Monday, December 21, 2015

Mantic Elf Dragon Lord WiP: Part 2

In this post, Ryan paints up the red of his Mantic Dragon, as well as the dark brown he will be using for the top scales and top sides of the wings.
This is part two of a WiP project for the Brush With Death: Texas contest (and is cross-linked there). The contestants are challenged to paint up a model from Mantic Games, straight out of the box, with little to no modification.
Part 1 of the project, the assembly/prep, can be found here.

Color Scheme

I decided to go for a very generic take on this dragon, as I wanted it to show off just how good the Mantic dragon could look with a generic paint job. For this, I deliberately mirrored the color scheme used by the Mantic box artist: a red dragon with light brown on the underside, and dark brown on top. The only difference I used was the coloration of the wing membranes: the Mantic painter chose to go with a bone white for both top and bottom. In reality, most flying creatures are colored light on the bottom and dark on top, to make for aerial camouflage. As a result, my dragon will be painted with dark brown on the "top" sides of his wings, and light brown on the underside.
I'm going with black primer because I'll be doing five layers for each shade, so I don't need the vibrancy of white, and because I don't want to have to blackline the model.

Primed black, to allow for easier shading of model recesses

The Scales

Red Layer 1 : 3 drops Gory Red, 1 drop SS Camo Black Brown, 1 drop water

I used a fairly typical red scheme for this one, as I didn't want to go too crazy with blends or layers.  This brown is a tint I generally use for darkening reds without bringing it all the way to black; the brown gives it a warmer tone, and ties it in with the brown tones I'll be using for the scales.
Red Layer 1, left side
I used a Winsor-Newton Series 7, size 1 for this coat, and took care to leave the black edging between the scales; this will bring out the natural contours and texture of the model.

Red Layer 1, right side

Red Layer 2: 3 drops Vallejo Red, 1 drop Vallejo Bloody Red, 1 drop water

The gory red tends to go a bit maroon on me, so after the first layer I swapped up to Vallejo Red, from their Model Color line. The scales were simple layering, but I started adding texture work here to some areas that I thought needed it, particularly around the face and wing "fingers".
Red Layer 2, right side
This layer was done with a Winsor-Newton Series 7, size 0 brush.
Red Layer 2, left side
As you can see from the close-up, this layer started the detail work that would convey the skin texture on the face. Similar feathering is used on the wings to make them seem like they have texture and aren't just smooth plastic. As the brush is swiped in a line, I release pressure from it, making fat lines where the brush started, and fine points where it finished.
Red Layer 2, facial close-up

Red Layer 3: 2 Vallejo Bloody Red, 2 Vallejo Hot Orange, 1 Water

This layer took the longest, as it will be the mid-tone for the model. I attempted to cover about half of each scale with this layer; more for scales facing up, and less for scales facing down. The orange really starts to make the model pop out.
Red Layer 3, left chest/hind leg
As you can see below, portions of the model that didn't have scales sculpted on them ended up with me using crescent shapes to draw them in, so that the model 's texture appears uniform throughout. The next two layers will really pop out this detail.
Red layer 3, right face and shoulder
This layer was done with a Winsor-Newton Series 7 00 brush.
Red layer 3: tail/hindquarters

Red Layer 4: 2 Vallejo Hot Orange, 1 Vallejo Gold Yellow, 1 water

The fourth layer dropped opacity, so that transitions between it and the layers below would be a bit cleaner. There are two ways to highlight red - one is to use bone white and white (as I did in my Angrislaug model), and the other is to use oranges and yellows. The latter makes for a much warmer model, which is what I was going for here.
Red Layer 4: left side
This layer only gets applied to scales that are pointing more up at the sky than down, as they're reflecting sunlight. On the wings, only the portions facing up get these stripes; the ones below have to rely on the first three layers.
Red Layer 4: Right Side
This layer was done with a Winsor-Newton Series 7 Miniature brush, size 00. Though nominally the same size as the brush for the previous layer, the "Miniature" line actually has shorter bristles, and a smaller number, meaning it is more detailed.
Red layer 4: Facial details
I also attempted to highlight less on scales that would be naturally shadowed, such as those beneath the upraised arm and wings.
Red Layer 4: Left hindquarters
Because of the way the model is posed (with the left side reared up), a lot more of the right is in shadows. As a result, this side looks darker when put up against the other.

Red Layer 5: 2 Vallejo Hot orange, 1 Vallejo Gold Yellow, 2 Vallejo Moon yellow, 2 water

I hesitate to call this the final layer, because I may do one more on top of it after the rest of the model is painted. Right now, the reds look very vibrant, but it's only because it's up against a solid black.
Red Layer 5 - left side
As before, the right side is darker than the left. Now that we're at the top highlights, you can see the texture detail in the wings really starting to come through.

Red layer 5 - right side
If another highlight is needed, the head will likely be the portion most in need of it. You can see how those freehand lines add texture to the model, especially after a few layers of progressively thinner striping.
Red layer 5 - right side of head

Read layer 5, left side of head

Top scales/wings

Dark Brown Layer 1 - 1 Vallejo SS Camo Black Brown, 1 Vallejo Red, 2 Vallejo Dark Fleshtone, 1 water

With the camouflage theme I have in mind, the bottoms of his wings will be painted another color to break up the outline while in flight. As a result, the portions of the wings I was painting dark brown look odd, as I'm leaving between a third and half of each wing membrane black. I also did the top portions of the wing arms, with the idea that the camouflage pattern would extend onto the scales.
Dark Brown layer 1 - back

The red is added to this tone for the same reason that the SS Camo Black Brown was added to the red - it blends the two colors closer together and makes the color scheme more cohesive. I also wanted the wings to be tinted slightly red, so I would continue adding red for a few more layers.
Dark Brown layer 1 - top

Dark Brown Layer 2 - 3 Vallejo Dark Fleshtone, 3 Vallejo Bestial Brown, 1 Vallejo Red, 2 water

For the second layer, the red gets significantly diminshed (6:1 with brown tones). This gives it a slight red tint, but keeps the shade distinct from the red layers.
Dark Brown layer 2 - left side
For the scales and wing membranes, I've already started applying the brush-stroke lines that will be used to add texture to the model. You can see that the sculpt of the model has some contours, but bat wings are membranous and stretchy, and some of that should translate through in the paint.
Dark Brown layer 2 - back

Dark brown layer 3: 2 Vallejo Bestial Brown, 3 Vallejo Cobra Leather, 1 Vallejo Red, 2 water

To match the red highlighting with yellow, I chose to highlight the dark brown with a yellowish brown color - cobra leather. This is a color I get a lot of use out of, as it works well with a lot of brown notes, and lets me get dark browns into a warmer tint before using colder browns (like bone white) to highlight them.
Dark brown layer 3 - left side
Unmentioned so far has been the head - the horns on the top/center of the head are also getting hit with this color shade, to continue the flow from the back scales.
Dark brown layer 3 - head
As you can see below, the texturing is going strong on the back scales, and has picked up a lot of places on the sculpt where the wing doesn't have scales sculpted in.
Dark brown layer 3 - back scales/wings
Dark Brown layer 4: 2 Vallejo Cobra Leather, 1 Vallejo Elf Flesh, 1/2 Vallejo red, 1 water
For this one, I chose to use elf flesh instead of going straight to bone white, because I wanted to have bone white as my ultimate highlight shade. This gives me an extra intermediate layer, which allows me to add detail and texture, without overly brightening the model.
Dark brown layer 4 - back
At this point, I added some freehand vertical striping to the horizontal texture I had been painting on the wing membranes - this shows places the wing has been damaged, or stretched overly. The next highlights will pull these together.
Dark layer 4 - left wing membrane
The right wing has the same problem the right side of the body did - due to its angle, more of it is in shadow than the other side. When viewed individually it looks off, but when viewed in the context of the complete model, the choice makes sense.
Dark brown layer 4 - right wing membrane
The scales running down the dragon's spine also get a lot of texturing, with short parallel brush strokes to make the scale look like it has ridges.

Dark brown layer 4 - spine ridges

Dark Brown Layer 5: 3 Vallejo Elf Flesh, 2 Vallejo Bonewhite, 1 Vallejo Red

For the final layer, I went halfway to bone white, which is the color I'll be using one up from the midtone on the bottom scales and inner wing membranes. This means the wings will look like they're coming from the same color scheme, but one will be definitively darker than the other.
Dark brown layer 5 - left side
On the wings, I used very very light brush strokes to make sure the transitions between this layer and the one beneath were seamless. I picked up the vertical freehand in some places, but left it alone in others, based on whether the scratch would highlight on the lighting.
Dark brown layer 5 - rear wings
I also exaggerated some of the scratches in the spinal scales and stepped up the highlighting on them, to give more distinction between the brown and red highlights.
Dark brown layer 5 - spinal ridges down the tail

Dark brown layer 5 - right side

Next Steps

The next step for this model will be the light brown that goes on his underbelly, teeth, claws, and underside wing membranes. After that, I'll need to paint eyes, the harness, and the rider. Finally, I'll have to base the model.

No comments:

Post a Comment