Saturday, October 1, 2016

Female Barbarian - Painting

Okay, first I want to apologize for not having a step by step photo series of how I painted her.  I know I said I was going to do that, but the Barrage convention was rapidly approaching and I wanted to have her finished to have a female barbarian figure option for my players, so I had to paint her quickly and didn't have the time to take a bunch of series pics.  The painting was very simple, though, so hopefully I can capture what I did through narration and you can see it all by looking at the final pics.

Here she is:
With most of my figures, just like with lead, I start by painting the entire figure some dark color.  I do NOT use black for these figures (unless the figure is wearing a black cloak).  The reason is that on these guys, I think because they are essentially flat, black is too harsh.  I use craft paints for all these figures and the base color I usually use is called "Soft Black" by Americana.  These craft paints initially were not my favorites, but I am finding I like them more and more because they seem to have more pigment than most other paints.  However, you MUST water them down a little before using them.  They will "goop" on the figure if you don't do this.  Soft Black is essentially a very, very dark umber brown, which is perfect.  Even though most of this figure is lighter colored (lighter flesh tones and light hair) I still like to start with the darker color.  It keeps you from, for example, having to try and get flesh into smaller spaces like where her arms meet her leather armor.  Just leave it the dark brown color and it will look great.  For these figures, the eyes are frankly often the most important thing.  As people, we tend to look at other people (or things that represent people) first in the eyes and face.  I have a gaming buddy who has said a couple of times, "these figures look like pieces of wood, until you paint the eyes on them and then they come alive."  He is so right!  Anyway, for her because she is such a bad ass, I wanted to have her looking out of the corner of her eyes.  That meant moving the black dots not in the center, but to the side, in this case she is looking to her left.  Also, in this case, you need to paint the camo pattern swipe across her eye first (see narration below on the camo parts) and THEN paint the white of the eye on top of that.

On these shaker peg figures, I usually have all of the legs be the small part next to the base, and the tapered part above it is a kilt or something like that.  With her, though, her outfit isn't like that.  Essentially she has leather body armor on with a very brief leather skirt leaving the upper parts of her thighs uncovered.  So painting the entire tapered part as armor would not have looked right for her.  So I had to make the tapered part primarily her legs.  You can see in this picture the rear of the brief skirt, the first picture you can see the front of the skirt.  The dark brown base coat serves as the recesses of the leather armor, and I just use a lighter brown on top to paint a belt, a suggestion of the skirt and of the torso armor.
The sword for these "fighter type" figures is important.  I use a dark gray base color and then use a very light gray over top to create the sharp edge of the blade and any visual interest details I choose to do, in this case the middle of the blade being "raised."  The hands are actually the handle of the sword, I just paint them like hands to create the illusion that she is "holding" the weapon.
Along with the first picture, this one probably gives you the best view of the camo she has on her skin.  I believe in the movie is it a mixture of some sort of animal fat and ashes, but on the actors it just looks like black body paint.  Problem is, if you just paint black stripes on her it will not look like a camo effect.  So I painted a black base color for each "swipe" of the stuff, and then painted a very dark gray on top of it, leaving black showing through around the edges.  This creates enough contrast to draw the eye, and if anyone has seen the movie I bet they will know exactly who this figure is supposed to be.  Her hair was just a light brown base color with a straw color over top to create the texture and flow of her hair.  There you have her!  The lovely and tough as nails Valeria!

Now I'm off to Barrage!



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