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Jade Salamander sculpt and paint


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Here is a rough step-by-step. Inks are Liquitex professional series and paints mainly Reaper and Golden Fluid Acrylics.

The figure was primed in white and the base coats were very light. The scales were done with Sap Green ink, mixed with a bit of white paint to get a creamy light jade color. This was meant to show through after later washes. To break up the big area of green, the skin between the big scales on the arms and legs was painted with Sap Green ink + white paint + Primary Yellow.The sword was painted with silver mixed with gold paint with the handle given a thin layer of Burnt Sienna paint (Golden fluid Acrylics). The pommel was painted in a thinned layer of gold paint. Belly scales were painted with thinned Golden Highlight (Reaper MSP) mixed with Yellow Ochre paint (Golden fluid Acrylics). Finally, the inside of the mouth was painted with thinned pink paint, not including the teeth.


The first shading step was very sloppy and cosisted of washes of Sap Green ink mixed with Matte Medium, about 50-50, slopped and glopped onto the big scales. Some Raw Sienna was mixed with the Sap Green ink and medium to make an olive toned wash for the skin between the scales. The belly was washed with Burnt Umber ink + black paint + a lot of Matte Medium. For this part to dry correctly, I had to rotate the figure so the washes did not pool in one place for too long. I recommend doing one side at a time to avoid this hassle, and laying the figure on a side so the washes pool downwards into the cracks and crevices and not down the legs onto the table. It is also a very good idea to have a fan blowing in the direction of the model to speed up drying time.

The sword was given a wash of Burnt Umber ink + medium to tint the blade and shade the pommel and wrappings. The blade only got a thin layer as the flat surface tends to pool up strangely if the wash is too thick.


The second shading step was done when the first was completely dry. The green scales were given a wash of Pthalo Blue ink + black paint + 50% medium. This was thinned with water to make it flow well and not glop on. The sword was given a few glazes of Burnt Umber ink and thinned black paint to build up the shadows near the pommel and along the blade edge and tip.


More work on the blade. Silver and gold paint was mixed and applied in thin layers to the side of the blade, focusing more in the central highlight zone and the middle section of the edge. This took a few layers applied in feathered strokes with thinned paint. Edge highlights were applied with the side of the brush with pure silver on the outer sides of the blade and with the tip of the brush along the line between the blade and flat section. The blade took a good portion of the painting time overall.


Finally, the long highlight stage. I should have taken more photos as there were a couple of steps. First, the scales were painted with a thin layer of Sap Green ink mixed with white paint. This was at glaze density, so more than 50% water. Each scale was painted lightly on the bottom half with strokes towards the tip. Some scales were too irregular to try thin or not easlit accessible so they were lightly drybrushed with the glaze mixture at a slightly thicker density. The big scales were then painted along the edges using the tip of the brush with thinned white paint.  A similar process was done for the sail on the back and the spines. Part of the trick in the highlights of the scales and spines was picking the light direction and trying to highlight from that direction only, so for a basic zenith light, the highlights are on the top edge of a extended feature (scale) and the bottom edge of a depressed feature The skin between the scales was lightly drybrushed with Golden Highlight + white paint, using a bit more white to pick out small dots and scales. A bit of this mixture was used to blend the skin on the hands and fingers.

To finish the scales and skin, glazes of Sap Green, Dioxazene Purple and Magenta ink were applied in various places to add color variation and then re-highlighted to add more contrast. The purple-magenta was added on the scales bordering the belly scales. The belly scales were glazed with Dioxazene Purple ink and then highlighted with Golden Highlight + white paint. A bit of Purlpe ink was glazed on lightly to the skin between the scales also.

The mouth was given successive glazes of Magenta Ink all over, then Red+ Purple ink on the gums and purple ink in the throat. Some pink paint was mixed and used to highlight the gums while thin layers of Golden Highlight and white were used to pick out the teeth. Only the tips got almost pure white. The claws were shaded with Raw Umber ink + black paint, then mixed with white to highlight.

The sword was a pain as it required multiple layers of silver and gold to get the shine, then pure Burnt Umber ink was applied to blade in the shadows to the highlights and keep an overall shine to the blade. The wrappings were painted with a glaze Burnt Umber + white to give a highlight, then had the edges painted with Golden Highlight + white.

The eye was done with Indian Yellow + white as the base, then washed with Burnt Sienna ink, the highlighted with white + Indian yellow again. The iris was a basic vertical black slit and a small dot highlight of white was added in the upper half, bridging the iris a bit.

The base was pretty detailed and probably should have been shown in steps also. Suffice to say, it was base layers of a tan-khaki for the dirt and base Golden Highlight for the stump. Multiple washes of Burnt Umber on the stump were applied, while the dirt got washes of Raw Sienna, black, Sap Green, Purple and Olive. Stones were gray with the same washes as the dirt, more or less. Little shelf fungi were done with Indian Yellow paint + White first, then shaded with Burnt Sienna ink and highlighted with thinned white and Indian Yellow. The stump was highlighted with thinned Golden Highlight, adding little lines and dots all over, then shading with Burnt Umber, Purple and some green inks. Some other toadstools were done in red and white and then I was done with this thing. I think the takeaway on the base is that it has some of the purple shadow colors used in the figure.


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