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Jabberwocky

Shaded Metallics

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Here is a quick write up on the technique I used for the metallics on the lupine slayer. The techique was made popular by a wonderful Australian painter that goes by Automaton. His original tutorial is over at CMoN and utilizes non-metallics to shade metallics. He uses more color than I do (currently, anyway) which provides a more "artistic" method, but IMHO is less "realistic". I do realize that I am painting a 8 or 9 foot wolf man in armor plating, so realism is in the eye of the beholder... ::):.

 

For the purposes of the tutorial, the photos are taken to accentuate the sword, so everything else may look a bit off.

 

Shadedmetallicscomp3.jpg

 

Going left to right: I first lay down the basecoat of Honed steel over a black undercoat. Next, I have used GW Devlan Mud straight from the pot. This is painted over nearly all of the Honed Steel. As I move toward the darker areas, I reapply the Devlan Mud, gradually increasing the shading. Any dark brown will do, but I have found the GW washes quite thin and are good for my purposes straight from the pot. GW Badab Black is added in the last picture, only in the areas you want to be darkest. Any black will do, naturally.

 

I have found the GW washes are very matte, which is helpful with this method. In this technique, you can control two aspects of the metallics. The first, of course, is light to dark. The second (and I think less appreciated, especially if you are using strictly metallics) is reflectivity. As a metallic gets darker, it also reflects less light. It is not so important in a photograph as you can control where the light is coming from, but in hand this technique really shines (no pun intended). If you take even a dark metallic and hold it just right, some light will be reflected. The shading with normal acrylics helps to maintain that "darkness" and reduce the reflectivity, so it looks as intended from any angle.

 

Shadedmetallicscomp4.jpg

 

Again going left to right, I begin to rehighlight with Honed Steel to bring back some of the reflectivity of the metallics. I try to keep the paint very thin at this point; it doesn't take much to bring back the flakes that reflect the light. Next, I add VMC Silver to increase the lightness and brightness along those areas that would reflect more light (second picture). You could add a white metallic at this point, such as VMC metallic medium or RMS Pearl White to really get it bright. Obviously, if you are going this bright, you want to keep the reflection very small. Finally, I have added a very thin glaze of half-orc highlight to add a touch of color and some visual interest. I don't cover the very brightest spots, but most of the midtones and darker areas. The key here is very thin glazes; it really should be tinting the underlying coats. If you go too heavy, the reflectivity of the metallic flakes will be lost and you'll need to go back and reapply either Honed Steel or Silver.

 

I hope this is helpful! If you any questions, let me know!

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Bang on tutorial for me. I've got to say I can learn a thing or two about getting swords painted in a better way than I am now.

 

Perfect length, writing and pics might I say.

 

Oh, and lastly, thanks!!

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What an excellent tutorial. This has my vote to be pinned!

 

I have been trying to get a highlighted look with RMS Honed Steel and RMS Polished silver and never can seem to get it looking right. I know what I'll be trying on my next mini!

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Thanks for the great tutorial, I'm going to go try this! I do appreciate NMM stuff but sometimes I prefer something to be shiny ::):

And I'll have to investigate the Devlan mud...

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Wow. I can't believe I missed this when it went up...I'm about to start a new mini, and I thought I'd give this a go, so I went looking for your WIP thread that uses this technique, but this is so perfectly concise, it's awesome.

 

I'm with Karabean that this should be pinned; it might even be more appropriate to make this a Craft article.

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and, of course, I have my questions...thoughts on how the color selection of non-metallics might change when the base metallic is, say, a bronze, a copper, a silver, or a gold rather than a steel?

 

For silver, I could see some blues instead of brown, to keep it looking brighter than a steel would...and the more yellow metals I'm thinking we could stick with the brown, but maybe a bronze would like dark greens a little more? I'm thinking about how the tarnish of such metals interacts with their shadows, so I'm not sure about it. Thoughts?

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and, of course, I have my questions...thoughts on how the color selection of non-metallics might change when the base metallic is, say, a bronze, a copper, a silver, or a gold rather than a steel?

 

For silver, I could see some blues instead of brown, to keep it looking brighter than a steel would...and the more yellow metals I'm thinking we could stick with the brown, but maybe a bronze would like dark greens a little more? I'm thinking about how the tarnish of such metals interacts with their shadows, so I'm not sure about it. Thoughts?

 

Good questions, and honestly I am not sure of all the answers. I have thus far really only done this with a worn steel and gold kind of look. I like the reddish tint that GW Ogryn Flesh Wash adds to the gold. I did take it down to a dark brown (VMC Chocolate Brown IIRC), but RMS Woodstain Brown, Blackened Brown, or even Brown Liner would work well, I would think. I did a barbarian orc with this technique with good results, I think.

Bullorc1WIP9-6.jpg

 

That being said, I think your thoughts on silver would be how I would approach it. Brighter highlighting, less shading and using a blue as opposed to yellowish to shade with. I would still take it down to a very dark blue or black, however, as contrast is the key to metallics and going from white to black really helps to convey that. Some verdegris on the bronze always looks good IMO, but I would probably take it down to a dark brown.

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Great, guys, thanks.

 

D3, thanks for that link; hadn't seen that thread (how?!?). Next time I'm working with gold or brass I'll definitely give that recipe a try, myself...that Timur is awe-inspiring, isn't it?

 

Jabber, that orc looks really nice; I love that he has an axe, since my current project (a WarCrow minotaur) is dealing with the same thing; gives me a nice ref--thanks for the bonus! He's got a lot of metal bits, too, and you have me thinking about making some of it gold...but no, I'm gonna stick with the bronze.

 

I think I'll try going with a lot more brown, since even polished bronze doesn't get the brightness of gold or brass. Once I get some of those bits going I may take some WIP shots; I'd really appreciate it if you could take a look when I do, likely by Wednesday or so.

 

Thanks again!

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I think I'll try going with a lot more brown, since even polished bronze doesn't get the brightness of gold or brass. Once I get some of those bits going I may take some WIP shots; I'd really appreciate it if you could take a look when I do, likely by Wednesday or so.

 

Thanks again!

 

Count on it!

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Can you please move the images to actual attachments, as opposed to Photobucket externals? Those don't go past many firewalls.

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It's a pity, but all I see of the images are blurry placeholders. Thanks, Photobucket.

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