Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Super Dungeon Explore Deeproot Druid [WIP - Fur coat] and How to Paint Textured White Fur

My adventure with Super Dungeon Explore's board game miniatures begins with the Deeproot Druid. I choose the druid because it gave me the opportunity to try and paint a textured white fur like that of a polar bear. Now, colour schemes for chibi-style anime characters are usually rather flat with some contrast coming from colour combinations. Sometimes, slight differences in hue, saturation or tonal values in colours are applied thus serving to add more depth to the character. Adding texture is a big gamble on my part as it could (or already has) fail spectacularly and result in an awful looking mini.

Super Dungeon Explore Deeproot Druid - Work-in-Progress on polar bear fur coat
Super Dungeon Explore Deeproot Druid - Side views of polar bear fur coat

So far, self doubt has already arisen as to whether I made the correct choice in attempting to paint a textured white fur coat for a chibi-styled miniature. But being a stubborn old git, I am determined to see it through and hopefully it may still come together nicely. Although the druid's fur coat still looks a bit rough in places, I left further refinements for later because I want to first see how the textured white fur looks on the druid after his skin, beard and clothes have been fully painted.

Colour scheme reference used for Deeproot Druid

Choosing colours for the Deeproot Druid was easy as I wanted to paint the druid in the colour scheme shown in his Super Dungeon Explore board game playing card (see above). As I understand it, the fur coat that the druid is wearing belongs to a bear and the only white bear I know of is the polar bear.

How to Paint Textured White Fur (Quick and easy version)

It seems counter intuitive to prime the miniature black (Step 1) when you want to paint white fur. But I used a black primer in order to get an opaque dark brown basecoat layer above it (Step 2). Having some of the dark brown showing through at the final stage helps to give the white fur added depth. Following that, sequential steps are taken to paint random hair/fur-like strokes in increasingly lighter values from beige-like colours to light grey to white (Steps 3 to 6). These steps (see below) offer a quick way to get textured white fur but it's obviously not suitable if you plan to paint a competition piece. For that, more careful consideration is needed for the placement of individual paint strokes.

Step 1 - Prime with black
Step 2 - Basecoat with dark brown (Citadel Scorched Brown)
Step 3 - Paint strokes of a 50:50 mix of Citadel Khemri Brown and Dheneb Stone
Step 4 - Paint strokes of pure Citadel Dheneb Stone
Step 5 - Paint strokes of cool light grey (Citadel Astronomican Grey)
Step 6 - Highlight with pure white

So my journey into anime chibi-style miniatures is off to a rocky start. I have my fingers crossed it will all still turn out fine when the rest of the druid is painted up. At the very least, I will have an idea if painted textures and chibi-style miniatures are compatible. In fact, there are already a few ideas running through my head on how to make the white fur more chibi-like, for example ramping up the white highlights and touching up with more cool light grey colours. Next up is work on the druid's skin and hair, which will give me an inkling as to whether textured white fur is going to work.

15 comments:

  1. Nice work on the fur looks very good to my eyes

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    1. Thanks Andrew. :) To me, something seems a bit off. I am thinking that the paint strokes are too random and look messy, but I can't tell for sure.

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  2. Welcome to hell :P This is the hardest part of the chibi style. You want that cartoony look and to do that you will have to break a lot of the rules you usually use to get realism out of you other minis. The problem then becomes that cell shading doesn't work in 3D so you have to find a way to balance that technique with some realism too. ARRRGH! Don't get my wrong, It's fun, but initially very frustrating. Good work so far, enjoy the journey into madness ;)

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    1. If insanity is the price to pay for a chance to paint colours in the style of anime, then put me in a straightjacket and call me crazy! ^_^

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  3. I think you're being a bit hard on yourself. When the skin and beard go in you might be pleasantly surprised at how well in hangs together.

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    1. I am sure you are right cause I would hate to re-do the fur. :) Well if all fails I will just claim that my textured fur was too abstract for the understanding of mere mortals, and charge a gazillion dollars for my work of art. ^_^

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  4. Very funny model , i love this .
    Cheers .

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    1. Yeah, I just love these adorable cutesy wutesy chibi figures. :)

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  5. the fur is wonderful, don't be so skeptic about your ability!
    the mini is great and i'm waiting to see more about it and the others!
    go on like this.
    bye

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    1. Many thanks for the encouragement luca. I have done more work on the druid since this post and I must say I love painting bright colours. It's really fun. :)

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  6. You're doing a very good job, I guess it is not easy at all to obtain a so realistic effect (like the furr) on a statue that's not realistic.

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    1. You've made a very good point. I am trying to make fur realistic in a miniature that is anything but. I need to find a way to make it work somehow because I am too lazy to completely repaint the fur. :)

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    2. well, I like it very much :D

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  7. It's a great start, I'm sure the fur will go well with the rest of the mini. I'm curious to see how you tackle the skin - it might be the tricky part on a chib like this :) Keep it up! :)

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    1. I hope so too and thanks for the vote of confidence. ^_^ Yeah, recreating anime-like colour shading on a miniature is going to be a challenge. But getting to paint colours ala Hayao Miyazaki is going to be so much fun. :)

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