Weekly WIP: More Joker Clown
Sunday: The Flesh
Coming out of a week in which I didn’t spend much time painting it is nice to jump right to work and finish the biggest and most important part of the Batman Miniature Game Joker Clown with knife: the flesh.
I always like to start painting the skin on whatever model I am painting. Not all models show as much skin as this one but invariably the face is part of this stage and the face is the most important part of the miniature. Humans are programmed to look at cards and it it looks off the rest of the miniature is less important.
I started by blocking in the highlights and shadows. Not much attention is spent of achieving a smooth blend. I have a mix of five shades of my flesh colour which I had for this stage. When I switch colours I don’t flesh in brush and they get mixed together which does begin blending but I’m focused only on making sure the highlights and shadows are in the right place.
Once I am happy with my highlight placement I begin the blending process. I like using glazes of my original colours to smooth things out. Unlike the glazing technique where all the highlights are built using glazes this style is much faster because I use opaque paints to build the colour and glazes to smooth it.
As I was painting I found that the skin had too much of a magenta cast. I added some red glazes to the shadows to warm things up a bit.
I would like to freehand some tattoos on the skin but I will likely leave that to the end. I’ll need to look up some references if I am going to do this.
Monday: The Undershirt
On Monday I painted the undershirt. I was originally aiming for a dingy grey, like that ugly grey frequently used for sweatshirts. However it seemed too close to the arm wraps so I decided to change things up. Since the pants are orange I thought green would work well.
Aside from the gloss issue, I have been happily painting away with my limited palette of 11 Golden High Flow Acrylics. However I think I need to add another colour. The green I have, Pthalo Green, is very cold which prevented me from mixing up the green I was aiming for. In this case since I don’t have to match to anything it didn’t bother me, but it may be problematic in the future. A nice green like Sap Green or Green Gold may be handy. Then again, the point of the limited palette is to avoid paint creep so maybe I should try mixing my own green. It would really help me to learn the differences between Phtalo Blue and Ultramarine Blue. On their own they look similar but I know they will interact with the yellow differently.
Blocking in the highlights and shades was much quicker for the undershirt than it was for the flesh. I think this was because the shape of the belly is simpler. I also was more careful when working with the wet paint. I find the Golden paints dry a little slower than my normal hobby paints and it’s possible to roughen the surface by over-working it as it dries. This happened a little with the flesh so I was careful to avoid it here.
Again it is important to make sure that the shadows and highlights are in the right place. It’s much easier to move things with an opaque paint than it is with the thin glazes I’m using for blending.
In the past I would mix a touch of my colours into a paint well with a bunch of my thinning agent and matte medium to form a glaze. With the Golden paints since the strength of each colour varies so much I find I need to use the paint wells to hold the pure colour and mix them a brush tip at a time. This left me with less open wells. Instead I’ve been mixing my glazing medium, which is matte medium and my thinning mixture, and then adding a brushfull of that to a small dot of my of colours.
While I use much less medium when I do it this way the biggest benefit is that I am more likely to vary the colour and strength of the glaze as needed. For example, mixing my lightest highlight with my second-lightest highlight and then turning that into a glaze gives me greater control over the blending. The same goes for the transparency of the glaze. If there is a big step I need to blend I can start with a stronger mix and then add more glazing mixture.
For the Arkham City logo I drew a sharp A with an extended, thickened crosspiece. I filled the center with some of the shirt colour to represent the lettering within the crosspiece. I then added the red circle and smile which the Joker Henchmen use to denote that they are part of Joker’s crew in the game.
I’ve also been experimenting with blacklining. This is a technique I’ve used in the past but had fallen away from. It is a little unrealistic but it does help to define the edges of the model. I’ll have to decide whether I am going to keep using it or not. I have no problems changing the style slightly between models within the same faction.
Tuesday: The Pants
I’m fighting a cold and didn’t get much work done on Tuesday. I worked only on the pants and didn’t add enough matte medium to sufficiently cut the gloss. As such I won’t really see what they are going to look like until the miniature is finished. I’m not too concerned; the pants are darker and attention should be focused on the upper body and head anyway.
Already this WIP is getting wordy. If I keep up this pace I can imagine that by Sunday it will be a veritable tome. I think I’m going to split this up into two posts. I am tempted to make this a daily thing instead but I’ve been down that road. As much as I wish I could update this website daily when I last tried I found I had to put down my brush early to make sure I had time to post to the website. This blog is supposed to inspire me to paint, not take painting time away from me. Not to mention the gaps when I don’t paint, such as last week.