Painting Plaid

“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.”
― Phil Collins

I’ve always enjoyed teaching and motivating others to improve their skills. If you’re any good at anything, don’t be greedy with that knowledge. I say share it with the world and you’ll be better for it! So, this year I started teaching private paint lessons to fellow hobbyists in my local gaming club. It’s been a great experience and I hope my Padawans have gained as much from it as I have.

Recently, one of my students started work on a sci-fi, Caledonian-themed army for Infinity by Corvus Belli. The most challenging technique in this project is the heavy use of tartan patterns. So in this post I thought I’d share with you a simple way of creating a tartan pattern for your kilt wearing, bad ass Scotsmen. Here we go! 🙂

FYI, the Caledonian Confederacy were a group of indigenous peoples of what is now Scotland during the Iron Age and Roman eras. Thanks Wikipedia!

McMurroughPlaid

As with most paint projects, it pays to start off with some sort of plan. I created the graphic above to illustrate what a plaid looks like close up. A few things you’ll notice is that there’s a primary color in the background (in this case medium blue) and three  secondary colors (navy, orange and white). There are only a few places where colors intersect to give you a 100% saturation the rest are 50/50. Keep in mind that Tartans come in all sorts of patterns and color combos, but for simplicity’s sake and clarity on the tabletop, this is as complicated as I recommend taking the design. Now that I have a plan, lets get to painting!


Paints used:
• Reaper MSP Deep Ocean
• Reaper MSP Marine Teal
• Reaper MSP Surf Aqua
• Reaper MSP Blue Liner
• Reaper MSP Fire Orange
• Reaper MSP Pure White

Brushes used:
• Windsor Newton Series 7 #1
• Windsor Newton Series 7 #0


For this tutorial we’re using another model from the Infinity line, McMurrough! Yessiree, it’s everyone’s favorite, chain rifle-toting, furry, friend! Start off by base-coating the kilt with Marine Teal then shading it with Deep Ocean and finally highlight with Surf Aqua. The transitions don’t need to be perfectly blended because most of it will be covered up by the rest of the pattern.
Next, using the #1 brush lay out a navy grid using Blue Liner. In this case each stripe in the grid is about two brush-widths thick and four brush-widths apart but you’ll have to adjust your design on smaller models. Fabric can be tricky to paint so use references of striped and plaid skirts to better understand how the pattern should flow on the garment. For example, on McMurrough’s kilt I tapered the stripes and their spacing towards his waistline where the fabric cinches under the belt.

Other tips to keep in mind:
• Keep your paint watered down (especially when using the Liners)
• Relax and take your time creating the grid
• Be neat and make sure to have plenty of lighting
• If you make a mistake simply wipe it off quickly with a wet napkin and try again


Now it’s time to break up those heavy blue stripes with some orange ones. Using a 30/70 mix of Blue Liner/Fire Orange and the #1 brush, paint on the next set of stripes one brush-width thick along the center of the previous ones. Again, take your time and keep the paint watered down. It’ll take two or three light coats to get nice coverage, but it’s better than clumping on thick paint and making a mess of things.


At the intersections paint on pure orange in tiny rectangles using the #0 brush. Now this pattern is really coming together. If we wanted to, we could stop here and have a totally convincing and attractive tartan. However let’s kick it up a notch with one more pop of color. Overachiever!


To tie it all together and break up all that blue lets add some Pure White. Again using the #0 brush, apply watered down paint between the other stripes. Oh boy that’s looking slick as ice.


Following that, add some pure white straight out of the bottle to the intersections. And there you have it folks! A lovely tartan to make the most grizzled Scotsman smile. 😀 Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to finish giving McMurrough a proper paint job. Check back next week for pictures of the final product! Thanks for reading and as always, if you enjoyed this post please share it or post a comment!

FYI: I used Reaper Master Series Paints in this tutorial, however these techniques can be used with any paint line. The one thing I have to recommend however are the Reaper MSP Liners. I use them for freehand, line shading, washes and occasionally base-coating. They’re fantastic and a staple to my painting diet. Take a look at some of the items I suggested below via my Amazon Affiliate links. You pay nothing extra and Amazon kicks back a little something for me. Win win!

MMP-Logo[amazon_link asins=’B07664WJ3H,B001BRBPTQ,B01N9CO46G,B01NAEA1YC’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’//rcm-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/cm?o=1&p=12&l=ur1&category=artscrafts&banner=13G8K602JGQPBGEGCX02&f=ifr&linkID=984dbcdcf1cb64febcb261091746c7c0&t=142904-20&tracking_id=142904-20‘ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’01c3a5d8-d390-11e7-ad8e-a3fafaec1c55′]

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Oreo

My longtime friend, Richie, commissioned me to work on a stylized portrait of his beautiful French bulldog Oreo. Oreo was diagnosed with cancer a couple years ago, and despite rather bleak predictions he’s still with us (thanks to some great doctors and Richie’s bank account). I love animals and have dealt with my fair share of sick pets in the past so this project seriously hits me in the feels. And so, with out further dejection lets move on to the fun stuff! 😊

The portrait is based off a Pop! French Bulldog by Funko shown below. Painting vinyl figures are always a fun change of pace from my usual tabletop miniatures. Their usually simple design and large smooth areas are great for stylized paint jobs and freehand.

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Original Funko paint job.

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Original Funko paint job.

The first step was to clean and prime the figure. You can’t really see it in these photos but there were a few air bubbles in the vinyl that I had to cut out and patch up using some putty. Also the original factory paint had a visible raised edge to it so I smoothed those down with some sandpaper. Nice, clean and ready for some freehand!

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Oreo Prime

Using the original paintjob as a guide, I started planning out Oreo’s unique facial markings. The transition from black to white on the muzzle was tricky but I think the feathering technique I used worked out pretty well as you will see in the final. I also accented the wrinkles in his face.

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Basecoats

I knew that I was going to use cool, blue-gray tones for highlighting the black areas so I thought using warm ivory tones for the white shadows would contrast nicely. Then I added flesh tones to the inside of the ears again using a feathering technique for the blending.

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Almost done!

Here we have the final result. As you can see it’s come a long way since the previous photos. I was in the zone so didn’t stop for more work-in-progress shots. Basically, I added the blue-gray highlights to the black and painted his eyes along with the rest of his body. After analyzing my references I also decided to narrow the white space between the ears and eyes and add more black to the inside of the ears and front of the mouth. Adorable!

Once the painting was done I sprayed the model with matte sealer, then went back with gloss varnish and coated the eyes and nose for a wet look. And of course, I signed his little hind paw. 😊

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Finished!

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Finished!

So there you have it folks! A fun paint project for anyone to take on. I’d like to thanks Richie for entrusting me to paint his best buddy and look forward to painting more of these in the future. Particularly for my Boston Terrier, River.

Have any questions? Feel free to ask them in the comments below. If you’d like me to paint a commission vinyl dog for you then message me through this blog as well.

Until next time, keep painting and hug your pets today. 🐶

Messing with Video: Daydream 

Hello everybody in TV land! Over the last few months I’ve been dabbling with recording myself while painting and it hasn’t been very fun. I’ve used everything from GoPros to Powershots and from headmounts to my wife holding a camera for an hour. Now after much procrastination I’m gonna share one of my recent tests with you. I still have a long way to go but hey, maybe we can learn together! Anywhoo, check it out and please share any feedback, suggestions, ideas or requests. Enjoy! 🙂

Voodoo Ninja in 3D!

VoodooNinja3DMod

My good friend and fellow artist, Alex Cheparev took a character that I designed and brought it to life using Maya, a 3D modeling program. He’s been documenting and posting videos of the entire process on  his youtube channel, Crashing Maya. If you have any interest in learning how to design in 3D I highly encourage you to check out his videos and subscribe to his channel. His tutorials will really help you appreciate how much work and attention to detail go into 3D modeling. Yessir, Alex is a true wizard using evil pacts to create artificial life!

So now that Alex’s work is done, it’s my turn to jump in. Very soon I will have a 3D printed model of Voodoo Ninja for my painting pleasure. The plan is to paint this little guy and record it for my Youtube Channel. Furthermore, you can buy this model at Shapeways! That’s right ladies and gents, you can be the proud owner of you very own Voodoo Ninja model. So that’s it for news folks. Click on those links and sink some time into videos. Cheers and happy viewing!

Holy Rusted Metal!

Metal is hard to maintain. It get’s gritty, looses it’s luster, accumulates rust and eventually falls apart but that’s why we love it. It grows character with age. In this post I’ll cover my technique for painting my favorite of all metals, the rusted kind. Come sit, and paint with me.

Rust1Firstly, I designed these 55mm bases for use on some of my Infinity models. By using sheets of platicard, corrugated cardboard, aluminum wire, and even a BIC pen, I was able to create an industrial look. I highly recommend trying this project out to any hobbyist. Just go nuts and have fun.

Rust2Once the bases were built I spray painted them using Army Painter’s Platemail Metal. It’s not the best surface to paint on being that it’s so glossy, so I also sprayed a coat of clear matte varnish over it.

Rust3Next is a heavy wash of P3’s Battledress Green. I like to mix in a little bit of Liquitex’s Flo-Aid to keep the paint flowing a bit more evenly.

 Rust4Another wash of P3’s Battledress Green. This time I try to focus more on the recesses.
Rust5Here I applied a heavy dry-brush of Citadel’s Iron Breaker to help bring back the shiny. Rust6To create that signature reddish rust color I applied a wash of P3’s Bloodstone. Once again focusing on the recesses and crevasses.  Rust7To add more contrast and grit, I carefully applied a wash of Citadel’s Agrax Earthshade. Rust8Next I used a careful application of RMSP’s Brown Liner. This helps define the edges and enhance the details. Rust9 Finally, I go back with some Citadel Iron Breaker using a fine detail brush to pick out some of the edges of the metal. I also painted the sheets of “paper” on the base using some browns and tans.
See, not too shabby looking and not very difficult to do. Try this out on your metals. You can easily apply these techniques to any metal color. Perhaps patinated copper, or burnished brass. Thanks for reading and happy painting!

Fleshy Bits: Purple

Come play with my fleshy bits! Hehe. Welcome to the first of hopefully many more posts I’ll be writing covering how to paint flesh tones. One of the members of a Facebook group that I help admin requested this one (thanks for the idea Ulises).
When it comes to painting flesh I’ve found that starting with a cool tone and working your way up to a warm tone makes for a more believable effect. Please excuse my slightly crappy iPhone pics.
Gooey

1. Basecoat- GW Genesealer Purple
2. Wash- GW Xereus Purple
3. Touch Up- GW Genesealer Purple
4. Highlight- GW Genesealer Purple/Ungor Flesh (75/25)
5. Highlight- GW Genesealer Purple/Ungor Flesh (50/50)
6. Highlight & Wash- GW Genesealer Purple/Ungor Flesh (25/75) followed by some detailed shading with Leviathan Purple

There you have it. See what kind of bizarre flesh colors you can come up with and please share any ideas you may have below in the comments section. Happy painting!

Repeat After Me: All Done!

The EVO repeater is complete! The final green details were done using a base coat of P3’s Necrotite Green/Morrow White (50/50) followed by a wash of Necrotite Green and finally a dot of Morrow White. I also used the  Necrotite Green wash for the outer glow.

EVO-Final1

Nomad Salyut Zond EVO Repeater

EVO-Final2

Nomad Salyut Zond EVO Repeater

What Zond would be complete with out a hacker to control it? None I tell ya! So here we have a Alguacil Hacker, looking all sexy-nice with here green haired self.

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Alguacil Hacker

Hacker1

Alguacil Hacker

Yes I know she has no eyes, but I was tired. But I don’t wanna. Fine, it looks like i have some eyes to paint. TTYL