Friday, 16 February 2018

Suicide Squad Katana [WIP - Facial features, Hairpin, Ponytail and Leather Arm Armor]

Funny how things work out. It was only during the painting of Katana's face that it finally dawned on me what I had to do. Prior to that I wasn't too sure what kind of look I wanted for her facial features. But I suppose that's how it is for all creative endeavors. In all likelihood I had subconsciously mulled over how to paint her face a thousand times prior to actually starting the task. And after all that subliminal thought processes, all it took was a trigger to open the creative floodgates, if you will.   

Katana (aka Nocturna Models Soum, 13 Moons) work-in-progress: face, hairpin, ponytail & leather
Suicide Squad Katana sports dark red lips on a fair (almost white) complexion à la Geisha (芸者)

That trigger was Katana's extremely fair and low-contrast facial skin tone, which was bordering on white. If you really think about it, there was only one direction I could've gone - creatively speaking - in the painting of her face i.e. Geisha style. Well, not full-Geisha makeup style. It's more of a toned down version comprising dark red lips, simpler eyeliner makeup and dark albeit thinner eyebrows. The fact that Katana is Japanese perhaps makes this all the more fitting choice of colors.

Both Katana's eyes have had light reflections (as well as tear ducts) painted on them
Katana's ponytail sports plain ivory hairpins and a vivid red hair band
Studded leather armor on Katana's right arm (... which is still missing the hand)

Another significant work-in-progress item that I finished painting was Katana's leather arm armor. While it would've made sense to paint the leather in reddish hues - this being Katana's color scheme after all - I decided on brown instead. My reasoning was to have minimal amounts of red in the entire color scheme (Katana's lips, hairband, character symbol and a yet-to-be-painted red disc on her sculpted mask) so that its impact is that much greater. Essentially I didn't want to overuse the red hue to the extend that its effect in the miniature vignette becomes diluted.  

Suicide Squad Katana is about 95% completed with only her right hand (holding on to a sword) that's missing
Viewed from this head-on angle, Katana seems to be gazing intently at you
Additional highlights were actually painted onto Katana's hair e.g. her bangs (front and side)

Katana's ponytail completes her hair, adding volume to an already voluminous hair. The reds of her hairband on her ponytail is vivid and much brighter than the dark red of her lips. Meanwhile, the hairpin was painted in ivory and off-white hues to blend in with the rest of her clothes as well as to provide a 'sandwich framework' of sorts for the reds of Katana's lips and hairband.

Katana's hairband was painted a vivid red to contrast it with the dark reds of her lips
Ponytail adds volume to Katana's already voluminous soft black hair
To avoid it being too much of a distraction, the hairpin was painted in simple ivory and off-white hues
Katana's right hand, which is holding on to her namesake Japanese sword, is still missing at this point. So next up is to paint her right hand, the sword as well as the character's iconic half-mask that I sculpted. Once that's done, I'll have to put Katana onto her base and see if the overall color scheme works. Although I didn't really test out the compatibility between the base's color scheme and that of Katana herself, I'm pretty sure it'll work as she primarily consists of neutral and muted colors.  

Under normal daylight, the leather arm armor takes on a decidedly lighter brown hue
For me anyway, white is the sexiest color imaginable on clothing
This is my second favourite work-in-progress pose, with the most-liked being Katana's pose in the first photo

While not exactly a masterclass paint job I am still very happy with how Katana has turned out so far. In fact I would go so far as to say she has currently turned out much better than I expected. You could say this is one perk of starting out a paint job with low expectations. As I write this blog it's the first day of the Lunar New Year. To those of you who are celebrating this occasion like I am, then may you be well, happy and prosperous over the coming Year of the Dog. 新年快!


  1. Masterclass work! In every step of painting!

  2. Love your subtile way of painting, excellent!

  3. Fantastic progress ! Awesome !

  4. Absolutely beautiful, I cannot but praise your work.
    Happy New Year to you! All the best :)

    1. Thank you Suber ... and a Happy Lunar New Year to you too ^_^

  5. Most impressive! Imho absolutely the right decision to limit the use of red in order to make it pop all the more.

  6. Excellent progress on this latest project. :)

  7. Starting to come together now fella! looking amazing all the subtle muted colours.

    1. Thank you Simon! :) I certainly do hope the muted color scheme won't get drowned out by the base.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...