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Lots of good ideas and suggestions from everybody.

 

I painted the railings of the ship silver, a bit of a nod to the whole Spelljammer-Githyanki-Silver Sword thing.

 

But I didn't do them straight silver (By now who is surprised at this?)

 

The silver paint I have, like most metallic acrylic paints these days (and "interference" pigments too) is made from tiny flakes of transparent mica which have been coated with microscopic films of titanium white pigment. Titanium white in thin films acts like oil on a puddle and can produce a whole rainbow of colors depending on its thickness. The shiny mica flakes line up with each other like plates as the paint dries, producing the metallic effect.

 

Thing is, mica is naturally transparent. In single layers the metallics I have don't really cover what's under them. They usually need at least three thin layers to look fully metallic. It helps a lot if they have a bit of "oomph" underpainting, which is why I usually paint silver over black and gold over brick red.

 

And even then unless you have a lot of coverage from some angles the metallic paint seems almost to disappear, revealing a ghost of whatever is underneath. I discovered this had good effects on minis; I could paint a "reflection" in a sword or armor, glaze over it with a thin layer of metallic, and have reflections that came and went depending on the angle of lighting.

 

Sooo ...

 

I decided to paint runes on the railings that would only show some of the time.

 

These aren't real runes. They're based on Nordic runes, Chinese calligraphy, Sanskrit, and a few other things. There are no duplicates and no secret messages. I just wanted them to look interesting.

 

I wasn't 100% sure this would work. This is the biggest thing I've ever tried this technique on. But it did work and despite some nervousness as I was going through, the effect seems okay.

 

I painted the runes in iron oxide red. Here are the beginnings on the upper railing behind the cabin.

post-8022-0-05081800-1372522727.jpg

 

And here are the railing runes completed.

post-8022-0-42119900-1372522808.jpg

 

If you wish to see my sinister cryptography, here's a close-up.

post-8022-0-96815400-1372522841.jpg

 

As long as I was painting runes I added some around the cabin door, and underpainted the handle black in anticipation of silver.

post-8022-0-75466200-1372522886.jpg

 

I painted two layers of metallic silver paint -- more than the bare minimum, but not enough to start to get really opaque. Here's a single layer on the upper railing on the left, and two layers on the right.

post-8022-0-00398400-1372523078.jpg post-8022-0-22611900-1372523084.jpg

 

That may not look like metal to you, but with this paint it depends on the angle of lighting and vision.

 

So here are some comparison shots of the ship with the lighting moved around. In the first two, the light is literally moved only a couple of inches. Compare the railing to the deck and you can see the difference it makes.

post-8022-0-05100800-1372523217.jpg post-8022-0-52001600-1372523225.jpg

post-8022-0-54788400-1372523271.jpg post-8022-0-88599700-1372523280.jpg

 

Anyhoo, that's it for today. Thanks for walking through this with me!

 

 

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Wow, that's such a cool effect! Those disappearing runes are starting to make me think you can actually do magic though, Pingo. :upside: But seriously, that's a super awesome technique that I'll have to find some excuse to use someday. Maybe on a shield or something. I love the look of the runes, especially around the door, they add such a nice touch. :D

 

Huzzah!

--OneBoot :D

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I've done a bit of work since last time. Some of it involves interference pigments, which like metallic paints are microscopic films of titanium dioxide on mica flakes. The iridescence of the titanium (which is a white pigment on the macro scale) acts like oil on a puddle to produce a rainbow of colors when used this way.

 

There is no colored pigment in these paints. All the color is an optical effect. From some angles interference paint is nearly invisible; from others its color shines vividly. It works most dramatically over black and is weakest in effect over white.

 

It is a bit difficult to photograph to good effect.

 

By way of demonstration, here's a trump card I once made for a PC in an Amber game, a character from the Courts of Chaos. I painted his portrait in black and white, then glazed over various parts with different interference colors. From certain angles the painting looks black and white. From others the colors pop out.

post-8022-0-57718200-1373041329.jpg post-8022-0-76046200-1373041335.jpg

 

I decided to paint a rainbow on the cabin roof.

post-8022-0-07619600-1373041418.jpg

 

I started in the middle, with green, figuring it would be easier to start at the middle and work out than to start at one edge and go to the other.

post-8022-0-34866900-1373041429.jpg

 

I finished the rainbow, but decided it was too big and looked too cartoony.

post-8022-0-58284700-1373041435.jpg

 

So I painted over its edges in black and redid it smaller.

post-8022-0-90022100-1373041441.jpg

 

Next I started adding some more creatures to the hull and painting some gems on the balustrades. This is a quick and easy way to paint gem effects. I began with simple black circles on the balustrades.

post-8022-0-22706200-1373041575.jpg

 

I painted white dots in them at a slight angle, to indicate the direction of light. Those on the port side were mirror reversed to those on the starboard side.

post-8022-0-98780100-1373041597.jpg

 

I added just a wash of white to indicate the light that comes through a gem into its shadow. They are below and to the right of the black circles here.

post-8022-0-56170800-1373041606.jpg

 

Then I glazed bright transarent colors over the entire contents of the black circle and the little washes of light. I didn't take separate pictures of that step before I dotted little white highlights on each gem.

post-8022-0-62525200-1373041631.jpg post-8022-0-49100500-1373041640.jpg

 

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Very cool alchemy with the runes and metallics. Also, Trump Card! Woohoo!

 

Re:the gems. You've crystallized (no pun intended) a problem I've frequently had with otherwise spectacularly painted gemstones: the awareness of light hitting surfaces beyond the gem. I hadn't realized the specifics of it until your tutorial, but many gems have always looked "off" to me. It's because painters spend lots of time making the gem look transparent and reflective, but not considering what light does as it passes beyond the transparent gem. Your little splash of colored white in the "shadow" area solves this. So thanks for that.

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I have been working away a little bit at a time.

 

Looking at my last post, I realized I put in a whole critter without documenting it. The last picture in the last post shows some ghostly underpainted manta rays. Well, here's the next one and it includes Cecil over there.

 

post-8022-0-15155800-1373981400.jpg

 

He just noodled out of my brush and I was so caught up in painting I didn't photograph how he developed. As I recall it, I had a bunch of my mixed green-and-magenta purple left over and just went from there.

 

Oh, and I worked on the manta rays. And started some, er, space whales.

 

post-8022-0-78287100-1373981582.jpg post-8022-0-12679700-1373981591.jpg

 

I worked up more colors on the various creatures on the hull.

 

post-8022-0-50147400-1373981684.jpg post-8022-0-20926300-1373981690.jpg

post-8022-0-42068600-1373981697.jpg post-8022-0-60692900-1373981704.jpg

post-8022-0-92498900-1373981732.jpg post-8022-0-86374300-1373981740.jpg

 

Then I focused on the windows at the back. I wanted it to look like there was light coming through translucent curtains, warm golden light at the sides and electronic green light at the back (yes, spatially it makes no sense with that little cabin. Let's call it dimensionally transcendent.).

 

To begin with I laid in a pale yellow mixed from titanium white and yellow ochre (Reaper Pure White and Palomino Gold) into the side windows, and a pale green mix of phthalocyanine green (Reaper Clear Viridian) and white in the rear ones.

 

post-8022-0-42664700-1373983591.jpg post-8022-0-60055200-1373983601.jpg

 

I then spent quite a lot of time which I did not document carefully painting darker shadows of the curtains in the windows with the pale light coming through. I also added more color to the hull at the stern, washing it over with black and intense purple, and picking out colors on various details. I painted the window frames black.

 

Oh, and at some point I painted a gold sun eclipsing a black one at the back.

 

Depending on the lighting, the windows can look dramatically different:

 

post-8022-0-98527600-1373983612.jpg post-8022-0-42947600-1373983620.jpg

 

I then brushed a soft blue-gray as lighting over some of the hull. I believe I mixed it from phthalocyanine blue (Reaper Clear Blue), burnt sienna (Reaper Chestnut Brown, I think), quinacridone magenta (not sure, but I would place my bets on Reaper Clear Magenta), and titanium white (Reaper Pure White).

 

I also painted lighting effects around the windows, tiny lines of yellow and green where the illumination would catch the window frames, and I painted the creatures near the windows as if they were illuminated by light from the windows.

 

And this is where it is so far:

 

post-8022-0-76015400-1373983635.jpg post-8022-0-23980600-1373983627.jpg

 

 

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dimensionally transcendent!!!! New phrase of the day.

 

I love it! The whole piece is just beautiful from a color standpoint, and so creative! Thanks for documenting everything so well! Those rear windows with the lighting effect of the blue against that dark magenta is particularly lovely.

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