Friday, December 17, 2010

Recipe: Gold

Unfortunately, I don't have a photographic step-by-step to accompany this post (though I intend to mend that soon enough). I'm sneaking this post in at the last minute, so instead I'll simply have to write the recipe and show a few old images for inspiration.

My approach to gold hasn't changed in years, and it's a fairly basic sequence; however, I struggled to get this color right until someone kindly showed me two simple tricks: ink with chestnut (I think sepia wash will work just as well), and highlight very gently with a mithril mix. On the odd chance that you have another approach and might find this one worthwhile, or you are otherwise struggling, I've stuffed the recipe in below. 

This figure, by the way, was created in a "create your own chapter" contest quite a few years ago. His chapter was called the Sons of Caedmon, and the celebrated a very brief but glorious moment in my own personal spotlight. The kilt thing, I must confess, never really took off. 


I start with a generous base of Shining Gold. This color gets gummy quick, so I try both to be careful, and to be certain that I get good coverage. If the mixture gets too thin, the color tends to run all over and cover poorly, so there’s a bit of a balancing act going on here.

I generously wash the gold base with Chestnut Ink (although I think a generous layer or two of Sepia would have a similar effect). If I want to muddy or darken the mixture, I can add some Brown Ink to the stew.

Once dry, I highlight this with Burnished Gold.

If I want a bit more sparkle, I will add another highlight with just the smallest drop of Mithril to the Burnished Gold. I’ve said this before, but just a drop will do the trick. Mithril will overwhelm the gold pretty quickly, and I generally don’t like to lose the rich, golden tones that the ink establishes. Too much Mithril will make the coloring look too polished in my humble opinion. So the idea is to brighten the Burnished Gold without losing its inherent golden hue. 

p.s. I just wanted to drop a quick tip for a brand new blog that's come to my attention. Wyatt is a top-notch individual that I met at AdeptiCon earlier this year. I wrote a post some time ago that focused on his tremendous Space Wolves army here, and I can already tell that he's upped the ante considerably from the project he has started. Have a peek.  Tremendous.


GDMNW said...

Kilts? In the grim darkness of the far future? No wonder they died out...

Gold's one of those colours that's remarkably tough to paint. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

As for the dangers of mithril. Ach, I've ended up stripping and re-starting a few models which have ended up looking either completely burnished if I am lucky or simply streaky if I am not.

The terminators you have used as examples look surprisingly good and, well, golden.

Nice post. Thanks

Atreyu@4:44 said...

I'd instantly purchase the codex and army box for the Space Marines in Kilts Chapter.

In more relevant news, this is REALLY helpful! I'm just starting up my Blood Angels and there's a lot of gold to be done, so I'm looking forward to trying this method out and hopefully getting some nice rich golds!

Porky said...

I'm also glad you're sharing all of this. The gold has a rich and aged look, very evocative and right for an ancient relic. The approach to black in the last post was clever and effective too, especially for leather.

Also, that's a great pose on the assault cannon terminator.

Fridge said...

Nice recipe for the gold, it gets a nice and warm tone.

Wyatt said...

Thanks so much for the shout out my man.

Brian said...

@ GDMNW. Thanks. The kilts seemed a good idea at the time, but me green stuff skills were never really up to the task.

@ Atreyu. Thanks. I hope it works out well for you.

@ Porky. Cheers. There's more recipe madness to come.

@ Fridge. Thank you.

@ Wyatt. A pleasure. I hope some traffic finds its way to you.

Bartender said...

I find there are certain colours that one wants to like but are elusive to paint. Thank you for your helpful tutorial. :)