, I think those bits turned out looking better. At least to me.
02081: Fog Wraith
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