This is part four 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.
White's a stereotypical color for elf armies to be - it's easy to do (I see at least one painter a year at the Alamo who just leaves the primer on) in beginner armies, and it looks good at a distance.
I use a heavily layered grey for my white, and actually stop short of white. When I paint a model, white is only used on surfaces that are producing light, or reflecting light (like metallics).
White layer 1: Medium Sea Grey
|White layer 1, left side|
|White layer 1, rider|
White layer 2: 1 Medium Sea Grey, 1 Wolf GreyI add Wolf Grey to Medium Sea Grey; the blues in the Wolf Grey pigment will do more to draw the white away from the warm tones of the dragon and make it stand out even more.
|White layer 2, dragon left side|
|White layer 2, rider|
White layer 3: Wolf Grey
White layer 4: 1 Wolf Grey, 1 Skull WhiteI did these two layers in rapid succession, so I didn't document them separately. I used layer 3 to add a bit of detail to the harness (scratches) that will probably be covered up by the rider, but are there just in case.
|White layer 4, dragon harness|
Dragon rider skintoneAfter I was done with the harness, I finally mounted the rider up on the dragon, pinned him in place, and glued him down. I also painted the skin very quickly, moving from Vallejo Khaki up to a 1:1 mix of Elf Skin and Bone White.
|Dragon rider, mounted, skintone complete|
|Dragon rider, reds completed|
|Dragon rider, reds completed, right side|
Rider: gold non-metallicI knew I would use a ton of gold on the rider, but started painting it not really sure what combination of paints I would use to make the effect.
Gold NMM Layer 1: Heavy BrownIn the end, I started with a Vallejo NMM kit I had picked up a month earlier, which began with Heavy Brown.
|Gold NMM layer 1, front view|
|Gold NMM layer 1, rear|
Gold NMM Layer 2: Sepia washThe second layer was to wash the NMM with Sepia, which is a brown ink. This brought the color down, and allowed me to distinguish the borders of the gold a bit more.
|Gold NMM layer 2, front|
|Gold NMM layer 2, rear|
Gold NMM layer 3: Heavy Gold BrownThe next recommended color was heavy gold brown. I used this one unmixed as well, just cut with my usual 3:1 water.
|NMM gold layer 3, front|
|NMM gold layer 3, rear|
Gold NMM Layer 4: 1 Heavy Gold Brown, 1 WhiteThe fourth layer called for a 50/50 mix of Heavy Gold Brown to white, which matched my instincts for what the penultimate highlight should be as well. However, something about the paint just wasn't working for me...
|NMM gold layer 4, rear|
|NMM gold layer 4, front|
NMM gold layer 5: Moon Yellow glazeOnce I finished the fourth layer, I finally figured out what was bothering me with the gold - it was going too greenish-brown. The NMM blend I was using expected it to be next to silver non-metallics, in which case you'd get some blue tints from the silver into the gold. Since I wasn't doing that, the model was starting to look a bit sickly. To fix it, I used some Vallejo Glaze Medium with the Moon yellow from the scale highlights, and applied a thin glaze over the NMM golds. The result was a much brighter yellow, which I felt worked better with the model's palette.
|NMM gold layer 5, front|
|NMM gold layer 5, rear|
NMM gold layer 6: 1 drop Moon Yellow, 2 drop WhiteOnce the yellow was drawn back out to where I wanted it, I took moon yellow and added it to twice as much white, to create a very whited out tint for the final highlight.
|NMM gold layer 6, front|
|NMM gold layer 6, rear|
Final cleanup: Browns and NMM silver
Layer 1: 1 drop Dark Fleshtone, 1 drop Bestial BrownLayer 2: 2 drops Bestial BrownLayer 3: 1 drop Bestial Brown, 1 drop Cobra LeatherLayer 4: Cobra LeatherLayer 5: 1 drop Cobra Leather, 1 drop Gold yellow
|Brown/NMM silver completed|
|Close-up of the rider. Why are you scowling? You're riding a dragon!|
|Close-up on the dragon head and rider|