Friday, August 13, 2010

Feral Warpwolf

Here's the newest addition to my Circle Orboros army:





This is my first experiment with blending. Usually I use a 3-layer technique, starting with the darkest shade and adding two layers of progressively brighter highlights. As you can see in the Gorax from my last post, each brush stroke stands out and there is no attempt to smooth the transition between one stroke and another.


When I'm working as an illustrator or industrial designer, this is my favorite way to paint. On the plus side, it makes the finished painting look energetic and "painterly" (that's sort of the same thing as "impressionistic" or "sketchy"). But up close it also looks a bit ragged and unrealistic. This is a great way remind a client that he's looking at a sketch or illustration, rather than a finished product. But I want my miniatures to look a little more convincing.

A painterly illustration from my days
as a genre fiction illustrator.
Do you see the unblended brush strokes?


So it's time to try blending. Our summer weather makes wet blending difficult, so I opted for several nearly transparent layers instead. You can still see the steps, but the transitions are much subtler. I think, with some practice, I'll be able to produce some very smooth gradients with this technique.

Despite all the extra layers, this type of painting didn't take much longer usual. The Feral Warpwolf took about 12 hours, about the same as the Gorax. This is probably due to two things. My skills are improving (I hope). And since each layer is relatively faint, I don't have to worry about making it perfect.

The Feral Warpwolf was a very satisfying model and a great learning experience.

Next up: a unit of Shifting Stones.

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