Monday, January 27, 2014

Painting With Actual Colors

The end of session one.  
With a couple painting deadlines just over the horizon, and with my the plague that knocked me on my ass for a week or so finally (hopefully) behind me, it's time to get the painting machine going.  This process has been underway for a couple days, so there will be more pictures than usual.  I'm sure you'll find a way to push through.

I've talked a couple times about how I want to push my limits a bit with this new project.  Some chances have already fallen short, notably jack construction, while others have yet to be given the chance to be pushed aside.  Of particular note for this post is painting approach.  I'm trying out a few things: following a studio scheme (more or less), painting with a reference, and trying out the PP style of shading and highlighting.  Basics remain unchanged, so my first session was still blocking in colors and applying a wash (even if the wash didn't go down until session two).

About halfway through session two.  Whites are done.
Despite this regular approach, I was still incorporating a new element.  Continuing my sweaty bear hug of new, mobile tech, this time I was painting with an open iPad.  Since I'm following the studio scheme I don't have to worry so much about figuring out what color goes where, provided I have a reference handy.  In the past this would have involved having the Forces book on hand, lots of flipping and propping, and likely deviations when I don't want to wrestle brush and book and model simultaneously.  Fortunately the PP gallery has examples of everything I'm likely to need (even if the 360 views don't work on the iPad).  While handy, this method also causes a slight existential painting style crisis.

End of session two.
I like to do things my own way.  If this means I reinvent the wheel on occasion, then that's the price I have to pay.  This also means I rarely, if ever, follow a studio scheme step for step.  My Blood Angels are pretty close, and what Empire I have done follows the scheme suggestions despite there being few examples of that scheme.  Technically my Khador is a studio scheme, just not the studio scheme, and it has enough variations by now that it's at least as much my own work as any variation on a classical composer.  I've talked at length about how much I like the studio Menoth scheme so I won't do it again, except to say that I'm not confident that any changes I make would be for the best.  (Side note: that's not entirely true.  I don't really like the mostly purple "red" of the studio scheme, so I'm doing a standard dark red instead.)

My take on PP-style shading, end of session two.
The most striking part of any PP paint job is the shading, which I think of as creative shading.  To me, this means their approach to shading is less about realism and more about using contrast to emphasis details.  My normal approach is what I'd call logical shading, meaning that things are brighter if there's light and darker if not.  You can imagine how odd is trying to employ the PP style and how handy it is to have the iPad reference right in front of me.  I'm fairly pleased with the results so far, despite what the pictures show.  This is the rarest of birds where the actual models look better than their photographic counterparts.  Trying to shade/highlight metallics has been the same fruitless endeavor that I keep plugging away at anyway.  This pair of models is almost complete and would be done now if not for my old nemesis, the full palette.  Still outstanding are blacks, hair, touch ups, cobblestones (the original plan was for red bricks, but it was soon clear that was a poor choice, so they'll be standard blue/grey/black), and arc markings.  Not much at all.

A little more red on the wrists.
In other news, and to fill some space for this last picture, I'm at work trying to get a list together for the rapidly approaching Journeyman league.  This year is a bit different than the last few in that the focus is on getting to know all the nooks and crannies of a single list instead of trying to tackle an entire faction.  I've been preparing for the Journeyman, but in line with the older model, which means I'm now looking at trimming 3-5 lists down to a single one.  On the one hand this is a boon as it cuts my painting queue down to a very manageable size.  On the other hand I'll be more or less locked into a single list with a faction I've barely dipped a toe into.  Odds are I'll be running pKreoss or perhaps pSevy, though the possibility of eFeora or Vindictus still exists.  The big problem here is that I want to run everything and obviously can't.  The biggest draw of Menoth for me is jacks, so I want to have a solid wall of iron, but I also want to try out all the fancy new (to me) infantry as well.  I lack the experience with the faction to determine what to keep and what to cut, who can handle all the jacks and who wants more mans, all the list building nuances.  The festivities kick off three weeks from now, so I'll have a bit of time to learn and will hopefully be able to make a more informed decision between Zealots, Errants, or both, and the jacks that will ultimately do the work.


  1. Holy crap, that Vigilant is coming out great!

  2. Agreed! I'm excited to see it in person next week.