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Electric Blue Flaming Hair


wdmartin
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I'm painting up 14267: General Matisse as a PC for a guy in our campaign.  He's specified that the PC -- an aasimar -- has hair made of bright blue fire, like Hades from the Disney Hercules.  It's going to be challenging, and I'm not entirely sure how to approach it.

 

My initial thought is to base coat it in pure white, then successive layers of blue, shifting from more white in the mix to more blue with each new layer, and starting each pass closer to the end of the hairs to get a gradation from hottest (white) near the roots, to coolest (blue) near the ends.  Does that sound reasonable, or is there another approach I should consider?  Hair is hard enough when it isn't made of fire!

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That's cool, and very handy for neon-colored hair.

 

I'm struggling with two things:

 

1) Fire reverses the usual approach -- it's brighter near its base than it is at its tip.

 

2) Fire also rises, but the hair on the model lies flat, which is distinctly un-fire-like.

 

So if I paint it like fire, brighter at the base and darker at the tip, it's going to read like weird hair instead of fire.  Maybe I should go ahead and just paint it neon blue hair and rely on OSL to communicate that it's a light ...

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Except, if you look at the Disney pictures, they actually put the dark blue at the base! Now, they didn't get it "wrong" but instead it looks like there is just a monotone blue flame on his head that is transparent, so the darker blue is really just the rest of his skull. So, extinguish the flame and you'd see his head, not a burnt out cavity.

 

That makes things harder actually, since you'll have to paint the transparency of the hair from a single perspective. And the figure's hair falls like hair rather than rising like fire. Probably a waste of time to cut all that off and resculpt it.

 

One thought is to paint it like the guide MM posted, but sculpt some small green stuff flames rising from the strands. Thinking really small and few in number, like wisps. Make those look like the flames.

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The best way I have found to make something look truly luminous is this:

 

1. Paint the object in a pale, pastel version of the color. If there is shading, do it now to a medium value of the color. There can be surprising richness if the color is a bit more muted than the final color will be, a greyish blue or a brownish yellow, for example.

 

2. Glaze over it with an absolutely transparent paint, lifing the paint in lighter areas as necessary.

 

Sometimes having variations in the color helps. For example, for a blue effect I would be inclined to mix a pale sky blue out of Ultramarine Blue and Titanium White, the shadings a darker mix with some grey or violet added, then glaze over it with pure Phthalocyanine Blue.

 

The different colors have different harmonics, giving a little more life to the color.

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Yay, sculpting, my most favoritest thing in the whole wide world! >.>

 

I'm seriously considering investing in some new blues just for this project.  My existing selection tends to the dark end of the spectrum -- Breonne Blue, Sky Blue, Sapphire Blue from Reaper, plus a few others I don't remember off the top of my head.  I was thinking of getting Vallejo Fluorescent Blue for the OSL.

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