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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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!

Voodoo Ninja

Exciting things are in the works! My friend Alex Cheparev asked me to create a character for him to model in 3D for his YouTube channel. Once he’s done, we’re getting it 3D printed then I’ll paint it up for my upcoming YouTube channel. Should be pretty cool! Here’s the concept sketch and Alex’s Video. Make sure to Subscribe to his channel for all of your Maya tutorial needs!

VoodooNinja-Sketch

Voodoo Ninja Sketch

This is Voodoo Ninja. Think black magic meets Pinocchio. I wanted to create a character with a variety of textures and a little humor. Thus the wood grain on the arms, the bandages and you can’t go wrong with a big old skull head. The plan is to add ball and socket joints in the shoulders and removable pins as weapons.


Alex is already off to a great start and it’s amazing to see how quickly he can make this character come to life. I can’t wait for the final results. It’s going to look so bad ass! Thanks for reading and keep being creative. 😉

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!

Repeat After Me: Blue!

Hello again fellow lover of cool things! In my last post I explained the steps I took to paint orange on this very cool EVO repeater. Let’s continue now with the color blue. Or is that aqua? Whatever, just follow my lead. 🙂

EVO-Blue1

First we start with the base-coat. I think this is the most important step when painting a model. It’s like building a house; you need a solid and even foundation or else the rest of it goes to shit. So take your time, keep your paint smooth and thin (like milk) and listen to your favorite podcast.

EVO-Blue2

Next up is shading with a wash of Deep Ocean. As you can tell in the picture, I’m a bit messy with this step. It’s all good tho because in the next I cleaned it up and smoothed it out. That could be an R. Kelly song.

EVO-Blue3

Here’s where I tried smoothing the blend between the base-coat color and the shade color. I used a mix of Deep Ocean/Marine Teal (60/40) and watered them down with a mix of H2O/Flo-Aid (20/1) to create a wash. Then I used this wash to smooth out the middle area between the two colors.

Note: These Reaper Master Series Paints have a really nice quality pigment; great for washes and layered blends.

EVO-Blue4

Highlights with Surf Aqua. The contrast is a little too stark for my taste. Let’s fix that…

EVO-Blue5

…with another wash of Deep Ocean/Marine Teal. That’s better!

EVO-Blue6

And then I redid the highlight a little thinner. Nicey nice, with beans and rice!

On to the next color: WHITE!

Repeat After Me: Orange!

It’s Remote time baby! After painting a bunch of regular infantry for my Corregidor army, I decided it was time to paint up a Zond or two. What’s a Zond? A quick look at the Infinity website tells us, “Basically, it is a kind of semi-autonomous robotic porter, a high-tech beast of burden.” So let’s get to it!

EVO-Orange1

As you can see here, the base is already done. I usually dry-brush bases (which is pretty messy) first then move onto the more neat work. It also looks better on the table to have all my bases finished even if eveything else is a work in progress.

I also did a quick base coat of metallic paint followed by a wash of black and a base-coat of orange.

EVO-Orange2

The initial coat of Jokaero Orange acts more like a primer for this coat of Fire Orange. It would’ve taken a lot more coats of this color to get good coverage. Too much paint bad!

EVO-Orange3

Next I added a wash of Phoenix Red. The key to making a nice, smooth wash is adding a bit of Flo-Aid and water. I keep a separate dropper bottle of Flo-aid/H2O mix (1/20) at my paint station. Use it! 🙂

EVO-Orange4

This step is all about contrast. I used Reikland Fleshshade to define the spaces between the armor plates.

EVO-Orange5

And finally a highlight of Marigold Yellow. Afterward I went back and picked out any mistakes or rough areas.

So there you have it. Orange is done. Later this week I’ll post the next color, BLUE! Oh snappy!

Dabble With a Doodle

The Infinity O-12 podcast announced a drawing contest on episode 17. Contestants were to submit a 2D, Infinity themed piece of art by July 21st. So, despite my self-conscious nature when it comes to my illustrations I decided to send something in.

Scarface and Cordelia Copyright 2012 Corvus Belli

Scarface and Cordelia
Copyright 2012 Corvus Belli

I definitely wanted to draw a female and the Infinity universe is filled with iconic heroines. However, the typical scantily clad, sexy chick wasn’t what I had in mind. I decided to go with Scarface and Cordelia as my subjects. Cordelia is a beautifully designed character with a playful look that goes well with my art style. Not only that, but her homie Scarface is also an amazing looking model. He’s got all the essential elements needed for a classic, bad-ass looking TAG (Tactical Armoured Gear). After a quick search online I found this great reference of the original concept art.

Sketch2

Sketch- Sharpie Marker

After a couple shitty sketches on my iPad and scrap paper I finally went with this basic concept. Scarface carrying Cordelia like a bebe and her looking all cute and optimistic (and who wouldn’t be with that walking tank behind them).

Sketch3

Final Inked- Sharpie and Pigma Micron Pen

At first, I was having a really hard time doing the final inking because I was focusing too much on making the characters totally accurate to the original design. Once I gave my self permission to tweak them a bit it was a lot easier to relax and enjoy the drawing.

ScarfaceAndCordelia

Scarface and Cordelia, David Montalvan

Once I was done with the inking I scanned it onto my computer and colored it up using Adobe Illustrator. I’ve gotta admit that I’m really happy with the final result. Of course they’re a few things I’d change, but that’s the awesome thing about drawing, you take what you learn form one piece and apply it to the next. Always getting a little better with each illustration.

So now it’s up to the public to decide who will win the free boxed set prize and bragging rights. Go to the Infinity O-12 Facebook page and vote for your favorite Illustration. You can “Like” as many  entries as you wish (hopefully mine). Check it out and thanks for voting. 🙂