Sunday, 3 July 2016

Metalwork and Leather

The bits I'm painting on my ork at the moment are metal; gun, claw hand and boot covers.

I want to go a step above the normal approach of black, metallic, wash, highlight and maybe some scratches. Get some texture and miniature realism in there! Any time I do something new I prefer to collect a bunch of images and examples to emulate rather than wade in blind.

First I rummaged through online photographic libraries for different types of metals to find what kindof thing theyd look like.

In typical lore Orks are not careful with their equipment, either in battles or when it comes to maintenance work. I wanted to go for a beaten, well used and poorly looked after look to everything on the model. One thing that stood out to me is how... unmetallic all the photos of metal I looked at were. Quite far from what shines back at you from any pot of silver paint.

I didnt want to dive into non-metallic metal out of the gate. It requires too much brush skill and know how than I have yet. Instead I decided to try painting on some texture similar to what you can see above, on the metal parts of the model.

Not completely succesful. I would get what looked like the start of some texture down and then go to far and end up with a smooth silver blend. Over working and my brush strokes were too heavy. I wanted to make tiny dots and scratches but would put down marks I thought were too visibly "brush-like" and work it over.

In the end Ive settled for doing a smooth blend of lead belcher + black to pure boltgun metal with black glazes. I might go back later on to try and introduce the texture I was going for but I dont want to let myself just paint one element repeatedly until I think its perfect. I know from experience I never think anything is finished and dont want to stop redoing it.

Instead I moved on to trying out painting the leather on the model. This was easier than the metal because there were plenty of mini painting tutorials on painting the type of leather I wanted to have. I was surprised by how difficult it was to find any tutorials on painting damaged metal to be honest. Come to think of it, I couldnt find any examples of what I wanted on any minis I looked through either.

My approach to learning new things is to find and emulate lots of examples before I feel confident enough to make stuff up. I hate the sensation, if I try doing something new without an arsenal of known methods and tricks, that I'm wasting time on something that wont work out and I wont be able to recover. So for stuff like this I start by finding examples that are aesthetically pleasing and doing my own ham handed versions of them.

I have trouble imagining what I want without references to base it on - my brain is too permanently frazzled to hold specific images in mind and know how to translate it into reality. With words, concepts, or action its easy. Specific static images I cant do at all. What a good characteristic for a wanna be artist!

The combination of this with not having refined brush skills makes me very unwilling to jump in blind. Hence all the rambling and collecting images and tutorials all the time.

Back to the leather!

These were the guides I found that gelled with how I imaged the final Ork.

I know I just said I cant imagine how things look; I do have a general sense of the impression I want things to give and the art style I want to achieve. I can hold rough colour schemes, effects and tone in my head. Just not how it is expressed technically.

Another reason I like setting out looking for particular tutorials and WIPs is its a very good way of stumbling across blogs and resources you wouldn't have come across otherwise.

Like this blog with these two leather tutorials;

Not updated for a year but still an archive of great painting and walk throughs.

And more;

Neither elements on the model turned out as well as I aim for, but it's all an improvement in brush work nontheless. I definitely got some more visual interest on the claw than I'd normally get, but the shoe covers just look like I'm bad at putting a wash on.

The trousers I had problems with one of the colours I used - the base was a mix of brown and yellow to try and recreate a colour similar to citadels old ochre foundation paint. The yellow I used is too old and the some of its has turned into tiny dry balls in the main body. Gave up getting a smooth coat and covering the texture problems to save my sanity.

I had real trouble with the face plate on his chest - I had absolutely no idea how to paint it and in the end just went with dry brushed metal to get it over and done with.

The leather on the shoes and top proved to be too difficult for me. I couldnt get it to look like texture rather than badly applied brush strokes. Colour choices weren't great either. The leather weapon holder on his back I was happier with. Having given up on texturing the shoes I focused on putting down some more colour variation here instead. It looks better.

The skin is the part I felt I have done best on. I wanted to push it more but ran out of both time and patience. Perhaps after taking a break on another model I'll be happy coming back and putting more work in. I tried using yellow wash and glaze to bring out some final highlight layers but that actually just messed up my final few layers of work. Beginning to get suspicious of the quality of several things I bought from games workshop recently. The tiny yellow dots you can see on the model are from the glaze and something I couldnt remove without scratching the paint around off.

I havent glued the whole thing together and sculpted the joins because I anticipated not being happy with the results and stripping it to start over.

Nothing turned out the way I wanted to or expected. I definitely improved my brush skills and general approach to painting, however, so it's far from a waste of time and effort.

Onto the next tiny plastic thing!

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