Hello and happy Winter Wonderland weekend. I hope everyone on the east coast is thawed from the big blizzard that hit last week and has planned some fun activities now that it’s beautiful outside. For those of you who are working today, I’ll be joining you to ensure every game night tonight has some fantastic pizza. I spent the blizzard playing games with my friends instead of painting but I’m ok with that. Sometimes it’s good to remember that’s there’s a really fun game underneath all those figures. So let’s look at how one of those games are progressing.
On these pieces I tried to focus on really nailing down my blending and getting bolder and brighter highlights. I’m feeling more skilled with the wet pallet now and I find myself mixing paint with a little more confidence. That isn’t to say these pieces are perfect. I’m still missing mold lines when cleaning and I rely on washes too heavily. Which makes getting bright colors that pop difficult.
When painting I always use a color Wheel to help me plan how I want the mini to look beforehand. For these minis I chose to use Triad colors. Which for Green is Purple and for Red is Blue. You don’t have to live and die by the rules of your color wheel and you can experiment with tons of tones within a spectrum of color. But understanding color is essential to any visual art and when I started studying it there was a sudden jump in my miniature’s quality. To achieve the highlights on the clothing I simply added more and more white to my purple color mix.
After finishing the Boss Monster it was just down to the small details. I used some different shades of brown stripes to create straps and did a white highlight over dirty bone to make all the boots look furry at the top. Then everything was sprayed with crystal acrylic finish and after curing for a day a final Matt finishing spray to tone down the plastic shine look. Doing these sprays will alter your color a little (usually by darkening your colors a bit) but it’s worth it to get the protection needed when fingers will be rubbing the pieces for hours when playing. You can compensate by making the colors a shade brighter than you want them.
These Cave Spiders look deceptively easy to paint, but don’t let them fool you. Shades of black can be notoriously difficult to get right. For starters there are so many different shades from light gray to coal black. And Black can be warm or cold depending on the color scheme you choose for your miniature. A great resource for painters of all stages is the group Massive Voodoo. They did an amazing breakdown of how shades of black can be warmed to almost red or cooled to almost blue. I’ll post a link to that great resource. I chose to go with a warm black to better match the red symbols on the spiders backs. I also tried a cooler green tinted black for the boss spider.
Next comes the tedious task of trying to find the right shades and locations for the highlights. I used a glazing technique where you water down the paint to a very thin consistency and then paint layer after layer in the same place to slowly get a blended highlight. It’s a great way to get the smoothest blending but it’s a very time consuming technique so if you are just trying to get the game painted and start playing ASAP then it may not be for you. I also similarly highlighted the tops of the head, legs, and antennas.
To create the spooky symbol in the back you’ll want to work in two steps. First highlight the black fur with a lighter shade all over the back. (This is where a wet pallet really starts to come in handy) When you are happy with how the fur looks take some dark red and draw whatever symbol you choose on the back. Then lighten that color (if your using red lighten with an orange paint) and dry brush only on the fur with the symbol. You can lighten more and repeat for a more dramatic effect. I believe I lightened and dry brushed three times before I achieved the look I wanted.
The mouth was easy and consisted of a dirty bone base with an umber wash. Then I dry brushed a mix of dirty bone and white applying paint more heavily towards the bottoms of the the mouth. The claws are painted with the same colors as the symbol with red tipping to orange white.
P.S. I seem to be having some issues linking the website for Massive Voodoo through WordPress so here is the site address to copy if you need to