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The Process of Painting the Grey Maiden

October 5, 2017

 

This was an interesting project.  I know Grey Maidens are a particular thing from Pathfinder, so there's a "correct" way of coloring them, but I also wanted to do some experimenting and learning since this is only the third miniature I've worked on, so in the end, I decided to compromise: I'd stick fairly close to the proper color scheme, but I'd give myself some freedom to try some new techniques.

 

Her armor was going to be the main driving element of the design, and I had a hard time imagining anything other than a fairly standard steel color as a suitable base for that.  I debated between coloring the filigree gold or silver, but in the end, I figured gold would be easier to fuck up, so silver was the way to go.  For the (I assume to be) leather banding, I decided that the standard red look would be fine.  The crest of the helmet could also be red, then, to tie things together visually.  For the cloak, though, I definitely wanted to do something different.  My first thought was to use a dark green to contrast with the red, but for whatever reason, I found myself reminded of the color-shifting cloaks worn by Warders in the Wheel of Time books, and I thought that painting a pigmented ink wash over a grey base might be a way of approximating a similar effect.  Lastly, I was just in the mood to try getting a gem stone effect, so I decided to go with an amethyst for the panel in the middle of the shield, as well as two more tiny amethysts in the center of the sword's hilt.

 

For primer, black seemed to be the sensible choice.  I'd have to mix my own "steel" color from silver and black, and I really wanted to kill the shine on it as much as I could to maximum the contrast with the eventual silver fine highlights.

 From there, obviously, the primary color for the model was going to be steel, so I mixed it up and applied it.

 

 

I was going to use a black ink wash on both the armor and the crest, so I decided to paint that part as well before doing the wash.  Then, seeing as I had black on my palette already, I also mixed up some light grey as the base for the cloak.  I'd have to be a little careful around it while doing the ink wash, but since I was going to aim for a mottled final appearance anyway, it wouldn't be too much of a problem to get some ink on it as long as it wasn't in a bad spot.

 

 

With the main base colors done, it was washing time.  As mentioned, I went with black for the armor and the crest, since I wanted deep shadows without the muddy/dirty effect of a brown wash.  For the cloak, honestly, I think green would've been the ideal color, but I didn't have that, so I decided to work with the coolness of the grey and go with a blue wash instead.  I also took the opportunity to base coat the gems with black, in order to restore their darkness.

 

The wash on the cloak gave it kind of a splotchy look, so I was tempted to do another application to even it out.  However, a friend who I was sharing these pictures with thought it looked really nice as it was, so I agreed to leave it, aside from doing some fine highlighting at the end.

 

Anyway, once the washes were dry, it was on to painting in the leather banding.  I went with a dark brownish red here, to have some consistency with the crest's color while still setting it apart.

 

 

Brown ink wash was the order of the day for the leather, since it made sense to me for those parts to look a bit dirty.

 

With that done, there really wasn't much else to this mini.  I could've painted flesh tones on the fingers or tried to touch up the buckles on the leather with a metallic color, but honestly, I just wasn't in the mood for making things too much harder than they had to be.  Instead, I just highlighted the washed areas, colored in the gems as amethysts, and finished with a touch of glossy varnish on the gems to give them some extra shine.

 

 

 

Overall, I'm really pleased with how this turned out, especially since it was mostly an experiment in doing new techniques like paints with washes, doing gem effects, and doing a little focused drybrushing for the highlights on the abdomen section.

 

Next up: who knows?!  By which I mean that I ordered the Reaper "Learn To Paint" kits, so I'll give them until the weekend to arrive.  If they don't come by then, well, I'll probably find something else to get some more practice on.

 

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