Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Suicide Squad Katana [WIP - Diaphanous white top, off-white stockings and white cotton tabi socks]

There isn't a whole lot you can do to make white look interesting. Two ways I could think off was to vary the tonal quality of the white clothing (i.e. whites vs off-whites) and to create different fabric textures via paint (i.e. diaphanous vs stocking vs cotton). So that was what I did in the painting of Suicide Squad Katana's white clothing, work-in-progress photos of which you can see below.  

Suicide Squad Katana (aka Nocturna Models Soum, 13 Moons) work-in-progress: white and off-white clothing
Katana's white top was painted too resemble diaphanous fabric
White is the preferred hue for the cloth wrap around Katana's upper left arm 

To save time in the tonal variation process, I utilised the midtone and shadows hues from the range of paints that I would eventually use to paint the whites of Katana's clothing. Meanwhile, to create a diaphanous fabric I used glaze medium with the white highlights over her flesh skin tone, especially around the frontal chest area of her white top. And as for differentiating the texture between Katana's stockings and tabi socks, I relied mainly on the tonal variation of the respective items of clothing. But I did layer on a clear coat of semi-gloss varnish over the socks to mimic smooth cotton fabric.

Leg stocking was painted in off-white hues for some colour variety in Katana's all-white ensemble  
Katana's stocking is in off-white hues so as to provide tonal variety in her predominantly white clothing  
Katana wore traditional tabi socks which I painted as plain white cotton

What paints were used in the painting processes described above? Well, they comprised mainly acrylic paints from the Vallejo Model Color Black and White paint set. In addition, I also used a glaze medium together with the highlight colours to enable a diaphanous see-through effect on Katana's white top. While not a must, the glaze medium does make it easier to create a diaphanous effect.

Acrylic paints and glaze medium used to paint the whites and off-whites

When painting the diaphanous effect I consciously avoided the wet t-shirt look. It's not that I've any objections to such a look on a painted miniature but Katana required a more subtle see-through effect. So after painting flesh hues on her chest area I proceeded to lightly glaze over the skin tones with progressively lighter highlight colours, ending with pure white. 

Katana's skin tone looks much better against her white clothing than the earlier grey primer coat
A diaphanous fabric makes for a much more visually interesting white top
Katana's facial features haven't been completed yet hence her deadened expression

Initially I contemplated doing some freehand painting of Japanese design motifs on Katana's off-white stocking. But those plans has since been shelved as I've decided to keep her colour scheme as simple as possible and limit any freehand painting to the base only.

Temptation to paint her upper left arm cloth wrap any other colour but white has been resisted so far
An off-white stocking creates sufficient contrast to make it stand out from her white tabi sock, and vice versa
At this stage of the painting, it looks increasingly likely I'll add more highlights on Katana's hair tips

Not all of Katana's clothing has been painted though. There is still the studded leather armour located on her right arm. For that I'm leaning towards a red leather hue that's muted enough so that it doesn't overpower the whites and off-whites of the rest of her clothing. In addition, the final colours of her leather armour will also have to go well with existing hues found on the base.

Not much clothing can be seen on the back view of Katana
Studded leather armour on Katana's right arm is one clothing accessory that won't be in white
I'm happiest about how Katana's white cotton tabi socks turned out

Thus far, painting Katana has been exactly the challenge I anticipated. She has an extremely simple colour scheme - fair skin tones with generally white clothing - which are always the hardest to paint. There is still much work to be done before Katana is truly brought to life. But the good thing is I've established 'forward creative momentum' on her paint job and that's so important in a project that had languished in inertia for so long. A long stretch of holidays is on the horizon - the Lunar New Year celebrations - and that presents me with the opportunity to get the Suicide Squad Katana project over the finishing line. As The Little Engine That Could once said ... I think I can, I think I can!


  1. Great work at now sir! Good luck in the next painting steps!
    best regards

  2. I'm in love with her...and with your painting!

  3. smitten. you are doing phenomenal job on her!

  4. Awesome whites ! And amazing top ! Master at work !
    I'm looking forward to see your other color choices.

    1. You sir are too kind. Thank you for your positive comments :)

  5. You are turning this into a masterpiece. Wow, the way you master those tones :O

    1. Thank you very, very much Suber! You are so kind with your feedback! :)

  6. Most impressive! You’re getting better and better still.

  7. Excellent progress. Another superb project takes shape in terms of painting. :)


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