Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Painting Harlequins

Well, now that I’m on it, may as well put up an article on methods I’m using to paint these guys. Note that there are many different colors and methods to paint these wonderfully sculpted minis, as this is just one way to do it. I’m going for the GW scheme here, but feel free to improvise and have your own palette of colors of your choice. Other wonderful example of works can be found in cool or not mini sites such as this:


(take deep breath) Now for the rest of us mortals, we can have a rather satisfactory well painted harle with few simple methods and once broken down, they don’t seem that complicated at all. I always have the mindset of setting a certain minimal goal or standard in mind which I will try to achieve and if it turns out well, they I will further endeavor to see if I can bring it to another level.

So, relax, have your favorite warm drink ready, your tools and paint at hand, and let’s get started.

Picture 1: Undercoat and Basing
It’s always good practice to have a proper basing and undercoat done on the mini first. Here I choose chaos black as undercoat, as some of the finishing layers are black and speeds up the process too. There a lot of fine niches and groves on the minis, so take your time to make sure the model is well coated. Even at the highlighting stage I realized I missed out some parts at hidden corners.

Picture 2: Base colors
Map out the base colors of the models. Apply them in thin layers over the respective areas. Here is seen there 2 kind of surface, the matte colors and the metallic ones. For the normal colors, layering shall be used later for highlights and washes are used on the metallic later to bring out the shine.

As the undercoat is black, any mistakes and blotches are easily remedied so, don’t be afraid to use some speed to cover it thoroughly.

Make sure the coats are even and well distributed. Always remember to use thin layers to avoid brush marks and have a smooth finish. It’ll be easier for the highlights later

Parts to take note: Checker-box uniform
Here I’m using red gore and enchanted blue for the checker box uniform. There’s 2 examples here, which is red gore based and enchanted blue based.

Parts to take note: Harlequin masks
The bone white finish masks or harlequin can be done in 2 menthods. One is show with a base of blue color and the other is white based. The enchanted blue base will have thin layer of white color over it while showing the blue as shadow and highlights. The white base will have washes over it to bring out the shape later on. Both methods can be done with similar and good results. Personally I find that the white base method is easier and faster, and lots more control on the tones.

Picture 3: Base Pattern
Here the focus is on the checker box uniform. I’ve freehand the pattern on the uniform by just drawing on it with the opposite color. Of course my first try has always been a disaster but with practice, I did manage to get them right. Again, don’t worry about mistakes, as long as we keep the paint thin, it can be easily corrected.

So once the areas are well covered with the patterns, we can move on to the highlights.

Parts to take note: Harlequin masks
Notice to bone white which as been applied on the blue based mask harle, this is done over several thin layers to control the distribution and leave out certain areas to be blue.

Picture 4: Highlights
Here’s my favorite part. First of all, determine where the ‘source of light’ for the pattern areas. This will dictate which area to be bright and which area to be dark as shown in the diagram.

For the red areas, the color used are as follows:
Blazing Orange – Highlights
Blood Red – Mid tones
Red Gore – Dark tones

For the Blue areas, the color used are as follows:
50/50 Bone White and Enchanted Blue – Highlights
Enchanted Blue – Mid tones
Regal Blue – Dark tones

I’ve notice that the GW site also mentioned of having the lines drawn up in black first as a guide for drawing the patterns. That is also a good technique to keep consistency, but I personally prefers to have the highlights to emphasis on the ‘emboss’ part of the texture rather than using lines.

On the white base mask Harle, here I’ve added washes mixed from bleached bone and blood red (with lots of water) and let it into the recess of the mask, bring out the white tone and has a warmer feel compared to the blue based mask harle which has a cold look.

Next, I’ll add more pics on the highlight of areas like the belt, gems, and other parts of the model. Stay tune!


Ryan said...

Ya know, Ive kinda wanted to try my hand at a few of these models, just to see if I could pull it off... but haven't done it yet cuz I wasnt sure I could. Maybe I will, after reading this a few more times!

Nice looking models!

RonSaikowski said...

I'm not going to lie... I've always wanted to paint one too.

Just to see how well I could do.

Nice work on these.

Mike Howell said...

I've done about a dozen Harlequins so far, and it's easy to forget how *tiny* they are! Very nice work.

academic said...

Excellent read. I like your style...have a good one!/Nice blog! Keep it up!

oil painting