Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Vlad the Impaler

One historical figure that I've always been interested in is Vlad the Impaler. I find the mixture of myth and truth to be really interesting and find myself reading about him from time to time.

So when I saw Lyn of Metalhead Minis painting up a bunch of mini busts, which included one of Vlad, I instantly asked where to find him and bought one for myself.

This model is was my first bust and the largest scale human that I'd ever painted and I took my sweet time with him too.

For starters, I decided to dual prime him with black and a directional spray of white. I wanted to have one side of his face in shadow, with the other side a bit brighter.

Now, generally I'm not a fan of dual priming as it never seems to make a difference in the end result. Or at least, I can never see a difference. Perhaps, if I was airbrushing 90% of the layers it would be noticeable, but I am a brush painter and even though I paint in thin coats it still didn't seem to make a difference in the end result.

I will say that it did help me remember where the light was coming from and helped me plan out highlights and shadows. Especially since I had taken pictures of it in just its primer.

To help give him a bit more skin tone variation, I mixed some Rhinox Hide with Tanned Skin and then sprayed the mix onto the bust with a toothbrush. From there, I started layering skin tones and adding shadows and highlights to him.

I painted his eyes similarly to how I normally paint chibi eyes. But, isntead of of pure white to for the whites of the eyes, I mixed in some skin tone to the white and did minimal highlighting to them.

 For the hair, I started with the facial hair, to give myself a smaller area to do testing on. I started with the eyebrows and used mixes of Black, Rhinox Hide and Tanned Skin, highlighting it up with White.

Once I was happy, I took what I learned and moved on to the mustache, making sure to keep in mind my light direction. As such the right side of the mustache has more subdued highlights.

The hair was a major challenge and I tried my best to make it look good. But I'm not 100% happy with it. Black, as it is, isn't my strongest suit.

I love the way the red clothing turned out. It ended up with a nice velvet looking texture to it and I feel that the highlights and shadows are spot on.

The last part of it that I had issues with were the pearls. I had a rough time painting them all and I didn't manage to get them looking as shiny as I would have liked. But they did turn out OK and they don't draw away from the face, so that is a plus.

All in all, I'm really pleased with the way Vlad turned out. I still haven't finished the plinth for him, and I haven't decided if I want to keep the one he came with or make a wooden one.

We'll see what happens and I'll update the post with the plinth once I get that figured out.

Until next time, you can catch me on Twitter, Instagram and on Monday and Thursday over at Twitch with Hobbyistgirl.