Monday, 5 July 2010

How I paint my figures

I must admit that my method of painting is not suited for mass production. Being originally a collector of flats I am used to spending hours on end on a single figure. When I paint my miniatures I apply similar techniques, because doing researches and painting are my hobbies, and not so much gaming.
I always start with priming the figure with an off-white acrylic paint ("ivory"). In this case it is a French officer (by Foundry) that is to become the flag-bearer of my French artillery.

The next step is to paint various parts of the figure with acrylic colours - a second priming so to say. In this case I painted the face a flesh colour - mixed of white, ochre, and red - , the uniform of my future artillery colour bearer with a dark blue tone, and boots and hat with black
Then I switch to oil colours. I start with the skin parts. I washed the face with a mixture of English red light and titanium white with lots of turpentine. The pigment gathers in the deeper part of the sculpture, giving the face a smooth shading. Adding a bit more of white, I then added the lights, on nose, brow, chin, and cheek-bones.
Coat, waistcoat, and breeches are treated in the same way, using Indigo blue as the basic colour. The turn-downs of the boots I painted a leather colour without shading, later adding the white straps. The epaulettes, the gorget, and the metal parts of the sword were painted with golden ochre. And the officer was given white eyeballs (later furnished with black pupils). 

Then scarlet red was applied to cuffs, turnbacks, and piping of the lapels. And the sword-belt was coloured white, and the cockade (which the figure lacks) was added with white oil colour. 
Finally metallic gold was put on gorget, epaulettes, sword, and buttons. And the figure was glued to its base.
The flag of the regiment proved quite a bit of work. It is described as "croix blanche fleurdelysée. Quartiers 1 et 4 gorge-de-pigeon changeant. Quartiers 2 et 3 aurore" (Pierre Charrié, Drapeaux et étendards du Roi). Which means: white cross strewn with (golden) lilies, 1st and 4th quarter iridescent gorge of pigeon (green-red iridescent taffeta), 2nd and 3rd quarter red orange (silk). Quite a job painting the metal sheet glued to a bit of steel wire as a staff, topped by a peak with cravat and tassels (Front Rank).

Voila, there he is, holding the flag of the Régiment de Auxonne of the Corps Royal de Artillerie.


AJ (Allan) Wright said...

Always nice to see other painters techniques. Thanks.

Captain Brummel said...

Dear Fridericus,
I have just returned from holiday and there it is..
a Friderician painting guide!
Inspirational stuff, thanks for taking the time and effort to post this. I shall be trying it out on a few of my AWI figures myself.
As the DUZI nears I will send you some meeting arrangements, looking forward to chatting over a coffee.
best regards