Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Boromir's Struggle Part 2 - Skin Tones

So with the Cool (mostly blue and violet) tones in place, as well as a general lighting scheme, it was time to start "fleshing out" the palette so to speak.  I reached not for standard "flesh coloured paints" as I normally do, but rather took a chance with a combination shown me by Fernando Ruiz of FER miniatures. He is an amazing artist, and maybe the most entertaining teacher I can remember having. I was Lucky to have the opportunity to do a workshop with him in the spring of 2015 hosted by Bent Bristle Miniatures. It was a really eye opening experience and gave me a lot of courage to push ahead!

The skin in mostly comprised of Vallejo Brown sand, Black Red and Light flesh. I used my Badger Sotar airbrush and sprayed a variety of mixtures and layers of these three colours. The results were REALLY satisfying. I would later add a little bit of Reaper Rosy Shadow and some thin glazes of additional colours (mostly the brown sand and black red mixed with Fernando's "Unicorn
tears" drying retarder) to warm the palette a little more in a very controlled way.

Anonymous by Banshee. So. Damn. Cool.
The left side of Boromir's face was where I had to make some hard decisions. I knew that what I wanted to do was to use a method, similar to that of LOTR director Peter Jackson, to suggest the corrupting influence power of the one ring. In the film Jackson often uses a cooler palette and a blue filter when the ring is being used or influencing the actions of the fellowship.  To do so on a model, however, might suggest to a viewer a strange lighting effect or desire to artificially push blue Object Source Lighting (OSL) - which I didn't want to happen. (This effect can be really amazing - I think to some of the works by Banshee as an example - but it just isn't what I wanted here....)
So I looked around at some artists and images that I felt used this kind of filter successfully and went for it anyway. Bottom line - I wanted the effect no matter what. Even if judges may have not taken it the intended way, I knew what I wanted for me and I was not going to step back from it now!

Here are a couple of the inspirational colour references I used:

A painting by the legendary Frank Frazetta and a great image from an advertisement for the show Vikings. Both of these use light and colour in really interesting ways (I someday hope to sculpt and/or paint Ragnar piece as a bust or model using this scheme! I am considering doing the one by sculptor Juan M Puerta from Scale 75...have to wait until I can afford it though and, in all honesty I am hoping nuts planet will do a bust to match the shield maiden first ;P ).  So, to play up the warm cool contrast and to add even more filtering of blue in the left side of  the face I used the initial blue shading I showed in the previous post and added some more sprayed in filters using Badger Ghost tints and some VGC Blues amongst the layers of flesh tones. I included less of the yellowish sand colour in this side of the face as well.

 I also added some of these same filters into the shadows on the left side of the cloak and into the hair. In the end I was pretty satisfied overall!

It really is amazing how you can make such fantastic skin tones with different colours - I really recommend anyone who is looking to push their skill sets ahead to start experimenting and learning about this concept! Later I would push and pull these values more dramatically with my paintbrush but for now I felt REALLY good about the direction it was taking. The sketch was now done - it was time to add detail.

Next we tackle the scariest part of the whole process - the complex damask pattern and colour filters for the clothing  :P

Cya Soon
James K. Craig AKA TKKultist

1 comment:

Bexley said...

I just spent the last half hour googling various combinations of "unicorn tears Fernando Ruiz drying retarder" to no avail. You gonna let us in on the secret? ;)