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  • Vampyr Hunter

    NOTE This article was written by Yannick degiovani, all issues concerning reproduction and use of this article should be addressed to him. The article was translated from french to english by frenchkid.Vampyre Hunter The mini is a 4€ bust, representing a Manga character from the manga Vampire Hunter (Thanks Cyril). But it would seem this set of bust isn’t available anymore in France. I really liked the sculpt when I saw it, the trumpet nose, the scar, the half open mouth, … He’s in soft plastic, witch made cleaning up the mold line a real pain, files and sand paper didn’t work at all. I used green stud to fill in the gap between the neck and the top of the coat, and I primed it using a spray on white primer (in 3 or 4 thin layers) and it’s good to go !!! (Just a small reminder, I paint using oil). In the beginning, this bust was used has a base for a painting demo, and I didn’t think to take pictures before starting in on it seriously (pffff not that seriously :P!!). So you won’t have the start of the step by step, who would have shown you a sort of base coat using my base skin color, and the first shadows marked and wet blended with the base color. And I had also drawn a first outline for his eyes, but it’s going to evolve a bit as you’ll be able to note. On these pics, the skin tone is finished. The base coat is pretty light [with + a bit of mars brown], applied on the forehead, the nose, the top of the cheekbone, the top of the ears, and all the other things I wanted to make stand out. I then applied the first shadows [mars brown], on each side of the nose, around the eyes, on the cheeks, under the nose, at the chin, on the bottom of the ears, and on the neck muscle that stood out (being in the shadow of the face this will be used as a base coat). I then did the first blends. I ‘pull’ the light paint towards the dark one, or the opposite depending if I want to accentuate the shadow or the light the most. I do it instinctively, so no rule applies here. On the bottom of the cheeks, part of the ears, and the tip of the nose, I had a bit of burnt carmine (Rembrandt) to the base mix; I also had some with a lighter touch on the temples. I then move on to the deepest shadows [mars brown + burnt umber] that will draw the face, they are: the nostrils, the eyes, the deepest part of the ears, the mouth, the character marks on his face. The blending is very light and done on a very small portion. The scar and the tongue are done in deep red [burnt carmine + burnt umber]. And I add a very stark contrast to the lips, thin with line mark the light reflection. I then apply the lightest highlights, lower eyelid, nose, forehead, and the top of the cheeks, the scar, and the top of the ears. Here again the blending is very light. I let the whole thing dry. In a second step, I rework the light shadows a bit by adding a bit of burnt carmine, this will give a bit of color and tone down a bit the skin color. I also re-shadow the bottom of the cheeks and the deepest part of the ears with some burnt umber. I finally move on to the details. I rework the lips (especially the shadows at the opening) I paint the teeth with white broken with some light yellow, I then outline the teeth with some white + grey. The white of the eye is streaked with carmine red on the sides, the inside of the bottom eyelids are done with burnt carmine. the upper eyelids are done in burnt umber I apply the base coat for the eye in iris blue, with a dot of pale blue to simulate the reflection of the light. The red on the sleeve is a left over from the painting demo….. It will disappear!!!![pagebreak] I didn’t really like the eyes so I painted them again: “If there’s something that bothers you, you got to do it over!!” Here I think they’re better, more expressive. I then moved on to the hair. He’ll have hair like raven wings (witch means black with some blue tones in it). My base color is an ivory black + a tiny bit of Prussian blue, witch gives me a very dark mix. I applied this to the lighted parts of the hairs and brows, and on the visible part of the beard. I then applied pure black in the shadows, and I blended it immediately with the mix I had already applied. I also did the bottom of the brows, the beard in the neck area, and under the coat before the black Around the scare, I wanted to represent white hair, after the loss of pigmentation… For the brows and the beard, I went back on it with a very fine and long brush to draw the black hairs. Then I re did this with some very light grey, all of this to give some texture and volume to the facial hairs. I then moved on to the shirt I wanted a purple color dark and cold to bring out the face. The base is [permanent purple +ivory black], shaded with black, and highlighted with white. At this stage, all is done by wet blending, but I’ll have to go back on it to smooth out the shadows and highlights.. I painted the tombstone in black to have a better view of the contrasts on the models (the white was offsetting my reading of the mini).[pagebreak] I’ve got some friends, well they’re not my friends they kept criticizing my bust !! (And I thank them for it). Anyway following the constructive criticism of Allan, Jean-Noël, David, I changed the name of my bust from « vampire » to « Vampyre hunter »… especially considering I never wanted to make a blood sucker out of him. Frédéric also made some good points concerning the bust witch made me do a couple of changes: - I redid the eyes; especially the right one witch had an oval iris. - I added made the bear go up around the ears, and a personal touch, I added the small bit of beard under his lower lip Those are not big changes, but they change the whole aspect of the mini !!! [pagebreak] Painting of the coat. The base is in black ivory +white + a touch of purple the shadows are made of base color +black+purple in some places, +green in other places. I have my mixes ready on the palette, and I pick out what feels right. I do the blending and build the volumes bit by bit. So I usually have a general idea of what I want before I start the painting. At this point, it’s a base that I will use to refine the details (sewing marks for example), and I’ll also rework the shadows (I think I’ll darken it a bit and give him more purple and green tints). [pagebreak] The mini seems darker but that is only due to the different lighting when I took the picture. I redid some parts of the purple on the shirt, especially some highlights, and some blends that I didn’t like. I did the edges in dark green (black, burnt umber, Prussian green, medium green, natural umber, white). The little golden plaque is a little tribute to A.C, I luuuuuuuveeee what he does :P (Purple, natural umber, touch of clear cadmium red, winsor yellow, white). Painting of the wooden cross (black, burnt umber, natural umber, touch of clear cadmium red, white)[pagebreak] [pagebreak] Only one thing added on, the little rope that holds the cross, I painted it so that it would appear to be sculpted has a rope.. The rope is sculpted has a plain string. I started by painting the yellow parts (natural Umber +white); I then highlighted the mix with some white, and did the shadows with burnt umber. Then I drew the twists with a fine line of burnt umber, overligned with a line of white +a touch of natural umber on the parts exposed to the light.[pagebreak] Painting of the sleeve. The first layer, even though it will be used as a colored undercoat, is applied with the tints, shadows and highlights, the blends are done as I would for any color. The grey I used is a mix made of titanium white, ivory black, Prussian green, and a purple from Blokx. The proportions differ to obtain the lighter parts (more white), and the darker parts (almost no white in the mix). The red is still visible by transparency, we can see the pinkish tone of the light grey, and the red that shows in some places, a second layer is going to be necessary. [pagebreak] Second layer of the sleeve. I redo the exact same thing that I did for the first layer. The edge of the collar is a very light grey (titanium white + a touch of ivory black). There again, the shadows are done with the same mix but in different proportions, I blended everything as I went so I got a finish with no trace of brush. The coat. The seems and the collar were painted. You have to be careful of the direction of the highlights witch starts on the fold. So that you don’t end up ruining the shadows done on it. I didn’t redo the shadows of the coat; I like the fabric the way it looked. The eyes got a little drop of shiny varnish. And I also satinated the inside of the lips and the tongue. Painting of the tombstone. I was a bit late on that one so I painted it in a rush the night before I went to the Blagnac exposition. It the first time that something like that happens to me !!! Anyways, I wanted a dark surrounding to my bust to make the white coat, and the face with a warm tone stand out. The tombstone received an undercoat of acrylic black, and I did the highlights with some drybrush with a grey going from dark grey to light grey…. to end with almost pure white. I took a great pleasure in doing this bust. Very expressive face, well-sculpted cloths, I didn't have to search a bit to apply my lights … it came right away !! Since I’m not yet a master in doing step by steps with picture for every step, some steps are missing. So do not hesitate to contact me for any question, suggestions, or remarks. Yannick )
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