Another little work-in-progress update on Pandora.
I’ve started to work on her coat and leggings now, which make up the bulk of the miniature. Lots of black to paint, which many miniature painters dread. I think I’m getting my techniques down for painting black though so hopefully this won’t be too scary.
Right now I’ve just laid down some first highlight layers using Vallejo Basalt Grey, and then a c. 40:60 mix of Basalt Grey and GW Space Wolf Grey. (Adding a blue tone into your highlight colour is a handy tip when painting black, by the way.)
As you can see I’m not being particularly tidy with the highlights. I tend to throw them on comparitively thickly and will then smooth them out later with glazes back to the midtones and dark shaded areas. I find I have a lot more control that way.
One thing to note when painting black is that the contrast employed in the shading will vary considerably depending on the material you are aiming for.
Take these two handbags for example:
The one on the left is suede, and the one on the right is patent leather. That right one is eye-catching because the shine produces a lot of what are called “specular” highlights, where the white light is reflected directly toward the viewer. The classic white dot on a black cue ball is an example of specular highlight.
The material on the suede bag, however, is diffusing the light and the overall effect is much flatter as you can see. The lightest tone there is still a mid grey.
Now, in the case of Pandora here, I am actually aiming for a less shiny effect. Normally on a leather coat like this I’d be all over those shiny white dot highlights, but I actually want to end up with a brocade/jacquard pattern material, which wouldn’t really work in shiny leather or PVC.
Something a bit like this is what I have in mind: