Conan is still a work in progress. For that matter, so am I, in terms of using the airbrush. My Badger Anthem 155 is by all accounts a great beginner’s airbrush, but I’m not a great beginner. More like fair to middling. Until recently, airbrushing has just been a means of doing a base coat/color before dry brushing. Working on Moebius’ Conan The Barbarian has been groundbreaking for me. This time, I’m learning to draw details… sort of details… with it.
My first attempt was to try shading on the muscles. Laid down a medium flesh tone over the whole body, then started airbrushing the shadows in the creases of the muscles. It was a big improvement, and I thought maybe that was good enough. Until a good friend told me to try detailing the highlights as well as the shaded areas.
I had some doubts about my ability, but gave it a try. Airbrushing the darker shaded areas had been very successful. Airbrushing the highlights was even better – the contrast makes the muscles stand out. Everywhere the light should hit received detailing with a very light skin tone.
Final result? Some of the best skin shading I’ve ever done. Lots of interesting brights and darks. For some reason, this kit has been super-tough to photograph. The flesh color and the shading just don’t show up true in a picture. Tonight was about the best pictures so far. It comes close to showing the trued color and detail. Still a little off, though.
Learned an amazing new technique to use in future model-building. Eventually, maybe I’ll get really good at detailing with an airbrush. It’s going to take lots of practice, but even as a beginner I can see a huge improvement. Glenn, if you’re reading this – Thanks!
As a final note, the mouth and eyes have really turned out well also. The mouth has an actual gum-line between the teeth and mouth. The eyes are really adding character. The flesh of the face was airbrushed, but the features (eye, mouth) are brush-painted. I’m very pleased with the result so far.