Saturday, June 22, 2019

Adventures in Contrast: Green Marble

Welcome back to Adventures in Contrast, where I show you all sorts of little tricks and techniques that you can do with Citadel Colour's Contrast paint system!

Originally, I had planned on doing the next article on Gemstones. But I was just too hyped for this technique. So instead in this article, I will be going over something very, very cool; green marble.

Marble is always something that has eluded me. I've tried doing it before with traditional brushwork and I never liked the results. I've seen folks doing marble with airbrushes, but until recently I didn't have access to one.

Then, along comes Contrast and it hits me, we can use the transparency of this new paint system to make marble in a stupid easy way. Marble wiithout needing to airbrush or hand paint the veins is possible and easier than ever.

All other testing and painting of models halted while I went to work figuring out the technique. The resulting finished product looks like actual marble and thanks to the miracle of cling wrap and sponges we have a true random pattern on the surface.

The key to this technique is the translucent nature of Contrast paint, the randomness of using cling wrap to make the main marbling and the grain of a natural sponge to make our main veins of color to give use that trademark marble veining.

To do this, you'll need any brand of standard food storage cling wrap, I use Saran Wrap, but anything similar to it will work. You will also need a natural sponge, like those you would use to sponge walls with painting them. A synthetic sponge, such as a dish sponge or sponge from packaging will not work, because we need the structure of the natural sponge to give us our veining.

We will be using Terradon Turquoise to give us the main green color. I went with this one because I felt that the turquoise was more interesting than any of the other greens. I could have gone with Akhelian Green instead, but I felt that the slightly darker Terradon made it a richer marble.

Marble has a bit of a cloudy look to it, and to simulate that look we will be using Apothecary White and painting it in splotches on the surface. It will look very bad at first, but that's OK. The white will get toned down with new layers of Terradon.

For the actual marbling, I use the new Wraithbone base paint. This is where the Saran Wrap and sponging comes into play.

To use the Saran Wrap, we lay the paint down and while it is still wet, crinkle up the wrap and dab it on the surface. This will lift paint of and leave whatever wasn't touched by wrapping. If there's still a lot of paint on the surface, dab it again with a different section of the wrapping to pull more off, as desired.

The last thing is using the sponge to add those classic marble veins. To use the natural sponge, wet it down and then squeeze it until no excess water comes out. Dab it into your paint and then on a dry towel to get excess paint off of it. Then it's just a matter of dabbing it onto your base/model/rock. The shape of the natural sponge will then lay down a nice looking pattern that replicates the look of  nice and fat marble veins.

This all comes together in the following steps:
Base: Terradon Turqouise
Starting from a Wraithbone primer coat, layer the area with Terradon Turquoise. Go ahead and get crazy with it and allow pooling to happen. We want those darker areas.
Layer: Apothecary White
Next up, take Apothecary White and start layering it onto the base in splotches. Like the previous layer, allow for dark and light areas and a bit of pooling.
Layer: Wraithbone
Thin Wraithbone with Lahmian Medium and cover the entire area. Then crinkle up some cling wrap and dab the surface until you're happy with your pattern.
Sponge: Wraithbone
Next, use your natural sponge to add a bit more Wraithbone to the surface. Aim for nice chunky vein lines. (I didn't get that to happen here.)
Layer: Terradon Turquoise
Now that the starting texture is down, we want to color it green again. This time, put a thin layer of Terradon Turquoise down. We don't want it overly dark, or pooling. We're just looking to add color back in.
Layer: Apothecary White
Add in some more Apothecary White "clouds" to the surface, once again allowing for variation of thickness.
Sponge: Wraithbone
This time we are going to flip flop the Wraithbone steps and do the sponging first. I went on thicker this time around to help really sell the marble look.
Layer: Wraithbone
With the sponged on veins in place, we can decide where we want to add more controlled Wraithbone texture. For this one I only painted the Wraithbone on in locations near the veins, the used the wrap to texture it.
Layer: Terradon Turquoise
The last step of Terradon Turquoise is to layer it on and then use the cling wrap to pull some of it off. This allows us to color the previous Wraithbone layers while also letting some of the original bone color to show through, and is key to selling the marbling.
Gloss: 'ardcoat
The final step is to gloss the surface with 'ardcoat. To help it lay smooth, mix it with Lahmian Medium. This will help the gloss lay smooth and hide any potential brush marks.

And there you have it, marble via Contrast. I love how the finished product ends up looking and it really does look more like marble than anything I've ever done. The best part is it is fast and easy to replicate. I will never paint marble any other way, ever again.

Thanks for reading and hopefully this helps you with your own marble. I've also done a white version, which I'll be sharing soon. It follows a different set of steps than this darker marble, thanks to the nature of Apothecary White and the way you need to layer the colors.

Keep an eye out for that, I'll likely have it up in a few days.

Until next time, you can catch me on Twitter and Instagram. Where I'll be sharing pictures of tests I am currently working on and you can ask me any questions you may have.

If you like what I do and want to support the site and my painting endeavors, you can do so over on Ko-fi. All it takes is $3 and it's much appreciated. Also, you can buy The Brush Wizard shirts and such over on my Teespring shop, where you'll find a growing selection of shirts and other goodies. 

Thanks for reading!