Friday, 31 March 2017
Bust out the paints
Inspired by all the amazing work I'd seen on various sites along with reading Figure Painter Magazine (well worth checking out for painting type stuff). I've been itching to paint a bust for a while, and I must of made this clear as my amazing and long suffering wife surprised me with a a couple for my birthday recently.
The two I got were both from Model Display Products and produced by War Griffon Miniatures. Now as I know nothing about busts she couldn't ask me for advice so instead just chose sculpts that she liked (always the best way to choose).
The busts I got were the "evil warrior" and "flower princess" both looked really fun to paint and amazing quality so they jumped straight to the top of my painting queue.
Minimal clean up was needed out side of a quick wash and brush, then they were primed and ready to go.
I started with the warrior as he seemed the simpler of the two and being around 30mm high he was closer to what I'd normally paint. The first thing that struck me was that despite be small for a bust the amount of space I had to work with was amazing compared to the miniatures that I'm used to. While I was planning out what I wanted to with him I put a thin wash of red over the flesh and black over the armour, this was just to help pick out the detail and help me decide what to do.
I decided to keep him simple when it came to colours and try to focus more on my light and shade to add character. Starting on the skin I tried to work from very dark in low left up to light in high right. I tried to take my time and really map out how I wanted the shades as I wanted a clear transition between the sides of his face as the light would fall.
The plan was to have four or five shades of the skin with the darkest being to left shadow, the lightest colour from the left would then be the darkest from the right and up to lightest for right highlights.
This process to a fair amount of trial and error to make it look natural but I'm please with the final result. I found it helpful to refer back to a photo of the bust right next to my light to help me see how the shadows sat.
Next step was the armour. I'd be practising NMM for a while and while I can get it passable on a small area larger surfaces need a lot more thought to get right. As with the skin I tried to uses four or five shades of one colour to get the effect. The blending on the armour should be neater and also some clearer highlight would have help define areas more but I'm happy that I think it looks like metal enough to work.
Overall I have to say that my first trial at painting a bust was really fun and it's defiantly something that will become a regular part of my hobby time (Wyrd if you want to start selling Malifaux busts so I can combined my hobby project that would be appreciated). I learnt loads about painting faces from having so much detail to work with and would recommend to everyone to give it a try.
The finish work is now sitting on my bookshelf looking cross with all who pass.
I've also started the Flower princess, wife and sprog have "helped" me decide on a colour scheme for her and she's coming along well I'll do a follow up post in a few years when the hair is finally finished...