Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Empire General. Step-by-step by River. Part1: Horse.

 First of all I want to appologize for all grammar mistakes in this text. It was really hard for me  to translate so many words in English. But I hope that anyone who wants to understand this tutorial will do it :).
 You can read Russin variant of this tutorial in my blog

   Empire General
  There is an interesting section - "Gym" on a russian forum WARFORGE where I (and all Serpentarium!) regularly spend our time. There young artists paint their work under a patronage of more experienced colleagues. One day I've decided to take two "students" to share what I can and what I've learned over three years in this hobby. But I've decided to change form of training: not just to give advice but to paint with a student on-line. Because, in my opinion, in this way I would show what I'm talking about. And we must paint the same miniature.
    With my first "student" Alexander we've chosen a mounted Imperial General. I've pulled my General  "from the grave" because he was bought for a bits and much of his equipment (such as all right hands and weapons) was "built out".  And here you can see a history of birth of 
two our Generals.
    As a result of our job - I have a very detailed guide how I've painted this miniature. Here is a Part 1: Horse, and then I hope it will be Part 2: General. And finally I want to show two our works, because I have a really diligent "student". 

Assembly and cleaning.

    When gluing it's better to apply enough plastic glue on two adjoining sides. Swhen we join our parts a bit of glue will spill out and harden. And after it's easy to remove it with some needle files and sandpaper. By this way you will get a good surface with no cracks, don't need to putty. So I folded the horse. Further, if I still had some holes or inconsistencies, I used greenstaff.
   There are some molding lines on horse's legs, you should not miss it on hoofs and on legss back sides. Very neat work is required with a skeleton on the horse's head.
    I haven't found a sword, but I found the mace. After
several attempts to blind right hand (I'm really not a sculptor yet), I remade a right shoulder from a left that I found.

Now the model is primed and ready for painting.

The color choice.

     Red and white colors of Talabheym province was chosen as a main color scheme.
    And now let's a bit of theory. Usually I use a contrast of warm / cool colors. You can see its on the color circle:

  In this case I will do warm colors on a light and cold - in shadows. As a shadow color I chose  purple , I think it will go well with red-brown and white colors of this work. But if it will be necessary, we can add some blue shadows at the end to deepen our shades, it's colder than a purple.
 It's good if same
shadows color is stretching across a whole job. It will create a unified composition, and details will not be "fall out".

  And few words about
my palette: I like to use a wet palette. And I mix there multiple colors - from dark to light, because it's better to apply different colors on a model together.

Skin and hooves.

I prepared different mixes on my palette:
 -  GW Bestial brown, GW Dark flesh и Rackham Beastly flesh - for a base
 - base mix + GW Scorched brown - for first shadows
 - black + GW Scorched brown - for legs
 - base mix + VMC Old rose - for nose
All proportions were made approximatelyWet palette allows to keep all paints well deluted. 

   During a basic covering at the same time I did all transitions to dark areas and shadows. At this stage it's no matter the quality of these transitions - I throw a main location of shadows and color stains, painted a "plan". Well deluted paint allows to mix colors directly on the model. And it doesn't matter, that you can see primer layer - do this action 3 or 4 times, each time improving a quality of coverage and smooth transitions. The main thing - don't hurry and don't smear  thick brush strokes.

   These are two primary layers: a main color, shadows of the main color, dark colour of horse's legs and a little bit pink nose.

   Two more layers: I've formed shadows on legs and smoothed transitions.

  Next step: I've added violet color in all shadows. This can be done in two ways: to add violet paint in corresponding mix or to use violet glazing.

   And my next steps:
- to higlight skin I added VMC Ochre brown in the basic mix, several thin layers.
in the leg's shadows I use several glazing layers of black and violet.
- to higlight lower legs' parts I mixed black with a small amount of GW bleached bone. So I've formed soft longitudinal highlights and painted hairs.
- It's time for h
ooves. A base was
pure black. To highlight it I gradually added GW fortress to the black untill a pure GW fortress grey. A patch of reflected light must maintain the line from previous step.  
  And here are horseshoes. Its are made from metal, so a shine must be stronger than on the hoof. That's why I used the same black and GW fortress grey but brought it to the pure white highlight. If a difference between the hoof and the horseshoe is small, you can cover the hoof by black glaze to do it more darken.
   Generally, you always need to look at contrast: correct dark and light parts to achieve result you wanted.  And don't forget about a bottom of the front hooves! We need to draw a horseshoe and an "arrow". I used black - gray - white. For pinks in the horseshoe I painted some stain by dark brown, then a little less area by dark grey, then white glare.

   To my mind this is a point of decision: to accept the result and move on or continue to work out these details. It depends on the time that you want to spend on miniature.
  I would like to work on two things:  hairs under the hooves and a
structure of horse's wool. I will try to find some time to do it.


  I think that the main thing is to don't bring them to pure white because:  there is no any sunlight at the teeth  and 2. our horse doesn't use bleach to the teeth. Otherwise the teeth will "creep out" to a forefront. I used 4 layers of GW Snakebite leather to GW Bleached bone. Also: Be sure to hold a thin loop between the teeth and lips, dark red-brown.


A horse has a really big brown eyes. Usually there is no any white parts in the ey , but I've found a pic with it and decided to do it this way.  You can do it completely black-brown. So what I did:
- base: base skin mix + black + purple.
- a black pupil. Now if you want to do white corner - use Bleached bone in the corner then correct black pupil to give it a round shape.
- I did a contour of the eyes used the same dark brown-red mixture
- then I did 2-3 layers of gray color on the pupil until a white glare
- and at the end I highlited

   Finally I've decided to work on hair and I've done it by small strokes. I used a tone lighter than the base and applyed them "against the grain" - ftom below to the top. It's no matter to do these hairs too brighten - you can always glaze it by any transparent layer. After all I carefully restored purple shadows.

Horse's equipment.

   Next I painted all steel parts. I chose VMC Bronze green as a base for it, but you can take any paint you want with any tint. Or you can do a mix for steel by yoursef using gray + blue or green color. Tnere is onle one problem in this way - you have to remember these proportions to do the same color later or store this mix in separate jar.


What I did here:
1. Washed the base with dark brown and purple to numb the holes.
2. Applyed about two layers Bronze Green + VMC Medium grey restoring rings by flashing their lower parts.
2-a. Didn't forget about inner part of chainmail: there are three folds on each side. I didn't really smoothed it out, but it is necessary to do.

3. VMC Medium grey + white, then the final point of white. Highlights must increase from the top to the bottom, so I did white dots on the lower two rows of chainmail. Also I did a black-violet line between the chainmail and the blanket.

White blanket

1. Base: neutral GW Fortress grey. Then I added a little bit of purple and dark gray in the folds.
2. Now we have to draw lightening with a warm palette. I added Bleached bone to grey and did several layers until pure Bleached bone. And a little bit white for the final highlights.

Horse's armor  - steel.

1. Base: VMC Bronze green. First highlights: + VMC Silvergrey . It's the most long and boring stage :).
2. First shadows: VMC Bronze green + VMC German cam. black brown
3. Second shadows: VMC Bronze green + VMC German cam. black brown. + ... purple, of course! 
4. Second highlights: VMC Silvergrey + white until pure white highlight points.
Don't forget to paint all this pinks by the same way.

  After it I've painted some scratches and glazed all this parts by yellow - to do its warmer.
Scratches: I took a fairly diluted VMC Silvergrey (it is not pure white, almost gray) and did thin brush strokes in different directions and different lengths. Amount depends on personal taste. If I did some more stout -  I did a dark brown stroke right on it to create a deep scratche. After it I did some final very short strokes and points by pure white for "sparkling" corners and irregularities. If you did all this scratches too bright, you can glaze it.

Leather details

  Saddle and leather straps. Well, its are really not so important details here, so I didn't spend a lot of time for it. Base - VMC Black red, in the shade - brownish-purple tint, highlights - GW Red gore. And some easy freehand is only for training, because it will be under the cloak. Don't forget to paint all  straps and a girth.

Armor - gold parts

 1. Base - GW Scorched brown. Then two or three layers  from GW Scorched brown to GW Snakebite leather.
 2. Again two or three passes from GW Snakebite leather to GW Bubonic brown
 3. Tinted purple shadows by glazing.
 4. GW Bubonic brown with white to white single glare. You can hear that many artists do not put the white glare. My painting teacher told me the same thing - there is no white around. But we have 28 mm and some other laws, so I like to do white glares and contrast effects. You will decide this question by yourself.
  5. Well, and the final moment scratches.

 Here is a big pic where you can see more details...


1. Base - GW Graveyard earth
2. First shadow - 
GW Graveyard earth + purple
3. Second shadow (deeper in the gap between the bones) -
GW Graveyard earth + purple + VMC German cam.black brown
4. A couple of lightening GW Graveyard earth + GW Bleached bone to pure Bleached bone.

5. Fire: brown - red - orange - yellow - yellow-white. Hammer: steel is the same as we painted horse's armor. 
6. OSL (object sourse lighting). The main condition is that an object under OSL must be much lighter than everything. So I glazed all  Bleached bone around by GW Graveyard earth, but not to lose a sense of the bone. At the same time I glazed all lit places by white-yellow, yellow and  a little further away - orange. 


  To my mind, it's boring to paint simple bridle. So I've decided to use "dotting" technique. It's a pointillism technique in an art.  I think that everyone has a different way to paint it, I'll tell about my way. 
 1. Base - GW Red Gore, shadows - Red Gore + purple
 2. dots in shadowRed Gore + purple
everywhere - dots -  Red Gore
 4. everywhere, except shadows, - dots - Blood Red
 5. on a light parts - dots -  Blood Red + White
 6. very thin glazing all by mix of yellow, orange and Blood Red to the desired tint, strongly diluted in 2-3 layers to remove pink color. 

  7. repeate step 5 - the more lighter parts
  8. repeate step 6
and so on until the desired result. A good contrast between shadows and highlighted dots will give a sence of a shiny fabric.

   You can make any decorative edging or letters on this fabric. I did a lettering. But I didn't like it because it turned out unreadable. A reason (in my opinion) was in a poor contrast with a background and speckled texture background which "breaks" a perception. So I've returned all back.


   Leaves under the skeleton. I've decided don't use a bright green color (like Dark Angel Green and Snot green) because it seemed to me that it might be in conflict with our red and intercept focus. So I used GW Catachan green and GW Camo green.
   Ponytail. Base - black, pouring shades - purple, highlights - black with bleached bone.

And final pic:


  1. Very well done! Great begining of our blog!

  2. You done THIS... Сatch plusik;)

    1. Thanks :). You have your own good tutorial about bases. Would you publish it here?

    2. You know, I think it needs a complete rebuilt... including pictures and concepts...
      But, the turn of me, a little self-sculping dragon ;)