Monday, October 29, 2012

Boltguns & Brushstrokes- Painting Cloth

Howdy Trukkers!
For this installment of Boltguns & Brushstrokes, we’re going to look at painting cloth effects. This has a very simple initial setup, following a three-step layering process that creates shading and a highlight by following the contours of the model.  You can stop at that point, as you will have an effect that’s fit for the tabletop. Or, you can continue on and challenge yourself, and create a convincing effect with only a little more work.

Getting convincing cloth effects is an exercise in blending and the application of glazes. To do cloth effects truly well, you must be able to blend. The most important thing to remember with blending is that you’re not actually mixing paint on the model. It’s really a bit of a misnomer—blending is actually spreading the paint too thin on the model. Think of it as putting a square of butter in the center of a large slice of bread. You then take the knife, and spread it away from the center. The most butter will still be in the center, and less will be further away from the center, but still be there from being spread. It’s the same basic idea with blending—you start by placing a line of paint at the highlight point, and then draw it out until you can’t see any paint at all. It creates a gradient effect. Ideally, you use a clean, sharp brush and glaze medium to draw the paint out, but any brush you normally paint with and water will do.

We'll be demonstrating using an Ordo Malleus Inquisitor.

After priming the model black, I started with a basecoat of GW Khorne Red on all the cloth areas. This is a rich mid-tone, and covers well. It’s mostly going to be covered up later, so don’t worry if it’s not a particularly smooth coat.

Next, I apply a layer of RMS Carnage Red, avoiding the deepest recesses. This will be the main color of the cloak.

And then, I apply a highlight of RMS Magma Red. Simple three stage layering technique. But, as you can see, this is a bit splotchy looking, and needs to be smoothed out.

I’ll now add a glaze of GW Baal Red (Carroburg Crimson is the new one, which is significantly darker—if you have the new Shade, be sure to cut it with some water), and then a glaze of GW Bloodletter. These two steps together even out the colors, and smooth out the transitions between shades.

So now, we’re going to do some blending. I’m going to mix up even parts Carnage Red and Magma Red, to create a midtone between the first layer and highlight from the three stage process.  I’m going to place the first line to be drawn out on the raised folds of the cloak, and draw it out towards the recess. I use glaze medium to thin the paint out, rather than water. This gives me more control over the brushstrokes and maintains an even consistency in the paint—I want to thin it on the model, not disperse the pigment itself. Thinning using water disperses the pigment, while glaze medium “floats” the color instead while keeping the same density of pigment in the medium.

It's easier to see the blending effect on the folds of the cloth from this angle. 

Then, I apply Magma Red on its own, again, blending towards the recesses.

Finally, I apply a 75-25 mix of Magma Red and RMS Desert Tan. This lightens the red a bit without turning it pink. This gets applied to the edges and the most raised portions of the cloak to create a sheer effect. I do not blend this, but rather, apply it as a layer.

I then "erase" elements of the edges of the previous layer in a manner that's functionally very similar to blending by applying targeted glazes of GW Bloodletter. This creates a distortion effect from light hitting a sheer surface without actually creating artificial highlights on the contours of the model. It also evens out the final previous highlight layer.

After putting some paint on the rest of the model, we end up with this.

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