Jump to content

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 265
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

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.



And here are the railing runes completed.



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



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



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!



  • Like 21
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

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



--OneBoot :D

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.



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.



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



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



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.



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.



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.



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


  • Like 20
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.




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



  • Like 21
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Similar Content

    • By Lidless Eye
      Here's a collection of spooky terrain I painted over October.
      All of them are from the Shadowfey set from Printable Scenery and printed on an Ender-3.

    • By Metalchaos
      For the rainy days, 77538 Gravestone of Sorrow sculpted by Julie Guthrie. This one will be part of a bigger upcoming project I'm currently working on.




    • By Metalchaos
      Hello everybody, here's another of my marble extravaganza for Halloween. This is 77539, Gravestone of Protection sculpted by Julie Guthrie.








    • By veoviscool12
      I recently finished my first piece of scatter terrain! I used it as a test for a bunch of techniques I'd been learning from The Terrain Tutor YouTube channel. I used two boulders that I had cast using the Woodland Scenic rock molds (I think one was from mold C1233 and the other from C1230, but I could be mistaken) and Durham's Water Putty. I had painted them up previously for practice, and noticed that together they made a pretty nice split boulder. I had an extra 3' x 3' foam core square from my ongoing dungeon tile project, and decided to make some scatter terrain as a diversion from all the Bones V waiting to be painted.

      A picture of the finished piece with a Reaper goblin mini (77024) for scale.
      Process - Sculpting
      I started by peeling off one side of the foam core paper, and used a hobby knife to create a shallow slope around the center. Then, I used Liquitex Modeling Paste to create a big glob in the middle for the boulders to sit in, fill in all the cracks, and smooth out the transition from stone to foam. I deliberately let some of the paste squeeze up into the crack between the two rocks to create the impression of a smooth arc of soil that had built up over time. The paste can be mixed with paints, but due to the way I wanted to apply texture later on I decided against it. Once the paste had dried, I moved on to applying texture and painting the ground.

      You can see that initial soil arc here; I sculpted it a bit further to achieve a more realistic look.

      More sculpting and slathering to mask the edges of the rock and create the illusion that it's buried in soil.
      Process - Ground Texture and Painting
      The next step was to add texture and paint to the ground. I first applied a layer of Burnt Umber acrylic that had been mixed with a bit of PVA (white glue; the Elmer's stuff. I got a two pack at Dollar Tree that works fine. Don't get the school variety as it's extremely watered down and doesn't stick nearly as well). Then I drizzled on a "soil" mix I had made from: mostly fine sand, some coffee grounds, and a little cat litter. Ideally, the paint/PVA mixture should be laid on thick enough to absorb all this grit and cement it in place once it dries. I didn't apply enough of it, so as an additional measure I spritzed the whole thing with a 6:1 water/PVA mixture. This worked in sealing everything, but made the piece extremely damp and necessitated leaving it to dry overnight.
      After everything was dry, I put on a layer of Raw Umber to darken the soil, unify the grit, and cover up any exposed bits of white modeling paste. Once that was finished, I did a quick dry brush pass with a lightened Raw Umber to bring out the texture of the soil. With that, the ground was finished!
      I must admit, at this point I had what looked like a great riverbed and boulder on my hands and was tempted to do a deep pour water effect! But I quickly reigned myself in since that was not the goal of this project. Soon though, soon...

      The ground texture anchored in the paint. Bits of this came off at various points during the process,
      but the PVA did its job quite well, considering.

      The Raw Umber did a good job of tying everything together, and let bits of the Burnt umber through
      for some lighter patches.
      Process - Boulder Paint Touch-ups
      As much I wanted to get to the main event (flocking!), I needed to touch up the lower edge of the boulder; there was no way I could hide all of it. So I did a quick and dirty touch up with the same wet technique I used to paint them initially: a base coat of grey, and once that's dry, watered down browns, greens, and blacks to create color variations, moss, and dirt. Finally a quick homemade black wash added the final touch. I also used the black wash to mark out some rivulets that would have carved their way out from the crack and create a bit more variety in the soil. Then finally, I could move on to the most anticipated bit: the flocking!

      The initial stripe of grey paint across the bottom of the boulder. I wasn't too meticulous; the water
      from the next layers smoothed out the transitions between the existing paint job and the new one.

      An example of some of the blotches and colors I was applying. Unfortunately I don't have a picture
      that includes the black wash.
      Process - Flocking and Final Touches
      The flocking itself was relatively simple. I used three shades of Woodland Scenics Fine Turf:
      Burnt Grass - T44 (highlight) Green Grass - T45 (base) Weeds - T46 (shade)  
      First, I applied PVA glue that had been slightly watered down, just enough so it's almost a liquid but not quite. Then, I sprinkled the highlight into the more open areas where the grass would be drier, the shade into wetter and more covered spots, so near the rock and crack, and then covered everything with a healthy dose of the base. I didn't use a lot of the highlight because I was worried I'd overdo it, but I could have used more as the base really takes over if you let it. I tapped off the excess flocking that hadn't been absorbed by the PVA before using a tiny bit of Coarse Turf (Medium Green - T64) to create a little bush in one side of the crack, and one out in the open. I used a toothpick to drop a bit of regular PVA where I wanted the bush to go, and then just stuck it in place. After about an hour elapsed, I sealed the whole thing by spraying it with the 6:1 water/PVA mixture and leaving it to dry overnight.
      The final touch was to use black paint to seal the white edges of the foam core.  I'm very pleased with the end result, and it's solid as a rock. This will certainly be able to stand up to some abuse without losing any flocking or texture. Thanks for reading this far!

      Two more glamor shots of the finished piece; this is the first one. You can just spot the bush peeking out
      of the crack in the middle, and some cat litter "stones" in the field.

      Here's the other side, with a bush on the left and a "wetter" appearance around the crack. Some of the
      lighter Burnt Umber is also peeking through at the front left edge.
    • By Metalchaos
      Hello everyone! Halloween is getting close... now's a good time to start chewing garlic. Here's my 77137, Sarcophagus sculpted by Bob Ridolfi.






  • Create New...