This is part three of a WiP project for the Brush With Death: Texas contest. The contestants are challenged to paint up a model from Mantic Games, straight out of the box, with little to no modification.
Light Brown Layer 1 - 2 drops SS Camo Black Brown, 3 drops Cobra Leather, 1 drop Bloody Red, 2 drops waterFor the first layer of this, I've gone with lighter shades than I did for the dark brown. As you may remember, cobra leather was used as the midtone for the backs of the wings, so this layer is already started halfway as high as the darker side! Similarly, I used Bloody red for the tint rather than generic Vallejo Red because it brings the tint brighter.
|Light brown layer 1, left side|
Light Brown Layer 2 - 1 drop SS Camo Black Brown, 4 drops Snakebite Leather, 1 drop Bloody Red, 2 drops waterIf this layer seems like a subtle change to you - just swapping one drop of SS Camo for 1 of Leather - you're spot on.. It allows a deep brown darkest shadow layer similar to the top wing layer. I used this almost as a second base coat; if I was going to ink wash the scales between the base coat and this layer, it's a good way to step up your highlight a shade while staying close to the base color. In truth, I think I was worried the base coat was a hair too dark, so I attempted to recreate it with something a hair lighter.
|Light brown layer 2, left side|
|Light brown layer 2, right side|
|Light brown layer 2, left wing detail|
|Light brown layer 2, right wing detail|
Light brown Layer 3 - 3 drops Snakebite Leather, 2 drops Medium Grey, 1 drop Bloody Red, 2 drops water
|Light brown layer 3, left side|
|Light brown layer 3, right side|
Light brown layer 4 - 1 drop Snakebite Leather, 3 drops Medium Grey, 1 drop Bloody Red, 2 drops waterAgain, the transition between these layers is subtler.
|Light brown layer 4, left side|
|Light brown layer 4, right side|
Light brown layer 5 - 1 drop Medium Grey, 4 drops Pale Flesh, 1/2 drop Hot Orange, 2 drops waterAnother layer-subtle-harsh transition jump. Now that we're down to the last two layers, I tend to spike the contrast a lot more and rely on brush control and slightly thinner layers of paint to preserve transitions through opacity change.
|Light brown layer 5, left side|
|Light brown layer 5, right side|
|Light brown layer 5, right wing details|
Light brown layer 6 - 2 drops Pale Flesh, 2 drops white, 1 1/2 drop waterThis was the hardest layer of the light browns to paint - it was thinned less than the earlier layers (which were all 5:2 ratios of paint to water), so I had to rely much more on brush control to ease the transition between layers. Fortunately for me, only the tips of the claws and horns, and very slight places on the wings needed this layer.
|Light brown layer 6, left side|
|Light brown layer 6, right side|
|Light brown layer, right wing detail|
|Model complete through the light brown layers!|
Freehand redsWhen researching vein placement inside bat wings (my initial concept for the model was to do semi-translucent wings, to make them seem really thin), I came across the following picture. I thought it was so neat that I dropped my concept, and decided to go with a natural-camouflage motif - dark brown above, light brown below - as discussed earlier. As part of that, I decided the top wing shades would be given natural camouflage to match fire - if a dragon is flying over something, he's probably lighting it on fire! This would serve, in camouflage terms, to break up the outline of the wing and make targets above the dragon less certain of where the dragon's wing ended, and the ground began. Thus the dragon would take less attacks at the thinner membrane at the end of the wing, and more on the meatier joints, where a grazing hit would not knock the beast out of the air.
|Inspiration found online|
Layer 1: 2 drops Dark Fleshtone, 2 drops Gory Red, 1 drop Bloody RedWere I painting actual fire, I would have a sixth layer of Moon Yellow and White, but since this is natural camouflage, I don't want it giving the illusion that it is producing light.
Layer 2: 2 drops Leather Brown, 2 drops Bloody Red
Layer 3: 1 drop Leather Brown, 1 drop Hot Orange
Layer 4: 1/2 drop Leather brown, 1 drop Hot Orange, 2 drops Gold Yellow
Layer 5: 1/2 drop Leather Brown, 2 drops Gold Yellow, 1 drop Moon Yellow
|Left wing, top freehand|
|Right wing, top freehand|
|Closer shot of the left wing freehand, rotated out of the light source|
|Closer shot of the right wing freehand, using some glare to show that a lot of the texture is painted on the model|
|A dark look at the model, showing how the flame camouflage resonates with the color of the scales, but still distinguishes itself.|
|Close-up of the face, showing the eye|
|95% done with the dragon portion!|