My latest project is painting an Escher gang for a client. This is a nice break from painting Space Marines, and I am using it as an opportunity to try out blending. The client was very open to me experimenting, but wanted a few things in particular.
First, he wanted a mix of skin tones in the gang. He also wanted crazy bright colored hair, with light green and blue clothes. Finally, he wanted me to try and paint some of the clothing as sheer. I was up for this, as it seemed like a good test of blending. I'm not sure how well I pulled it off.
Here are the first 4 I painted, with very dark skin. I'm really happy with how the skin came out. I painted them basically the same way I usually layer, just using the blending medium to add some transparency to the layers. I don't think the transparency on the clothes is awful here, but it's fairly subtle because the skin is dark and the clothes aren't that lightly colored. I think it would look better if I had brought the clothing up closer to white. The ganger with the white mohawk is my tribute to Storm's punk phase in the X-men.
Next up are 4 gangers with light tans.
The skin on these ladies got more blending. I started with a base of Tallarn Flesh, and tried to blend up the raised areas with Elf Flesh (I have some really old paints). However, I over highlighted, and used a flesh wash to tone it down, but it became way too dark. I was at a loss at what to do and was just going to re-base and start over, but I decided to try an Elf Flesh glaze. I made a very thin blend of Elf Flesh and blending medium and painted it over the skin, and it worked! It brought the color up to where I wanted it but left the shading and highlighting.
I'm less happy with the transparency on these girls. The color I used for their nipples was not nearly as transparent as I wanted, and I think they're more prominent than they should be. They're still not bad, especially at arm's length, but I think there's definitely room for improvement.
My blending is definitely rudimentary but I'm trying to learn. I'm having trouble gauging the transparency of the paints I'm mixing, and I'm often making them too opaque and having to start over because the latest layer is too strong. The blending medium I'm using is also really shiny when it dries, which makes it really difficult for me to figure out what the final product will look like. Only after a coat of matte varnish can I really see how the models turn out.
My next project will be the last three gangers. In the meantime, anyone have any tips on blending?