A few weeks ago, before Lock n’ Load, I painted up a Druid Gone Wilder for a friend for his tournament raffle. I’d meant to write this article sooner, but in the hectic run-up to L&L 2015 it kept getting pushed to the side. But thanks to subscriber Drakeoss asking a couple of questions, I remembered I still had the pics on my phone. So huzzah for him, you get an article! As always, click on the pics for larger versions.
When I first got the Druid Gone Wilder I was realtively uninspired; the Irish redhead Wilder had been done dozens of times, and I didn’t really want to just copy someone else. At the time I was also painting up my Sunhammer Convergence, so my brain was locked into white and gold and Egyptian schemes. Then it hit me: paint her as a dark-skinned lady! The palate of the humans in the Iron Kingdoms sometimes seems a bit monochromatic outside of a few folks, and turning an Irish mini on its head really appealed to me 🙂
First, I primed in black and then airbrushed the white coat over that would serve as her clothes. This also helps pick out details I might have otherwise lost.
Next up was the basis for her skin: Exile Blue. As Meg Maples taught us a couple of years ago at Lock n’ Load 2013, starting with Exile Blue as a base for your darker-skinned minis is a wonderful way to get a rich and consistent final color. At this point I also figured I’d make the boots blue; but eventually I went through other color variations to keep the boots from seeming too cartoony.
Next up was the base green. Now when I originally conceived of the different palate, I decided to forego normal wood on her staff and go for more of an emerald or jade look. To achieve this, I’ll basically be painting the normal shading ‘backwards’, i.e. starting with the lightest color (Necrotite Green) and adding darker colors to the normal place you’d highlight (much like you’d paint magma with the cooling rocks on top). I also went ahead and used Battlefield Brown as a base for both her hair (which I wanted to contrast with the skin) and the barrel.
A coat of Arcane Blue on the Troll whelp helps us along, and the mug gets a base of Thornwood Green with the froth being Heartfire.
Back to the green, I laid down the Dark Green from Vallejo in layers over the Necrotite Green, making sure to go very easy on it so plenty of Necrotite still showed through. I also wanted it to look as if she was sitting on a chunk of obsidian, so the rock got painted black.
Time to lay down the base for the skin! I did this partly because I like to see the colors evolve alongside each other, especially on an untested paintjob, to make sure everything fits. I use Burnt Umber from the Vallejo Air line as a base, leaving some of the Exile blue slightly showing through due to the consistency of the Umber.
Bloodstone was used as the base for the terrain. It was at this point that I noticed the boots were looking really out of place.
More work on the skin! Bootstrap Leather was my next layer. Careful to leave some of the Umber showing through.
Time for some wash. Strong Tone “ink” (misnamed by them) from Army Painter lightly over the skin and hair, as well as the mug.
The boots had irritated me enough; I tried Thrall Flesh.
Time to prep for the gold work! I lay down a base of Burnt Umber for the spots the Vallejo Liquid Gold will go (always applied after I’ve already sealed the model). Legging still don’t look right to me.
Washed the hair using PP’s armor wash, as well as the gold base. Washed her clothes, the terrain, the barrel, and the Troll whelp with Strong tone. Picked out the glow of her eyes with a tiny bit of pure white and repainted the highlights on her clothes with white. And noticed I was both running out of time, and running out of patience with the damn boots, which blend too much for my liking.
The last few steps were undocumented, as I finished this lady the night before I had to hand her off 🙂 Essentially, it was just repainting the boots (again) with Dark Green, washing them, finishing the basing, sealing her, and applying the gold to the metal and the gloss to the obsidian rock and the staff, along with correcting any mistakes in her flesh with Bootstrap. How did she turn out? You be the judge!
Starting to think that my camera phone has far surpassed the medium-grade camera from 2000 I use :p