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Painting obsidian


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Obsidian's a tough one, since volcanic glass has a lot of different colors in it and semi-translucent qualities as well.  It can be "pure" black, or have reddish or greenish tints...here's a link with a picture:




Essentially you would have to paint it ultra-shiny, like the pic.  You could slightly tint the stage under the bright highlight with a little red or green if you were subtle.  :)



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OK, I've painted some fairly weird things in my time so far, so here is my take on obsidian.


-First off, base coat in black.

-Now, what you are going to want to do along the edges where you are making it look like the stone is worked, you are going to have to do several layers of varying shades of deep grey blue black colors, that almost are the same tone as the black.  There is a reason for this.  When you look at a chunk of worked obsidian (I have background in Geology and Archaeology)  You will find that when it breaks, it breaks with curved lines.  This is called concoidal fracture.  With the various layers of paint you are mimicing this concoidal fracture.

-Highlight in greys and maybe a streak of white here or there to represent light releecting off of it.

-Metallic black may be used too in some of the layering to help give it a bit of dimension.  

-Coat in gloss sealant, not matte in order to bring out the "glassy" effect of the obsidian.


OK, that was my two cents    :cool:

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I'd start with a green black mixture, with some not too fine highlights at the edges. After that, I'd go heavy with the gloss varnish, preferably the brush-on type.


another alternative, might be using enamels or nail polish, but I'd recommend using a separate brush for that...

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I have used black covered with a gloss finish. Works well on the tabletop, anyway. If you are serious about putting reflections in, well, that will probably need a bit of white. Me, I stick with gloss.


The players are going to break off the macauitls off the minis anyway.....



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If you want a quick and easy way, I've done some gaming minis by painting the obsidian black, matte sealing the figure, then drybrushing some brush on gloss sealant onto the edges of the obsidian.


I tried painting obsidian the fancy way a time or two.  Stuck a link to my most recent attempt.  I can probably get a bigger pic if you want.


I painted the whole stone a very dark grey, then added a little black here and there.  Touched most of the edges with a very light gray, sometimes with a bit of fuschia (hot pink) or blue green, then a bit of white for the shine.




Let us know how it comes out!



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