After a long break from modeling, Monique and I finally had some free time and got going with the models again. She’s still working on Moebius’ Invisible Man, and I’m still working on The Phantom.
I’ve got the base done, and am happy with it. Finished Devil, Phantom’s trained wolf, and he turned out pretty good. Now I’m finally working on The Phantom himself. The sculpt on this is magnificent… Lee Falk would be proud. I’ve really enjoyed working on this model.
Now that I’ve said that, let me backtrack slightly. Made some bad painting decisions on the Phantom, and have had to start him over. Twice. I always have trouble with flesh colors. Those pre-made bottles of flesh have always seemed a bit off to me. Too light, wrong tint, something. Sometimes, I can mix something with them and get an acceptable flesh. This time around, After a couple of tries, I took all the paint off, cleaned him back to ground zero, and started over. Found a great tutorial here, that taught how to mix colors for flesh tones. I’m decent at mixing colors to get what I want, but his directions made no sense to me at first. Nevertheless, I mixed Titanium White, Burnt Sienna, and Raw Sienna. (A sort of ‘rust red’ was also recommended for darker shading and warming up folds in the skin.) Put in mostly equal amounts of all three, and stirred. Well, holy cow… it worked! This mix is, hands down, the best flesh color I’ve ever used. I love it, and made up a fairly large batch for future use.
So, flesh tones ready to go, it was time to start painting (again). Usually, I do all the broad colors first, then paint over with the detailed colors. I am still learning a lot. This time, I tried detailing each color as I came to it, starting with the flesh. Face, hand, and the part of the hand attached to the wolf. Next, added the purple. Using ‘Purple’ straight out of the bottle seemed too bright, especially if dry brushing later. Mixed it with a few drops of black, for a very deep, rich purple. After that, started in with all the black.
Another problem I often have is grittiness in the finished paint surface. With an airbrush, that might not be a problem. We lack the airbrush, so it’s all by hand. Most of the time, I use a large Avon makeup brush to smooth it out, with minor success. Again, this time I really wanted my best foot foward. On a hunch, I made sure to dampen my brush lightly with water in between strokes.
That turned out to be an excellent solution. Maybe it’s a rookie mistake, but I figured it out on my own and am very happy knowing about it. Don’t yet know how that’s going to work when it’s time to dry brush, but that bridge will get crossed when the time comes.
All that brings me up to date. He’s been re-primered with a lighter coat of grey. Has the first coats of flesh, black, and purple. Still have to add black to his trunks, and do the detailed corrections. (Yes, I make mistakes… usually when trying to detail a fine edge.) Then I’ll see how the dry brushing goes.
For now, here’s the pics: