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So these are a couple of "mantis warriors" which I'm painting up as thri-kreen, the insectoid race from the Dark Sun and Spelljammer D&D settings. They are Reaper's 03552: Klichik, Mantis Warrior (the taller one), sculpted by John Winter, and 03142: Zizzix, Mantis Warrior (the squatter one), sculpted by Michael Brower.
Here they are for scale (and unassembled) with Reaper's 03155: Vandora Waverunner, Pirate, sculpted by Bob Ridolfi.
Straight out of the package they have a very flat silhouette.
Here they are assembled, primed, and washed with thinned-down Burnt Umber. I gently bent some of their limbs forward to ease the flatness a tad.
One source said all thri-kreen were golden brown; another said they were earthy shades of red, yellow, and sometimes green. I decided to paint the taller one red and the shorter one yellow.
I mixed some dull, opaque colors using Iron Oxide Red and Yellow, each mixed with a greying-down blend of browns and white, and brushed them on thinly.
As god is my witness, this thing is not so pink in real life.
I painted this same yellow on both of the creatures' bases.
Then I washed over them with some thinned-down Burnt Umber.
To be continued!
The new Deepstar Kraken model is coming out soon for DeepWars and I painted up this one for display using a lot of inks and liquid acrylics. This model (not really a miniature when this big) was done in different stages. The base painting was done with blue skin and light tentacles. The mantle and top of the tentacles were given two washes of Marine Blue (Ultramarine) liquid acrylics (Dr. Phil Martins brand) mixed with matte medium and water. When the first was dry, the second was applied. The underside of the tentacles was done with a mix of Cerulean Blue ink (Liquitex) + white paint + Matte medium and water.
After removing from the base, as it was making it difficult to reach the bottom of the tentacles, I applied many light blue glazes (Cerulean Blue + Ultramarine Blue + White) for highlights and some dark (Ultramarine Blue) glazes for shadows. The goal was to make the blending mostly smooth but not to go overboard and spend too long on it. The reason will become clear soon.
The next stage was the big one. Dots of blue-green, green, yellow-green, white and various shades of orange and Burnt Umber were applied to the mantle and tentacles. This was done using Liquitex inks and Phil Martin liquid acrylics to make sure the dots were very pure in color and, more importantly, flowed evenly off the end of the brush, which was held and used like a pen. After the dots had dried, glazes of inks colors were applied, yellow-green to the mantle and tips of tentacles and bright orange to the “face”. When this dried, more dots were applied over them and highlights were applied to some of the dots using a bit of white or yellow mixed into the ink.
The eyes were done with yellow liquid acrylic mixed with white, black, and a bit of blue as the base. It was highlighted with more white and a touch of yellow. The black iris was painted, then more white highlights were applied around it to clean it up. Finally, the big highlight was added at the top with thinned white. The eyes were not painted as gems (bright bottom, dark top with hot-spot secular reflection) here as the light was meant to be diffused by the water. Maybe next time. The base was done with washes of Burnt Sienna ink first, then washes of Pthalho blue and Marine Blue ink to darken the rocks. it was all drybrushed with Americana brand Buttermilk, then some glazes of greens, magentas and purples were added to the sponges and corals. The barnacles were drybrushed with some white to make them stand out.
Hello! I've recently started working on a diorama, and a friend of mine urged me to post here. The only thing that is missing from the pictures below is the kelp that will be behind the kraken (on the little pads on the back side of the base). It is some floppy aquarium kelp that I"m currently trying to figure out how to get it to stand up straight. Tips, tricks, C&C are all welcomed.
Here is the pre-primed coral wall in varying states of sand coverage. The coral is planned to be very brightly colored.
You can see the kelp pads in the pic above.
Base with Kraken for staging verification:
Here is the almost finished diver, who goes in the slot in front of the Kraken. This drab, dirty human looking down at his feet while the kraken looms above is one of my favorite parts, tbh.
Here is one more step by step painting tutorial for the Sea Serpent for DeepWars, Blood Reef. This scaly creature is related to dragons so it has very heavy scales that work well with washes and glazes. Inks are Liquitex Pro inks and the Matte Medium is by Liquitex. Paints are Golden Fluid Acrylics. White and black are standard Americana brand craft paint.
The first step was to paint the whole body in a light yellow shade over white primer, leaving only the mouth white. This was left to dry.
Next, the body was given a wash of Pthalho Green ink, mixed with a touch of Sap Green ink, mixed with Matte Medium and water. The fins and mouth were washed with a Magenta ink, medium and water mix. The ratio of ink/medium/water was around 40/40/20. This was allowed to dry fully before the next step.
Now comes the ugly step of shading down everything. The body, fins and mouth was washed with a mixture of Violet ink and a bit of black paint to darken it, and mixed with medium and water. The ratio was 20/30/50, so thin enough to go into all of the cracks but not so dark that it stained all of the green into oblivion. This was allowed to dry fully before moving onto highlighting.
Finally, the step that makes everything pop out of the shadows again. The scales wee lightly drybrushed with wet layers of a mixture of Cerulean Blue ink, Sap Green ink and white paint. This was like a drybrush with a glaze, with the mixture at around 20/80, paint+ink to water. The key was to try to be subtle and give a bit more softness to the shading on the scales. The idea is not to paint completely over the green scales though or even to add a bright blueish highlight. After the glaze-drybrush, edges were painted in thinned white paint using the tip of a brush. This seems a bit tedious but is quicker than you may think since only the portion of the scale facing the light needs to be highlighted. Some scales on the neck behind the head needed a bit more highlight in the center, so a very thin glaze of thinned white was applied with the tip of the brush.
The mouth was given washes of black to shade it more, then highlighted with thinned white, then glazed with Magenta ink. The tongue was shaded with Dioxazene purple ink, then highlighted with Magenta ink + white. fins were highlighted on the edges with white, then had some tiny white dots added for additional texture. The eyes were done with yellow over white, shaded with Burnt Sienna ink, then given a black slit pupil and hotspot reflection of pure white.
To finish things off, the body was shaded with glazed of Deep Violet ink + black paint + medium and water (20/40/40) ratio of color, medium and water. adding the color more to the bottom of the body. An additional glaze of Pthalho Blue ink was applied to deepen the shadows. When these glazes dried, some scale edge highlights needed to be re-applied.
The base was done with Raw Sienna ink first, then when dry, given a wash of Pthalho Blue ink + medium and water. Corals were glazed in Burnt Sienna ink and Violet ink. When all dry, it was drybrushed with a light golden sand paint.
It has been a while since the last post, but here is a quick, step-by-step painting guide to the Silver Death Fish for DeepWars. This model is suspiciously similar to an ancient Xiphactinus fish, but has slightly different fins, with a few finlets near the tail like a tuna. This model was primed in white and painted using the techniques very similar to the Dire Fish-Lizard from the AMG painting guide, Painting Scaly Beasts. The key was to use washes and glazes to give it the basic colors, then lighten sections with thinned white paint and make edges pop with pure white. The majority of the colors were Liquitex Professional Acrylic Ink, while paint was Golden Fluid Acrylics and Americana white and black. All ink was mixed with Liquitex Matte Medium and water to give it more body to flow into the cracks. Otherwise it tended to stain the scales instead of flow into them.
So the first step was to paint the upper sides, back with very thin washes, almost glazes, of Deep Turquoise ink and medium. The mixture was around 20% ink, 40% medium and 40% water. These are not exact numbers, but the mixture was light enough to apply color and flow into scales but left a lot of lightness. A key here was to set the model upside down while it dried so the color did not flow down the entire body. When it was dry, the next color applied was Quinacriadone Magenta ink, painted in a very light glaze around the middle of the body and onto parts of the head and the fins. The mixture was more about the same density as before but less was held on the brush so it did not run everywhere. The model was held upside normally while applying this glaze also. Next, The head, belly and lower body was painted with a glaze of the original turquoise mixture. Finally, a wash of Pthalho Blue ink (same medium and water percentage as before) was applied on the top of the back. The model was inverted and light brush strokes were used to push the glaze further down the back and blend it with the Turquoise scales.
The next step was basic shading, done with more glazes or Pthalho Blue ink on the back and Turquoise ink on the sides, going over the Magenta scales. This glaze was very thin, closer to 10% ink, 40% medium and 50% water, with the here to tie all of the colors together with blue. Also applied were glazes of black paint mixed with Pthalho blue ink onto the top of the back and in the mouth. It looks pretty messy now, but you can make out the basic idea of the light and shadow.
When all of the color had dried, the next stage was adding basic highlights. This was done with slightly thinned white paint, maybe 60/40 paint and water, applied lightly onto areas that would reflect light. This mixture was used with very careful drybrushing in multiple layers on the scales to build up edge highlights. It is important to brush perpendicular to the scales and not scrub in all directions here as otherwise the scales just get a coating of white. The goal is to just do the edges of the scales lightly and build up layers. Also, a glaze of white was applied along the upper third of the body to increase lightness there, allowing it to flow into the cracks and all. This glaze is just paint and water and was "scrubbed" around a bit with the brush to blend it. This technique is also called "feathering" but is basically just quick brush strokes to reduce the sharp edge of the glaze.
The final stage was done with edge highlights of more white paint, mixed with less water, around 80% paint, 20% water. This mixture was used for some edge drybrushing on the scales, and on the fins and teeth, with some additional black paint glazed in the mouth and around the base of the teeth. This mixture was uses with a fine brush to pick out scales using the tip of the brush to add highlights where the drybrush missed. Some pure white paint was used on scales that were lightened in the previous step. On the fins, the edges were highlighted with 80/20 white, but some fine line details were added with 50/50 white using a fine-tipped brush. To finish off the glazes, a light mixture of Raw Sienna ink and Primary Yellow paint (10% color, 40% medium, 50% water) was applied along the middle of the body, above the magenta section, and on the head and around the eye. The eye was painted with a mixture of yellow and white paint, with a black pupil and a tiny dot of pure white for a hotspot reflection.
The base was done in steps similar to the body, with a wash of Burnt Sienna paint, medium and water (20/40/40), then when dry, two washes of Pthalho Blue ink (20/40/40) to build up color. The base had some small cracks in it that were filled with extra Matte Medium and allowed to dry, then painting over them. Sections of sponges were painted with Pure Burnt Sienna ink and the starfish was done with Dioxazene Purple ink + white paint. Some Sap Green ink was applied as a glaze to add more color to the rock.
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