Sunday, March 25, 2012

Albino Suarus WIP Part 2 - Painting Gold

The next step in my little painting experiment is trying a new technique for gold.  I encourage you to read Luaby's post on this technique since he's far more knowledgeable about these matters than I am.  For those of you too lazy to click the link here's the gist of what I'm going for: gold paint in general stinks because it lacks opacity and thus does not provide good coverage, but you can cheat and mix it with brown paint (good opacity!) and layer up to straight gold paint.  I've seen this done in White Dwarf painting tutorials, but they never explain it properly.  They also leave out a key point that Lauby brings up: you need to properly match the brown you mix in with your gold  - i.e. a yellowish brown for a yellowish gold.  If you're new to that idea, go do some reading on color theory at The Back 40k, it'll blow your mind.

Back to my Saurus.  For my Lizardmen army I usually paint gold by putting down a layer of Cathal Brown foundation paint for an undercoat, base coat with Shining Gold, wash with Devlan Mud, highlight with Burnished Gold and then glaze with Dark Angels Green for a tarnished look (I know these colors are now obsolete, go look up the conversion chart if you must).  This recipe is based around Shining Gold, so I used this as the base to mix a brown into.  Consulting SandWyrm's super awesome color wheel, I reasoned that Shining Gold seems to have a good deal of orange in it and thus Bestial Brown would be a good match.  I used a 1/1 mix, with a spot of Scorched Brown added to darken the color.  Scorched Brown has a lot of red in it, but I didn't want to use straight black and end up over desaturating the hue of the gold.

The next step was to wash everything with Devlan Mud and then layer on a roughly 3/1 mix of gold and brown.  Now there's enough base color on the model to paint on layer of straight gold without it going on streaky:

At this point I felt the gold was looking too orange and I was getting concerned that the whole thing would end up looking more bronze than gold.  To rectify the situation, I gave it a glaze of Delvan Mud.  From there I started highlighting with Burnished Gold:

Then came a glaze with a thinned Dark Angels Green to make the metal look tarnished:

Next, the sharp edges were given a highlight of Burnished Gold mixed with silver, about a 4/1 ratio:

A final highlight with pure silver was done, hitting only sharp edges and spots where light would catch.  Here's the final results:

For my first time using this technique, I'm pleased as punch.  This creates a nice depth and richness to the color that is hard to achieve using just gold paint.  The new Citadel paint range includes foundation metallic paints, including a gold, but I have my doubts that it will be effective as this technique is.  You'll still probably have to build a few layers with this new foundation gold, so if you really want to put some effort into your model, your time will be better spent doing it the way I just demonstrated.

As always, comments, questions or complaints about my poor photography skills are welcome.


  1. thanks for the link, man! I'm glad you found that little bit of info so useful. warms the cockles of my heart it does.