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  • Studying on my Lathiem: tone, contrasts, and oil paint.

    Hello everyone, I am presenting my last job: the splendid lathiem of La Torre (what a wonderful miniature!) It is for me a “study miniature”, where I wanted to try new techniques.
    Below I translate you the article that I wrote for legio pictorum. Unfortunately  I speak English badly, but I hope that it is understandable although possibly full of errors. Please forgive me for this.
    I hope that it can be useful!

    As a “study miniature” there are a series of things that I wanted to investigate:
    -- The atmosphere, the study of light and colour: in this case a night setting and "wet", I wanted the miniature to be illuminated by a faint lunar light, it was especially on the zenith (which in reality zenithal follows one direction but shifted slightly to the right of the viewer)
    -- The colour temperature, in the wake of the work done on my ice ork I still wanted to study the possibilities related to the use of contrasting warm against cool. In this case the miniature bottom area by warm colours (pants, leather) going to cool colours at the top (skin and the sword which is the most cold in chromatic terms) suggesting in this way, the intervention of a "very cold" lighting.
    -- Third and newest for me, I wanted to study the use of oil colours (being a novelty I used them only for a few things at the beginning, and then the whole miniature at the end).
    In this piece skin is the focal point of miniature. What I wanted was to get a realistic feel but at the same time use a very strange color, pallid, almost ghostly.

    I started from a base of a purplish average (uniform pale violet brown vallejo + hormagount purple foundation gw )
    I then made a wash with a darker color  obtained by adding black and dark sea blue vallejo on the basic mixes.
    Then I started layering first with kaki kommando, then with a cold grey (a blue grey very clear of vallejo). Once arrived at the maximum light I added mixes clear dark sea blue and white to get a very cold white to the latest lights.
    Exactly as I explained in my old tutorial on washings, I worked hard on chromatic variations, extremely light. This light colours as a medium tone, I then changed the tone by adding a purple and red (scab red ) washings intermediate to obtain a non-linearity in chromatic nuances. In a very tenuous color that tends to a grey, shadows blue turns from purple to average up to the clear and ice white. Many of these steps are lost through pictures unfortunately ...
    Finished to the last light skin is over ... Perhaps .. (Continued)
    [pagebreak]THE TROUSERS
    Pants were supposed to go by contrast with the skin basically bluish white, and color is no longer lent a brown brick. I wanted, however, that even if the colour is warm not be too hot compared to the rest, for this I used the purple-blue grey for shadows and a cold orange (with ice grey) for the last lights (in fact all of the latest miniature lights are made with a similar colour).
    I started from a base of terracotta-gw + a dark brown andrea. I layer with a yellow ochre not very intense (Vallejo), and then I added as more grey light until almost final "pure ice grey". Shadows were washed with dark sea blue added to black. The contrast between the complementary orange-blue gave much prominence to the zenithal lights creating an effect very contrasted.
    The laces were made with a base of charadon granite layer with the usual grey and a touch of a kind of green mint to get cold again for the last lights.

    As I said before I wanted the leather was the second of the warm components in this piece, so I moved toward the yellow ochre. I started from a base of brown leather and I layered with an ochre andrea and Kommando kaki, washing the shadows with a dark green and blue. On this base, after I worked with oils.
    Here very simply, I moved between gray and reddish background trying to get a cold color exactly like the rest of the miniature. This was done with oils.
    OILS ....
    Something new ... I had never taken oil colour and I did not have the slightest idea what I was waiting for. I was quite happy about how I had some things had come out on the miniature (skin and trousers for example) and I had a great fear of ruining everything with something that was new to me.
    However until you try, you don’t know, no? I then simply thrown.
    Oil can be diluted with a million of different substances, acquaragia, of gasoline zippo, but researching a bit on the internet I discovered that the most used by figurine artists, is the essence of petroil. Its volatility is able to make the oils to dry faster and avoids the translucent effect, leaving very strong colours (however note that the oil will never be totally opaque, have a finishing to them, which must be appreciated for that, if you do not use acrylic!!).
    Now one of the first "reversals" for a painter accustomed to acrylic, is that you must to forget the first law of color: dilution.
    The oils should be diluted as little as possible !!!!
    They are presented very “creamy”, and will be placed in small doses, and then physically coated on a miniature on to the nuances. This will bring into practice shadows and light colors and then average mix directly on the piece, being careful to smooth the surface well ....
    Indeed especially if we put over a diluted color, the thinner tends to dissolve oil below with a truly frightening effect and makes it difficult to recover! Permit to dry and then with the aid of a nearby lamp (the heat helps evaporation and dry, eliminating the glossy effect) or a suitable oven.
    I have made the cost of my own initial ignorance about oil in the sword. First, remember that the oil covers very little, almost nothing, so you must use acrylic base but not too dark, the best is a colour similer to the final result you want as opaque as possible. Better then use valejo, andrea and not gw (foundation is ok), because the oil we attacked better (taken from the book of Danilo Cartacci).
    For the sword as I said I wanted the “maximum cold part” so I went to an intense water-blue. I put on the palette: black, green-blue, blue primary (cyan), a land of cassel, gray of payne, and white. Apart a touch of naple’s yellow.
    On the mixing palette got all the nuances and shades that I served and then went directly to draw the color best suited.
    For the sword from the bottom I applied: a dark strip of dark blue, cyan grey Strip, an a white dirt on the top. With a dry brush I mixed points of contact between the colors to fade steps.
    What I did not know yet, meant that I made the mistake of too dilute colors, but especially I do the mistake to put the color diluted to emphasize the lights when the base was not dry, with the result of eliminating the color that was below .. Arghhhhhhh!
    after I understood the rules of oils, I resolved drying and waiting and after I put not diluited colour to reproduce a smooth surface. the result is that the sword is surely the worst part .. But how can I say? Was the first time! Sigh ...
    I enjoyed a lot !!!!! First, I began to finish the skintones with the oil, shading steps with small amounts of color and smoothing in some places in a way that I would have been impossible with the acrylics. Then I adjusted virtually all leather, emphasizing the shadows and the lights fade, I painted in oils also fur and base, as well as the handle of the sword. I then tried to wash with diluted oil on trousers, where a small black wash cold has given more contrast, and the metals (very fast) obtained with gw metals and oil washes. Then I added lights or nuances on leather straps and I painted in oils always the skull using the same technique.
    Basic acrylic and oil, unfortunately the photo does not show the water effect that “live” are longer credible. I wanted to suggest a “wet” across the mini, as if it had rained, so once it's painted and adding vegetation I have dirtied some parts with glossy to simulate the wet.
    In general I am pleased with the outcome, even though some things are obviously not as I wanted to, especially because I have to learn more about oil techniques that are totally new for me. I am pleased with the result in terms of colour balance and atmosphere, while a little less so with some details, such as the sword, which are spoiled by my lack of skill with the new colours.
    But one thing is certain, just entered in the world of oils, I was already passionate!
    I hope you enjoy the piece and I’m ready as always to your criticisms, comments, but also request if you!
    Sorry for my really bad english :P
    I have to do many thanks as always to Sebastian automaton for his critism and feendback and also for his fantastic inspiration!
    Exposition Pictures, many thanks to Ghmork for his fantastic texture works and editing, thank you:
    Cmon link: ,
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