Compare and Contrast: 40K Eldar and Painting Theory

After a couple days of 13-hour shifts, I was able today to get back to painting a bit.  It was a beautiful day outside as summer slowly transitions to fall, so I sat out in the backyard and did a little more work on my fire dragons.

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Today I mostly accomplished my yellow highlights.  I ended up mixing two colors together: the fresh new but somewhat brown yellow I have, and the ancient and dried up, but nice and bright yellow I’ve had for years.  So I started out with some water and a toothpick, mixing and mixing a hunk of that old stuff to revitalize it, then mixed it with a little of the base color I used on the helmets and knee pads already.  What you see is the model with a red and yellow base washed with a crimson wash, then the highlights hit one at a time with meticulous, tiny brush strokes.

And I like the way those highlights turned out. They stand out from a distance and make the models pop.

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The guy with the sword will eventually be my customized Fuegan, Phoenix Lord of the Fire Dragons.  Not sure what I want to do with the sword yet.  Thinking of making the blade white and then either some kind of fiery orange glow or maybe even green to go with their eyes.  Instead of the “Fire Ax” it can be the “Dragon’s Claw” (or something like that).  I’m also going to do some white drybrushing over his bony helm and make a dragon hide cloak from fantasy Dark Elf models.  (Oh boy, oh boy!)  That might be green too, so maybe a contrasting blue for the sword blade…?

After applying all the yellows, I started to work my way to the next step of highlighting, but was quickly burning out.  It is a more meticulous effort, after all, and I’d done it for 6 models.  So I was tiring rather quickly now.

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Here you see my female dragon.  She alone has a purple helmet with hair, rather than yellow with bladed fins, so I went ahead and did her purple highlights.  I just mixed the same purple I used as the base color (which was then hit with a blue wash) with a little white.  The brush strokes seemed big to me at first but I think they turned out well.  I especially like this model because she comes out as very much an individual.  All of the squad members are unique, no two heads quite alike.  The female also has a pistol and grenade because I ran out of blaster rifles.  Which is fine—just makes her stand out even more!

Then I went ahead and tried to highlight the red armor.  I had two options: one a lighter but very dynamic red, the other a very orange shade of red with a strong contrast against the washed red armor.  Here you see the results.

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I think he turned out a bit too orange for me.  I envisioned a darker red and yellow combo.  Not really digging the bright orange look.  Might be too much of a contrast with the red underneath.

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So then, after I had already put everything away and dumped my water cup, having decided I was not happy with the orange, I decided to try the other red.  And it doesn’t stand out very well, but I think I like it better.  Thor and I were just commenting that a strong contrast is good on the table, especially if you want models so small to stand out on the tabletop, but…  I think the orange is too much.

What do you think???

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