Friday, September 24, 2010

Recipe: Yellow

On Sunday I posted a bit about how I’m slightly re-working my Orks to make them much more immediately and dramatically distinct from my other armies. As I never really intended to use them on the tabletop, I’d painted them with what I considered experimental flair at the time, which is precisely the manner in which they came to act as the “rough draft” for other color schemes in my more complete and useable forces –specifically the Arrugginiti (note to self: there’s a kind of evolutionary trail implicit in my painting that might be interesting to iron out for a future post).

As a short cut, I chose the color yellow as the new accent color, which allowed me to repaint only a limited amount on each model (and in the rare instance not at all) in order to accomplish a reasonably grand visual change. Moreover, I’ve never used yellow… ever. So that alone would make them quite pronounced on my bookshelf. To this day, I think these guys might now be the brightest figures I have ever painted, and I like it.

Well, after that post, I received a groundswell of tremendous advice related to the color yellow. Unfortunately, almost all those recommendations directed me away from the GW range and toward paints that I don’t actually own yet (however, I have a giftcard and an eye for some new paints…).

In the mean time, here’s what I’ve been able to make with the modest GW range and those Orks:

As I was covering a Turquoise highlight, and taking BIG Jim’s advice about working up from a neutral color for yellow, I stretched a thin, thin, thin layer of Macharius Solar Orange over the turquoise. This wasn’t meant to cover perfectly, and wasn’t intended to be a base color, so I never worried too much about smoothness and proper coverage, etc. I just wanted the yellow colors to have something neutral on which to sit.

I then tackled the real base color for my yellow –Tausept Ochre. This is a little more brown/tan in hue and I was hoping that, although not an ideal shade, it would quite ably pick up a subsequent brownish orangish wash later in the process.

Next, Iyanden Darksun. Yes. That’s three foundation paints in a row. I’ve grown fond of the range and use it more often that is likely decent or appropriate in polite society. I thought, however, that I might be a bit clever here, as there is a trace amount of Iyanden in the skin highlight of these Orks (skin also accomplished largely with foundations, obviously), and the repetition (I hoped) would keep the colors working together.

I then attacked the yellow coloring more directly with Sunburst Yellow. This paint is hell to work with and exactly the kind of thing that turned me away from yellow in the first place. It’s strange. Full stop. The texture is goopy/snotty, and the hue spreads in a streaky, haphazard manner. It always seems to want to dry chunky, but it’s also lively and vibrant. Thankfully, I only required a relatively small amount to make the highlights leap.

For a (nearly) final highlight, I blended in a bit of Skull White, which actually helped the consistency of the yellow tremendously. It started to behave more like actual paint and less like snot, but then it also lost its original hue. Such is yellow, I suppose.

To help keep this all from becoming too ghastly, a quick wash of Gryphonne Sepia mixed with a devastatingly thinned bit of Macharius Solar Orange again to push the lowlights back down (I adapted this after a recommendation from Munky... thank you kindly). I might also consider a Devlan Mud wash here but, to be candid, I already have enough DMud spread across model after model after model, and I need to find new solutions to my painting problems, if you will. 

I then revisited my Sunburst Yellow and Skull White mixture, but with a bit more white this time,  and re-highlighted a couple spots that had been dulled a bit in the wash process to make sure that they remained suitably vibrant.

And there he is. Brand new.

This Big Boss model, by the way, is without doubt one of my absolute favorites models to paint.


TJ Atwell said...

I am in love with the yellow you have achieved, It looks rich and real, not just painted on as some yellows look. Great work as always and thanks for the tips on your method!

Brian said...

Thank you kindly, OST. The method is imperfect, I know, but it's a starting point at least.

Big Jim said...

I think the effect turned out quite nice!

I like that you used the sepia wash for the shadows, it gives it a rich color.


Mephistopheles said...

Good job,
think i might have to do a lil side project just to try out this technique.
BUT... can you do that with blue i wonder...?

Elbrun said...

Very nearly every color can be done in a similar fashion, as I am finding out while working on a Lady Hammerstrike mini. I've been using a lot of Warlock purple to tie colors together, from using it to shade flesh, to shading clothing, and soon shading metals. It's all a mater of finding a color to use in tieing your colors together and sticking with it.

Joe B said...

they look great and the yellow is a perfect contrast color. your metal looks fantastic as well!

Brian said...

@ Big Jim. Thank you. I'm still trying to work out a "counts as" so that I can squeeze that Warboss (or whatever you call him) into a game or two of Killzone.

@ Mephistopheles. Tempting. I'll give it a try with Blue and see what happens. Look for a post on that soon.

@ Elburn. Interesting. I'm curious to see how Warlock looks on metals. I like the idea.

@ D'nyarak. Thank you. My rust recipe is also post (twice I think) in the "recipe" tag if you wanted to have a look.

Thanks again for the support, one and all. Cheers.

oni said...

The metal looks really good. I'm curious to know how you did it stage-by-stage.

Brian said...

Certainly. The metal is a slightly less focused version of the recipe I outlined here:

I say "slightly less refined" as I was still working out the details when I first painted these orks, and simply used them as a series of "test minis." At the time, I wasn't expecting to actually use them in any material way...

Skarvald the Troll-faced said...

Brian, this looks superb but it is so many steps.. It's like doing non-metallic gold XD For me.. I just avoid painting red. I don't think I've used it since I started this hobby a year and a half ago. That's why I'm doing the shoulder pads of my Space Wolves red rather than yellow. They are Deathwolves after all.

Brian said...

@ Skarvald. Ha. I know what you mean. I've avoided yellow for years and years. It's hard work.

Skarvald the Troll-faced said...

LOL and I totally meant "I just avoid painting YELLOW". But you got what I meant. And you know what? I was NEVER a fan of yellow on Orkz. Something about the combination of green and yellow remind me of someone's regurgitated lunch. Possibly a scrambled eggs/pickle/mustard kind of deal. Gross stuff.
I saw this one Apocalypse game which had yellow and green Tyranids against Badmoon Orkz... and God was it horrendous to look at. But I guess it has to do with (and as you mentioned it) the fact that Games Workshop simply does not have any good yellow paints.
However, you know what? Your yellow paintjob method looks sweet as hell. Again, congratulations.

Curis said...

These are gorgeous. I'm really envious of how you've pulled off gritty and bright at the same time.

Thanks for the walkthrough.

Flekkzo said...

Those Orks are full of win. Very nicely painted.

A quick tip is to mix Iyanden Darksun and Golden Yellow and paint with, over Tausept Ochra for instance.

If GW would fix any of their paints it should be the yellows. Though I fine that thinning them and painting over white seems like a possible solution.

Flekkzo said...