Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ask the Bastards #8


So I've gone and thrown myself in at the deep end (or so it feels) and am now feeling out of my depth. I recently started my first diorama project, prior to which I posted up an advice thread on TWF. Most of the feed back I got regarding OSL was that maybe I'd taken on too much for a first go given that the setting of the piece was to be a campfire within a woodland during a gloomy early evening.

Hearing this only spurred me on to have a crack at it, but now I'm starting to think it may be time to take on some quality advice before I wreck the project completely. Big fan of your work so wondered if ya'll had any tips, or could point me in the direction of some good tutorials.

See attached for where I'm currently at. The central fig is going to be the Bane Legions Blunt Claw model defending his camp while a swarm of spiders threaten the peace. The tent will hold some excavated warpstone which will be one source of light while the campfire will be the second. Both will be green so shedding a green light. I intend for the rest of the piece to be a muted palette of pale browns and creams with a 3rd colour being a vibrant red to contrast the green light in the form of leaves of the tree, fallen leaves, ground cover scrub and ferns.

Any advice will be massively welcome, regards.


I've not personally painted OSL yet but have researched it pretty thoroughly for a number of future projects.

The key, as all the guides/pros seem to say, is in high contrast.  Meaning, the dark areas need to be really dark before you 'light' them.  And it makes sense.  If you take a glow stick in real life it doesn't light up much area at all in light.  But in the dark, that thing shines like a mini-sun.

The diorama you have started is a great scene so far and you've modeled the imagery you described.

The painted pic looks like it is all still to 'light' to be further lit up by OSL.  Darken everything down with washes, more shading, etc..  (For instance the current dark shade on the tent might by the highest highlight)

Again, please temper all of my comments with the fact that it only comes from research and not practice.

Lastly, anyone telling you that you might have bitten off more than you can chew can go suck a fat one.  The only way to pick up new techniques and to improve is to try.  Good on you for that.



Let me start by saying excellent job so far! That thing looks really kewl! Also, it's a really interesting idea, and a rather ambitious one as well.

I've worked a little bit with painting lighting source effects. When I do it, I like to keep the basic colors present; that's an attempt to not overwhelm the piece with just a single color or two.

The way I did it in the past was to basecoat the model as normal, with the usual (not OSL affected colors). Then I'd add the first highlight or two normally. For the remaining highlights, I'd add a bit of the color I'm trying to add a light effect for. Each time I mixed a new color for the next highlight shade, I'd add a bit more of a lighter-toned version of the light effect color to the mix. The end result is that as you highlight the model, the highlights pick up more and more of the light effect color as you get lighter.

Here's an example of what I mean. You can see that it's subtle, but adds a real nice accent.

I think the tent that you have painted is way too light. I'd definitely darken that up quite a bit. Based on what else you have going on in there, I'd wager that you have already done that by now.

How much are you planning on shadowing objects in the diorama? It would look really good if you could pull off some strong shadows behind objects that are lit from the other side. That may be a no-brainer, I'm not sure since I've never really looking into doing something like this.

Experiment. Get some green light in a mostly dark room, or outside in the early evening. See how the light affects how things look. Perhaps you could get a lamp with a green Halloween bulb to mimic the fire. For the glowing warpstone, perhaps use a lamp shade over the green bulb. Maybe a green glow stick would work for that as well.

Either way, create the effect you're going for in the real world. Then you'll have in your mind an accurate picture of what you want to achieve on your model.

I think you have to take this baby one step at a time. If you look at the whole thing, and contemplate the whole thing; you're going to be overwhelmed by it, and never get anywhere.

If it were me, I'd start by getting everything basecoated and inked up; all ready highlighting. I'd use their natural colors for that, not colors tinged with the OSL tones.

After that, I'd add the fire and the warpstone. I'd actually finish them first.

From there I'd start on the ground, and work my way up. I'd paint everything in that order, accounting for the light sources as I did so. Once the fire and warpstone are on there, you should be able to see with your mind's eye how they'd affect the scene. As the ground was done, I'd add in the object shadows as I saw them. For that you will need to be able to temporarily affix the Blunt Claw model, as well as the spiders (preferably temporarily).

If you're still unsure about the specific technique to use to create the OSL color palettes, I'd browse the web for tutorials. If you did some research, I'd imagine you could find a few detailed blogs or videos on how to accomplish this.

Hopefully that helps you some, or at least gets your brain moving enough to move forward.

Let us know how it goes!



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