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Crystal Dragon (Bones V WIP)

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So after seeing the design for the fairy dragon in B6, I got excited to paint a very pretty dragon.


While the Fairy Dragon and my iridescent paint scheme are 2 years away, I can scratch the itch by finally painting the Crystal Dragon from B5.


I started by scouring the web for some inspiration.


I found a few dragon designs:




I also found some art of some crystals that fit the color palette I was thinking of.





With these photos I settled on a paint scheme of pinks, blues, teals, and purples. I hope I can get some more pastel looks in some spots and vivid colors in others.




I've always struggled with gemstone painting. I understand it in theory, and I've improved as a painter since the last time I tried it. So I'm hoping in better equipped. But jumping into a big dragon didn't seem wise.


So I dug up the unpainted crystal clusters from Bones 4 (I believe) and decided to test the paint scheme on them to get some practice.


I glued the crystals and the dragon's base to some round bases and did a bit of work.


They all got some terrain paste, and small decorative rocks to extend the crystals out further into the base.




The dragon's base got a few extra base crystals made my sanding some bass wood. I'm pleased with the results and I'll be grumpy at me for making extra work later.




This guy's gonna be trouble to paint.


I'm not sure if I should make the central pillar a crystal or a stone. Stone will help the dragon stand out against it, but it is tempting to paint as a crystal. 


Also not sure if I want all the crystals to be that pastel blend or if I want some to be the purple-pink color.  I have enough crystals to do some of each. Hesitant to paint the dragon differently because the small crystals are meant to give me practice for the big guy.  Though if everything is the same there might not be enough contrast. But in the wild I imagine him blending in.


Might paint a blend of both styles so that the body of the dragon can be pastel and the wing membrane can be purple. And any extra details on him I need to stand out can be purple as well.


Might throw him into Photoshop and test some schemes. 


Also this guy will be physically difficult to paint. I need him off the base to paint but he's got such a weird pose. Going to have to frequently take parts on and off to get him painted. But in excited to bring him to life. 

Edited by MoonglowMinis
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Made a bit of progress on the smaller crystals.


They got primed in black and then a base coat of a dark grey- Noir Black and Rainy Grey. Rather than a traditional zenithal, I hit them a few more times working in more Rainy Grey and then a bit of Pure White.


I figured I'd be covering the crystals anyways and shading backwards to get the crystal effect. So this basecoat was mostly to help me see and to get a mid tone on the piece to make the next steps easier.


I also drybrushed the base with some rainy grey and pure white.




Decided to commit to the two-tone crystals. So I blocked out colors using Icy Violet and Carnival Purple. Also washed the base with Noir Black. While washing I also worked in subtle hints of Icy Violet, Carnival Purple, Marine Teal, Spectral Glow, and Pale Violet Red. Just to break up the grey and pull some of the crystal colors down into the earth.




Started working on the "blue" crystals. Began working a gradient from Icy Violet to Spectral Glow.




Continued to push the gradient from spectral Glow into pure white




Glazed a bit of Icy Violet back into the dark spots to bring back some of the color I'd lost. Then edge highlighted in Pure White.




I was pretty pleased with the result so I repeated on the rest of the blues.




Repeated on the other two clusters as well.  Some of the glass rocks I added were a bit irregular and turned out a bit muddier, but the overall effect seems to be a success.




I'm planning on working the purple into pink. I think they'll compliment each other nicely. I'm thinking I'll be able to use both colors on the dragon itself. Bluish body, purple wing membrane. Maybe even throw some of the purple crystals onto some other details. Maybe play around with glazes to get some extra color variation.


Anyways. Happy enough with the results and have a bit more confidence that I can get something close to my vision. 


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Finished the little crystals today.


I worked the pink crystals from Carnival Purple to Pale Violet Red.




And from there up to a mix of Pale Violet Red and Pure White.




Then an edge highlight of Pure White. I then glazed them with Pale Red Violet to bring the saturation back, and glazed the "shadows" with Carnival Purple. 




Finished all 3. Painted the rims black.




Then a matte sealer followed by brush on gloss on the crystals. 


And they were done.




I'm pleased with the results. Definitely think this is a good proof of concept for the dragon.


I still think I might glaze in a bit more color on the dragon. Thinking some teal would help give it a bit more life. 

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Got some paint on the dragon today!


Primed the base and the body black. While I was priming the body I suddenly decided I wanted to keep the wing membrane translucent. This started an evening of overthinking and testing. I hit the wings with matte clear spray and brushed on white paint over the areas I intended to paint opaque. This was a recommendation I had seen to help make the model cleaner when viewing those areas through the translucent spots.




With the priming done my brain began turning and stalling out. I've always avoided painting transparent minis. I don't really like the way they usually look so I just paint over them. So I don't have any experience or any recommended paints on hand. I didn't want to wait for new supplies to come in the mail so I tested some things I had on the translucent cap of a spray paint can. Nothing seemed to be going right so I asked facebook and eventually realized I was overthinking it.


Grabbed paint and an airbrush and a few minutes later I had the result I was looking for.




Pinkish wings that gradient to a more opaque purple.




They also look good with light shining through them.


I think the color will look good next to the pink crystals as well. Debating whether or not I should paint some white on the edges of the wings and the folds. I'm leaning towards no though.


Excited to keep chugging along on this beauty!

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Finally made a bit more progress on this guy. Please excuse the photo quality. I got a new phone and I can't quite get the settings to work for me.




Base coated most of the dragon in Rich Indigo. And based the purple spines in Carnival Purple. I was originally planning on painting the underbelly and claw details in a paler version of the blue crystals but this changed as I progressed.




I started slapping some paint on the dragon and quickly realized my blue crystals were too pale to have a lighter variant for the underbelly, so I switched to a peachier color to add some contrast. Blended from Bruised Purple to Rosy Highlight to white. Some of the Rich Indigo still shows through which is fine with me.


I based the entire underbelly on both halves of the dragon.




I moved on to working on more of the blue scales and the head, spending extra time on the head.  With something as potentially tedious as crystals, I'm allowing myself to be a bit messy in some areas like the small scales. While the larger scales and focus areas get extra attention. 




Also painted the purple spines on the front half of the dragon. By keeping the color palette simple, I'm not worried about remixing the colors.


Pretty happy with the results so far. It definitely looks better in person so I'll try to get better photos when it's done.


Feeling more confident that it will turn out the way im envisioning. And finally got past the base coating stage which was really wearing on me

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